Polk gives deadline for 2014-2015 budget requests

Published 6:47 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Polk County Board of Commissioners gave a deadline for any organization requesting funding for next year’s fiscal year 2014-2015 budget, which begins July 1.

Commissioners met Tuesday, Jan. 22 to discuss its budget calendar and decided any outside organization requesting funding next year must make original requests with estimates by April 1 and give their final requests and budgets by May 1. Commissioners mentioned organizations such as the Foothills Humane Society (FHS), the Polk County Rescue Squad, the Polk County Health Department, Isothermal Community College and the Polk County School system. Special circumstances will be taken into consideration such as for the school system, which may not yet know the state’s budget.

Commissioners decided they would conduct their budget process the same way as last year, which was to go through the budget themselves and make decisions, rather than have the manager present a recommended, balanced budget first.

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Commissioner Tom Pack said if the county is going to take a tough stance on organizations requesting funding, the county should call and follow up after sending out letters.

“That way we’ve made an effort so they understand this year there’s going to be a cutoff,” Pack said. “I’d like to see a budget on there (with requests) also.”

Pack also said he’s not concerned about a deadline for the county’s fire departments because the county doesn’t fund those out of its budget. Fire departments are funded through their own tax revenues. Harmon Field is also funded from its own tax revenues.

On May 12, 13 and 15, commissioners scheduled budget work sessions to go through the budget and requests, all beginning at 3 p.m.

On May 15 at 6 p.m., the county scheduled a meeting to hear requests from its six fire departments, the rescue squad and the Harmon Field Board of Supervisors.

Pittman is scheduled to present a balanced budget to commissioners on May 30 with another budget work session on June 2, the budget public hearing on June 9 and commissioners are scheduled to adopt the budget on June 16.

For this year’s budget, the county funded all capital expenditures out of its fund balance and gave a ¼ cent tax decrease on property taxes.