Columbia residents will have their first official chance to offer feedback on the proposed $485 million city budget for fiscal 2020 on Monday night.

The hearing will be held during the regular meeting of the Columbia City Council, which begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Daniel Boone Building, 701 E. Broadway.

The agenda for the meeting features several budget-related bills.

Residents are free to address any aspect of the budget, and the council is scheduled to hear input from the chairs of the Commission on Cultural Affairs, the Housing and Community Development Commission, the Human Services Commission and other advisory boards.

Interim City Manager John Glascock, whose employment agreement for the permanent city manager appointment appears on Monday night’s consent agenda, presented his budget proposal in late July. His primary focus is to boost city salaries to competitive rates.

The budget projects $455.6 million in revenue, which reflects a predicted 1.75% decline in sales tax revenue. The city will have to pull money from reserves to cover the imbalance between projected revenue and spending.

The council will also have public hearings on the budget at its Sept. 3 and Sept. 16 meetings.

The agenda also includes a scheduled discussion and vote on licensing for medical marijuana businesses.

A bill establishing licensing rules says the city would limit the number of licenses for dispensaries to seven in 2020 and to one for every 20,000 population thereafter.

If the council approves the bill, the city finance administrator would accept applications for medical marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, testing and dispensary facilities from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, and the city would intend to issue licenses for the coming year in December.

Licenses under the bill would be good for one year, and applicants would have to pay the city a $2,000 fee for administrative costs, plus any fees the city incurs by doing criminal background checks.

Applications would be reviewed and scored by the finance administrator. Bonus points would be given for local ownership and for businesses that would be owned by minorities, women or military veterans.

Applicants would W receive 10 bonus points if their businesses would be at least two miles from city hall, or five bonus points if they are at least 1 1/2 miles away.

The bill also establishes a procedure for people to appeal if their application is denied or for existing medical marijuana businesses to appeal if their licenses are suspended or revoked. Appeals would be heard by a three-member board.

The council also will hold a public hearing and vote on $125,000 worth of proposed improvements to Kiwanis Park.

  • I've been a reporter and editor at Missouri community newspapers for 30 years. I joined the Columbia Missourian and the Missouri School of Journalism in 2003. My emphasis at the Missourian is on local government and elections reporting.

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