Budget & Budget Process

The City of Grand Forks operates under a fixed budget that is formulated through an extensive budgeting process and approved by the Grand Forks City Council each year.

2012 Adopted Budget Breakdown
(in millions of dollars)

General Fund
(Police, Fire, Health, Streets, Admin, Etc.)


Spec. Revenue Funds
(Mosquito Control, PSAP, Econ. Dev., Etc.)


Enterprise Funds
(Sanitation, Public Transit, Alerus Center, Etc.)


Internal Service Funds
(Public Works Facility)


Trust & Agency Funds
(Animal Control)


Capital Project Funds
(Flood Protection)


Debt Service


Total 2012 Adopted Budget: $128.1

Defining a Budget - In simple terms, a budget is an entity's plan for its financial resources. It is an estimate of proposed spending for a given period and the proposed means of paying for them. Two basic components of the budget are the revenue section and the expenditure section.

The City budget has over 80 major categories known as "funds". These are further divided into over 60 discrete "subfunds". Each of these funds and subfunds accounts for a pool of restricted revenues. The City uses these funds and subfunds, for example, to make payments on different types of City debt or to track fees collected to pay for certain City services.

The City raises revenues from sources such as property tax, sales tax, fees, permits, and charges for services and grants. Some examples of these non-tax revenues are the service charges for water, refuse and sewer service, building permit fees, licenses, franchise fees, fines and forfeitures, and state and federal grants. Service fees are important because those people who use the service pay for the service.

Finally, part of the annual revenues are funds carried over from previous fiscal years. This is called "fund balance". The City uses fund balance as a reserve for future capital projects, reserves for certain bond issues, paying obligations made in the previous fiscal year and contingencies.

Budget Reports Available on-line
02/22/20082006 Budget Summary
02/22/20082007 Budget Summary
09/09/20102011 Preliminary Budget

Budget Timeline

January: The Department of Finance continues to work on the annual budget as well as starting the development of a 6-year budget planning forecast.

February-April: Budget worksheets are distributed and departments submit their budget requests to the Department of Finance

April- May: The Mayor and the City Administrator meet with each department and division to discuss budget needs. Preliminary calculations of estimated costs and revenues are made by the Finance Department. In determining the revenues amounts the Finance Department considers service fees, estimated sales tax collections and other revenues.
The remaining balance of what is needed to make the budget feasible is funded by property taxes. The budget is reviewed by the Mayor and the City Administrator and then it is presented to the City Council.

May-June: The City Council leads a public discussion on the proposed services and their costs.

July-August: The Mayor and City Council, with citizen input, propose any changes to the budget.

September: The City Council approves a final budget and submits it to the County Auditor by law no later than October.

For more detailed information on the City Budget, please contact Maureen Storstad by phone at 746-2620 or by e-mail at mstorstad@grandforksgov.com.

City of Grand Forks
255 N 4th Street * Grand Forks, ND 58203 * Phone (701) 746-INFO