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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Silver Creek Central School District – Financial Condition (2015M-321)


Released: February 19, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s management of financial activities for the period July 1, 2012 through September 15, 2015.

Background

The Silver Creek Central School District is located in the Towns of Hanover and Sheridan in Chautauqua County and the Town of Brant in Erie County. The District, which operates three schools with approximately 1,030 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year total $22.8 million.

Key Finding

  • District officials annually appropriated fund balance to reduce the tax levy, but funds were not used as budgeted because District officials consistently overestimated appropriations by an average of 7 percent each year.
  • As of June 30, 2015, the District’s unrestricted fund balance totaled $2.7 million and was 12 percent of the 2015-16 budgeted appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit by more than $1.7 million.
  • The District significantly overfunded two reserves by approximately $784,000.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure budgets include realistic appropriations based on actual needs to avoid levying taxes at a level greater than needed.
  • Maintain unrestricted fund balance within the statutory limit.
  • Ensure that reserve fund balances are maintained at reasonable levels.

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