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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Belleville-Henderson Central School District – Financial Condition (2016M-46)


Released: May 27, 2016 -- [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, 2014 through September 30, 2015.

Background

The Belleville-Henderson Central School District is located in the Towns of Adams, Ellisburg and Henderson in Jefferson County. The District, which operates one school with approximately 475 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. The 2015-16 general fund budgeted appropriations are approximately $9.4 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board adopted budgets which included appropriated fund balance that was not needed as a funding source because the Board and District officials overestimated appropriations when they prepared and adopted budgets for the last three fiscal years.
  • The unassigned fund balance has exceeded legal limits all three years.
  • For three of the four District reserves, the Board has not developed a written plan that communicates to taxpayers the optimal funding levels or conditions under which the reserves will be used.
  • The District also maintained approximately $28,600 in its tax certiorari reserve fund with no plan for its use.

Key Recommendations

  • Discontinue the practice of adopting budgets with the appropriation of fund balance that will not be used.
  • Ensure that the amount of the District’s unassigned fund balance is in compliance with statutory limits.
  • Develop a formal reserve fund plan that outlines targeted funding levels and the conditions under which the funds will be used.
  • Return any excess funds in the tax certiorari reserve to the unrestricted fund balance in the general fund.

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