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May 19, 2009

DiNapoli's Office Completes Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of Town of Cairo – Financial Condition and Internal Controls over Selected Financial Operations (Greene County), and Village of Cold Spring – Financial Condition and Water System Accountability (Putnam County).

“My office’s audits of local governments improve their financial management practices,” DiNapoli said. “These audits are tools for local officials to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars and provide the best possible service these taxpayer dollars can deliver.”

Town of Cairo – Financial Condition and Internal Controls over Selected Financial Operations
There has been a general lack of financial oversight by both the town board and supervisor. During the audit period, auditors found weaknesses in internal controls over virtually every aspect of the town’s fiscal operations. Consequently, town officials and the public have not been able to adequately monitor the town’s fiscal affairs; the financial condition of the water, sewer, hydrant and lighting district funds has declined significantly. Further, auditors identified numerous deficiencies that town management allowed to occur, including the failure to solicit competitive bids, properly compensate employees, and protect the town’s IT system and computerized data from the risk of loss or misuse.

Village of Cold Spring – Financial Condition and Water System Accountability
The village incurred operating deficits of over $353,000 in the general fund for the three years ended May 31, 2008. As a result, as of May 31, 2008 the village had an unreserved general fund balance deficit of $95,895. The village’s deteriorating financial condition was mainly caused by over-expended appropriations, inaccurate accounting records, and the board’s unrealistic budget estimates. Auditors also estimate that the village may have lost between approximately $155,000, the estimated cost to produce unaccounted for water, and $213,000, the amount the lost water would generate in revenue during this period. In addition, because the village began in April 2008 to base sewer billings on the water meter readings, auditors estimate the village lost approximately $17,600 in sewer revenues.

Click on the above links for a copy of the audit.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding these audits, please contact the Press Office at 518-474-4015 or by email.

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