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Columbia City Council amendments to budget increase it by $5 million


Amendment discussed at Monday's City Council meeting led to a tentative $5 million increase to the city budget.

The council met on Monday to discuss several topics, includiding a hotel tax, hear from the public regarding the city's upcoming budget, and review the Columbia Police Department's contract with the Columbia Public Schools.

A review of next year's budget on Monday night consisted of multiple amended items that account for a $5 million increase to the total budget.

More than $93,000 will go towards community development for salary and benefits, close to $340,000 for health in relation to a workforce grant, and $454,000 has been set aside for substance abuse and mental health services.

An additional $2 million will go towards several projects for the Columbia Fire Department as well.

"For Fire Station 11, then another one for fire adding an assistant fire marshall, including computer telephone and truck, and then, the last one here for fire," Director of Finance Matthew Leu said. "And additional staff for fire station ten, which anticipated to open up in 24, including six firefighters, three engineers, and three captains and gear for each." 

More than $32 million has been set aside for capital improvement projects as well.

This was the second of three meetings the city has planned for the more than $500 million budget for 2024. The proposed budget includes increases to social services and $10 million for raises and employee benefits.

The City also asked to correct an accounting error to pay off bonds used to build the new airport. Voters approved a hotel tax increase in 2016 for the Convention and Visitors Bureau to help pay for the new airport.

According to the meeting agenda, the CVB has been under-paying those bonds for the past two years. The City is asking to approve a $643,000 transfer to the airport to makeup for the underpayments. Council members approved the transfer.

The City also reviewed and approved a power-cost adjustment that will affect utility bill payments. The change is set to come Oct. 1 after the City Council approved the change on June 20.

The City also reviewed the Columbia Police Department's school resource officer contract with the Columbia Public Schools.

The agreement has already been approved by the Columbia Board of Education but now heads to the City Council for further review.

This was the city's first read of the contract that would put two officers at Battle High School, one at Rock Bridge High School, and another at Hickman High School. It is set for a vote in September.

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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