Money will be tight again this year for Columbia

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | 1:38 p.m. CDT; updated 3:16 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
City Manager Bill Watkins answers questions after his State of the City address Wednesday morning. Watkins said he expected another tight budget year with little to know increase in revenue.

COLUMBIA — At his annual State of the City address, city manager Bill Watkins highlighted his recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year.

Last year was financially tight, reflecting the nationally declining economy, and the upcoming year will not get easier, he said.


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Because the city does not expect increased revenues, Watkins said the city needs to use existing funds efficiently. This can be done by redirecting money where it is needed most, he said.

Watkins suggested accomplishing this by:

  • Re-directing funds to target economic development, particularly through partnerships with the Regional Economic Developments Partnership, Inc. and MU.
  • Increasing the city’s investment in health and human services, changing the name of Columbia’s health agency to “the Department of Health and Social Services” and adjusting the mission accordingly.
  • Strengthening Columbia’s approach to law enforcement issues through a partnership with the Police Department, government and education communities.
  • Check back with The Missourian later today for a more in-depth report on the address.

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