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Auditors give a favorable review to town's 2011 financial statements

The Town of Clarence received a favorable review of its 2011 financial statements from its external auditors.

The Lumsden & McCormick accounting firm shared its findings with the Town Board at its Wednesday work session. The firm gave an "unqualified" opinion of the town's financial statements, which is the opinion a municipality hopes to receive, said Sara M. Dayton, a partner.

The town's net assets at the end of 2011 were $103.4 million, up 6.6 percent from $97 million the year before. Its assets increased 5.4 percent to $125.2 million, bolstered by $3.8 million in infrastructure such as sewers, roads and gutters from new development that is "donated" to the town, Dayton said. Meanwhile, the town's liabilities were virtually unchanged at $21.8 million.

The town's total revenues increased 30 percent to $24.9 million. Real property tax revenues rose 3 percent to $10.7 million. Its nonproperty taxes increased about 15 percent to $5.5 million, partly due to Erie County allocating more sales tax revenue to the town as a result of its population growth in the 2010 Census.

The town recorded a $5 million increase in revenue from charges for services, operating and capital grants, and contributions. That category included donated infrastructure resulting from new development, and federal funds received by the town.

The town received about $613,000 in federal funds last year. The funds, which originally came from the U.S. Department of Energy, were used for solar panels on the Highway Department, Senior Center and Clarence Public Library.