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Audit finds no flaws in town's finances

The annual audit of the Town of Lancaster's books shows a town on solid financial footing through the end of 2006.

The town gained $2.8 million in additional revenue from 2005 to 2006, outpacing expenses by $580,000 over the same period, according to a summary report shared by Richard K. Ertel, a partner at the Fox and Company accounting firm.

"Let me just say that you had a very good year," Ertel said during Monday night's Town Board work session. "You did great."

Among some of the summary audit data provided by Fox and Company:

*Most of the increase in revenue, which totaled $25.5 million last year, came through a $1.4 million swell in property tax revenue and a $1 million combined increase in state and federal aid, much of which was tied to the October storm.

*The town saw a notable 6 percent increase in public safety spending last year, up $492,000 from 2005. Community services saw a much greater spending increase because of the October storm, which was offset by federal and state money.

*The town's savings, or fund balance, totaled $5.2 million at the end of 2006, up $827,000, or 19 percent, from 2005. The town is keeping an appropriate level of savings, equal to 21 percent of the town's overall expenses last year.

*The town brought in $1.2 million more than it budgeted and spent $1 million less than it anticipated.

"You got a double bonus there," Ertel said.

He summarized by saying that the town's record keeping and financial statements paint a picture of sound monetary health.

"Try as we might," he said, "we couldn't find anything negative to say about these statements."

In other news, the board awarded a $71,310 contract to Occhino Paving Corp. of West Seneca for the resurfacing of Partridge Walk, Squirrel Run and West Home Road. Town officials estimated the roads had not been resurfaced in more than 20 years. Occhino Paving was the lowest of five bidders for the contract.

e-mail: stan@buffnews.com

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