Campbell County Director of Finance Jeff Marlow shares with us this morning his 2018-2019 budget summation that was sent to all County Officials, Department Heads and Commissioners over the weekend.
To All County Commissioners, Mayor Morton, Elected Officials and Department Heads:
As discussed at the beginning of the current budget cycle, the approval of the 2018-2019 budget represents the 5th budget completed by the current County Commission as the 2014-2015 budget was not approved by the outgoing County Commission leaving such budget approval to be completed by the new Commission upon their arrival four (4) years ago. Inheriting a fully compiled budget to be approved by an incoming Commission is a most difficult undertaking as many of the newly elected members may have no familiarity with the financial details of the county’s multiple offices and departments, and the abbreviated time frame to conclude the approval process in such a situation makes things even more rushed and the results may ultimately prove to be problematic as decisions made in haste sometime do. With adoption of the 2018-2019 budget, the current County Commission breaks this cycle of delayed responsibility and replaces the ill-advised undertaking of mandatory budget adoption almost immediately upon taking office with a process of developed understanding metered over the first nine (9) months of service as opposed to a mad dash to conclude budgetary adoption in the first nine (9) weeks of service. I commend the current County Commission for their commitment and endurance in accomplishing this most important task and in establishing a stabilized budget process timeline for all future County Commissions.
The 2018-2019 budget represents the 4th year of the initiative to improve the condition of the county roads with $500,309 of supplemental local road improvement funds included in the 2018-2019 Capital Projects Fund budget. The total supplemental local road funding provided since this initiative began in the 2015-2016 year amounts to $2,667,450. With the IMPROVE Act being approved by the General Assembly and becoming effective in 2017-2018 the Road Department also received $413,037 in increased state motor fuel tax funding during the year ending June 30, 2018, and is expected to receive another $552,829 in such funding during 2018-2019. Collectively over the four (4) year period from 2015-2016 through 2018-2019 the total local and state supplemental road improvement funding amounts to $3,633,316 ($2,667,450 increased local funding plus $965,866 increased state funding). This funding level represents the largest investment in the county road system in history – CLICK HERE.
The 2018-2019 budget provides for an increase in local education funding of $124,554 which is the 4th year in a row education funding has been increased with the total increase in local education funding during this (4) year period amounting to $898,691. With the adoption of the 2018-2019 budget, the two (2) education funding goals established by the current County Commission will be fully accomplished. First, the goal to have at least one (1) SRO located at every school site will be finalized from a portion of the aforementioned $124,554 increase. Secondly, the goal to provide local education funding exceeding the minimum required funding amount established by the State of Tennessee has been accomplished as the 2018-2019 total local education funding of $10,017,691 exceeds the required minimum funding level of $9,629,000 by $388,691 – CLICK HERE.
The 2018-2019 budget addresses the need to stabilize the funding mechanism of the ambulance service with $700,000 of local funding being provided to support the operations of the ambulance service. The 2018-2019 Enhanced Medicaid Reimbursement Program estimates are expected to be received from the State of Tennessee within the next couple of weeks and once such information is available these funds will be amended into the 2018-2019 budget with such proceeds to be used for the purchase of new ambulances. During the year ending June 30, 2018, these funds amounted to approximately $235,000 which allowed for the purchase of two (2) new ambulances. Assuming these funds remain at approximately the same amount during the 2018-2019 year an additional two (2) new ambulance will be purchased. Additionally, the Commission has taken the initiative to provide $120,000 in the 2018-2019 Capital Projects Fund budget to serve as match dollars for the hopeful receipt of grant dollars to facilitate the purchase of another three (3) or four (4) new ambulances. The total investment in new ambulances during the two (2) year period 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 is anticipated to amount to approximately $1,000,000, inclusive of anticipated grant funds of $400,000. The last ambulance purchases prior to the purchase of the two (2) ambulances in 2017-2018 occurred in 2013-2014 when four (4) new ambulances were purchased at a cost of $331,000.
During the three (3) year period from 2016-2017 through 2018-2019, the County Commission undertook the initiative to address the need for new equipment in the Environmental Services Department. $601,667 has been invested in the purchase of solid waste equipment during the two (2) year period ending June 30, 2018, and the 2018-2019 Solid Waste Fund budget contains an additional $279,630 for capital purchases. In total, $881,297 is estimated to be invested in capital purchases for the Environmental Services Department during this three (3) year period – CLICK HERE.
The foregoing items represent the significant procedural and funding components to be accomplished with approval of the 2018-2019 budget at the Commission Meeting on Monday night (July 16). More importantly, these items also illustrate the commitment and dedication of the various County Officials, Department Heads and Commissioners to undertake and complete the task of administering the county’s finances in a manner that strives for the overall betterment of the county in which we live. I am proud to be a small part of these activities, and I hereby express my sincere admiration to you all for a job well done.
And a footnote to Marlow’s details: The proposed 2018-2019 budget does not require a tax increase with the property tax rate remaining at the current rate of $2.25. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/16/2018-6AM)