October 8, 2015

New York: Long Island Library Had ‘Excessive’ Budget Surpluses For 6 Years

From Long Island 12 News:

A new state audit [of the North Shore Public Library in Shoreham, NY] has found that the library had a surplus of between $2.1 million and $2.4 million every year from 2006 to 2012. The state comptroller called the surpluses “excessive” and said they were racked up without transparency, limiting local taxpayers’ abilities to make budget decisions.

North Shore Library Director Laura Hawrey says the library feels it was being “prudent” by reserving the surplus funds for retirement, pensions and insurance. “It’s money we have to use to fund our library until we get our property tax money, so that money is not a solid amount throughout the year,” she adds.

Hawrey also says that the library “could do a better job” of informing the community in the future.

Read the Complete Story, View Video Report

Key Findings from the Report (via Office of Comptroller, New York)

  • The Library retained excessive fund balance in each of the fiscal years 2006-07 through 2011-12, ranging from almost $2.2 million to over $2.4 million.
  • Library officials have maintained a capital projects fund with a balance on June 30, 2012 of $266,602 despite having no current or planned capital projects
  • The Board has not received or requested adequate financial information from the Library Director, including cash flow projections, fund balance projections or a comparison of actual revenues and expenditures to budget amounts.

Key Recommendations (via Office of Comptroller, New York)

  • Develop a policy that addresses the maintenance and expected use of fund balance.
  • Return the capital projects fund balance to the general fund.
  • Monitor financial activities by reviewing detailed monthly reports that include cash balances, receipts and disbursements, a comparison of actual revenues and expenditures to budget amounts and a fund balance projection.

Direct to Full Text of News Release

Primary Document

North Shore Public Library Financial Condition

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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