PLATTSBURGH — State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's Fiscal Stress Monitoring System gave Clinton County no designation for fiscal year 2020 based on financial indicators.
"No designation is a good sign," Deputy County Treasurer Rebecca Murphy said during the Clinton County Legislature's Finance Committee meeting Wednesday.
Murphy explained that the information is based on annual update documents counties submit each year, and is scored based on different categories.
Those include assigned and unassigned fund balance as a percentage of gross expenditures, operating deficits and short-term cash-flow debt issuance trend.
Murphy added that the county was also in the no designation category in 2018 and 2019.
According to the Clinton County-specific worksheet, the county's fiscal stress score has greatly decreased over the last few years, from 42.1 and 39.2 in 2018 and 2019, respectively, to 22.9 in 2020.
Counties are considered susceptible to fiscal stress when they reach 45 to 54.9 points.
Murphy noted that, of 55 counties that were scored, 49 had no designation.
Based on environmental indicators, the Comptroller's Office scored the county in the susceptible environmental stress category.
Both Murphy and County Administrator Michael Zurlo said that classification is governed by factors the county has little to no control over.
The worksheet shows Clinton County accrued points based on change in population, percent change in home value and reliance on state and federal aid, resulting in a score of 30 for both 2019 and 2020. Twenty of those were for the aid-related indicator.
"That is why we have so many points there, because local governments that rely on state and federal aid are vulnerable if there's a reduction in state and federal aid," Murphy said.
Zurlo pointed out that the county ended up in the susceptible category by one-tenth of a point, with the threshold for no designation coming to 29.9.
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