Budget season

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By Katy Korkos

It’s budget season for county government, with the publication of the county’s proposed budget this week and budget hearings coming up in April. This year’s biennial budget consideration by council and the public will benefit from what councilors have learned in a series of four discussions with Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne in recent months, concerning long-range financial planning and the capital improvement process.As County Administrator Max Baker said in his message introducing the budget to the public, “The coming year will be an exciting and extremely challenging one. The county council has provided clear strategic direction with well-developed goals and objectives. This $180.8 million budget builds upon existing momentum, and strongly pursues the achievement of those goals and objectives.”The goal of the budget is to work toward achieving five major goals:• managing costs while maintaining essential services;• improving the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) process;• developing the Long Range Financial Plan (LRFP); and • ensuring that the LRFP includes some un-programmed fiscal capacity for projects not yet included in the CIP.

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