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Tuckahoe Mayor Ecklond: Fiscal Stress Rating A Misnomer

Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond said the village's fiscal stress rating came about due to poor timing.
Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond said the village's fiscal stress rating came about due to poor timing. Photo Credit: File

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Although Tuckahoe was among the 22 villages in the state deemed to have “fiscal stress” by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli earlier this week, Mayor Steve Ecklond cautions that the rating is circumstantial and due to poor timing.

In recent years, the comptroller has been conducting audits on governments and schools, issuing “fiscal-stress” scores that determine how much financial pressure is on each of the state’s nearly 550 villages.

According to Ecklond, the predominant factor behind the rating was “a snapshot of a temporarily low fund balance, which was on the books at the end of our fiscal year” that concluded on May 31, 2014.

Ecklond said that the rating was anticipated, and that it is due to long-term borrowing, which had been approved. The general fund balance has since been restored to pre-audit levels, and there was never a shortage of funds available.

“The Village Board and I expected this low fund balance because of approved long-term borrowing by the village for some capital expense projects and large tax certiorari claims that had yet to be borrowed, but had been prepaid out of our fund balance prior to closing our books on May 31.”

“Like other municipalities in our situation, this rating was a result of the timing of the audit,” Ecklond continued. “The circumstances that led to this situation have now been rectified and had the snapshot of our finances been taken at the time the borrowing took place, I believe the fiscal stress designation given to the village would not have occurred.”

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