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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Watervliet City School District – Fiscal Stress (2014M-149)

Released: November 7, 2014 -- [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, 2011 through March 31, 2014.


The Watervliet City School District is located in the City of Watervliet and the Town of Colonie in Albany County. The District, which is governed by a Board of Education, serves approximately 1,400 students. Budgeted appropriations for the 2013-14 fiscal year were approximately $23.5 million.

Key Finding

  • The Board did not adopt realistic, structurally balanced general fund budgets.
  • The Board did not adopt a policy to establish an adequate level of unrestricted fund balance to be maintained, resulting in the need to issue revenue and tax anticipation notes to meet cash flow needs.
  • The Board and District officials failed to properly monitor capital project activity and expended more than $740,000 above the total amounts authorized for two projects.
  • District officials did not develop a multiyear financial plan.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt structurally balanced budgets for the general fund.
  • Adopt a fund balance policy that establishes an adequate amount of unrestricted fund balance to be maintained to provide sufficient cash flow and avoid relying on short-term borrowing.
  • Monitor capital project activity to ensure that capital project expenditures do not exceed authorized amounts.
  • Develop a multiyear plan to address the District’s fiscal stress.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236