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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Village of Orchard Park – Water Operations (2011M-276)


Released: February 24, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Village’s water operations for the period January 1, 2008 through November 3, 2011.

Background

The Village of Orchard Park is located in the Town of Orchard Park in Erie County. The Village is governed by a Board of Trustees which comprises four elected Trustees and an elected Mayor. For the fiscal year ended May 31, 2011, general fund operating expenditures totaled $922,000.

Key Findings

  • During the four-year period reviewed, water losses totaled more than 105 million gallons. Using an average of $2.23 per thousand gallons paid to the ECWA, we estimate the cost associated with this water loss is approximately $235,000.
  • It is also possible that a portion of the unaccounted-for water is due to inaccurate meters or customers not being properly billed. As such, the Village may be missing an opportunity to collect additional water user charges. For perspective, at a rate of $5.00 per thousand gallons billed to customers, 105 million gallons of water represents $526,000 in potential revenue.

Key Recommendations

  • Identify and correct potential causes for unaccounted-for water in a timely manner.
  • Periodically inspect meters for damage or tampering and establish procedures to ensure any illegal hookups are detected and appropriately addressed in a timely manner.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236