Officials are hosting a "fiscal state of Douglas County" presentation 5:30-7 p.m. March 11 as the kickoff to the county's budget process.
County Manager Steve Mokrohisky said the event will highlight challenges and progress over the past several years as well focus on long-term solutions to county issues.
"We have made great progress implementing solutions to long-term challenges, including strong financial management, regional partnerships, infrastructure investment and business development," Mokrohisky said.
Commissioners encouraged the public to attend.
"In the past, the county has kicked off its budget process at a meeting in the board's chambers, but very few residents and businesses attend," Mokrohisky said.
"The board and I feel it is very important that the public is engaged in how taxpayer funds are spent, the challenges we face, and what we are doing to create long-term solutions to community issues. This is an effort to reach our to our community to report on progress to date, challenges ahead and the general state of our county," he said.
In 2012, Mokrohisky said, the county began developing 5-year financial forecasts to address long-range financial challenges, rather than short-term fixes.
As a result, he said the county closed the $3 million annual shortfall in its general fund, through long-term contracts with employees, eliminated positions and established regional partnerships that stabilized expenses.
"Our local economy is still in a slow recovery, and we have a lot of work to do to address critical issues such as road maintenance, main street revitalization and duplication of local services, but we are moving in the right direction and there is reason to be optimistic about the future," he added.
The county has also implemented a new priority-based budgeting program that focuses on continuous improvement of local services and providing the greatest value to taxpayers, Mokrohisky said.
Standard and Poor's rating agency gave Douglas County an A-plus bond rating in 2012 for its "strong and imbedded financial management practices."
Mokrohisky cited several areas of progress, including revitalization of the Minden-Tahoe Airport, construction of a new Community and Senior Center, stabilization of water and sewer rates in the Carson Valley, development of a new vision, regional plan and area plan at Lake Tahoe, and improvements to the historic Town of Genoa.
Commission Chair Greg Lynn will provide opening remarks with a focus on the board's strategic plan, and the general direction of the county.
Mokrohisky will present core financial data, priority-based budgeting program, recent progress and future challenges. There will be closing comments on the local economy and local business activity.
Mokrohisky said the public is encouraged to attend the event which begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. at the Carson Valley Inn ballroom.
The financial state of the county begins at 6 p.m., and is expected to last an hour.
Commissioners will meet from 3-5 p.m. for a strategic planning and priority-based budgeting workshop at the same location. That is also open to the public.
Commissioners are hosting a fiscal update 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. March 11 at the Carson Valley Inn ballroom. The public is invited to the event which will serve as a kick-off to the budget process, and will examine the state of county finances. From 3-5 p.m., commissioners are meeting at the same location for a stragetic planning and priority-based budgeting workshop, also open to the public. Information: 782-9821.