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Island Park audit finds problems

The Village of Island Park paid more than $548,000 in no-bid contracts and allowed employees to accrue $105,972 more in unused sick and vacation days than is allowed under municipal contracts, according to an audit conducted by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

The village did not seek competitive bids before awarding the $548,006  in work to six contractors, according to the audit, and $122,890 of those funds were paid without formal signed agreements with the vendors. The money was paid to the village’s insurance agency, engineering firm, property tax consultant and accountant.

The tax consultant and accountant – who are not named in the audit – worked without written agreements with the village.

Island Park Mayor James Ruzicka said he agreed with the audit’s findings and pledged to “implement the recommended changes.”

“There will be oversight on the purchasing and this will be part of our action plan,” Ruzicka wrote in a response. He did not return phone calls from Newsday.

Village Clerk Gomie Persaud said last week that officials are “trying to do what RFPs [requests for proposals] are required.”

The audit, released last month, examined the village’s $3.2 million budget for 2008-09 and its $3.4 million budget for 2009-10. It found the village “did not develop structurally balanced budgets,” running deficits for three consecutive fiscal years.

To cover the deficits, the audit found, village officials “improperly transferred” funds from a capital spending fund to the general fund, leaving taxpayers a $193,054 liability that has remained on the books since the 2005-06 fiscal year.

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