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Columbia city manager gives budget address

Watch a replay of the address in the web player above.


Columbia City Manager De'Carlon Seewood delivered the annual budget address at noon Thursday.

The City has begun work in earnest on the budget ahead of the new fiscal year, which starts in October.

The budget includes:

  • Total Revenue: $501,107,714
  • Total Operating Expenditures: $459,671,921
  • Total Capital Improvement Projects: $32,368,728
  • Total Expenditures: $533,189,424

The City is expected to bring in $62,127,037 from its sales taxes, with more than $1 million in marijuana-related taxes.

The budget also includes a $10 million commitment to employees. Half of this will be funded by the General fund, with the remaining will come from use tax and marijuana tax revenue.

This comes after protests have been held by LiUNA Local 955 union members this year.

"Local 955 is still in contract negotiations with the City of Columbia," Andrew Hutchinson, of LiUNA Local 955, said. "We have full confidence that we will reach an agreement with the City that will lead to improvements in compensation and working conditions for our City's essential workers."

"As part of our process, we have to negotiate with our unions that as we're looking at trying to implement these things," Seewood said. "So they are a part of the conversation."

The presentation also included two new departments that will focus on affordable housing.

The Housing and Neighborhood Programs Department will be a new department that will split the neighborhood services and volunteer programs divisions from the community development in the general fund. A new department could also be created under Health and Human Services.

The planning and promotional division will combine public health planning and emergency response planning.

Seewood said the new housing department will help streamline housing assistance for Columbia Residents.

The proposed budget also includes adding an additional 12 firemen to work at Fire Station No. 10, as well as a nearly $6,000 increase to the starting pay for Columbia police officers.

"The department has been facing staffing shortages for several years," Seewood said. "In an effort to be more competitive and in turn hopefully recruit new officers we will be increasing the starting pay."

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