Columbus to hold public budget hearing Thursday

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Columbus residents are invited to give input regarding the proposed 2015-216 budget, which takes effect July 1. The budget predicts $1,150,010 in general fund revenues and expenditures.

The public hearing will be held at the beginning of the June 18 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of the Columbus Town Hall with a vote to adopt immediately following any amending of the budget.

The updated water and sewage rates suggested during the May 26 budget workshop will be presented for approval. The restructure is expected to increase fees for large consumers while most residential fees will remain unchanged, as stated by Columbus Town Manager Timothy Barth.

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The administrative assistant to the police department will be upgraded from a part-time to full-time position in an effort to cut down on overtime costs, according to Columbus Town Clerk Devon Gosnell.

Also budgeted is the acquisition of two police vehicles a new dump truck.

The police vehicles are estimated at $32,600 each. One will be paid for by a bank loan, and one by a Governor’s Highway Safety Program grant. The dump truck carries a price tag of $42,000.

The town will be purchasing a stainless steel salt spreader and commercial grade snow plow, an estimated $11,100 worth of equipment, according to Gosnell.

“Its something that we’ve known we needed, we were having problems with the previous one corroding due to it not being stainless,” explained Gosnell.

General fund revenues are up $32,000 from 2014-2015, largely credited to a projected increase in sales tax, property tax, and occupancy tax income.

Staff levels were reduced in the proposed budget due to the resignation of the former Public Works director mid-year. The town decided to internally promote a new Public Works director and not hire a replacement.