Lake Placid, Tupper Lake schools hire new auditor

WILMINGTON – The Lake Placid and Tupper Lake school boards voted this week to hire a new external auditor.

In the past, the districts used Patrick Ida, a certified public accountant based in Ticonderoga, to conduct a required annual audit. Leonard Sauers, the Lake Placid district’s budget officer, said Tuesday that Ida will not be able to conduct the audit this year due to a family health issue.

“All school districts have to have an external audit every year,” Sauers said.

Sauers recommended that the board hire Lawrence J. Ringer, an accountant in Glens Falls.

“He’s got a good track record; he does quite a few school audits in the North Country at other school districts,” Sauers said. “(Auditors) are tough to find up here in this area. We would otherwise have to go the Capital District area or the Syracuse area, and the expense would be tremendously more.”

School board President Mary Dietrich said the cost to hire Ringer is about the same as what Ida charged.

“His price is $11,000 for this school year,” Sauers added. “It’s well within the range. For the 2011-12 year, we paid $12,000, so (Ringer) is very competitive.”

The external audit will be performed in July and August, Sauers said. It will cover the financial statements from the 2012-13 year.

Sauers sent requests for proposals to four auditors. Ringer was the only one to respond.

The Lake Placid board voted 4-0 Tuesday to award the contract to Ringer. Board members Martha Stahl, Herb Stoerr and Janet Smith were absent from Tuesday’s meeting, which was held at the Wilmington Community Center.

The Tupper Lake school board, which also has used Ida for years, decided to hire Ringer at its Monday night school board meeting. School officials said they may go back to Ida in the future if his situation is remedied.

Staff Writer Jessica Collier contributed to this report.