The fiscal year of the municipality shall commence on the first day of January and conclude on the last day in December of each year.
Prior to October 15 of each year the Mayor shall present to the Council the proposed budget for the next fiscal year and an accompanying budget message. The budget shall be a complete financial plan for the municipality, shall consist of an operating budget and a capital budget, and shall include the anticipated revenues and expenditures of all funds of the municipal government. It shall include the tax levies necessary to produce anticipated revenues.
The Mayor's budget message shall explains the programs to be undertaken and their financial implications. It shall describe the important features of the budget; indicate any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures, and revenues, together with the reasons for such changes; summarize the borough's debt position; and include such other material as the Mayor deems desirable.
Editor's Note: So in original.
The budget shall be a public record available for public inspection after submission to the Council and prior to adoption, and after adoption, during regular business hours.
Not later than the first of November there shall be published in a newspaper circulating generally within the municipality a notice of the time and place of a public hearing on the budget. This meeting shall be held no later than the 15th of November.
Upon completion of the public hearing, but not later than December 1 of the year in which the proposed budget is submitted, Council shall adopt the budget by ordinance with or without amendment. Council may add to, delete from, increase or decrease any appropriation item in the operating or capital budget. No amendment to the budget shall increase authorized expenditures to an amount greater than the total of estimated income and cash reserve unless action is also taken to increase revenue to such a level. No amendment shall change expenditures required by law or for debt service or for any estimated unpaid obligations, the budget as adopted shall be of public record and shall become effective on January 1 of the following year, without regard to Section 213B of this Charter.
If the Council fails to adopt a budget on or before December 1 of the year in which the budget is submitted, the proposed budget as submitted by the Mayor shall stand adopted.
Funds for the proposed expenditures shall stand appropriated to the same extent as if favorable action thereon had been taken by Council.
Upon adoption of the budget by the Council, it shall delivered within three (3) days to the Mayor, who within ten (10) days thereafter may veto or change any item contained in it. If the Mayor vetoes or changes any item in the budget, he shall return it to the Council with reasons for his veto or change stated in writing. The Council may re-approve any item over the veto or change of the Mayor within fifteen (15) days with an affirmative vote of a majority plus one of the total number of the Council.
When the budget shall have been finally adopted, the Council shall thereupon establish such tax rates as required by the budget so that the budget shall be balanced as to revenue and expenditures.
At any time during the fiscal year the Mayor may make transfers of unencumbered funds within departments and shall report such transfers promptly to the Council.
Council may by ordinance increase or decrease maximum expenditures in any department or make transfers between departments within the limitations of this Charter.
To meet a public emergency as declared by the Mayor, the Council may, by emergency ordinance, make emergency appropriations from contingent funds, revenue received from budgeted sources but in excess of estimates, revenue received from sources not budgeted, or revenue from any other source available to the municipality in an emergency.
Prior to September 15 of each year, the Mayor shall submit to the Council a comprehensive long-range plan for public services, capital improvements, and fiscal policy. Final Council adoption of the long-range plan shall occur prior to adoption of the annual budget.
[Amended 2-6-1995 by Ord. No. 1995-1]
No payment shall be made or obligation incurred against any appropriation unless there is a sufficient unencumbered balance in such appropriation. No payment of any funds of the municipality shall be made except upon approval of the Mayor or his designee. Directives for payment so approved shall be certified to the Municipal Administrator or any other person designated by the Mayor who shall be responsible for the preparation of checks or drafts of the municipality in conformity with the directives for payment so approved. In order to be valid, all checks and/or drafts of the municipality shall bear the signature of any two (2) of the four (4) officials of the municipality hereinafter designated from time to time by the Mayor. Designated signatories for all checks and/or drafts of the municipality are the Mayor, Municipal Administrator, Financial Secretary or Municipal Secretary.
Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital expenditure, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished, but it shall lapse if three years pass without any disbursement from or encumbrance of the appropriation.
The Council shall provide for an independent annual audit of all municipal revenues and accounts by a certified public accountant who has no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the municipal government or any of its elected or appointed officers. The Council may provide for more frequent audits, as well as special audits, as it deems necessary. The results of the annual audit and the financial statement of the fiscal affairs of the municipality shall be presented to the Council and published in a newspaper circulating generally in the municipality by April 1 of the year following the fiscal year audited. The same accounting firm shall not be used for more than three consecutive years.