The Meridian Library District (MLD) is making it easier for the public to weigh in on its proposed budget for 2015-16.

The district is now using an interactive budget tool called Balancing Act. The program lets the public to view the proposed budget, add comments and “play” with the budget to see how taking funding from one area would affect other areas of the budget.

The interactive tool with Meridian Library's proposed budget can be found here.

Caserotti said she first read about the program in “Government Technology” and contacted the Engaged Public software developers to discuss how it might be used for a special district rather than exclusively municipalities. They worked with MLD to modify the software in order to meet the district’s needs.

MLD is the first library district in the country to use Balancing Act, Engaged Public Policy and Program Manager Kevin Amirehsani said. Other clients have been municipalities and one state.

MLD publishes its annual budget and accompanying independent annual audit on its website each year, in addition to holding a public hearing to receive citizen input on its budget/spending. Since Caserotti became director, the library also regularly publishes a budget narrative and annual report, also found on the library’s website.

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