SOUTH GLENS FALLS — The New York State Office of the Comptroller released an audit of South Glens Falls Central School District last week finding the district made errors in calculating its unrestricted reserve balance for several years.
The audit found no misuse of tax dollars, but accounting misclassifications led to the overfunding of reserves, and Office of the Comptroller officials recommended changes at the time of the study.
The state has a statutory limit of 4% on a district’s budget being kept in an unrestricted reserve, and the audit found up to 8.3% were in the reserve in some years in the district.
The audit officially ended in January 2018, and School Business Manager Audrey Varney said the district was given the recommendations at that time and implemented them immediately.
“We actually addressed all of these recommendations and got into compliance over a year ago,” Varney said.
The main issue arose from the district incorrectly budgeting health care costs in the summer months of July and August on a previous year instead of pushing them onto the next year’s budget.
The audit also found the unemployment insurance reserve was overfunded and had accumulated enough to pay for 46 years of costs at current projections.
Since excess funds were saved, the Comptroller’s Office recommended a large expenditure into other funds and reserves in order to decrease subsequent tax needs.
To address this, the district established a voter-approved Capital Reserve Fund which sets money aside for things such as emergency repairs to facilities. Varney said the district moved excess funds of around $2.1 million into the capital fund which it will be able to draw on in the future as needed.
Office of the Comptroller Spokesperson Brian Butry said in an email the audit was not the major issue and the district made corrections to their policies in accordance to recommendations.