Determine whether the Town of Owego (Town) Board (Board) properly planned, authorized and monitored the shared services facility capital project (Project).
The Board did not properly plan, authorize or monitor the Project. Because the Board did not have a thorough understanding of the Project’s overall scope and cost prior to the Project’s authorization, the Project is expected to cost at least $15 million, which is $8.1 million over the Board’s authorized cost of $6.9 million.
The Board was not transparent about the cost of the Project and did not adopt an itemized Project budget. The Town Supervisor (Supervisor) did not record all financial activities in the capital projects fund or prepare adequate monthly financial reports that compared actual revenues and expenditures to Board-approved contracts and financing sources. As a result, the Supervisor made interfund advances of approximately $2.5 million to pay Project expenditures without Board approval.
As of the end of our fieldwork, the Town still had an estimated $4 million in costs left to complete the Project without a planned funding source and still owed the part-town general fund $1.2 million, which may result in an inequity to the part-town taxpayers.
- Closely oversee the remainder of the Project and determine how to finance shortfalls.
- Prepare, approve and monitor budgets for each capital project and amend as needed.
- Approve all interfund advances.
Town officials disagreed with certain findings in our report. Appendix B includes our comments on issues Town officials raised in their response.