We appreciate the community’s commitment to health as we continue to work through the FY24 budget.
Current board members bring personal and professional life experiences of parenting, nursing, social work, education, government, and business. Like so many in our community, our lives have been touched by the needs of our children, families, and the people we love and have worked with. The Board is committed to ensuring the health needs of children, families, individuals, and businesses are met.
We are in the midst of the budget process, with several steps to go:
- August 10, 2023, Finance Committee, Special Work Session
- August 21, 2023, Finance Committee, Special Work Session
- September 12, 2023, Public Hearing on the Budget
- September 19, 2023, Finance Committee to vote to forward a proposed 2024 Budget to the full Board of Commissioners
- September 26, 2023, Board of Commissioners to vote to finalize a FY24 budget for Ottawa County
The Board Chair and other commissioners desire to return Health Department spending to pre-pandemic levels— which is a reasonable goal, while ensuring the county meets the needs of the community.
$13.8 Million Public Health Budget for Fiscal Year 2024
The current county proposal for FY24 Health Department expenditures is $13.8 Million, which is consistent with pre-pandemic expenditures adjusted for population growth and inflation. This amount is higher than the elevated pandemic expenditures of $13.4M in 2021 by the Health Department during the Covid response.
Funding for the Health Department is historically provided through a combination of state and federal funding, grants, charges for services, licenses and permits, Ottawa County’s Public Health Fund Balance, and a General Fund contribution.
A county contribution of $5.8 Million is proposed for FY24 to assist in funding the $13.8M in total projected expenditures. The $5.8 M would be made up of $4.35M from the General Fund + $1.47M from the Public Health Fund Balance. This amount is higher than pre-pandemic county contributions adjusted for inflation and population growth.
Children’s Special Health Care Services Funding Increase
The allocation for Children’s Special Health Care Services in the current budget proposal is $400,000, an increase over what was requested by the Health Department for 2024. Statements regarding the closure or reduction of Children’s Special Health Care Services are false.
In the draft budget prepared by the county, Vision and Hearing, the Maternal Infant Health Program, dental care through Miles of Smiles, Ottawa Food, and Pathways to Better Health are anticipated to continue at requested funding levels.
A public hearing on the budget will be held on September 12, 2023. The Finance Committee will vote on September 19, 2023, to forward a proposed 2024 Budget to the full Board of Commissioners for consideration. A final budget will be voted on by the full Board of Commissioners on September 26, 2023.
Reducing the size of government rarely happens, but we remain committed to working towards responsible budget solutions, returning the Health Department to a pre-pandemic budget, adjusted for population growth and inflation, while providing for the health needs of the community.
We look forward to full and accurate reporting on the total budget of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.