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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Alexandria - Redwood Water and Sewer District Charges (2019M-90)

Released: December 13, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Town billed charges in the Redwood Water and Sewer Districts in accordance with Town ordinances.

Key Findings

Town officials did not bill water and sewer charges in accordance with Town ordinances. We found:

  • The water ordinance did not provide a clear, consistent and equitable basis for billing property owners. In addition, certain charges stipulated in the water and sewer ordinances did not conform to applicable State law.
  • We reviewed water and sewer billings totaling $82,649 for 70 property owners and identified about $10,339 in charges that were inconsistent with the ordinances.
  • Water meter readings were not always reliable during our audit period, but officials have taken measures to obtain more reliable readings.

Key Recommendations

  • Update the ordinances to clearly define and specify all charges and ensure they conform to applicable State law.
  • Ensure procedures are in place to verify residents are properly billed in accordance with the ordinances.
  • Ensure meter readings are reliable.

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

Background

The Town is located in Jefferson County. The Town is governed by an elected Town Board (Board) composed of four members and a Town Supervisor (Supervisor). The Board is responsible for the general oversight of Town operations.

The Town Clerk (Clerk) is responsible for billing and recording water and sewer user charges. The water and sewer operators manage overall operations for these districts.

Quick Facts
Population4,061
2018 Redwood Water Appropriations$198,561
2018 Redwood Sewer Appropriations$127,933
Water Customers279
Sewer Customers220

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – October 31, 2018


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