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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Brasher Falls Central School District – Financial Condition (2019M-158)

Released: October 25, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials effectively managed the District’s financial condition.

Key Findings

  • The surplus fund balance in the general fund exceeded the 4 percent statutory limit for the past three fiscal years. As of June 30, 2018, the District’s surplus fund balance was $2.15 million, which was 4.9 percentage points or nearly $1.2 million over the legal limit.
  • During the past three fiscal years, the District appropriated fund balance and reserves that it did not use and generated operating surpluses totaling about $5 million. The District also overestimated appropriations by an average of $2.4 million each year or by 10.5 percent. During this time, total reserves increased by $3.9 million.
  • District officials have not developed a comprehensive multiyear financial plan.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure the surplus fund balance complies with the statutory limit and use surplus funds to fund one-time expenditures or needed reserves, pay off debt and/or reduce property taxes.
  • Develop a comprehensive multiyear financial plan.

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

Background

The Brasher Falls Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Brasher, Hopkinton, Lawrence, Massena, Norfolk and Stockholm in St Lawrence County and the Towns of Bombay and Dickinson in Franklin County. The District is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education (Board), which is responsible for the general management and control of the District’s financial affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools is the chief executive officer and responsible for the District’s day-to-day management, budget development and administration. The Business Manager is responsible for business activities.

Quick Facts
Employees170
Enrollment1,026
2018-19 Appropriations$24 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2017 – January 31, 2019

We reviewed fund balance and budgeting trends back to July 1, 2015.


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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