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New Budget Approach for Des Moines County

Oct 21, 2013

Des Moines County residents will have more of a say when the Board of Supervisors starts crafting the county's budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2014.

The Des Moines County Courthouse

Budget Director Cheryl McVey says the county is switching to the “Budgeting for Outcomes” approach.

She says many counties across the country have switched to this approach, including Linn County in Iowa.

McVey says "Budgeting for Outcomes" means departments will be funded based on a series of priority lists developed by the Des Moines County Board of Supervisors, the department heads and the public.

"If you had $1,000, of this list, how much of it would you spend on 'each thing,'" says McVey.  "Then you find out what the taxpayers actually want their money spent on.  You try to incorporate that into the goals and objectives set by the county."

If the money runs out before a low-priority item or program is reached, it would not be funded.

McVey hopes this will end the past practice of setting spending levels and then ordering cuts when revenue falls short.

She says a public survey will soon be added to the county’s website.

Budget workshops are expected to begin in early January.