Comptroller: Vestal lacks proper financial planning

By Erika Mahoney

June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A recent report pulls back the curtain on some financial troubles in Vestal.

The town has more than doubled its debt over the past 10 years.

The Office of the State Comptroller said the town lacks a long-term financial plan, which could spell future trouble.

The comptroller's office looked at planning and spending in Vestal from January 2012 to January of this year.

The town's debt doubled from $9 million in 2001 to more than $18 million in 2012.

According to the comptroller, the town lacked long-term plans to finance capital assets, and instead, would borrow money to fulfill immediate financial needs of its individual departments.

In a letter response, Town Supervisor John Schaffer said the report is not an accurate illustration, but that his staff is open to suggestions and plan on asking for direction.

Schaffer said more than $8 million of the debt was the result of water and street improvements, which posed an issue of safety and could have become more expensive if put off.

Schaffer could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

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