Council hears budget requests

Columbus city councilmen will hear 2018 budget requests from city departments in afternoon sessions today through Thursday.

The budget hearings will be conducted from 1 to 4 p.m. each day in council chambers at Columbus City Hall.

A 2 percent cost-of-living increase is being proposed for all city employees next year, said Jamie Brinegar, city finance director. City workers received a 1.5 percent raise during the 2017 budget year.

Among the budget requests before the council are nearly $1.3 million from the fire department including $880,000 to replace a fire truck. The police department has requested $1.14 million next year for capital needs, including $635,000 to replace 14 police vehicles and a SWAT vehicle, Brinegar said.

The budget also includes a proposal for $132,000 for work at City Hall including $15,000 for carpet and $117,000 toward furniture, meeting room, sidewalk and elevator work, according to the city’s preliminary budget.

The engineering department, which will review its budget request on Wednesday, is seeking $3.4 million next year for road and street improvement needs.

The city’s 2018 budget must be approved by Nov. 1.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com