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Sullivan commissioners hope to avoid passing 'continuing resolution'

May 20th, 2014 11:56 pm by J. H. Osborne

Sullivan commissioners hope to avoid passing 'continuing resolution'

BLOUNTVILLE — With the start of the next fiscal year less than six weeks away — and no budget proposal yet developed, some Sullivan County commissioners wanted to move ahead Monday with what has over the past several years become standard operating procedure: OK a "continuing resolution" to authorize all county spending to continue at current levels until a new budget is developed and approved.

But they couldn't get a two-thirds majority of the 24-member Sullivan County Commission to agree with them.

They can try again next month, but some commissioners said they'd rather see the commission just buckle down and finish a budget before July 1.

Some work has been done on the county budget that will outline the county's finances for the period of July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.

But it could be a long process ahead to get it finished.

Two of the commission's three primary committees have held some budget hearings, and more are scheduled after the first of the month.

Once those two committees — the executive and the administrative — finish their hearings and discussions, each will forward recommendations to the budget committee.

The budget committee then creates a comprehensive budget proposal and submits it back to the full commission.

At least that's how it has been done in the past.

Law requires advance publication of the budget proposal, to be followed no less than 10 days later by a public hearing.

Commissioners Ed Marsh and Pat Shull were among the most vocal opponents of the "continuing resolution" on Monday, both insisting the County Commission can make some decisions, develop a budget, and approve a budget before July 1.

Commission Chairman Eddie Williams, longtime chairman of the budget committee, said the county typically does not have firm revenue projections for the year ahead until mid-June.

Some commissioners said it is odd that most other local government bodies are somehow able to get their budgets completed before the fiscal year begins.

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