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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Kenmore – Wastewater Processing Costs and Information Technology (2013M-73)


Released: June 14, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the wastewater service agreement and internal controls over the Village’s IT operations for the period January 1, 2011, through January 18, 2013.

Background

The Village of Kenmore is located in the Town of Tonawanda in Erie County and has a population of approximately 15,400. The Village is governed by a Board of Trustees, which comprises five elected members, including the Mayor. The Village’s general, water, and sewer funds’ budgeted expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year totaled approximately $15.5 million.

Key Findings

Village officials have not made a substantive effort to use available resources to gain a better understanding of wastewater treatment processes and costs.

  • The Town bills the Village for its share of all wastewater processing costs. Retirees from the Town’s Wastewater Department comprise 4.5 percent of total Town retirees for the five-year period 2008 through 2012, rather than the 8.2 and 8.4 percent that the Town applied for 2011 and 2012. Therefore, the Village’s overall share of wastewater processing costs would be reduced by $27,800 in 2011 and $30,000 in 2012, or a two-year savings of $57,800.
  • The Superintendent of DPW does not review wastewater lab reports and neither he nor the Clerk-Treasurer adequately review the wastewater invoices from the Town for accuracy.
  • Our review of the sewer camera log maintained by the Village DPW from July 5, 2011, through November 13, 2012 documented 20 sanitary sewer main breaks. However, the corresponding log of sewer line repairs for the same period did not include any repairs.
  • The Board has not established policies and procedures for remote access to the Village’s network to ensure that computerized data is properly safeguarded. The IT vendor can access the Village’s computers at any time, without restriction or monitoring.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that wastewater costs are being calculated in an equitable manner.
  • Monitor invoices and periodically request wastewater lab reports from the Town.
  • Prioritize and repair broken sewer lines in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Develop and adopt policies and procedures governing outside users’ remote access rights to the Village’s computer system.

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