County Officials Present Budget Overview

County Attorney Rebecca Ehler listens as Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess briefs Council on the FY2014 budget. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Deputy County Administrator/Chief Financial Officer and Budget and Grants Manager Gina Coluzzi Torpy present highlights of the FY2014 budget to Council. Lynne explained that a $5 million increase in the proposed $185,928,637 budget is a change in accounting and not an increase in the budget. He also explained the various reductions achieved in the proposed budget. Eight fulltime positions are being eliminated by attrition and replaced with four part time positions. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Staff report:

The FY 2014 Budget Hearings are scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2013, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, and Wednesday, April 17, 2013, all from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The budget could be potentially adopted on April 16 or April 17, depending on timing of hearing discussions.

The proposed budget has been distributed separately, and reference copies are available on line at the County’s web site, at the libraries and at the 311 Customer Care Center. Additional reference copies will be available at the hearings.

Public Hearings: The first and last 30 minutes of each of the meetings will be reserved for public comment on any portion of the proposed budget. Note: The public hearing times
overlap with the budget presentation and discussion times. During this overlap time, public comment will be the primary activity. After all public comment has been received, if time
remains, other budget topics may be discussed.

Budget Adoption: The Council will consider final changes and adoption of the budget on April 16, 2013 or April 17, 2013, depending upon timing of discussions. If the budget is not
adopted at one of these meetings, then it will be considered for adoption at the regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.

While the schedule below indicates that certain portions of the budget will be presented and discussed on specific dates, these are subject to shift earlier or later based upon the actual
timing of the discussions.

PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE

  • Monday, April 15, 2013

Introduction, Overview and Budget Summary
Long Range Financial Projection
Elected Officials and General County Operating Budgets – see order below

  • Tuesday, April 16, 2013 and Wednesday, April 17, 2013

General County Operating Budgets
Utilities
Parking Lot – Outstanding / Unresolved Items
Adoption of or Consideration of Tentative Approval of FY 2014 Proposed Budget

  • Tuesday May 7, 2013

Consideration of Budget Adoption if not adopted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 or Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Order of General County Operating Budgets

  • County Council
  • Municipal Court
  • County Assessor
  • County Clerk
  • County Sheriff
  • County Attorney
  • Fire
  • Police
  • Community Services
  • Community and Economic Development
  • Public Works
  • County Administration
  • Administrative Services
  • Non-Departmental
  • Utilities

Introduction and Overview
The County Administrator will present an introduction and overview. The overview will address the high-level goals of the proposed budget. Budget Summary and Long Range Financial Projection Highlights from the Summary & Outlook section of the proposed budget will be presented and discussed.

General County Operating Budgets
Department heads will provide an overview of their individual departmental highlights.

Joint Utilities Fund Budget
The Utilities Department Manager will present the Utilities Budget.

Parking Lot – Outstanding / Unresolved Items
Any changes made or direction received during the budget hearings will be incorporated into the proposed budget. Attachment A, Summary of changes from proposed to adopted will be updated as Council makes changes.

BUDGET ADOPTION
Budget adoption occurs after County Council has reviewed and considered the FY 2014
Proposed Budget at budget hearings. The attachments described below are being presented here for final consideration and adoption.

Summary of Pension Fund Administrative Costs
Although the expenses of the Pension Plan are passed on to the plan participants, the County Council, as the Plan Sponsor, has routinely established and approved an administrative budget for the Pension Fund to provide system controls over these payments. Because this is a trust fund, the administrative costs are not a formal part of the County’s
budget.

FY 2014 Long Range Financial Projection

The attached Long Range Financial Projection (Attachment D) is presented here as updated to correspond with the other budget changes presented. The County’s financial policies
require Council approval of the projection which indicates Council’s long-range financial policy direction.

FY 2014 Equipment Replacement List

Approval of this list (Attachment E) at this point in time will eliminate the need for additional formal Council action for routine replacement of vehicles at a later date.

Recurring Grants

Each year departments are required to notify Council of their intent to apply for recurring grants. This will eliminate the need for additional formal Council action at a later date unless actual received amounts are different than originally budgeted. If that is the case, these routine adjustments will be lumped together and brought before Council during mid-year budget
revisions.

Continuing Appropriations

In addition to adoption of the budget, carryover of certain current year budget items are presented at this time because of their routine nature. There are six basic categories for
these appropriations, five of which are proposed for consideration at this time:

  • a. Encumbrances – commitments to purchase, but for which delivery of goods or services
  • has not yet been made and associated payments will cross fiscal years.
  • b. Unexpended and unencumbered project budgets – project budgets that Council has
  • previously, specifically approved such as CIP or other projects.
  • c. Unexpended and unencumbered previously approved budget in the Economic
  • Development Fund for Infrastructure and Housing, Downtown Redevelopment, and Economic Development Loans/Grants
  • d. Unexpended and unencumbered previously approved budget for Fire Mitigation;
  • e. Unexpended and unencumbered grant budgets for programs that extend over fiscal years.
  • f. (To be considered with the closing of the FY 2013 financial records in August / September
  • as specific items are identified.) Other unexpended and unencumbered project budgets or
  • capital purchases, evaluated individually, that satisfy the following criteria:
    • The project, type of project, or item must have been included in the original FY 2013 budget; or
    • It must have been identified during the FY 2014 budget development process as a capital item more appropriately spent from the FY 2013 budget (for example, certain hardware replacements).

Alternatives
Council may amend the proposed budget. The State requires that the governing body adopt its budget each year with requests due by June 1. State statute does not allow for an
extension to this deadline.

 

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