Multi-year financial planning is a tool utilized by local governments to build fiscal capacity, avoid challenges, and communicate with internal and external stakeholders. An effective plan will align strategic goals with financial resources and ensure the delivery of essential public services.
Despite its widely recognized benefits, limited management and budget capacity precludes most municipalities from developing their own multi-year plans. The Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development understands these obstacles and responded by establishing the Strategic Management Planning Program (STMP).
The Strategic Management Planning Program supports localities by offering grants to fund costs associated with hiring an independent consultant to prepare a multi-year financial plan and management review of their municipality. The professionals at Keystone Municipal Solutions (KMS) have partnered with numerous municipalities across the Commonwealth through the STMP program, most recently for the Borough of Forty Fort in Luzerne County.
KMS worked side-by-side with Forty Fort officials to develop a plan that included a comprehensive fiscal assessment as well as a management audit of each Borough department. The report addressed a range of policy and management issues including capital improvement planning; municipal shared services; and succession planning; among other issues.
KMS solicited input from the Borough administration, elected officials, collective bargaining leaders, and general public to set the direction of the plan. KMS also used a web-based outreach tool called Social Pinpoint that was accessible by any resident with internet service. Participants could visit the Social Pinpoint site to complete a survey on Borough services or submit opinions on a comment board.
The plan projects a baseline operating forecast, assuming no corrective action is taken. The plan also presents a revised five-year projection that incorporates the revenue enhancements and cost savings recommendations in the plan with the goal of achieving long-term budgetary balance. The final report and its recommendations were presented to Borough Council at a public meeting in March.
To learn more about how KMS may help your community through the STMP program, please contact Dan Connelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-668-8079.