Annual Budget Process

How the County Budget is Developed

General Overview of the Budget

The adopted budget serves as Elbert County's annual financial plan and mechanism to direct funding and control spending of taxpayer dollars. The Elbert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is charged with the responsibility of providing adequate budget appropriations to fund statutory functions, as well as responding to the service needs of the County's citizens. Elected officials, appointed officials, and department directors are charged with managing their authorized budgets in order to meet their statutory obligations and service demands as cost effectively as possible. Elbert County Government operates on a calendar year. Therefore, this budget document covers the period from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023.

Basis of Budgeting

Elbert County employs statutorily required governmental fund accounting on a modified accrual basis. This is an alternative bookkeeping method that combines accrual basis accounting with cash basis accounting generally used by local government organizations. It recognizes revenues when they become available and measurable and, with a few exceptions, records expenditures when liabilities are incurred. The County follows the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) accounting pronouncements.

Budget Development Process

Budget development begins with receipt of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)'s annual budget goals for the next year and appointment of the Budget Officer. This year, the county also established a Budget Steering Committee. This Committee, consisting of the County Manager, Budget Officer (Finance Manager) and senior leaders from throughout the County, met in the spring to create the budget calendar, which establishes internal deadlines and budget development goals to ensure compliance with statutory requirements.

Elected Officials and department directors receive their annual budget packets at the budget kick-off meeting (held in June in 2022). In previous budget cycles, each department submitted their budget requests and these were then compiled for presentation to the County Manager for review and adjustment. This year, the County fielded a new budgeting software that integrates with the financial tracking system and supports online collaborative and distributed "bottoms-up" budget development. This software, "Open Gov", greatly reduced the administrative burden on the finance staff and supports increased transparency both internally and to the citizens we serve.

After review and adjustments to department proposals, a proposed county budget document was developed and submitted to the BOCC on Oct 14th, 2022. After input from the Commissioners, a draft budget was made available in advance of the public hearing noticed for November 30, 2022. Input from the public, county departments, and the Budget Steering Committee are integrated into the final budget by the Budget Officer prior to adoption and appropriations by the BOCC in December.

NOTE: The Budget Officer initially appointed for the development of the 2023 budget was the Finance Manager. When this position became vacant in October of 2022, Commissioner Rick Pettitt was assigned as Budget Officer and, along with the county's Budget Steering Committee, oversaw the completion of the budget presented in this document.

Table that depicts the general budget scheduled followed throughout the year.

Budget Changes

This budget is effective on January 1, 2023. Occasionally it is necessary to make changes to the original adopted budget. Per CRS 29-1-109, there are three methods for amending or changing the budget after adoption: transfers, supplemental appropriations, and revised appropriations. Each method requires approval by the BOCC. If required, such changes are made in noticed public meetings/hearings.