The Columbia City Council approved the final annual budget for the 2004 fiscal year on Monday night.
The budget of about $236 million is a 3.3 percent increase over the city’s 2003 amended budget.
Included in the budget are several increased utility rates, which will affect the monthly bills of Columbia residents.
Water rates will see a 4.5 percent increase, or 63 cents more for the average residential bill. Sewer rates will increase by the same percentage, resulting in an average monthly bill increase of 69 cents.
Solid-waste collection rates will increase by 3.9 percent, or 42 cents on the average bill.
All told, Columbia residents can expect to pay about $1.74 on average in utility-rate increases as a result of the budget approval.
The Council also amended the 2004 budget to include $30,000 for turf, trees, a sprinkler system and other landscaping along Route AC; $50,000 for the replacement of severe weather sirens and $50,000 for the improvement of downtown sidewalks.
Smaller projects include $2,500 for installing a water fountain at Bear Creek Trail and $3,000 for a historic preservation survey of homes in west-central Columbia, near Broadway and Garth Avenue.
On Monday, City Manager Ray Beck offered his assessment of the approved budget amendments.
“These budget amendments implement a lot of what we’ll have done and want to be done next year,” Beck said.
The new budget will take effect on Oct. 1 and last through Sept. 30, 2004.