WATERLOO — Overall, Seneca County was in a stable financial situation at the end of 2021.
That was the conclusion of a draft audit report on county finances by Carl Widmer of the Drescher & Malecki accounting firm of Cheektowaga.
In his report to the Board of Supervisors’ Finance, Assessment & Insurance committee Nov. 23, Widmer said the firm audited the county’s general fund budget and a representative sample of federally funded and state-funded budgets.
“We found no deficiencies or findings for the federal and state funded audits,” Widmer said. “On the general fund, we had two reportable findings. One was the delay in getting information so we could file the draft audit report by the Sept. 30 deadline. The other was a non-serious issue with how capital assets are recorded.”
In other committee action:
Planning, Development, Agriculture & TourismThe committee voted to approve an allocation of $585,804.28 from the county’s room occupancy tax revenue to the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, the county’s official tourism promotion agency. The amount is $130,000 more than 2021 allocation.
The county uses a formula of allocating 85% of the room occupancy tax revenue to the TPA, while 15% is kept for the board to allocate to tourism-related projects approved by a special committee.
The committee approval now goes to the full board for a vote in December.
The committee also was given a report from Joseph McGrath of the Planning and Community Development Department on how the Finger Lakes Regional Land Bank he heads can take on properties with environmental problems, so-called brownfields, and get them cleaned up, put to a productive use and put back on the tax rolls.
Mental HealthThe committee voted to recommend the county contract with Truth Pharm Inc. of Binghamton to implement a comprehensive public education campaign to prevent opioid use disorder by county residents. The cost will be covered by the county’s share of a settlement of a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies that make opioids.
Environmental AffairsThe committee voted to endorse a 2023 plan for Cayuga Lake weed harvesting, focusing on the north end of the lake, which experienced excessive weed growth this past summer. The plan calls for the county to contract with the Cayuga County Soil & Water Conservation District to harvest weeds with its harvester from early to midsummer. That would be followed by the Seneca County Soil & Water Conservation District using ts repaired harvester two days a week from July 4 to Labor Day.
The Seneca County Soil & Water Conservation District would harvest in the Cayuga-Seneca Canal three days a week.
The plans calls for adding $33,000 in funding to the county and conservation district budgets, with $18,000 coming from the room occupancy tax and $15,000 from the county contingency funds. It will also require a $50,000 allocation from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act fund to buy a new trailer to transport harvesting equipment.