Council gives initial approval to nearly $3.2 million in appropriations

Republic file photo Columbus City Hall.

The Columbus City Council gave initial approval to nearly $3.2 million in appropriations to cover expenses this year.

On Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance on first reading that would authorize the appropriations. Ordinances require two readings to be fully approved.

The appropriations include $3 million for the city’s non-reverting insurance fund as officials contend with higher-than-expected health care costs for employees. The city initially budgeted $10 million for employee health care but is now projecting costs to reach $13 million this year.

“We have experienced significant increases in health care costs, and those happened last year and in the beginning of this year and have continued,” said Regina McIntyre, the city’s head of finance, during the meeting. “…There’s just been a lot of claims.”

In addition, the ordinance includes a $153,972 appropriation for security cameras at Columbus City Hall. However, the city will not have to spend that entire amount on the cameras as officials said they had received a $126,000 grant to help offset the costs.

The ordinance also includes a $34,860 appropriation for expenses related to E911 emergency dispatch services.