Budget Process

• Strategic planning sessions precede the official budget process. During these sessions, Council and staff discuss goals and set priorities.

• The budget process begins in February and the budget calendar is reviewed and established. The City Manager meets with all departments to discuss the current and future trends, needs and goals of the City.

• Departments are then responsible for preparing requests for programs, projects and initiatives they would like to have considered for the upcoming budget year.

• Each department meets individually with the City Manager to review department budget requests. Requests are evaluated to determine their alignment with the strategic goals and the fiscal resources necessary to fund the requests.

• Following these meetings, the City Manager’s Office and the Finance Office meet to prepare the draft budget for submission to City Council. The draft budget is submitted to the Mayor and City Council at formal budget workshops held in April and May.

• The public has an opportunity to comment on the budget during the Public Hearing and again during first and second reading of the ordinance prior to the adoption of the budget, which takes place during the second reading.

• State law requires the City Council to adopt a balanced budget prior to June 30. Budget amendments are allowed under South Carolina law and are made throughout the year as necessary.