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A newly released audit on the Town of Newstead's books contains relatively minor recommendations in some areas that aim to improve the town's operating procedures.

The audit showed the general fund surplus is "currently stable" as a percentage of the ensuing years budgeted appropriations, but it "may or may not" be adequate to meet future contingencies.

According to auditors, the town should consider developing a long-term fiscal plan that would attempt to project expenditures for the next three to five years, identifying funding sources and project tax revenues as well as rates.

The audit also recommended "a bank lockbox collection system" with computerized updating of tax rolls. The procedure could improve the "speed of collection and deposit of funds," and "efficiency of posting" in peak collection periods.

Other recommendations are:

Implementing a capital plan to help the Town Board make informed decisions about upcoming projects.

Participating in the "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting" program.

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