Town of Red Hook fund balance more than triples

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RED HOOK – An audit of
the Town of Red Hook’s finances, conducted by the state comptroller’s
office, found its general fund year-end fund balance increased by 313
percent. The state officials said the town should consider reducing that
and using the excess funds as a financing source to benefit taxpayers.

From January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2017, the general fund year-end
balance grew from $292,780 to $917,351.

The audit also found that in June 2018, the town board adopted a fund
balance policy that allowed for unexpended surplus funds of up to 70 percent
of the annual expenditures. The policy did not define the time periods
or means for which fund balance would be used and replenished. The policy
should be revised “to ensure reasonable levels of fund balance”
and to define the timing and means of replenishment, the state officials
said.

The audit also said the town board had not finalized or adopted comprehensive
multi-year financial and capital plans specifying the town’s objectives
and goals for use of accumulated funds and they should be developed.

Town officials generally agreed with the state findings and said they
plan to initiate correction actions.