Fiscal talks are nearing a crescendo as elected officials and staffs across Franklin County huddle this month to put the finishing touches on their 2014 budgets.

Franklin County residents who want to learn more about the 2014 budget proposals for the City of Ottawa and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners are expected to have an opportunity to do so 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 11 in the commission chambers at the Franklin County Office Annex, 1428 S. Main St., Ottawa.

During the joint city/county budget open house, city and county department heads — as well as elected officials — plan to be on hand to answer questions about budgets, provide information about goals for 2014 and take suggestions from residents for future budget consideration, according to a news release issued by both governing bodies.

Now in its third year, the open house provides residents with an opportunity to meet one-on-one with city and county officials, Richard Nienstedt, Ottawa city manager, said.

“The city commission and staff hope that this is another way we can directly engage with our citizens and get their assistance and ideas for building a stronger community,” Nienstedt said.

The budget open house does not take the place of the required public hearing each governing body must have before the annual adoption of their budgets, city and county officials said. The two governing bodies plan to finalize their budgets in the coming weeks.

“The commission and staff have been working on creating opportunities where we can listen and discuss ideas with our citizens outside of the traditional city commission meetings that are held,” Nienstedt said. “The more dialogue a community engages in, the stronger the community becomes.”

For more information, call the city manager’s office at (785) 229-3637, or email Leslie Quillen, executive assistant to the city manager, at