‘We are maintaining a healthy fund balance’

Macomb County Board adopts 2020 budget

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published December 13, 2019


MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County’s 2020 budget is now finalized.

On Dec. 4, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners adopted the 2020 budget, “which reflects and meets the needs of the Macomb County community and county departments, while also being fiscally responsible,” a BOC release states.

BOC Chairman Bob Smith called the budget both fiscally sound and responsible.

“It was a collaborative effort among all commissioners to ensure the citizens and employees of this county receive what they deserve while also safeguarding financial security for the county’s future,” he said.

The 2020 general fund budget is $277.9 million and provides 2% operational increases from the 2019 amended budget for nearly all county departments.

Departments that had less than 2% proposed increases received their requests in entirety. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and Macomb County Emergency Management received what was requested in the county executive’s proposed budget.

“This budget accomplishes the priorities we established for this board and the budgeting process earlier this year,” Commissioner Leon Drolet said. “In this budget, we are not spending more than we are taking in and we are maintaining a healthy fund balance.”

Drolet told C & G Newspapers Dec. 4 that in May, the board passed a resolution stating its priorities for the 2020 budget.

Over the past couple of months, commissioners worked to create an alternative budget proposal that was submitted Dec. 4.

In order to reach consensus on the now-adopted budget, commissioners deliberated in 21 different public meetings, including budget workshops and committee meetings for departmental budget views, and held additional meetings with administration to best understand the absolute needs.

The adopted budget does not pull any funds from the county’s fund balance to balance the budget — the proposed budget suggested taking $1.7 million from the fund balance to balance the budget.

In late 2018, the BOC adopted a fund policy that states the county’s fund balance should be at least 20% of the general fund; the 2020 adopted budget is in line with that policy with a fund balance of 21% of the general fund.

“Through the adoption of the 2020 budget, the board remained in line with the legislative priorities it set for the 2019-20 term,” the release states.

Priorities include promoting transparent and collaborative processes, and establishing a framework of county government with the next generation in mind.

Noting that the county’s aging infrastructure needs to be addressed, the budget includes a general fund appropriation of $5.5 million to fund the county’s five-year capital plan in 2020 and forecasted appropriations for that purpose of $11.5 million and $10 million in 2021 and 2022, respectively.