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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Dannemora – Town Hall/Highway Garage Capital Project (2013M-230)

Released: December 13, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Town’s management of the Town Hall/highway garage capital project for the period January 1, 2007 to May 31, 2013.


The Town of Dannemora is located in Clinton County. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board (Board) comprising a Town Supervisor and four Board members. The Town’s 2013 budgeted appropriations were approximately $2 million.

Key Finding

  • In 2008, the Town Board approved a five-year capital plan to construct a new Town Hall/highway garage at an estimated cost of $602,620. Construction began in the spring of 2010. Between 2009 and 2013, the Board expanded the scope of this project and increased the project budget from the original estimate of $602,620 to $3,000,000. As of May 2013, project expenditures totaled over $2.2 million, with the remaining work, scheduled for completion in December 2013, expected to incur additional costs. Because Town officials did not develop a comprehensive plan at the onset of the project, detailing how the construction would be completed with available Town resources, they did not determine the extent to which they would need to use contract services and did not properly plan and budget for them. Further, they did not monitor expenditures against estimated costs. The Town also did not budget for over $400,000 in architectural and engineering services and may have incurred unnecessary costs by not complying with certain bidding requirements and not soliciting competitive proposals for architectural services.

Key Recommendations

  • Approve a detailed capital project budget including all anticipated costs and require periodic financial reports that show actual expenditures compared to the approved budget.
  • Closely oversee the remaining project construction or designate a professional to oversee the project and report to the Board.
  • Ensure that bids are sought and contracts awarded in compliance with legal requirements.

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