STANTON — Montcalm County’s website just got more accountable and transparent.
Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer recently updated the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners about changes to montcalm.org, including a new Citizen’s Guide & Dashboard feature.
The changes are due to Gov. Rick Snyder’s accountability and transparency initiative.
Public Act 63 of 2011 introduced the Economic Vitality Incentive Program, which was later renamed the Competitive Grant Assistance Program by Public Act 236 of 2012, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. The purpose of the program is to provide incentive-based grants to cities, townships, villages and counties that elect to combine government operations. The grants are to offset costs associated with mergers, inter-local agreements and cooperative efforts for approved projects.
Montcalm County now has a municipal financial summary online with budget information dating back to 2005, via a link to accessmygov.com. The link features a wealth of user-friendly data and graphs specifically detailing “where our money comes from.”
A municipal performance dashboard, also linked to accessmygov.com, uses colored arrows to show whether local financial trends are up, down or staying neutral.
“This is an easy way for people to look at where the arrows go up or down or where there was no change,” Hyzer said. “If you don’t know finances, you can look at this and see if the county’s doing well or not.”
A third feature shows debt service requirements from Montcalm County from now into the year 2025.
Montcalm County’s budget information has always been online, but is more detailed and user-friendly now. Hyzer did some of the input work for the online project, along with help from BS&A Software, which offered a free program to pull in data for Montcalm County.
Hyzer said he hopes to expand the dashboard’s features in the future to include information about county parks and more.
“This will take care of our requirement for the state for now to take care of our funding,” Hyzer told the Board of Commissioners.
For more information, call the Montcalm County Controller-Administrator’s Office in Stanton at (989) 831-7300 or visit montcalm.org online.