A Minute with the Mayor: Budgeting time is here

A Minute with the Mayor: Budgeting time is here

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The Idaho State Constitution requires City Councils to submit a balanced budget every year. Idaho Code Title 50 Chapter 10 codifies this requirement. Our fiscal year is Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. The philosophy used in our budget is not a “use it or lose it” funding for departments. We budget for outcomes. Every year we have a diversified group of city employees who volunteer to serve on our Long-term Planning Committee. This group evaluates needs from all departments, studies past requests, and presents its recommendations to department supervisors and managers. The city’s financial team then works with management to create a budget to present to the City Council. It takes a majority vote of the Council to enact the budget.

The City of Twin Falls has received the Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officer’s Association every year since 2013. Starting in 2016 we have also received the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Award in each consecutive year. Our budget is posted on the city’s website, www.tfid.org and is available to be viewed at any time.

During our April 27 City Council Meeting we received our sixth-month budget update for the 2019/2020 fiscal year from Lorrie Race, CFO. We track our tax-supported funds as well as our three major enterprise funds; water, wastewater and sanitation. By reviewing revenues and expenditures on a quarterly basis we are able to make any adjustments as needed. I am happy to report that we are on track to meet our projected revenues for this fiscal year.

As we begin the second half of this fiscal year we are already nearing the completion of the City Manager’s recommended budget. We will be addressing the budget over the next few months and welcome input from the community before the budget is adopted in late August. The budget presentations are broken up into different focus areas in our strategic plan. Please login to the City’s website on Monday Nights and listen to the conversation. You can reach any of your councilmembers via email. All of the addresses are listed on the website as well. As the Governor allows larger gatherings, hopefully the second week in June, Council meetings will be open for the public to attend. Our schedule is as follows:

June 1: Budget update to City Council

July 6: Budget Presentation to Council

July 13: Budget Presentation to Council—FOCUS AREAS 5, 6 & 7

July 20: Budget Presentation to Council—FOCUS AREAS 2 & 3

July 27: Budget Presentation to Council—FOCUS AREAS 1 & 4

Aug. 3: Budget Presentation to Council—FOCUS AREA 8

Aug. 10: Budget Overview, Adoption of Preliminary FY 20-21 Budget, set Public Hearing Date, Public Hearing, Rate Resolution Public Hearing if Needed

Aug. 17: Council Review of Preliminary Budget—All Sections

Aug. 24: Public Hearing, Public Hearing and Adoption of an Ordinance on FY 2020-2021 Budget

Thank you to the employees who dedicate so much time and energy into preparing the city’s budget.

Thank you to the citizens who take time to engage in the process and share your thoughts with the TF City Council. This is OUR budget. Together we are Twin Falls Strong, shining brightly.

Suzanne Hawkins is the mayor of Twin Falls.

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