State Audit Paints Grim Picture of Broome Government Finances
A review of Broome County's financial situation has concluded poor budgeting practices have jeopardized public services and infrastructure investments.
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released an audit that concluded the county fund balance fell to "dangerously low levels" from 2014 through 2016.
County officials have been advised to develop a balanced budget along with a multi-year financial plan.
At the end of 2013, the county had a general fund balance of $10.1 million. Three years later, the balance was only $255,000.
In a statement issued Thursday, DiNapoli said Broome County's fiscal health has deteriorated because of the consistent reliance on the fund balance to finance government operations.
The comptroller said "county officials all need to work together" to address the problem.
The audit concluded Broome County delayed needed spending on equipment and vehicles. The review also noted the airport and the bus system, along with the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena and the Forum Theatre have required millions of dollars in annual subsidies.
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said the audit results "confirm the financial hole we were in when I took office." He said he would work to develop a plan to repair the county's financial situation.
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