February 14, 2017

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           FY 17-18 Budget - (Summary & Suggested Motions)

The Board is scheduled to undertake two actions pertaining to the FY 17-18 budget process at the February 14 meeting.  First, the Board is asked to adopt the official FY 17-18 Budget Calendar, and second, the Board is scheduled to conduct a public hearing to receive early citizen input on the FY 17-18 budget. 

FY 17-18 Budget Calendar

A copy of the suggested FY 17-18 Budget Calendar is attached for the Board’s review.  This calendar outlines the Town’s budget process and includes key target dates in the process. 

The FY 17-18 budget process began with the Board’s annual budget planning workshop meeting held on January 26, and continues with the items on the February 14 meeting agenda.   The FY 17-18 budget public hearing scheduled for the February 14 meeting is a chance for the Town’s taxpayers to provide input at the front-end of the FY 17-18 budget process, and we look forward to this input.  Town staff and I will consider the Board’s direction from the January 26 meeting and the public’s input on February 14, and will then begin work to develop a responsible budget during March and April.

The FY 17-18 Recommended Budget will be presented to the Board at the May 9 regular meeting.  Two budget workshop meetings are tentatively scheduled for May 16 and June 6 (both are Tuesday evenings) to review the Recommended Budget in detail.  The official public hearing on the budget is planned for the June 6 workshop meeting, with Board adoption planned for the June 13 regular meeting.  (Additional budget workshop meetings can be scheduled between May 10 and June 12 as necessary.)

The Board has the flexibility to adjust this schedule as we go through the budget process if necessary and/or desired, however, the establishment of the FY 17-18 Budget Calendar will help to keep this lengthy process on track. 

Public Hearing – Early Citizen Input on FY 17-18 Budget

We have scheduled and advertised a public hearing on the upcoming FY 17-18 budget for the February 14 meeting.

NC General Statutes require the Town to conduct a public hearing on the annual budget after the Town Manager presents the Recommended Budget in May, but Emerald Isle has also historically held a public hearing prior to the start of the annual budget process in order to get citizen input at the front-end of the budget process.  The purpose of the February 14 public hearing is simply to receive comments or suggestions from our citizens regarding budget priorities for the coming fiscal year before we begin the budget process.  The hearing will give citizens a chance to voice their concerns about the tax rate, the fairness of the Town’s tax and fee structure, suggest budget and service reductions, suggest funding for certain programs or projects, etc.  All thoughtful suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.   

I have attached some basic background budget information, and I will have this information available for the public to review. 

I will be happy to answer any questions about the FY 16-17 budget, the FY 17-18 budget process, and the preliminary outlook for the FY 17-18 budget at the February 14 meeting.