A hidden gem: Over $604,000 found for county debt service

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

NEW CITY – The county may soon see an unexpected boost from previously overlooked money now bound to help service the county’s debt.

The money comes from a number of inactive capital projects-some of which are decades old-which still retain funds in their accounts. Though the projects have all long since been completed, $604,040 in funds remained untouched.

Most capital projects expend all of their money and zero out by the time the projects are completed, but the few which were found did have a small remaining fund balance in non-closed funds. The oldest, which targeted Pascack Road for erosion control, dated back to 1995.

After the money was discovered by the County’s Department of Finance, it was determined no outstanding contracts or encumbrances existed on the projects, it was concluded that local finance laws require the leftover funds to apply solely to debt service.

The money is also unique in that most is immediately available for debt service. Finance Commissioner Stephen DeGroat stated that about 90 percent of the leftover funds can go toward next year’s budget.

Since the announcement, the re-dedication of the funds was approved by both the Planning and Public Works and Budget & Finance committees. They are likely to be approved at the next full legislative session.

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