It is getting to be that time of year again, when the town looks at the upcoming fiscal year and begins the budget process. Goals that were established during our February Strategic Planning session set the stage for our budget.

The annual municipal budget process goes a long way in satisfying many of the Town’s Strategic Planning Principles and specifically helps to continue to maintain a stable, transparent, forward-looking financial environment that provides an outstanding quality of life for our citizens.

The Town’s budget process is ongoing throughout the year, but a large amount of the work is concentrated from February to early June.

The process involves all Town-wide departments and key committees including Beautification, Affordable Housing and the Planning Commission. Operations of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation is also forecasted by its board of directors and included with the Town’s budget details.

Performance measures are gathered to help forecast revenues and expenditures related to public service calls, building permit applications and inspections, population growth, new business development, and capital improvements program projects progress, just to name a few.

The Town of Bluffton’s budget process relies on information from federal grant awards, the State of South Carolina appropriations, Beaufort County, and Beaufort County School District needs.

The consolidated Municipal Budget is presented to town council by the town manager at two separate council meetings in May and June, including a public hearing for discussion, input and implementation.

In addition, the citizens of Bluffton have opportunities during specially scheduled public workshops to comment and learn more about the details of the FY 2019 Budget. The first workshop is scheduled for May 16 at 6 p.m.

The proposed budget highlights will also be posted online for citizens to access at TownofBluffton.

Lisa Sulka is the mayor of the Town of Bluffton.