Council to hold first reading on budget ordinances Tuesday

Columbus Council will hold a first reading/public hearing on the proposed fiscal 2015 city budget Tuesday morning at the City Services Center.

During weeks of budget hearings, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s proposed budget of $263.1 million swelled to about $263.7 million, an increase of about $615,000. However, of that increase, about $484,000 was offset by additional revenue, meaning the impact of the increase on the city’s reserve fund would be only about $131,000.

That would leave the city with at least 60.37 days of reserve, according to Finance Director Pam Hodge.

There will actually be three budget ordinance readings: the operating budget, the non-operating budget and a separate ordinance amending the 2014 budget, which will expire at the end of this month.

Council will hold a second reading and a vote on the budget ordinances in two weeks at its 5:30 p.m. meeting on June 24, about a week before the 2015 budget is to go into effect.

At this week’s meeting, councilors are expected to hold a first reading on an ordinance that would establish an overlay district along the northern stretch of Manchester Expressway.

That ordinance drew such opposition two weeks ago that council voted to delay the first reading until this week.

Also on the agenda is a request for authorization to enter into an agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation to build a public restroom on the Riverwalk beneath the east end of the Frank Martin Memorial Bridge.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley has said he will only bring the issue to the floor if all 10 councilors are present. The proposal failed by a 5-4 vote the last time it was brought forward.