The months-long task of developing the Athens city budget is under way, and Finance Director Mandie Quigg set the landmark dates for the project.

“We begin this process in May, which includes input from city staff, council and citizens,” she said.

“The finance department has distributed worksheets to the management staff who are culminating their budget estimates for 2020.”

May 22 is the date for the department budget requests to be submitted to the finance department.

On June 3, city council members will conduct a public budget workshop, which will include an update of the fiscal year 2019 budget and goals for 2020.

By June 14, a proposed base budget should be presented to City Manager Elizabeth Borstad. The city manager's recommended budget is due to the finance department by June 28.

City council members are scheduled to conduct a public budget workshop on July 15.

An important date is July 25, when the certified roll is due from the Henderson County Appraisal District. That's the time city officials will know what property tax revenues to expect.

By Aug. 5, the calendar calls for posting a notice on a tax rate hearing. On the Aug. 7, the city manager's recommended budget is due to the city council. Then, on Aug. 9, a public city council budget workshop is scheduled.

Public hearings on the tax rate are set for Aug. 12 and Aug. 26. And Sept. 9, is the scheduled date to adopt the 2019-2020 budget and tax rate.

Quigg said the calendar will be in the financial transparency section of the city website, where any adjustments to the schedule will be listed.

Council member Robert Gross asked if the Athens Economic Development Corporation budget can be discussed along with the city budget. Previously, EDC board members have compiled its budget independently and presented it to the council for approval.

Borstad said she had spoken with EDC Executive Director Lisa Denton about joining the city budget talks.

“Their meeting schedule is a little different than ours, but I think they're going to, as much as they can, be involved in the process with us,” Borstad said.

At the EDC meeting on Tuesday, officials also discussed the budget process. The city meeting will provide EDC officials a chance to observe the budgeting process and learned what is expected of them at the council meetings.

Denton said the next AEDC board meeting is June 6 — three days after the scheduled city budget meeting.

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