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Council releases schedule for budget meetings

Work sessions offer a chance to review departmental spending plans
Thursday, August 20, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The hard work of reviewing City Manager Bill Watkins' proposed $403 million budget for fiscal 2010 begins next week for the Columbia City Council.

During three work sessions next week, the council will sit down with city department heads to review their spending plans. The budget, as proposed by Watkins, represents a 3 percent decrease in spending from this year. Lagging sales tax revenue is the primary reason the city is seeking to tighten its belt. The three work sessions are open to the public, but the council plans a closed meeting on Monday to discuss formal agreements with two developers who were recently approved for tax increment financing.

The three public sessions will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday and at 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in the council chambers on the fourth floor of the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway. The budget is available online at gocolumbiamo.com, and hard copies are available in the lobby of the Boone building and at Columbia Public Library.

Here is the schedule of discussions at the work sessions:

Monday

6:30 p.m.: Budget overview, including changes in fees and utility rates

7 p.m.: Law Department

7:15 p.m.: Department of Health and Human Services

7:45 p.m.: Planning Department and Community Development Block Grants, Information Technology, Public Communications and Human Resources departments

8:15 p.m.: Municipal Court, Police and Fire departments, Joint Communications, Emergency Management

 9:15 p.m.: Wrap up and budget amendments

Wednesday

6 p.m.: Public Works Department

7 p.m.: Water and Light Department, including COLT railroad

8 p.m.: Capital improvement program

8:30 p.m.: Wrap-up and budget amendments

Thursday

6 p.m.: Special Business District

6:15 p.m.: City Council, city clerk, city manager, Volunteer Services/Neighborhood Services, Finance and Cultural Affairs department, economic development, Convention and Visitors Bureau, general city government

7:15 p.m.: Parks and Recreation Department

8:15 p.m.: Wrap-up and budget amendments


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