In July 2003, the FY 2004/2005 budget update process began for projects reviewed in the Provincial Review process.
Projects that received BPA funding at any time during the Provincial Review process (since FY 2001) were reviewed in July and August to allow sponsors to request FY 2004/2005 funding.
At their September meeting, the Council approved a start of year budget for 2004. This budget was developed in several steps. We began with the 2004 existing budget recommendations. These exist for all provinces except the Columbia Gorge and Intermountain provinces. At the province meetings held during July and August we talked with sponsors about the status of their projects. Sponsors either confirmed the existing recommendations from the Provincial Review process or suggested changes to their budgets. For the Columbia Gorge and Intermountain, sponsors proposed budgets to continue ongoing work, keeping project scope consistent with past years. We sorted project information collected at the province meetings into several categories.
For the start of year budget, the Council recommended that projects proceed at the budget levels developed and approved in the provincial reviews. Exceptions to this are projects that require less funding than the recommended amount, and projects that identified work that could be “rescheduled” from 2003 to 2004. Other requests for budget increases, such as increases in project operation and maintenance funding or for changes in scope were not approved at the September 2003 meeting. These requests will be considered during the “quarterly project status review” meetings. The first meeting will be held in mid-November. At these meetings, we will identify projects that are not likely to spend all of their budget and projects that need additional funding for scope changes or increases in operations and maintenance.
The total recommended budget was $154,018,158. Although this budget exceeds the $139,000,000 cap established by Bonneville, the Council believes that by using the “rescheduling” and “unspent funds” concepts developed by Bonneville, we can fund the program for 2004 at $154,018,158.
Thank you to project sponsors for taking the time to provide all of the information to us during a busy field season!