Diversified investments could have earned Ulster County over $650,000, says comptroller

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KINGSTON – Ulster County could have earned more than $650,000 by diversifying its investments over the last three years, County Comptroller March Gallagher found in a report she released on Wednesday.

Gallagher said the county has $175 million in a checking account and regularly carries a balance of over $100 million, with those funds earning minimal interest.

Investment policy should be renewed annually, something that has not been done since 2012, she said.

“It’s supposed to be reconsidered every year under General Municipal Law Section 39 and we really haven’t done that in Ulster County as far as I can see. So, it’s both the legislature for not reviewing the policy every year and also the finance operation of the county which has responsibility for reporting under that policy on what the options are for investments and then making recommendations about the policy and the finance department has not done that,” she said.

Gallagher said surpluses from 2020 and 2021 plus the American Rescue Plan funding have substantially increased the county’s daily cash balances. “Taxpayers deserve to have these public funds invested wisely and earning decent returns,” said the comptroller.

The full report is available at https://comptroller.ulstercountyny.gov/audit-reports/ulster-countyinvestment-policy-compliance-audit