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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts


Monticello Joint Fire District – Fiscal Operations (2017M-80)


Released: July 14, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Board’s oversight of the District’s financial condition and Treasurer’s duties for the period January 1, 2015 through January 17, 2017.

Background

The Monticello Joint Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Thompson and Village of Monticello in Sullivan. The District provides fire protection to over 15,300. The District is governed by an elected five-member Board of Fire Commissioners. General fund budgeted appropriations for 2017 total over $2 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board adopted unrealistic budgets that contributed to the growth of total fund balance by 21 percent between 2014 and 2016 (to $1.6 million).
  • District officials have not established the levels of fund balance to be maintained or thresholds for reserves.
  • Although the Board established a financial and internal audit policy that would provide mitigating controls to safeguard District money, the Board was not following it.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt reasonable budgets that more accurately reflect historical trends and known future needs in actual expenditures.
  • Develop a fund balance policy that establishes the levels of fund balance and the types and amounts for reserves, including how they will be funded and when they will be used.
  • Review, revise and follow the comprehensive financial and internal audit policy to ensure procedures such as reviewing bank reconciliations, bank statements or canceled check images on a monthly basis are performed.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236