Town of Oyster Bay - Financial Condition Management (2020M-74)

Issued Date
September 04, 2020

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Town Board (Board) and Town officials effectively managed the Town’s financial condition.

Key Findings

The Board and Town officials need to continue to improve their management and oversight of the Town’s financial condition.

  • Three of the Town’s funds have carried repeated fund balance deficits, while two other funds have accumulated unrestricted fund balances equal to at least 45 percent of the next year’s budgets and no reserve funds were established.
  • The Town has nearly $605 million in outstanding debt, which is significantly more than neighboring towns and requires 37 percent of the revenue of the funds servicing this debt.
  • The Board did not develop and adopt several comprehensive written plans and policies, including a multiyear financial plan, fund balance policy and reserve policy.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a comprehensive written multiyear financial plan and written policies establishing reasonable fund balance levels for each fund.
  • Reduce excessive fund balances and eliminate deficit fund balances.
  • Re-evaluate use of debt and consider other means, such as establishing reserves, to pay for long-term infrastructure needs.

Town officials generally agreed with our recommendations and have initiated, or indicated they planned to initiate, corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the Town’s response letter.