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Budget time is an important, public process

The 2018 budget season is in full swing and we invite you to participate in this important public process. We will be establishing several ways in which our community can learn more about how our budgets are developed and get involved with the budget process. The City of New Richmond and New Richmond Utilities have a combined $18 million of operating costs. Public participation in the development of our budget assists City staff and local officials with ensuring that community needs are being met.

Throughout our internal budget process, a vision statement was created for the 2018 budget process: The City of New Richmond strives to bridge our heritage with the current and future needs of our growing community. We will accomplish this through:

• Providing reliable, safe, and convenient services

• Striving to be leaders in local government through the use of innovation, sustainable best practices, and fiscal responsibility

• Fostering transparency through community engagement

• Acknowledging the significant return on investment to our economy through the support of local programs and services

• Retaining and attracting staff to meet the growing expectations of our community

This year, we will be rolling out "Budget Lab 2018." This will be an opportunity for community members to meet with supervisors from all departments to better understand where specific funds go within each department. It will also be an opportunity to understand how each department falls within the context of the entire budget. Over the coming weeks, staff will be going out to the community to discuss budget priorities that have been shared with our City Council and Utilities Commission. If your organization or business would like a visit from our staff to discuss 2018 budget priorities, please let us know. Our next Budget Lab 2018 community meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 at City Hall. Additional meetings, which include evening meetings and lunch hour meetings will be happening soon as well. Check out our various social media sites for updates.

Finally, each year, as a part of the budget, there is a public hearing prior to formal approval of the budget. This hearing is an opportunity for all community members to publicly comment on the budget process and speak directly to the City Council and Utilities Commission. The final public hearing on our 2018 budget is likely to occur in December of this year.

We invite you to join us during our budget process! Feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions on this process at mdarrow@newrichmondwi.gov.

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