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UPDATED: State audit: Is Schenectady minding store?

By Lombardo David
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The New York State Comptroller's Office is working on a fiscal stress test for the city of Schenectady.

The Daily Gazette has obtained a draft of the comptroller's office audit, which can be seen below. The audit covers Jan. 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, and reviewed some financial information dating back to 2008.

According to the report, the comptroller's office was interested in discovering whether city officials adequately monitor the city's financial operations.

"City officials are monitoring the City’s financial condition." reads the report. "While the City’s financial condition appears to be slowly improving, the Council must be very careful to not spend down all of the City’s fund balance. In each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2011, the City has incurred planned operating deficits that have reduced fund balance in the general fund.

"While the Council planned for operating deficits in each of these years, the actual operating deficits were less than budgeted, so the Council was not required to use as much available fund balance as originally anticipated."

In a press release from New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli this afternoon, he said the city's fiscal condition continues to improve.

“The ongoing efforts of the mayor and city officials to achieve cost savings and encourage economic growth have started Schenectady down the path to recovery,” said DiNapoli. “But the city still faces a number of challenges. Continuing sound, sensible budget management is vital to keeping city finances on the right track.”

A story on the report will appear in Wednesday's edition of the Daily Gazette.

Comptroller's DRAFT Audit of Schenectady

UPDATE, 2:24 p.m.: Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy responded Tuesday afternoon to the comptroller's audit.

In his response, which is available below, McCarthy agreed with most of the points raised by the audit. He also echoed the audit's recognition of the state aid the city receives, which is less than Troy, Utica and Rome.

"All four of these cities have smaller populations than Schenectady, yet they receive more state aid," noted McCarthy. "If Schenectady received the same state aid as Utica, the city would receive an additional $5 million in revenue, which would alleviate much of the financial distress cited in this report."

Response to comptroller's audit

Comptroller's COMPLETE Audit of Schenectady

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