Creating the Five Year Capital Improvement Plan
The budgeting process start in early November with the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Departments make their requests for the next five years of capital projects. This includes vehicle purchases, road paving, heating system replacements, sewer replacements, etc. The capital plan is usually given to the Council in December.
Creating a Budget
Beginning just after the New Year, the City's Departments begin putting together their requests for funding for the next fiscal year beginning on July 1.
Departments submit their numbers to the Finance Director in early February. The Finance Director compiles all of the requests into a complete City budget document and presents it to the City Manager in late February. The City Manager and the Finance Director hold meetings with each Department Head to review and edit the figures to achieve a fair and reasonable budget that meets the needs for the provision of City Services, the payment of debt service and the funding of capital needs. The budget proposal for the next year will be available once the Manager has presented it to the City Council and it will be updated as necessary throughout the process. The City Manager presents a recommended City budget to the City Council in late March. The Budget Committee holds reviews of each Department's needs and requests, making adjustments to the budget amounts until the end of April.
At the same time, the School Department is pursuing a similar course in putting together its budget request for the next year. This is communicated to the City Council through a presentation with explanations at a special meeting, usually in mid-April.
A recommended budget must be on the table for City Council deliberations by May 1. The Council holds a public hearing, first reading, and a second reading on the budget, after which the Council may make changes after hearing public input.
Adoption of the budget requires two readings at formal meetings of the City Council. Under the City Charter, a budget must be adopted by June 30.