Montgomery County Commissioners on Dec. 5 discussed eliminating the practice of carrying unused funds over to the next fiscal year after $425,000 was requested by various departments for unplanned expenditures.

What you need to know

Commissioners expressed concern regarding a request from Montgomery County Budget Director Amanda Carter to allow departments, such as forensics and the county treasurer’s office, to use $425,000 in unspent money from the fiscal year 2022-23 budget.

Department heads, including County Clerk Brandon Steinmann and County Treasurer Melanie Bush, said the leftover budget funds came from contracts and purchases that were under budget in FY 2022-23, and carrying the funds over to FY 2023-24 would help address unexpected purchases for things such as failing equipment.

What they’re saying

“These are leftover monies in [departmental] fiscal year [2022-]2023 budgets that they are requesting to use in their [2023-]2024 budget on top of their adopted budgets,” Carter said.

“We adopted the budget; we increased the budget; we increased salaries; we increased a number of things. We gave people more people who pretty much gave everybody everything they wanted. And now we're going to turn around and give everybody back $425,000.” Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said. “I mean, that's a problem because we gave up resources and things that we could have used had we known we have almost half a million dollars worth of money sitting there.”

What’s next

Department heads were asked to bring back official budget items at a future meeting and allow for closer consideration of allocating funding outside of budget workshops.