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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Schroon Lake Central School District – Financial Condition (2014M-145)


Released: February 20, 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, 2010 through July 31, 2013.

Background

The Schroon Lake Central School District is located in the Towns of Schroon Lake and North Hudson in Essex County and the Town of Chester in Warren County. The District is governed by the Board of Education which comprises five elected members. The District operates one school building with 224 students and 51 employees. The District’s general fund budgeted appropriations for the 2013-14 fiscal year were approximately $7.4 million.

Key Finding

  • The District accumulated fund balance at levels in excess of the amount that may be carried over into the next school year. As a result, real property taxes have been significantly higher than necessary.
  • General fund actual expenditures were well below the budgeted appropriations for each year we reviewed.
  • The Board did not establish a multiyear financial plan to facilitate development of the annual budgets that were included in our audit period. As a result, District officials did not formulate a plan that considers current economic conditions, recent reductions in State aid and the impact of the tax cap legislation.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that unrestricted fund balance accumulated in excess of the limit allowed by law is used to reduce the next year’s real property tax levy.
  • Adopt budgets with reasonable expenditure estimates.
  • Continue developing a multiyear financial plan.

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