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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Massena Central School District – Financial Condition (2016M-21)

Released: May 27, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.


The Massena Central School District is located in the Village of Massena in St. Lawrence County. The District, which operates five schools with approximately 2,800 students, is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education. The 2015-16 operating budget was approximately $50 million.

Key Findings

  • The District’s year-end unrestricted fund balance has exceeded the statutory limit for the past three years.
  • The District overfunded the employee benefits accrued liability reserve by about $7.1 million and the tax certiorari reserve by about $1.5 million as of June 30, 2015.
  • District officials have not established a formal multiyear financial or capital plan to help ensure that these excess funds are properly used to benefit District residents.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that the amount of the District’s unrestricted fund balance is in compliance with the statutory limits.
  • Review current EBALR and determine whether it is necessary and funded at appropriate levels; review and estimate the amount reasonably deemed necessary to settle current tax claims and return any excess amount currently in the tax certiorari reserve to the unrestricted fund balance of the general fund.
  • Formally develop multiyear financial and capital plans incorporating the responsible use of excess reserve funds and fund balance.

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