County commissioners to hear 2021 budget requests

All-day presentations set for Sept. 14, 16

PORT ORCHARD — Kitsap County’s Board of Commissioners have a challenging task ahead: a review of the county’s 2021 budget that will need to address the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And unlike the federal budget, the county’s checkbook for next year must be balanced.

The public is invited to listen in as Kitsap County department heads present their 2021 budget requests to the county commissioners from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14 and Wednesday, Sept. 16. Call 253-215-8782 and enter webinar ID 831-9765-8080, passcode 208341.

Because of the “compressed nature of these departmental presentations, the public is invited to listen but there will not be opportunities for public comment,” said Kris Carlson, financial supervisor of the Department of Administrative Services, in a news release distributed Tuesday.

Questions and comments, however, can be submitted in advance to Amber D’Amato, the county administrative services director, at adamato@co.kitsap.wa.us.

As the extent of the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the budget became known earlier this year, most county departments were asked to create a 2021 budget with a 10-percent reduction from 2020, according to the release. That selected cut for 2021 was based on projections indicating a continuing decline of retail sales taxes, one of the primary sources of revenue for the county’s general fund, which finances the majority of traditional county services.

According to county officials, the presentations “will reflect how departments are going to accommodate this cut, what it means to current services and how those will be maintained while scaling back associated costs.

County commissioners will be joined by a citizens budget committee during the departmental presentations. Supporting documents for all budget requests and the deliberation schedule will be posted on the Department of Administrative Services website: kitsapgov.com/das/Pages/default.aspx.

Budget deliberations begin Sept. 23 with preliminary decisions made by the end of October. The final 2021 budget will be adopted in December after public hearings.

To learn more about the Kitsap County budget, review previously adopted budgets and find out how local tax dollars are spent, visit kitsapgov.com/das/Pages/bgt.aspx.

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