Auditors Give Pound Ridge Government High Marks

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The Pound Ridge Town Board got a glowing report from its auditors at this week's town meeting.

“The town is in a healthy position in a difficult economy and we commend the board,” said Susan M. Barossi, CPA, a partner in O’Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins LLP, an accounting and consulting firm based in Harrison.

The audit of the town’s 2010 financial records was completed in June. It looked at numerous aspects of the town’s fiscal health and its procedures, including making sure its financial statements were in order, as well as scrutinizing the general fund, highway fund, and capital improvement fund.

“We also tested the internal controls to see if they operated effectively and efficiently,” Barossi said at the Thursday night meeting. Barossi cited the town’ fund balance as a primary reason for the town’s fiscal good health. The fund balance, which can be used to help balance the budget, stands at $2.4 million. Of that, $500,000 was used to balance the budget, $128,885 was for prepaid expenditures and $128,557 was for debt service.

“It used to be a negative thing about municipalities having a fund balance, but now it’s a good thing,” Barossi said. “The key is how it will be replenished in the future.”

Town board members said they felt a healthy fund balance was important because it gave them a cushion in an uncertain economic climate.

“The fund balance gives us a certain comfort,” said Supervisor Gary Warshauer. “We didn’t want to be too close to the vest if the economy took and turn and look – here we are.”

Councilman Paul McConville said the town has historically carried a very large fund balance despite protestations from the state comptroller’s office.

Board members said they thought it was ironic that that state would try to tell municipalities how to handle their own budgets considering the dire fiscal straits New York faces.

Barossi said the town is currently carrying very little debt, another reason for the positive audit review.

“All we have is some minor comments on some internal controls,” she said of the audit. “They’re mostly housekeeping in nature.”


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