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College Park Wants Timeline For Budget Projection

The City of College Park is working toward getting a five-year operational budget plan on track.

Richard Chess, director of finance and accounting for the city, said this will be the first operational budget projection College Park has ever conducted, though it has done five-year capital budget projections in the past. Capital budgets, he explained, relate strictly to infrastructure projects.

This five-year projection will include “the basic operations of the city ... personnel services, office supplies, travel expenditures,” he said. “All the expenditures that come into play for basic operations of the city.”

Chess said during these troubling economic times, it is important for the city to proceed with the plan to promptly prepare for operational costs in the future. The plan will help prevent unnecessary expenses, determine future debt and allow for better management of cash flow, he said.

Gerald Walker, spokesman for College Park, said Chess has been employed with the city for about two years. Since his arrival, the city’s financial operations have improved, he said. “We’re doing it because we have a dynamic leader in our finance department,” he said about the plan.

Chess said the city put out requests for proposals. The accepted bid was from Grant & Associates, LLC, of Marietta, which submitted a bid of $55,000. “I think it is a reasonable amount,” he said. The city’s general fund will take care of this expense, he added.

Such budget projections cost thousands of dollars because they include a highly detailed analytical review, financial statement preparation and budgeting forecasting, according to Chess.

During a recent council meeting, he said, Mayor Jack Longino and councilmembers agreed with the amount requested by the vendor, and for a timeline to be presented at the next council meeting on Monday, Sept. 19.

Chess said Grant & Associates will get a 90-day period to complete the plan.

Councilman Charles Phillips, Sr., who was present during the recent council meeting, said it’s important for the city to be aware of its financial state.

“We have a bunch of bond issues we have out there,” he said. “I think this is a project we almost have to do.”