COLUMBIA — City Manager Bill Watkins released a city budget for fiscal 2010 that anticipates no growth in sales tax revenue and calls for spending 3 percent less than in 2009. The proposed budget would spend a total of $403,341,494, down from $415,908,244 last year. If approved, it would mark the first time since the mid-1980s that the city has cut total spending from one year to the next.
Watkins proposed about $800,000 in fee increases for services provided by the health department, recreation programs and development charges. Rate increases for city utility customers will raise average monthly residential bill by $8.70. The budget proposes adding only two employees to the city workforce, which Watkins said would be the smallest increase in city workers since 1999. City employees also will pay higher health insurance premiums and will see reductions in overtime benefits and unused sick-leave reimbursements. They would get no raises under Watkins' spending plan.
To get a first-hand look at the budget, go to the city's Web site at gocolumbiamo.com. Check back with ColumbiaMissourian.com as more information becomes available.