You Paid For It: Fairport Library budget audit

Fairport, N.Y. - A New York State audit criticizes the Fairport Library board and reveals a local library has a nearly $1 million surplus.

"Right now would be our heaviest staffed time because it's summer," said Fairport Public Library Director Betsy Gilbert.

Library Board Member Jim Donahue said it is also the time the library needs reserves.

"We go for four months with basically no cash coming in, we have a fiscal year that starts July 1, but we don't get our tax dollars for that current fiscal year until late October," said Donahue.

That is because the library is a school district public library.

An audit completed by the state comptroller's Office revealed the board "overestimated appropriations by almost $900,000 over the last five years."

it was also during this time voters approved annual tax increases totaling more than $340,000 that were not needed, according to the audit.

"The 2013-2014 year they mention in the thing we were in 1.8% of our budget projection percentage, so I don't think that's over charging the taxpayers," said Donahue. "What the office of state comptroller did was go back to 2010, which I think there was almost $360,000 that year and that was the year we, not we I wasn't on the board, but that was the year the library was engaged in at looking at a major renovation."

Right now, renovations are in the works at the library that has been temporarily relocated.

It's a physical change that coincides with a fiscal one.

"There are some variables as far as the expense side that we will always need to keep some of the unallocated balance we anticipate that coming down as part of the renovation, but again being a fiscal steward we have to keep some money in there to make sure we have the ability to operate if some of these unexpected occurrences happen," Donahue said.

Donahue added the board is already taking steps to meet the audit's recommendations.

As far as the renovations are concerned, Donahue said they are on budget and on time.

The library is slated to move back to its Main Street location in September.

You can read the full audit from the State Comptroller's Office here.

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