Thursday, September 18, 2014

County getting started on budgets

By CRYSTAL HERBER, Herald Staff Writer | 2/18/2013

It’s that time again. Time for county government to start delving into next year’s budget.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a proposed timeline last week for the preparation, discussion and adoption of the 2014 operating budget. County staff from each department will be charged with developing department budgets well in advance to meet the Aug. 23 deadline when the overall budget must be approved.

It’s that time again. Time for county government to start delving into next year’s budget.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a proposed timeline last week for the preparation, discussion and adoption of the 2014 operating budget. County staff from each department will be charged with developing department budgets well in advance to meet the Aug. 23 deadline when the overall budget must be approved.

While the board did not go into specifics, its members discussed budgeting additional funds in 2014 for the replacement of the heating and cooling system in the Franklin County Courthouse, 315 S. Main St., Ottawa, and funds to develop more shovel-ready land to entice further economic development.

“The process that we have in place works really well, and it’s not long and drawn out,” Steve Harris, commission chair, said.

The board is expected to receive the proposed 2014 budgets in June, with study sessions with the board and department heads tentatively set for June 17 and 18. Study sessions to review the entire budget are set for June 25 and July 1. The proposed budget is expected to be published July 26, with a public budget hearing tentatively set for Aug. 7.

It is the same schedule the county has used for about six years, Lisa Johnson, county administrator and counselor, said. The county’s department heads already are compiling information to present their proposed budgets, which are due to Johnson’s office March 29.

“I know it’s always a little daunting in February when you’re told you have to start thinking about what you want to budget for 2014, but department heads are working on their 2014 budgets that they want to submit,” Johnson told the board.

Many of the departments’ costs stem from personnel costs, she added.

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