Audit reveals 'dangerously low' fund levels in Broome County - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Audit reveals 'dangerously low' fund levels in Broome County

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- On Thursday, Broome County received the results from the New York State Comptroller's audit that reveals the county is in major financial stress. 

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar and Chairman Daniel Reynolds called for the audit. 

The audit looked at Broome County's finances between Jan. 1, 2016 through Feb. 23, 2017. 

It found that Broome County has $250,000 left in its fund balance. 

Garnar who took office at the start of 2017 said this situation is not surprising because of the previous budget decision. 

"Broome County over the last five years was in a huge financial mess," said Garnar. 

He says that has led the county to go through the majority of its extra funds. 

"Nobody should be in a position where you're not sure if you can pay your bills, we don't do that in our households, you know, we shouldn't be doing that in county government," said Garnar.  

The county voiced concerns over having a low fund balance.

"We want to have an acceptable fund balance so if we had a winter storm like we did in March it's not going to blow through all of our finances and then we can't pay our bills and pay our obligations, that's a horrible position to be put in," he said. 

The audit revealed several entities are not self-sustaining including the airport, two entertainment venues, the nursing home, and the public transportation system. However, Garnar says certain public services will always be a priority to fund. 
"We need to have police on the street, we have a great sheriff's department, that's not self sustaining, but we're not going to reduce our sheriff's department," he said. 

He said the 2018 budget should help relieve the financial stress.

"We were just very realistic about the the revenues that we're going to bring in and very conservative when it came to budgeting," he said. 

The 2018 budget was passed in November 2017. 

Read the full audit from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office below.

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