Kent County's annual 'bifurcated budget' goes public on Thursday

Funding through the state would total $44.4 million, with a matching $25 million from the county.

September 19, 2014
| By Pete Daly |
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Kent County operates on a calendar year but the state follows the federal fiscal year starting Oct. 1 — and a lot of money comes through the state to Kent County each year — so the county board is doing its annual work to stitch together its so-called “bifurcated budget.”

Last week the county’s Finance and Physical Resources Committee approved recommended FY2015 budgets that will begin Oct. 1 and end Sept. 30, 2015. It totals $44,438,586 coming through the state government (some funds originating with the federal government) and matching components from the Kent County General Fund that total a little over $25 million.

The general fund amounts will be included in the FY2015 general appropriation, which will be voted on Nov. 20.

In the meantime, the full Kent County Board of Commissioners will review the bifurcated budget proposals Sept. 25. The line items are Health, Court Childcare, DHS Childcare, Friend of the Court, Special Projects and Veterans Trust.

The county health budget would total $24,914,496, with $18.4 million through the state in a column the county labels “non-general fund;” plus $6.5 million from the county’s general fund.

About $14 million in the non-general fund health budget includes federal, state and Medicaid revenue, and the other $4 million comes from fees, reimbursements and local grants.

The court child care fund is $10,076,488 from the non-general fund, matched by $10,102,441 from the county’s general fund. It provides services and treatment for delinquent children, law violators who are in the court system, and includes funding for the Juvenile Detention Center, as well as other institutions and a variety of community-based and in-home programs. From 2,400 to 2,800 youths are covered each year by this funding through the courts.

The DHS child care fund, comprised of $5.7 million in non-general fund revenue and a matching $5.7 million from the county’s general fund, provides services for 1,200 to 1,500 children each year who have been abused or neglected, or are determined to be at risk of abuse and neglect. The care can range from foster care placement to a variety of community-based services.

Friend of the Court is allocated $6.9 million from the non-general fund and $1.9 million from the general fund.

Special projects are mainly grants, some annual and some one-time-only, that must be accounted for separately and are mostly non-general fund revenues — $3.1 million out of the total $3.8 million. The projects include the Prosecutor’s Cooperative Reimbursement (for establishing paternity for DHS/Medicaid purposes), Community Corrections (PA 511 alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders), Secondary Road Patrol, Drug Enforcement, Child Welfare Reform, Emergency Preparedness, Friend of the Court Access and Visitation, and Juvenile Donations/Incentives.

The Veterans Trust totals $175,000, all from the state of Michigan for emergency services for veterans. It is administered by the county so it is included in the annual budget.

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