The Clark County Council approved the annual budget for 2022. The total expense budget for 2022 is $723 million.
“My goals in preparing the 2022 county budget were that it be fiscally conservative, preserve adequate reserves, include new requests that benefit multiple departments, and protect critical and mandated functions,” said County Manager Kathleen Otto.
In a budget transmittal letter to the council, Otto said this about her proposed budget, “All budgets require prioritization, and I affirm that this recommended budget sustains current operations, may result in future efficiencies, and is consistent with council priorities.”
Clark County continues to face the ongoing challenge of a structural deficit in the general fund. The county continues to face several budget challenges as it moves into 2022 and beyond including, but not limited to, the rising cost of salaries and benefits, increasing demand for services and outdated systems and infrastructure.
The county’s budget received one-time funding from the American Rescue Plan Act for COVID related expenses that has helped offset the impacts to the 2021 and 2022 budgets. Moving forward, the county will need to continue to review and develop strategies and policies to address the ongoing general fund structural deficit.
See the budget presentation and report as well as a video of the hearing on the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/clark-county-council-meetings.
Article Source: Vancouver WA Business Journal