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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 Lyons Falls – Financial Management (2013M-393)


Released: March 28, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Board’s management of the level of unexpended surplus funds for the period June 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013.

Background

The Village of Lyons Falls is located in Lewis County and is governed by four Trustees and a Mayor, which comprises the elected Board of Trustees. The general fund’s 2013-14 budget appropriations were approximately $352,000.

Key Findings

  • The unexpended surplus funds in the Village’s general fund increased nearly $200,000 (45 percent) over the past five years to almost $640,000 as of May 31, 2013. As a result, the general fund’s unexpended surplus funds in 2012-13 reached 182 percent of next year’s appropriations.
  • The information that the Treasurer provided to the Board did not include an estimate of fund balance remaining at year end, which helps determine how much is available to fund next year’s operations.
  • Village officials indicated that they have taken steps to begin addressing the general fund’s excessive unexpended surplus funds by adopting a fund balance policy, establishing a contingency and tax stabilization reserve and entering into an agreement with the Development Authority of the North Country.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets with realistic estimates of anticipated expenditures and available appropriated fund balance.
  • Ensure that the Treasurer provides budgetary information that includes a breakdown of estimated fund balance expected to be available at the close of the current fiscal year.
  • Consider using the general fund’s unexpended surplus in a manner that benefits Village taxpayers.

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