Blair to compile long range to-do list

Pending projects could help budget future expenses

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County leaders and department heads have been asked to compile a list of long-range operational and capital projects they would like to pursue in the next three to five years.

The proposed list, expected to be ready for release in July, could be the county’s first comprehensive list of pending projects and an eye-opener for anticipated future expenses.

“It’s intended to be used as a planning tool,” county Finance Director Jennifer Sleppy said Tuesday after the weekly commissioners meeting.

The option of compiling the list surfaced in March 2018 when Commissioner Terry Tomassetti proposed revisions to the annual budget adoption process.

In prior years, commissioners have considered long-range operational and capital project expenses while building an annual county budget or while compiling the contents a bond issue to pay for major expenses over a longer period of time.

Once a list of long-range operational and capital project expenses is compiled, the county will be in a position to pursue those goals in stages.

For instance, Director of Public Works Rocky Greenland often describes his department as busy with ongoing maintenance of county buildings, roads and bridges.

During the 2019 budget planning sessions, Green­land also acknowledged that his department doesn’t have enough staff to take on all the work that county departments were identifying for one fiscal year.

“For 2020, 2021 and 2022, maybe we could make a plan that recognizes when (Greenland’s) staff would be available to handle specific work,” Sleppy said.

The plan also could address how much expense the county is confronting.

Sleppy said the elected officials and department heads are being asked to identify their current needs and projected needs, all of which will be subject to review in determining a final cost.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.

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