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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Watkins Glen Central School District - Financial Management (2019M-57)

Released: July 12, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

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

Key Findings

  • Conservative budgeting resulted in operating surpluses, negating the use of appropriated fund balance. In the last three completed fiscal years, the District generated $2.3 million in unplanned operating surpluses instead of $1.4 million in planned deficits.
  • Certain reserve balances were excessive or not needed. Of $3.7 million in seven reserves, three reserves totaling $636,665 may be unnecessary because related expenses were paid from operating funds.
  • District officials did not develop comprehensive written multiyear financial or capital plans.

Key Recommendations

  • Discontinue the practice of appropriating fund balance that is not needed or used to fund operations.
  • Review reserve balances and develop a plan to reduce balances to reasonable levels in accordance with applicable statutes.
  • Develop multiyear financial and capital plans that set long-term objectives and goals.

District officials disagreed with some of our recommendations, but indicated they would take corrective action as stated in their response letter.


The Watkins Glen Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Dix, Hector, Orange, Reading and Tyrone in Schuyler County and the Town of Catlin in Chemung County.

The District is governed by a seven-member Board. The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for managing day-to-day operations under the Board’s direction. The Business Manager is responsible for the administration and supervision of financial activities, including working with the Superintendent as budget officer to develop and administer the budget.

Quick Facts
2018-19 Appropriations$27.2 million
Unused Appropriated Fund Balance 2015-16 to 2017-18$1.44 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2015 – February 27, 2019

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