CLINTON — The Clinton County Board of Supervisors is anxious to start the Fiscal Year 2019 budget process, so much so that the Supervisors have decided to start that process a little earlier than usual.

The Supervisors voted Monday to meet for a preliminary planning meeting Nov. 28, earlier than the usual early- to mid-January beginning to the budget proceedings.

The earlier meeting will aid the various groups that will be affected by the budget as they learn the repercussions, both positive and negative, that the Supervisors’ budget will hand down, according to Clinton County Auditor and Board of Supervisors Clerk Eric Van Lancker.

“If the (Board of Supervisors) were able to communicate your general intent of this budget to those boards and commissions that have to have their public hearings earlier, that would be helpful to the process,” Van Lancker told Supervisors Shawn Hamerlinck, Dan Srp and Tom Determann on Monday. “That’s another reason why we would meet early.”

Van Lancker also said that the shortfall in funding for the new law center project may require some extra attention, another reason for proposing to hold the Nov. 28 meeting.

“We have a bunch of plans floating around there, but in order to make that plan for the overall budget, we think we need to present those plans sooner rather than later in the budget process,” Van Lancker said. He went on to call the meeting a “general budget session.”

Board Chairman Hamerlinck, along with the other Supervisors, expressed support for the idea, agreeing that it could never hurt to get the ball rolling earlier. Hamerlinck said the group could begin to “establish benchmarks for all those commissions before Dec. 1.”

He called the current budget process system “antiquated.”

“Some of our commissions are actually passing their budget before they’re actually being told how much money would be available to them, and that then causes us to have change orders and causes consternation between the departments,” Hamerlinck said.

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