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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Ellicott – Fiscal Stress (2013M-269)

Released: November 15, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s financial condition for the period January 1, 2010, to July 20, 2013.


The Town of Ellicott is located in Chautauqua County and serves approximately 8,700 residents. The elected five-member Town Board is the legislative body responsible for managing Town operations. The Town’s budgeted appropriations for the 2013 fiscal year are approximately $3.8 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not adopt realistic budgets, did not adequately monitor and adjust the annual budgets, and did not adequately monitor the Town’s financial operations to ensure fiscal stability. As a result, the Town’s general town-wide fund’s unexpended surplus funds declined from $169,198 as of January 1, 2010, to a deficit of $28,226 as of December 31, 2012, while the highway part-town fund’s unexpended surplus funds declined from $63,773 to a deficit of $29,228 for the same period.
  • The general town-wide and highway part-town funds have had operating deficits during the last three fiscal years because the Board over-appropriated fund balance and over-estimated revenues.

Key Recommendations

  • Monitor the availability of unexpended surplus and actual revenues received against the estimates in the adopted budget and make amendments, as necessary, to the budget when shortfalls become known.
  • Develop and implement a plan to eliminate the fund deficits.

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