City Council approved the Ferndale Triennial 2025-27 Budget at the May 14, 2024, meeting. Take a closer look at the process, including a timeline, supporting documents, tax levies, and water and sewer rates.

Program-Based Budget

In 2020, the City of Ferndale implemented priority-based budgeting (PBB), an approach that views community needs and goals against the programs currently being offered, and how impactful those programs are in achieving the desired outcomes.


Unlike the traditional incremental approach in which the current year's budget becomes the basis for the next year's spending plan, PBB allows communities to understand their core values and then budget accordingly. PBB allows leaders to question past patterns of spending and prioritize resources to achieve the community's long-term strategic goals. PBB also lets us know the true cost of providing services and enhances transparency and accountability within the budgeting process.

Budget Calendar

The budget operates on a fiscal year schedule. Upon passage, budgets are posted in the City’s accounting records and used as a basis for operations. Expenditures are monitored by Department heads and the Accounting staff to ensure operations are within the allocated amounts and in compliance with budget priorities approved by Council.

June 30-November: The Finance Department "closes the books." The independent, certified, public accountants approved by City Council perform an annual audit, and the Finance staff prepares and issues completed Financial Statements.

November-January: The City Manager's Office facilitates City Council's annual goal-setting sessions. During these sessions, Council and staff leaders work together to set priorities for the pending biennial budget period. The final document approved by City Council helps to guide the shape of the operating budget and to provide benchmarks to help determine staff's success.

January-February: Each department prepares budget options and revenue estimates for review by the Finance Department and the City Manager's Office.

February: The Finance Department and City Manager's Office continue to review and revise Operation and Capital Budget requests by individual departments. The Five Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is presented to the Planning Commission for approval. Once approved, the CIP will be presented to City Council for their approval.

March-April: The Total Operations Budget Requests for the City are presented to City Council by the City Manager in a series of public meetings. The budget is approved on two readings and may be amended or substituted on the second reading. At this time, Agency budgets are also submitted to City Council for review. 

May: City Council passes the budget ordinances and the Mayor signs the budget ordinances into law. If the Council fails to pass a balanced budget by June 30, the City operates on an interim budget until the budget receives final approval by City Council. Budget summaries are printed and available online, at City Hall, or the Ferndale Public Library no later than two weeks after submission to City Council.

June: The City Manager's Office prepares Performance Measurement Standards to help measure staff's progress in achieving approved City Council's goals.