The Hope Mills Citizens Academy aids the residents of Hope Mills in learning about the inner workings of town government while also making the town government more accessible. On Thursday, Sept. 28, the 2017 class learned some of what it takes to monetarily run the Town of Hope Mills.
Finance Director Drew Holland and Senior Accountant Ricky Ramey explained the vital part of maintaining the budget and of knowing how to prioritize spending.
Holland noted that the Finance Department is doing well and that everything is thoroughly examined before it goes to Town Council for adoption. The annual budget dates are from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.
Holland described how each date on the budget calendar is vital to a successful year and what roles other departments play. It is important to note, he added, that the public has a say in how the budget is used on behalf of the town. There is a required public hearing every year in the spring. Only after the proposed budget is approved, adopted and signed by the council does it then become accessible to the public.
The Citizens Academy class on Sept. 28 participated in a mock budget exercise in which the budget was overdrawn and five situations needed to be balanced. Class members also actively asked questions concerning the maneuvers of the Finance Department and how long the documents had to be kept. Holland gave examples of projects, like the refilling of Hope Mills Lake, to explain the regulations. After each project is finished, he said, the documents must be kept three years from that date. They are kept electronically. There are many regulations and guidelines that must be followed closely.
The Finance Department remains in good standing. For further information about the budget for the Town of Hope Mills, visit www.townofhopemills.com.
PHOTO: Hope Mills Finance Director Drew Holland