Introduction

The City of West Richland operates on a calendar year basis, but adopts its budget on a biennial basis. Budgets are adopted and presented at the fund level which constitutes the legal authority for expenditures at that level.

For accounting and reporting purposes, the City utilizes a comprehensive basis of accounting other than accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. The basis of accounting refers to when revenues and expenditures are recognized in the accounts and reported in the financial statements. Revenues are recognized only when cash is received and expenditures are recognized when paid, including those properly chargeable against the report year(s) budget appropriations as required by state law. Purchases of capital assets are expensed
during the year of acquisition. There is no capitalization of capital assets, nor allocation of depreciation expense.  Inventory is expensed when purchased. The City utilizes this same basis of accounting for budget preparation and reporting.

This budget will be used as a central financial planning document for all operating revenue and expenditure decisions during 2021 and 2022. The budget establishes the level of services to be provided by each department and embodies the City Council’s collective prioritization of service delivery options.

The Budget Process

The City’s budget process began in late spring/early summer of fiscal year 2020 with departments preparing requests for new staff and/or programs to their current budget that will address emerging issues and other operational needs. Also, they evaluated their basic service needs at this time. Additionally, the City’s strategic plan was reviewed and the process to update it commenced. While this was occurring, the City’s Finance Director conducted an analysis of the departmental base budgets and the revenue outlook for the coming biennium to determine the availability of funds for existing and new programs or services. Departmental budgets were submitted to the Finance Department, who compiled a proposed budget for the Mayor that consisted of revenue estimates and appropriations. The Mayor reviewed the proposed budget in detail and developed a preliminary budget recommendation.

More specifically, the budget process is guided by a calendar to ensure orderly and timely preparation and approval:

 

Budget Calendar

Date:

Action:

Performed by:

January 16, 2020 Mayor/Senior Staff Retreat – Develop Budget Calendar including council work sessions; Review current SFAs for 2019/2020; and 2021/2022 Biennial Budget Planning and Discussion Mayor and Department Directors
February 28, 2020 City Council Strategic Planning Retreat Mayor, City Council, and Department Directors
April 1, 2020 Request to all department heads to prepare detailed estimates of revenues and expenditures for the biennial budget year 2021/2022 Finance Department
May/June 2020 Council Adopt 2021/2022 Strategic Plan Mayor, City Council, and Department Directors
Ongoing Meet with Finance Director to go over Department Budget Department Directors and Finance Director
June 12, 2020 Department budget estimates are filed with the Finance Director for compilation Department Directors
June 15, 2020 – July 24, 2020 Prepare and input Department budgets into system. Develop 6-year financial forecast for revenues and expenditures for all budgeted funds. Update utility rate models. Finance Department
working with Departments
July 27, 2020 – August 28, 2020 Estimates presented to the Mayor for review and revision. Departments meet to present and discuss proposed department budgets with the Mayor. Mayor and Departments
September 8, 2020 Council Work Session– Budget introduction and proposed preliminary budget distributed to Council showing expenditures requested by each department; 2021/2022 preliminary budget overview and revenue forecast; and Presentations by City Clerk, HR, Finance, and Police Departments. Finance Director/City
Clerk/HR Analyst/ Police Chief
September 11, 2020 Department Narratives and 2020 accomplishments due to Finance Department. Department Directors
September 22, 2020 Council Work Session – Presentation by Community Development/Public Works. PW/CD Director
October 20, 2020 Mayor’s Proposed Budget and Budget Message prepared and made available to the public. Mayor
November 3, 2020 Public hearing on revenue sources for 2021 and setting property tax levy. Public hearing on the 2021/2022 biennial budget. Mayor, City Council, and Finance Director
November 17, 2020 Final public hearing on the 2021/2022 biennial budget. Budget adoption. Mayor and City Council
December 1, 2020 Adopt 2021/2022 salary schedule resolution for non-bargaining. Mayor and City Council
December 15, 2020 Copies of final budget transmitted to the State Auditor’s Office, AWC, and MRSC. Finance Director
October/November 2021 Mid-biennial review and modification Mayor, City Council,
Department Directors
November 2021 Public hearing on revenue sources for 2022 and setting property tax levy. Mayor, City Council, and Finance Director

 

 

Mayor’s 2021 & 2022 Proposed Budget and Budget Message