Commissioners’ Corner: How Grand County spends your money
“How are our dollars spent?” is one of the most frequently asked questions of most elected officials. We are no different. As commissioners, we are often asked how Grand County spends money.
Responsibly managing and spending the revenue collected by taxes and other sources is our highest priority as your elected officials. As such, we wanted to briefly explain how the budget process works, and also note actions along the way where the public is invited to participate.
“Budget season,” as it’s affectionately known, kicks off in July with each department holding a workshop discussion with the board during regular Tuesday meetings to give commissioners a brief overview of their needs for the upcoming budget year. (While open to the public, decisions are not made in workshops; they are for information only.)
Then in August, appointed and elected officials submit their departmental budget requests with any input from the workshops to the finance director. Prior to budget hearings, department heads meet with the county manager and finance director to review their proposed budgets, and make necessary changes based on the board’s direction and financial goals for 2023.
This year, budget hearings are currently scheduled for the week of Oct. 3. Public notice will be made in the newspaper and on the county’s website concerning budget hearing dates and final adoption. The board will be provided the preliminary budget at the regular Tuesday meeting on Sept. 27; it will be posted on the county’s website for the public to view (CO.Grand.co.us/1461/2023-Budget)
During budget hearings, each department appears before the board to present their requests and answer questions from commissioners. The public is welcome to attend budget hearings. Hearings are both in-person and virtual — WebEx meeting links will be posted along with the hearing schedule on the website on Sept. 27.
Following the hearings, the finance department makes any updates that were requested, and the revised preliminary budget is distributed to the board and posted online. Written rebuttal requests from departments are accepted through 5 p.m. on Oct. 21. Rebuttal hearings are currently scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 1. As with budget hearings, rebuttal hearings are open to the public.
After hearing any rebuttals, the board is scheduled to make its final budget determinations on Nov. 9. The finance department then prepares a budget message and associated resolutions and posts a public notice that the board is tentatively scheduled to adopt the 2023 final budget on Dec. 20. The final, adopted budget is posted on the website, and is also submitted the Colorado Department of Local Affairs by the end of January 2023.
Our goal as your elected officials is to ensure citizens are knowledgeable and informed about Grand County’s budget process, and how their tax dollars are spent. We encourage citizens to participate in the budget process by reviewing materials posted for the public, asking questions, and expressing any concerns they may have. Budget documents for 2023can be found online at CO.Grand.co.us/123/Accounting. Beginning Sept. 27, a hard copy of the preliminary budget is available for review at Grand County’s Administration Building.
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