Tonight is your final opportunity to weigh in on the Columbia city manager’s proposed $533-million budget.
Columbia’s city council will hold its third and final public hearing on city manager De’Carlon Seewood’s budget at 7 pm. Mr. Seewood’s proposed budget is a $27-million increase from the current $506-million amount. He unveiled his proposed budget in July. The main highlight is a $10-million raise for the city’s 1,500 employees. The proposed budget also increases the Columbia Water Utility’s budget by $1.1 million. The council is set to vote on the proposed budget on September 18.
The council is also scheduled to vote tonight on a school resource officer agreement with Columbia Public Schools (CPS). City manager Seewood recommends passage of the bill, which is similar to previous agreements. Columbia’s school board unanimously approved the SRO agreement in August. Under the 11-page agreement, two CPD officers are being assigned to Battle high school, with one each assigned to Hickman and Rock Bridge.
CPS will compensate the city of Columbia 75 percent of the salary and benefits for the four officers, under the agreement. The cost is about $318,000. CPS Superintendent Dr. Brian Yearwood says SRO’s increase the overall feelings of safety and security for staff and students.
The council will also first-read a bill tonight to suspend GoCOMO transportation fares for the fourth straight year. Tonight’s council meeting begins at 7.