Thursday, February 24, 2011


Second comptroller’s look at UCRRA finds expenses outpacing revenues
(Copyright © 2010 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc)

KINGSTON – A second audit of the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency by the Ulster county comptroller’s office found no documentation for long term operational and financial planning. “As we looked at the financial landscape of the agency it became clear that it has been functioning on a day-to-day basis these past many years,” said County Comptroller Elliot Auerbach.

His report found that expenses are outpacing revenues by almost 3.5 percent a year and at that rate, expenses will exceed income.

The audit also found that 21 of the agency’s 37 revenue contracts will expire in 2012 and without intervention by 2014, the agency’s sole revenue contract will be with Ulster County. It also found that capital assets have been decreasing since 2006; that as of 2009, UCRRA has a total debt of $38.9 million due through 2023; and its debt reserve continues to trend downward after decreasing by almost $10 million since 2000.

The county is “ultimately on the hook for the agency’s debt and for compliance with environmental laws,” said Auerbach. “If the agency is not planning for success then the county will need to plan for its failure.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Confidential funds to go under Ulster comptroller’s microscope
WednesdayFebruary 2, 2011

(Copyright © 2010 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc)

KINGSTON – During the last four years, over $170,000 was paid in confidential investigations by the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department.

County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach Wednesday announced he has launched a review of the funds used to pay confidential informants and purchase evidence such as narcotics, weapons or stolen property, or purchase specific information where money is paid to a confidential source.

From 2007 to 2010, the Sheriff’s Office spent $135,000 in confidential funds and the DA’s Office spent $39,000.

“We understand the value to investigators of having access to cash,” Auerbach said. “While the controls over confidential investigation accounts have different protocols than other funds, our objective will be to assess the safeguards, the authorizations and record keeping for the use of these funds and to confirm that procedures are in place to ensure that transactions are proper, contain appropriate documentation and are disbursed in compliance.”