Audit finds Claverack in very sound financial position; good progress made!
June 2, 2016
At the Monday May 23, 2016 monthly workshop meeting of the Claverack Town Board, officials received a briefing from A. Michael Bucci, CPA and Lisa Gill of the town’s accounting firm of Pattison, Koskey, Howe & Bucci, CPAs, P.C. During the workshop, Bucci and Gill provided financial highlights of the town’s 2015 operating results as summarized in the Annual Update Document (AUD) that is submitted by the firm on behalf of the town.
The information that Bucci and Gill presented was well received and generated discussion among the town board and its other elected officials in attendance. In summary, the Town of Claverack’s overall financial situation is very sound.
The town General A fund, which accounts for the general public services of the town, ended the 2015 calendar year with unassigned fund balance (savings) of $721,731 or 75% of the total budgeted appropriations for the town’s general fund. This was up approximately $66,000 from 2014. Better than projected revenues, in combination with the town’s keeping expenditures below budgeted levels, contributed to the successful 2015 financial year. Mr. Bucci explained that the conservative nature of the budget process for revenues, and the town board’s vigilance over expenditures, were the main reasons behind these results.
Mr. Bucci went on to praise town officials and staff for doing a very good job of controlling expenses despite many challenges. Reliance on savings (fund balance) is down significantly, putting the Town of Claverack in a healthy financial position.
Also in the May 23rd meeting, Ms. Gill discussed water usage and budget strategies for 2016 forward, and Mr. Bucci stressed the need for a memorandum of understanding with the town’s water supplier (neighboring Town of Greenport) to lock in rates for water usage at or below the cost of living increases.
Town Supervisor Clifford “Kippy” Weigelt thanked Bucci, Gill, and town officials for their part in moving Claverack in a positive financial direction.
“Safeguarding the people’s money is one of the most important things that we do as elected representatives,” said Weigelt. “Our team is doing a great job, working together, to control spending and reducing our dependency on cash reserves. We’re making good progress, and this report confirms that,” Weigelt added.