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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Cornwall-On-Hudson – Selected Financial Activities (2011M-155)


Released: February 15, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the financing and construction of the Village’s Department of Public Works building, the Village’s financial operations, and the Village’s information technology systems for the period March 1, 2010 through April 30, 2011.

Background

The Village of Cornwall-On-Hudson is located in the Town of Cornwall, in Orange County. The Board of Trustees is the legislative body responsible for managing Village operations. The Village’s general, water, and sewer funds’ total budgeted appropriations for 2010-11 and 2011-12 were approximately $6.7 million and $7.1 million.

Key Findings

  • In 2005, the Board elected to have Cornwall-On-Hudson Local Development Corporation (COHLDC) construct a new DPW building to avoid compliance with State Laws. In addition, the Board issued a $960,000 serial bond to finance construction and turned the proceeds over to COHLDC. However, the agreement between COHLDC and the contractor to construct the building was for only $722,000.
  • COHLDC eventually refunded a portion of the excess financing to the Village, the final amount paid was $929,000, which was $207,000 more than the contract price.
  • The Board did not have the site of the new building properly investigated and allowed the building to be constructed without the required permits. As a result, the taxpayers paid approximately $1 million for a new DPW building that cannot be used because of building code violations.

Key Recommendations

  • Adhere to all legal statutes concerning the financing of capital projects and adhere to GML concerning bidding requirements.
  • Exercise due diligence prior to engaging any individual/corporation to conduct business with the Village.
  • Have an engineer review the apparent deficiencies of the DPW building and make a determination whether it is in the best interest of the taxpayers to have the building brought up to code.

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