MONTICELLO – The state comptroller’s office recently said Sullivan County was in fiscal stress and now, the agency has outlined details of how it came to that conclusion.
In an audit of the county’s finances released on Friday, the comptroller said the county spent $6.7 million more than it received between 2007 and 2011. During three of those years, the county suffered operational deficits.
In addition, the audit said the general fund balance was artificially inflated due to a $4.5 million nursing home receivable that is unlikely to be collected.
Because of those shortfalls, county management eliminated 188 positions over the last three years. As a result, auditors said those staff reductions could result in “significant delays” for necessary services and an increased workload of the remaining staff.
The audit said the county should develop a plan to address the general fund’s overstated fund balance resulting from a “very significant liability of the nursing home receivables that will not be received and consider the collectability of those receivables when estimating fund balance that is available for appropriation.”