Columbia City Council delays decision on using general funds for one-time improvements

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 | 12:08 a.m. CDT; updated 4:18 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, March 19, 2013

COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council requested that City Manager Mike Matthes make changes to a proposal to use surplus funds before the city will initiate work.

Matthes proposed a slew of activities that would utilize a $951,741.00 surplus in the General Fund at the council's Monday night meeting.

Here is a breakdown on how the money would be spent:

  • $475,954 allocated toward the restoration of the interior of the J.W. "Blind" Boone home.
  • $100,000 to construct a number of projects recommended by the Disabilities Commission.
  • $150,000 to establish a revolving loan fund within the Regional Economic Development Inc. to fund economic development investments.
  • $200,000 to improve a project chosen by citizens through an Internet-based survey.

Matthes said he may bring the proposal back, with changes, sometime in May.

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dan elliott March 19, 2013 | 9:13 a.m.

First, the 'extra' money is because city departments went without as they were asked to do. Maintenance was likely deferred and upgrades were not done. Should we not take care of necessity first? Second, the city has a reserve fund which was used to help balance the budget during the worst of recession, has that fund been built back up? Third, the airport needs multi-millions for upgrades and the city will need money for this, can this be a start to the fund we need? Boone home wonderful, no one will pay to see it, it will be like the youzeum. Other things, if they are important, the city should budget for them, dip into reserves if needed. This is not found money, it is appropriated money that through diligent efforts costs were pushed down the road, now instead of preparing for cost we are going to the candy store.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 19, 2013 | 1:08 p.m.

Does anyone remember a commercial some years ago where the automotive mechanic says, "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later." The inference being that "later" will eventually happen and is apt to be a lot more expensive. Maintence issues work like that. :(

"Three Mile Island" nuclear problems began with a simple, easy to correct, maintenance issue.

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