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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Lowville Academy and Central School District – Financial Condition (2015M-220)


Released: November 27, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015.

Background

The Lowville Academy and Central School District is located in the Towns of Denmark, Greig, Harrisburg, Lowville, Martinsburg, Montague, New Bremen, Pinckney, Turin, Watson and West Turin in Lewis County. The District, which operates one school with approximately 1,400 students, is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2014-15 fiscal year were approximately $25 million.

Key Findings

  • Over the last four years, District officials have overestimated expenditures and used very little of the revenue from the District’s wind power agreement to reduce real property taxes, and the District’s unassigned fund balance has more than doubled as a result.
  • District officials have not developed adequate multiyear financial and capital plans to address how they will use wind power revenues.
  • District officials have been using reserve funds as repositories for excessive fund balance.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets with realistic estimated of anticipated expenditures and fund balance available for appropriation.
  • Develop comprehensive multiyear financial and capital plans that address the prudent use of future wind power revenues.
  • Review reserve funds at least annually to determine if amounts reserved are necessary and reasonable and develop a formal plan for the use of reserves.

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