New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Franklin Square and Munson Fire District, Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation, Village of Mayfield, Village of Newport and the Wassaic Fire District.
"In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority," said DiNapoli. "By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively."
Officials did not appropriately document and monitor use of the district’s non-firefighting vehicles or ensure that they were used primarily for actual and necessary district purposes in an efficient and economical manner. Although the non-firefighting vehicles were purchased in mid-2015, no use was recorded for either vehicle in the vehicle use log until May 2016.
Monitoring of buyers’ compliance with redevelopment plans was not always timely. Mortgage property records did not always contain work-in-progress status and an activity history was not retained for each property.
During the audit period, the village produced 35.8 million gallons of water and billed 16.4 million gallons, resulting in an excess of 19.4 million gallons (54 percent) produced but not billed. Village officials believe the excess gallons produced over gallons billed is primarily the result of the tower’s frequent and severe leaks. The board, however, has not adopted a long-term capital plan to address this issue.
From fiscal years 2013-14 through 2015-16, budgeted appropriations in the general fund exceeded actual expenditures by an annual average of $99,600 (36.8 percent). Budgeted general fund appropriations exceeded actual expenditures by an annual average of $99,600, or almost $300,000 over the last three years combined. Village officials have not developed a comprehensive multiyear financial or capital plan.
Staff did not always seek competition or obtain the required number of quotes when purchasing goods and services. In addition, district officials did not have written agreements with four professionals for services totaling $27,048.
For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 130,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created to promote transparency in government and provide taxpayers with better access to financial data.