Required 5% Contingency Fund

Under the charter, each department must maintain a contingency fund. A contingency fund of, at minimum, five percent (5%) of the total budget must be maintained. In a time of emergencies, each department, as well as the county general fund, should have ample money to deal with emergency situations when they arise.

Found at:

Section 11.02. Budget Plans and General Financial
A total budget contingency fund shall be maintained at five percent (5%) of the county budget.

Section 11.06. Budget Review Process
The budget committee is responsible for reconciling the proposed budgets of the individual offices, departments, schools, and other entities that receive funds from Lincoln County with the revenue projections of the County Financial Director to create a proposed annual budget which does not exceed the fiscal year’s revenue projection, while maintaining a minimum five percent (5%) contingency fund.

Stated Debt Management Policy for Citizen Protection

Lincoln County Home Rule Charter includes well defined debt management requirements including a current Outstanding Debt Report reflecting total outstanding indebtedness of Lincoln County to better protect the citizen of Lincoln County.

The total indebtedness of Lincoln County is not easily ascertained. Different county officials cite different amounts. The Home Rule Charter has stated rules to be followed in incurring or refinancing county indebtedness.

Found at Section 11.09. Debt Management.

Multi-Year County Operating Budgets

Currently, there is only one year planned and budgeted and the budget is being revised during the year. The budget planned by each department and approved by the County Commission. For better planning the Charter requires three (3) years be budgeted.

Found at Section 11.02.A Budget Plans and General Financial.

The next fiscal year under consideration and two years out from that. Also the Home Rule Charter requires a 5% contingency fund (rainy day fund) be maintained. This should facilitate better planning of our County Government.

Found at Section 11.02.D. Budget Plans and General Financial.

Multi-Year County Capital Improvements Budgets

The current county budgeting does not plan for or set monies aside for major building maintenance, planned new equipment or replacement equipment. Those costs do not occur every budget year but will occur at some points in the future.

Therefore, to better plan for the future the Charter requires, the Lincoln County Government to reserve an amount each year in its Capital Improvement Plan and Budget equal to the total of the annual reserves of the items in the Capital Improvement Plan and Budget (CIPB).

Found at Section 11.08 Capital Improvement Plan and Budget.

Requirements for Purchases of Land, Buildings or New Construction

Section 9.16. Real Property Acquisition Requirements

This requires that proper planning and due diligence be done before county taxpayer dollars are appropriated. Before real property can be acquired by the Lincoln County Government, the following due diligence must be performed by the County Mayor. Real property is defined to mean land and buildings, this also applies to new construction or additions.

1. A Requirements Document must be written and contain at a minimum, an in-depth detail description of what is proposed to be acquired; the reasons for requesting the acquisition; a description of the acquisition’s benefit(s) to the citizens of Lincoln County; the projected cost of the project—to include any site preparation work, utility costs, sewers, remodeling, etc.; its impact on the operating budget in cost of additional staff, furnishings, maintenance, utilities, insurance, etc.; and the proposed financing method, costs to finance, and interest cost. The requirements must be written in such a manner that would create the most sources to meet the acquisition needs, a sole source justification on why the requirements were written, that limited competition, will be included in the requirements documents.

2. A Risk Assessment report detailing all associated risk and a risk mitigation plan must be written.

3. After the Requirements Document and Risk Assessment report have been prepared with the required information, the County Mayor will make a presentation to the Lincoln County Board of County Commissioners of the Requirements Document, Risk Assessment, and supporting data. The Lincoln County Board of County Commissioners may request more information or may approve the documents by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the commissioners to schedule a public hearing to present the acquisition plan to the citizens of Lincoln County or may vote to not proceed with the acquisition. The Lincoln County Board of County Commissioners will not vote on the acquisition until a meeting after the public hearing and actual contractual costs have been established, the vote will require a two-thirds (2/3) majority for approval. If the real property acquisition requirements are not strictly followed, acquisition of said property acquired will be voided, all monies will be refunded to the Lincoln County Government, and title shall pass back to the previous owner.

Found at Section 9.16. Real Property Acquisition Requirements.

Special Elections Prohibited

Special elections are expensive. They cost the tax payer approximately $40,000 to $50,000, therefore the Home Rule Charter prohibits special elections.

Although, there are referendum requirements in the Home Rule Charter, a 2-year election cycle would be timely to accommodate any referendum requirements with proper planning.

Found at Section 8.01. No Special Elections.

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