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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 Belmont – Water and Sewer Operations (2014M-101)


Released: August 22, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Village’s water and sewer operations for the period June 1, 2012 through February 20, 2014.

Background

The Village of Belmont is located in Allegany County and has approximately 970 residents. The Village is governed by an elected four-member Board of Trustees. Budgeted appropriations for the 2013-14 fiscal year totaled approximately $1 million, including $451,000 for the general fund, $216,000 for the water fund and $343,000 for the sewer fund.

Key Findings

  • Village officials failed to periodically compare the amount of water produced with the amount billed and were not aware of the extent of unaccounted-for water.
  • The Board has not established policies or procedures for billing and collecting water and sewer rents, determining estimated bills or determining, approving and applying adjustments to customers’ accounts.
  • As of May 5, 2013, the Village had 127 overdue accounts totaling $20,962; only two accounts for $238 were being relevied on the tax roll.
  • The Clerk-Treasurer does not maintain control of receivable accounts for water and sewer rents.

Key Recommendations

  • Implement procedures to determine the causes of water loss and take steps to address the possible causes as they are identified.
  • Develop and adopt policies and procedures for the water and sewer billing process, including the calculation, review and approval of estimates for usage and adjustments to customer accounts.
  • Ensure that unpaid water and sewer bills are relevied on the tax roll to enforce payment.
  • Ensure that the Clerk-Treasurer properly maintains water and sewer accounts receivable control accounts.

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