Wawayanda: What do you mean, our credit rating’s under review?

Earlier today, my editor forwarded me this story from the Politics on the Hudson blog, saying that Moody’s Investors Service was putting the credit ratings of 12 towns, including the Town of Wawayanda, under review because they hadn’t responded to a survey looking for financial information.

So I called Wawayanda Supervisor John Razzano to ask him about this. He said he remembered getting the survey, and that the town had filled it out. He said he’d check with Moody’s, to see if their response got lost somehow.

Also, I’d been meaning to post this a while ago but got busy with other things … the state comptroller’s office released the results of their audit of Wawayanda the week before last. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s auditors praised the town’s overall fiscal management, but rapped them for having too much money in fund balance.

Auditors noted the town’s tax levy has dropped every year for the past seven, but they said the town underestimated revenue and overestimated spending, causing the fund balance to balloon from $2.3 million in 2010 to $3.3 million in 2012, which is 175 percent of the adopted 2013 budget.

In his response letter, Razzano disagreed with the auditors’ characterization of the town’s budgets as unrealistic, saying a combination of mid-year spending cuts and higher-than-expected revenue led the fund balance to build up. He also disagreed it was too large, saying the town is in the process of developing reserve funds for retiree health insurance and a new town park.

Razzano did agree with the comptroller’s recommendations on improving the security of the town’s computer system, and said the town would correct this.

Here’s the audit, if you want to give it read.

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