Budget schedule released

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County government will start the lengthy annual process that will lead to adoption of a 2019 county budget on June 4.

County Budget Director Alice Kuntzsch recently released a county budget schedule, which takes the Board of Supervisors through the end of the year and culminates with budget adoption.

The board voted Nov. 28 to adopt the county’s last $92.2 million 2018 budget, raising property taxes an average of 7.7 percent across the two cities and 10 towns. Supervisors at the time stayed above the state’s tax levy limit for Fulton County. The board near the end of the process rejected adding another $1.35 million in fund balance to get the tax rate hike below the state’s tax levy cap by $30,000 to $40,000.

Although it is early, current Board of Supervisors Chairman James Groff said Wednesday he doesn’t expect any major budgetary surprises on either the state or local levels to start the 2019 county budget process.

“I haven’t really seen anything that looks like a problem,” Groff said. “It looks like it’s going to be a usual year.”

According to the county budget schedule, Kuntzsch’s office will provide budget guidelines to county department heads on June 4.

From June 4-13, departments submit figures to the Personnel Department for payroll line items. From June 25-28, county departments will be submitting agenda items to their board oversight committees for capital project approvals.

By July 20, and running through Aug. 20, the county Budget Office will compile, review and approve of final department budget requests and estimates.

These Board of Supervisors committees will then publicly review departmental budgets on these dates: Human Services Committee – Aug. 20; Public Safety Committee – Aug. 21; Buildings and Grounds/Highway Committee and Economic Development and Environment Committee – both Aug. 22; Finance Committee – Aug. 23; and Personnel Committee – Aug. 29.

Kuntzsch’s office and the board’s Budget Review Committee will from late August to Oct. 19 finalize the tentative budget.

Kuntzsch on Nov. 12 will publicly release the tentative 2019 budget to the Board of Supervisors.

From Nov. 13-23, the board in annual session will review the tentative budget and make changes.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will be conducted Nov. 26 at the County Office Building.

The Board of Supervisors is due to adopt the final 2019 county budget sometime between Nov. 26 through 30.