The City Manager’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 is now available online – just follow the link on CityofChesapeake.net. Copies are also available at any library branch. The budget is a large document but don’t let it overwhelm you. The City Manager provides a letter in the very beginning that gives a great overview of the $1.12 billion budget. In addition to what’s being proposed, you might also be interested to know how the budget process works.
Each fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Planning for the next fiscal year’s budget starts first thing in the budget year (and in some cases, years ahead). Early in the fiscal year, the Budget Department completes revenue projections to estimate how much money the City will be dealing with in the coming year.
All departments prepare their own budgets, planning out three years ahead (this helps them anticipate any major future expenditures). Departmental budgets are turned in to the Budget Department in the fall. Over the winter, the Budget Review Committee looks over everyone’s budgets to reconcile departmental needs with available resources. In the spring, the City Manager presents his proposed budget to City Council (this is the document you’ll find now online).
Once the budget has been proposed, the City Council holds two public hearings so that they can find out what residents think about the budget. This year, those meetings are on April 23 and May 14, both at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers. On May 14, City Council is expected to vote on the budget. This allows for about a month and a half for any technical corrections or amendments prior to the budget going into effect on July 1.
This is of course a very condensed explanation but hopefully it helps you better understand the process. Learn more about the Budget Department by visiting CityofChesapeake.net/Budget.