October 23, 2018

Franklin County Commissioners Provide Direction on 2019 Budget

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners provided direction to staff this morning after reviewing the 2019 All-Request Budget last week.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners provided direction to staff this morning after reviewing the 2019 “All-Request” Budget last week.  At that time, Fiscal Director Teresa Beckner presented the budget, explaining that the fiscal team had combined each department’s projections on revenue and expenses for 2019, including capital and personnel expansion requests.

Department of Emergency Services Director John Thierwechter discussed one of the larger capital requests—upgrades to 911 Call Center software and hardware in order to meet the Next Generation 9-1-1 national initiative standards and capability needs. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of State is requiring counties to purchase new election equipment prior to the primary election in 2020. The cost estimate for this purchase is $900K.

The Commissioners review the all-request budget information in order to provide direction to staff on the priorities and parameters of the 2019 budget. This guidance is used to hone the all-request budget into the preliminary budget, due mid-November.

“Public safety is a priority,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller at this morning’s board meeting. “Another continuing priority is the use of technology to increase efficiency,” he said. The Commissioners agreed that prioritizing technology has resulted in a positive impact on reducing expenses while increasing the quality of customer service.

The Commissioners discussed the performance of the 2018 budget. “It is performing well and we are projected to be a couple million dollars under budget for the year,” said Commissioner Keller. Fiscal Director Teresa Beckner agreed and added, “The Fiscal Department monitors the budget very closely and applies two levels of vetting to ensure the necessity of purchases.

Due to prudent fiscal management by the Commissioners, there will be no tax increase on the general fund and no change on the 1.5 mills tax increase on debt service for the Court Facility Improvement Project.

A 2019 proposed budget will be presented on November 20, 2018, at the Commissioners Meeting scheduled for 2pm.  It will then be available for public review at the Commissioners’ Office (340 N. Second Street) for 20 days prior to approval.


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