County budget process underway for FY 2018-19

Published 3:36 pm Monday, February 19, 2018

While the deadline for setting the county’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year is still months away, the process for setting the budget is already underway.

In January, the Carter County Finance Department reached out to county departments and outside agencies asking them to submit their budget requests for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Earlier this month, the Finance Department began compiling those requests and scheduling budget presentations.

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This week, Finance Director Christa Byrd and her staff will be drafting a budget proposal based on the requests received by her office and comparing it to last year’s funding levels. Once the draft budget is compiled, Byrd and her staff will review the proposal with the elected officials and department heads.

Members of the Budget Committee will begin holding workshops and hearings on the budget requests in April.

In recent meetings with the Budget Committee, Byrd has encouraged the committee members to ask questions of the department heads and elected officials regarding every aspect of their budget request and not just the changes from the previous year.

The budget calendar provided to members of the Carter County Commission states that budget presentations will not be limited to only funding requests that involve a change from prior years. “This will be a time when all department heads and officeholders will be able to discuss budget concerns and daily operations with the Committee,” the notice states. “It is our goal to have a consolidated budget to be presented to the Carter County Commission at the June meeting, and to obtain a vote on the budget during the July meeting.”

Below is a listing of the schedule for the 2018-19 budget process:

• April 2 — Solid Waste and Outside Agencies Hearing

• April 9 — Health Department, General Fund, and Tax Relief Hearing; also regularly scheduled meeting

• April 30 — Debt Service, Highway Department, and Education Hearing

• May 3 — Open Date for potential Hearing/Meeting

• May 7 — Open Date for potential Hearing/Meeting

• May 14 — regularly scheduled meeting; Open Date for potential Hearing/Meeting

• May 28 — Budget Committee approves budget (Voting Meeting)

• May 29 — Publish proposed budget in newspaper with Public Hearing notice

• June 11 — regularly scheduled meeting; Conduct Public Hearing

• June 18 — Distribute proposed budget to full Carter County Commission

• June 21 — publish Not For Profit funding in newspaper

• July 16 — Commission adopts new budget