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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Bolton Central School District - Fund Balance Management (2018M-249)

Released: February 15, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether District officials effectively managed general fund balance.

Key Findings

  • Unrestricted unappropriated fund balance at the end of 2017-18 was $2.7 million or 29 percent of 2018-19 appropriations, exceeding the 4 percent statutory limit by almost 25 percentage points.
  • Annual budgets overestimated appropriations by more than $4.1 million or by almost 13 percent from 2015-16 through 2018-19.
  • The unemployment insurance reserve was overfunded and the retirement contribution reserve was not being used as intended.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt annual budgets that include reasonable estimates for appropriations and the amount of fund balance that will be used to fund operations based on historical trends or other relevant information.
  • Reduce unrestricted fund balance to within the statutory limit and use surplus funds in a manner more beneficial to taxpayers.
  • Review and reduce reserve balances to reasonable levels in accordance with applicable statutes.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and have initiated, or indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.


The Bolton Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Bolton, Hague and Horicon in Warren County.

The District is governed by a Board of Education (Board), which has seven elected members. The Board is responsible for the general management and control of financial and educational affairs. The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the District’s day-to-day management, budget development and administration, assisted by the Business Manager.

Quick Facts
2018-19 Appropriations$9.4 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2015 – September 30, 2018

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236