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Villages in Smithtown fare well in state fiscal ‘stress test’

Head of the Harbor Village Hall in St.

Head of the Harbor Village Hall in St. James on Nov. 4, 2016. Credit: Heather Walsh

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office found little cause for concern in fiscal stress tests of two Smithtown villages, Nissequogue and Head of the Harbor. Village of the Branch did not submit the information needed to conduct the test.

The comptroller’s office, which released fiscal year 2017 results to village officials earlier this month, gave Nissequogue a zero and Head of the Harbor a 3.3 on a scale of zero to 100, with 100 representing the most stress.

DiNapoli’s office evaluated 529 villages across the state. The evaluation focused on financial indicators, including year-end fund balance, cash position, short-term borrowing and patterns of operating deficits.

Head of the Harbor picked up its points because gross expenditures of $1.9 million in 2015 exceeded gross revenue of $1.8 million that year.

Head of the Harbor Mayor Douglas Dahlgard did not respond to a request for comment. Nissequogue Mayor Richard Smith said village leaders kept a “hawk’s eye” on expenses and have worked hard in recent years to augment tax dollars with grant funds.

Village of the Branch Mayor Mark Delaney said in an email that the village didn’t participate in the stress test because officials there didn’t get the required financial statements from village auditors in time. “The village is in excellent health,” he said.

A spokesman for the state comptroller’s office said there are no consequences for not participating in the test.

Current results were not available for Smithtown Town, which received a 15.8 score for fiscal year 2016, too low to be included in one of the comptroller’s stress categories.

All but four Suffolk County villages received scores of 45 or lower, which is too low to be included in one of the comptroller’s stress categories. Only one, the Shelter Island Village of Dering Harbor, scored high enough to be labeled “susceptible” to fiscal stress.

In Nassau County, Island Park faced “significant” stress and Valley Stream faced “moderate” stress.

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