Every year the County is required by RCW 36.40.080 to adopt an annual budget. The process that culminates in budget adoption spans approximately seven months and is comprehensive and detailed. The Budget Department is responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight of the countywide budget. During the budget process, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and Budget Department staff work collaboratively with the Citizens, Elected Officials, Directors, Administrators, Managers, and staff to adopt a budget that best serves the Citizens of Lewis County.
The County budget is comprised of two main categories of funds: the General Fund and Other Funds. The General Fund, also referred to as Current Expense, is the main operating fund for the County that accounts for current government operations and supports Elected Offices and County Departments. The Other Funds category is comprised of Special Revenue, Debt Service, Capital Projects, Enterprise, and Internal Service Funds all of which are legally or administratively restricted for special purposes. The General Fund contains 29 separate departments and there are over 50 different Other Funds, all of which must be operated like a separate company.
The following timeline outlines the process for a typical budget year:
- May/June - Budget staff prepare future revenue forecasts for BOCC; BOCC identifies budget priorities and sets expenditure limitations for coming year.
- July through August – Preliminary Budgets are completed and submitted by Offices/Departments.
- September – Budget meetings with Elected Officials and Department Directors.
- First Monday in October - Public Hearing for the Preliminary Budget.
- Third Monday in November – Evening public presentation of the Preliminary Budget.
- First Monday in December – Adoption of Final Budget.
These meetings and Hearings are held at the Historic Courthouse in the BOCC Hearing Room.
All of the work sessions with Elected Officials and Directors and the Public Hearings regarding the county’s budget are open to the public. This affords citizens the opportunity to obtain detailed information about the budget and allows for input throughout the budget process.
For information on the budget process or the County budget in general, please contact Steve Walton, County Budget Administrator at (360) 740-1209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.