Middletown approves contract to put financial records online

Middletown City Council approved Tuesday the three-year, $36,000 contract to create and run a user-friendly financial website where residents can track all of the city’s spending and other financial data, including budgets, balance sheets and other transactions. The city will spend $14,000 the first year and $11,000 for each of the second and third years to launch the web portal.

City Manager Doug Adkins said financial transparency in government is a big topic right now and this site will help residents to better understand the city’s finances and how tax dollars are being spent.

Earlier this year, Monroe began providing the OpenGov platform for public access to the city’s finances and the Ohio Treasurer’s office has launched its open checkbook to review state spending. Several other area governments, including Hamilton, Huber Heights (a Dayton suburb) and Butler County, have some form of online financial reporting.

Adkins said once the website portal is created, the public will be able to review the past five years, navigate the city’s chart of accounts as well as financial data of the city’s annual budget, for the current year, the balance sheet and transactions. It will have the ability to export and view data in a variety of formats, and using various filters, a visitor to the site can narrow searches to find specific data they are looking for in particular departments, funds and other categories.

He said the OpenGov platform can be customized to the financial structure already in place, which will reduce the amount of time it takes to import and export data as well as a staff log-in to assist with the city’s financial planning and reporting.

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