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Mayor proposes new city budget

Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown submits budget proposal to city council / Photo: WCSI File
Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown submits budget proposal to city council / Photo: WCSI File
Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown has submitted a initial draft proposal for next year's city budget to the city council.

One of the items on the $50-million plan is funding for new police officers. Brown says she wants three more officers patrolling city streets. She says the new cops are needed to help accelerate community policing efforts. Mayor Brown says those efforts have made a real dent in property crime and drug dealing within city limits. Additional officers on patrol also help to improve the chances that community clean-up efforts at places like around the Ninth Street Park area will hold and not slide back to a place where criminals can feel comfortable doing business.

Mayor Brown says other changes include a transit route to the west side of the city. She says her proposal includes a fifth bus line, and the first that includes the west side. Browns says a west side bus route has consistently been the number one request from residents for the city's Transit Department.

Another new item on the Mayor's budget proposal for 2015 is curbside recycling. Brown says this proposal would be a public-private partnership that would provide the service to city residents at no charge to them. Under the proposal, the Mayor says that residents would dump all of their recyclables into one container. Those containers would be picked up by the city every two weeks and dropped off at a transit station where a waste management company would take it away, sort it and sell it. Brown adds that the containers used by residents would also be free.

Mayor Brown says that another item in her proposed budget is the hiring of two new managers for economical development. She says that one new hire would work to help create a new industrial park at the site of the former airport in Walesboro. Brown says that the city is out of "shovel-ready land." The second new hire would be focused on neighborhood revitalization efforts, including the plan to improve the State Street Corridor.

Mayor Brown says her budget proposal is balanced and is increased by less than two-percent over the 2014 budget. She adds that the budget will be discussed among the city council in September and likely receive final approval in early October.

Last Updated: Friday, August 22, 2014 5:45:23 PM

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