December 30, 2017




State comptroller critical of Marbletown financial and capital planning

ALBANY – The Marbletown Town Board does not have a comprehensive multi-year financial and capital plan or reserve policy to address the town’s operational and capital needs, the state comptroller’s office sai9d in an audit of the town for the period of January 1, 2016 through June 26, 2017. That includes the replacement of vehicles and equipment, infrastructure or the aging highway garage, the report said.

The auditors also said the town board has not adopted an adequate fund balance policy, which resulted in the town accumulating excessive fund balance in the general fund.

Key recommendations in the audit include development of multi-year financial and capital plans and a reserve policy and development of a fund balance policy.

In response, Town Supervisor Michael Warren wrote that the town agrees with the findings of the audit “as being factual, [but] we do not necessarily agree with the general philosophy of New York State.”  He said the concept of a multi-year financial plan or fund balance and reserve policy for a two-year elected position “is placing restraints on future administrations.”

He also said the state’s tax cap is “a budgeting nightmare because if surplus funds are used to reduce the tax burden in one year, the chances are that the town will exceed the tax cap in the next year, since the expenses rarely decrease.”

Warren also took exception with the audit’s finding of unfunded capital needs in the highway department for having assets that have exceeded their useful lives.

“The town has a different thought process in the equipment replacement area,” he said. “The town buys used equipment with good maintenance records and low mileage.” The equipment is then used for 10 to 12 years “at a significantly lower purchase price” making the procedure “much better for the town’s taxpayers.”

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