Tag Archives: Budget

Reviewing Priorities and Adjusting – Feb 2019

{Ron Woody, Roane County Executive}

In our last newsletter, we discussed the planning steps of putting together the 2020 Budget. During this past month, we checked off the first step by reviewing with our departments their 2019 capital plans and budgets and worked with the budget committee on a few adjustments. This important process allows the departments to review priorities and make needed adjustments which then sets a clean tablet for the 2020 capital budget and the following 19 years. Our department heads and commission understands the importance of reviewing your goals and objectives and making the needed changes.

One of the most significant changes was the realization that the county recreation master plan probably needs updating. As we reviewed the recreation capital plan, we asked the question, “When was the last masterplan?” The plan exceeded 15 years. Thus it had been 15 years since the general public had an opportunity to make formal comments on the county recreation plan. The recreation plan includes current and potential recreation services for Roane County Residents and the county tourism industry. Since the last plan the county has taken over a TVA campground (Riley Creek), leased and built the Swan Pond Sports Complex, and the State Department of Transportation has built a multi-use crossing that connects the Roane State Community College Expo Center and Walking Trails to a potential walking trail, horse trail, or campsites at the Old Caney Creek campground area of 60 acres. Keep up with the formal recreation planning process in our future newsletters as the county recreation advisory board, and park and recreation committee begins their work.

Accounting Department Update – Oct 2018

{Connie Aytes – Director of Accounts & Budgets}

Capital and Debt Reports: I would like to thank Jennifer Evans and Jennifer Suter for their work on the Debt and Capital Reports which have been placed on the county website under the Accounting Department.

2019 Budget: The budget book is nearing completion and will be published before the newsletter is published. We are supplementing this year’s budget book with information that should make it easier to understand where our money is spent.

Student Volunteer Program: We have finished our Tennessee Scholar Volunteer program for this past summer. We appreciate Elijah Breaszale and Bailey Barding for taking time out of their summer schedule to help with filing and data entry. Elijah and Bailey are pictured below receiving her certificates.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our office. Any staff member will be happy to serve you. Have a blessed Fall Season, and If you have any family members or friends dealing with the east coast hurricane, I hope they are safe.

Connie Aytes and Elijah Breaszale

Ron Woody, Bailey Barding, and Connie Aytes

 

Accounting Department Update – Aug 2018

{Connie Aytes – Director of Accounts and Budgets}

2019 Budget: Now that the budget has been passed our office is working hard to make sure that we have all the accounts properly budgeted before we roll the budget to the new year. We are hoping to have the budget books completed by the first week in August. Once those are completed, we will post the budget to the website and distributed to the Commissioners.

Capital, Debt, Popular Annual Financial Reports & Operational Statement: Our office is responsible for the completion of the Capital and Debt Reports and the Operational Statement. Those reports are in the process of being completed. Once we get those completed, they will be uploaded to our website. This year we are going to attempt to produce a “Popular Annual Financial Report” (PAFR). This report will summarize the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2018. This report should be completed by October of this year. Fiscal Year Ending: Our Fiscal Year Ending June 30th is almost completed, and our new year July 1st has an approved budget with NO tax increase. I want to take this time to thank all of my Accounting Staff for their hard work and dedication to complete our year under budget. We will not know the final results of our Fiscal year until next March, but all accounts are looking great.

Student Volunteer Program: For the past few weeks, our office and the office of the County Executive have teamed up with Tennessee Scholar Volunteer allowing high school students to complete their required community service hours. We had the pleasure of having Marisa Klein as our first volunteer this year to come work at our office. The duties she performed was, filing invoices both current and prior year and keying in budget figures into excel worksheets for our budget books. Marisa is pictured below receiving her certificate along with myself and Ron Woody.

Connie Aytes, Marisa Klein, and Ron Woody

A Path Forward Make Roane County Better – July 2018

We are finishing the 2019 Budget with hopefully an adoption by Commission on July 9th. A new Commission will be elected on August 2, 2018, which will consist of at least five (5) new commissioners. We welcome two (2) new commissioners who are running unopposed: Shannon Hester will be replacing Carolyn Granger, and Ben Gann will be replacing Todd Fink. Not seeking re-election are Peggy Collier, Renee Kelley, and Chris Johnson. With a number of new commissioners, a new fiscal year and a number of initiatives the staff has been working on are some of the items we are going to be addressing. We hope to have an orientation and planning session in mid-September for the newly seated Commission.

Briefly here is a list of items we are working on:

  • Jail Phase II
  • School Improvement Plan
  • Old Caney Creek Campground
  • Riley Creek Campground
  • Ambulance Stations

Operational Issues/Concerns/Consideration of Policy:

  • Property and Liability Insurance-Market or Pools
  • Health Insurance State Plan or Market Plan
  • Workers Compensation – Self Insurance Performance
  • Opioid Crisis
  • Back Tax Property Management
  • Ambulance Department
  • Consolidation on Partnering of Municipal Services
  • Potential Impacts of School Consolidation
  • Management of Swan Pond Sports Complex
  • Asset Management (Back Tax Properties)
  • Solid Waste Collections and Disposals

We are pleased to have put into place a financial infrastructure that helps us have a long term planning process. The planning of making County government begins with a “Vision,” and twice a year internally we aspire to create or refine our previous visions. We encourage you to help us in the process. Give us a call or send us an email of what you think can make our communities better.

Financial Planning is Paying Off – April 2018

Life’s successes are often due to many factors. Some would say luck is important for success. Others say success is due to hard work, timing, experience and/or education. All these factors and more can contribute to success, but one attribute we can not and must not overlook is planning. Planning is projecting out into the future, looking at “what if” and “what could be” and formulating a path to achieve a particular goal.

A little over seven years ago, we formulated a financial plan for Roane County. I have written and talked about it many times as we implemented financial policies of debt management, capital, and fund balances. Thank you County Commission for seeing and supporting the vision. Here is the success and how it is paying off. First, we have not borrowed for General Capital purposes in the last seven (7) years. Up until FY11, we borrowed basically every year. In FY12 we established Capital Funds to take care of the small cost capital items with the goal of using our borrowing capacity for big-ticket items. One of those big-ticket items is Jail Expansion. As early as 2010, our administration recognized the need for the jail expansion and started planning for this capital investment. I am pleased and proud to say that Roane County Government appears to be able to build Phase II of a Jail expansion program at an estimated cost of $5-6 million without a tax increase.

Yes, we saw the vision. We executed a financial plan. We managed capital and debt. We developed 30-year debt budgets. We refinanced debt when appropriate. We paid the debt off early when possible. We did not do further borrowing. Finally, we positioned ourselves for the right timing to have the least financial impact on our citizens. Yes, we will have to borrow to build Phase II, but our General Debt Fund has sufficient revenue and fund balance to satisfy our new proposed debt requirements without a tax increase. Our tentative schedule for Phase II of Jail Expansion is hiring Architects in March 2018. We plan to borrow in the Spring of 2019 and begin construction after financing is finalized. More to come on the plan as we work with the Architects. The Budget Committee met March 20, 2018 and after reviewing the multi-year debt budgets, recommended the General, Rural Education, and Education Debt Service budgets for 2019. Planning Our Future Is Important.

In Memory of Steve Kelley – March 2018

This time of the year we generally start writing about the up and coming County Budget, but we shall pause and write about an outstanding Budget Committee member who passed on February 21, 2018, at the age of 63, Steve Kelley. Steve joined the Roane County Budget Committee in September 2011 and served faithfully representing all of Roane County as a member.
Steve was elected from the Oliver Springs, Orchard View and Oak Hills voter
precincts and was a resident of the city of Oak Ridge, TN. He represented his district and Roane County with the utmost integrity and was always inquisitive and fair in his approach to governance. Steve was a quiet leader who earned respect from his fellow Commissioners. He had a passion for education but was concerned about all County Government services and the employees of the County. He loved his wife Renee and three (3) boys. Steve was raised on Dearmond Road in the South of the River community and graduated from Roane County High School. He served our Country in the U.S. Navy and worked at Third Dimension Technologies as he was a self-taught programmer with a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Tusculum College. Steve served with various volunteer organizations including as an executive member of the Roane County Democratic Party. Steve will be missed by his family, his friends, and his fellow workers and Commission colleagues. Steve we will miss your friendship and government leadership.

Understanding County Government – Feb 2018

{Ron Woody, Roane County Executive}

As many of you know, I periodically will write articles for our local newspaper regarding County Government. I recently wrote an article, which after editing and rewriting, I decided not to send to the newspaper as most of the general public would not see interest in the subject matter. On the other hand, readers of our monthly newsletter may have some interest; we published the article “Trying to Understand,” on the county website under County Executive’s Published Articles and Speeches.
A portion of the article deals with engagement. My January newsletter article mentioned the Department of Energy activities. I will say the last month we have been consumed with the DOE. I am sure you will read in the Roane County News in the next several issues more about a serious issue we are dealing with concerning sales tax exemptions. Stay tuned. We must work to solve a legislative problem that is causing Roane County and our school system financial concerns.