COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Columbia City Manager John Glascock said the city finances are looking good for the coming fiscal year, despite the strains caused by coronavirus in the current budget year.
Glascock unveiled his budget proposal during a City Hall town hall Thursday. The budget will officially be presented to the city council on Aug. 2. The fiscal year starts Oct. 1.
Watch Glascock's speech in the player below.
Residents are also invited to comment on the budget at the city council meetings on Aug. 16, Sept. 7 and Sept. 20.
Glascock said the city had to make difficult decisions in the current fiscal year as COVID-19 affected revenue, including cutting 78.5 jobs. Glascock has proposed adding more than 38 full-time positions in the next fiscal year.
"Our staff has worked tirelessly to maintain his balanced budget, and to keep up to date with numerous resources from the federal government," Glascock said. "The COVID 19 pandemic outbreak is not over."
He also proposed a $500,000 expenditure to allow employees to take off the Juneteenth holiday, which was declared a federal and state holiday this year.
"A lot of opportunities for staff to honor important days like these that have not been formally recognized in the past, is an important step toward creating the environment we strive for here at the city," Glascock said.
The city budget for fiscal 2021 was around $470 million, according to the city's adopted budget document. Glascock proposed spending about $474 million in the coming fiscal year.
"I am happy to tell you that the city is a sound financial position," Glascock said. "Despite the dip look here, We have had the COVID 19 pandemic has been incredibly difficult with many industries and businesses struggling financially."
In a State of the City address in May, Glascock said one of the priorities for this budget will be a pay increase for city employees. The City of Columbia is a full-service city, he said, meaning it funds police, fire, street maintenance, parks and recreation, water, electric and sewer services for its residents.
His proposed budget makes good on that priority by adding a 3% increase in pay across the board and a .5% "performance pay."
"We will complete a compensation and pay plan study that will help us adjust wages to be more competitive and ensure we are offering proper benefits," Glascock said.