Columbia City Council to vote on 2021 budget at Monday meeting

1 month 16 hours 55 minutes ago Monday, September 21 2020 Sep 21, 2020 Monday, September 21, 2020 9:34:00 AM CDT September 21, 2020 in News
By: Sydney Moran, KOMU 8 Reporter, Jack Knowlton and Stephanie Southey, KOMU 8 Digital Producers
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COLUMBIA - City of Columbia Finance Director Matthew Lue said there will be major changes to the 2021 budget after its Monday night meeting. 

One change will be making Columbia Public transit free. The city wanted to make public transit free for awhile, but the funds haven't been there.

"Because of the CARES Act, and different things like that, we've been able to shift money around and to be able to offer a pilot system."

Lue said with the current model for free transit, Columbia should be able to continue it until 2023.

Columbia will also implement at police co-responder model. Budget Officer Kyle Rieman said it should help reduce incidents that are not necessarily a police action.

"It should help reduce the amount of incidents where maybe it's not necessarily a police action and more requires a mental health or social work kind of background," Rieman said. "They're not mental health experts, they're police officers."

Additionally, the new trash and recycling model will be voted on.

"Without changing the solid waste, eventually we will not have enough money to run it," Lue said.

According to the meeting agenda, the city council will look to grant the City Manager, John Glascock, to authorize a $71,500 program services contract between the City of Columbia and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The contract would last until March 31, 2022 and would provide funding for local efforts surrounding case investigation, contact tracing, coordination and reporting activities related to COVID-19. 

The funding also would enable the department to keep four, full-time disease investigators on staff.

The city will also vote whether Columbia and the University of Missouri will see Bird Inc. scooters this fall. 

According to the council memo, the city and MU hired a consulting firm in July 2019 for a one-year program. The program was intended to help the University and City determine whether the program supported mobility goals such as:

  • Make more efficient use of physical infrastructure through data analytics and to support healthy communities
  • Learn, adapt, and be innovative in responding to changing demand
  • Improve access to employment and services for underserved communities
  • Promote transportation options and encourage non-auto-oriented mobility
  • Assist in solving the “first mile-last mile” access to transit

The council meeting starts at 7 p.m Monday night. You can watch the meeting here.

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