Thomas DiNapoli

DiNapoli

The Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority has some improvements to make following an audit by the Office of the New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. 

The audit covered the authority's billings and collections from Jan. 1, 2015 to March 24, 2017. According to the audit, there's no way to determine which employees made payment collections, and one of the employees has incompatible duties generating bills and making deposits.

The office also found that more than 80 properties were improperly billed because properties were not reviewed with Cayuga County's tax roll. This may have led to a potential loss of revenue in the area of $10,200 annually. One property was found to be overcharged. Water meter readings for bills totaling $855,000, too, were not verified by officials.

"In the event of a shortage, there may be no way to hold a particular employee accountable," the audit read. "In addition, there is an increased risk that customer usage will not be properly billed and that moneys received will not be properly collected, recorded and deposited."

The authority has about three months to take corrective measures including implementing more segregation of duties and verifying its master listing with the Cayuga County tax roll. 

Jeanine Wilson, director of the authority, wrote that she is confident the audit's recommendations will result in corrective measures, in a letter to Chief Examiner Edward V. Grant Jr. 

"We appreciate the attention to detail as provided by OSC (Office of State Comptroller) and that during the review of accuracy and completeness of water/sewer account records that the notation was offered that 'no significant discrepancies were noted,'" the letter read.

The water and sewer authority was established in 1995 and serves approximately 480 individual meters with water and seven wholesale customers. It also provides sewer services to about 780 customers. Wilson, who had worked at the authority for more than two decades, took on the director of operations position in January. Prior to, former Auburn city manager Doug Selby had served as the interim director from about April 2016, replacing former director Michelle Baines.

Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or gwendolyn.craig@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.

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County Government Reporter