The Village of Stillwater is in strong fiscal health, according to an independent audit of village finances for the 2011-2012 budgeting year. That was the official opinion of the audit firm of Bollam, Sheedy, Torani & Co. (BST) of Albany.
“We’re giving you the highest level of assurance you can get from an independent CPA,” said BST’s William Freitag, CPA, who presented the audit report to the Board of Trustees at its December 18 meeting.
“In our professional opinion we feel your financial statements are fairly stated based on your accounting principles,” Freitag said. “Furthermore, during the course of our audit (conducted in the fall) we had no disagreement with your (financial) management, no disagreement with your accounting systems, and no disagreement in performing the audit. Your general fund had a very positive year as did all of your funds.”
The village’s income statement ending April 30, 2012 showed a surplus of $118,242 in the overall general fund — up about $10,000 from the previous year. Actual costs incurred by the village in 2011-2012 were about $135,000 less than what was budgeted for, the audit showed.
The most significant savings, Freitag said, were in the transportation category due last year’s mild winter and lower than expected energy costs.
General fund revenue sources during the 2011-2012 audit year were $607,465, an increase of about $25,000 over the previous fiscal year. Small increases in the property tax and state aid budget lines made up for that increase, Freitag said.
The other areas examined by the auditors were the village’s water and sewer funds, which also had “very strong financial years,” Freitag said. The sewer fund generated about $80,000 in income, while the water fund ended the year with a $20,000 surplus, he said.
In the area of village debt, the village paid down about $160,000 in debt during the audit year spread across the general, water and sewer funds. That enabled the village to pay down $24,000 in interest expenses related to its borrowings.
When comparing the village’s overall assets versus its liabilities, the village also ended the 2012-2013 fiscal year with “strong” cash balances, the auditors reported. Those cash balances are important because they paint a picture of how far forward the village could continue to go paying its bills without having to collect more revenue.
That said, the village ended the 2012-2013 year with nine months of cash on hand in its general fund, seven months of cash on hand in its sewer fund, and six months of cash on hand in its water fund.
“This is very good,” Freitag said. “Your operating funds and your cash balances are strong.”
While local governments, by law, are not normally required to undergo annual independent audits, this was required for the 2011-2012 fiscal year because the village received and expended more than $500,000 in federal money due to its ongoing water and sewer project.