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City sets schedule for budget review meetings

Columbus Council will meet in its capacity as the Budget Review Committee for 11 of the next 12 Tuesdays at various times of day to hammer out the city’s Fiscal 2016 budget.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson presented her proposed $265 million budget to council last week, sparking some controversy over her recommended cuts to both the Sheriff’s and Marshal’s budgets. She also wants to cut household garbage pickup from twice a week to once.

Tuesday’s meeting will be an overview of the entire budget by Finance Director Pam Hodge, while the subsequent several meetings will feature department heads presenting their cases to the committee. The schedule for which department head will appear at which meeting is still being ironed out, Hodge said.

The budget review committee’s planned schedule is:

April 7, 3-5 p.m., prior to proclamation meeting, budget overview

April 14, 2-5 p.m., or immediately following earlier council meeting, department/agency presentations

April 21, 9 a.m.-noon, called meeting, department/agency presentations

April 28, 2-5 p.m., prior to regular council meeting, department/agency presentations

May 5, 2-5 p.m., prior to proclamation meeting, department/agency presentations

May 12, 2-5 p.m., or immediately following council meeting, department/agency presentations

May 19, 9 a.m.-noon, called meeting, department/agency presentations

May 26, 2-5 p.m., prior to regular meeting, add-delete list discussions

June 2, no meeting, but the city will advertise FY16 Budget and Taxpayer Bill of Rights

June 9, Taxpayer Bill of Rights public hearings, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and first reading of the budget ordinance, 9 a.m., advertise five-year tax millage history and taxpayer bill of rights

June 16, 9 a.m., called meeting, Taxpayer Bill of Rights public hearing, first reading of millage ordinance, second reading of budget ordinance

June 23, 5:30 p.m., regular meeting, second reading of millage ordinance

The budget must be completed and approved before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

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