Press-Republican

Local News

October 10, 2013

Comptroller audit blames legislators

(Continued)

Half of the expected funds were received in July 2013, and the county is including continuing revenue from the casino in its 2014 budget.

NURSING HOME ISSUES

The state audit also pointed out that the line item for health-insurance costs was almost $600,000 less for the 2013 budget compared to 2012 and questioned the reasonableness of the move.

Leitz had explained that the county’s health-care costs were projected to go down by $1 million, so he conservatively budgeted less.

The report also found that $3.8 million in transfers from the general fund were used to meet short-term obligations at the County Nursing Home when its fees did not cover the expenses, as expected, the past four years.

The borrowed or advanced money was not paid back by the end of each year, as state law requires, which caused more concern about the health of the general fund, the report states.

County officials told the auditors they were aware the fund was continually short and decided to merge the County Nursing Home with Alice Hyde Medical Center’s to create a joint facility that is expected to open at the end of 2014.

But the audit states that even though the county will pay $1 million a year for 10 years to Alice Hyde for the operation, there will still be expenses after the merger takes place, such as paying for unused vacation and sick time for Nursing Home employees and ongoing utility costs.

GAS-LINE MONEY

The 2013 budget did not contain any money for raises, even though the collective-bargaining agreement with the Sheriff’s Department expired Jan. 1.

The audit said the county had not budgeted for the $1.452 million in 2013 it was expected to pay Enbridge-St. Lawrence Gas for construction of a natural-gas transmission line through the northern part of the county, even though a resolution to that effect was adopted in April 2011.

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