Process for 2020 county budget begins

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County government this month has begun the lengthy process toward eventual adoption of a 2020 county budget.

County Budget Director Alice Kuntzsch released a budget schedule, which began June 5 with her office providing county departments with budget guidelines.

That was followed by a process in which county departments submitted proposed figures to the county Personnel Department for certain payroll line items.

From June 24-27, Kuntzsch says departments will submit proposed budget agenda items to their Board of Supervisors oversight committees for capital project approval.

The next major budget process after that will be from July 19-Aug. 19, when the budget office compiles, reviews and makes recommendations on a requested county budget.

Supervisors on the oversight committees from Aug. 19-30 will review and approve final department budget requests. Following that process, the tentative budget will be finalized through a combination of Kuntzsch’s office and Budget Review Committee meetings.

Kuntzsch is due to file her tentative 2020 county budget with the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 12. A public hearing on the tentative budget is slated for Nov. 25, with supervisors eventually adopting next year’s budget on Nov. 29.

Johnstown Town Supervisor Jack Wilson, board chairman, said Monday that the 2020 budget process could be demanding.

“I know we’re going to have challenges with the capital projects and trying to figure out where our priorities are,” he said.

Wilson said he is assuming that Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino will be seeking more deputies and vehicles for next year.

Concerning state government’s perennial fiscal issues impacting Fulton County, he stated: “It’s not getting any better.”

A case in point, he said, is how the state currently reimburses the county for initial arraignments of suspects involving a public defender.

“You just know Albany is going to start taking that money,’ Wilson said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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