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Columbia city manager De'Carlon Seewood (2023 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia website)

(AUDIO): Seewood to propose new city department during Thursday’s budget address

Columbia city manager De’Carlon Seewood (2023 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia website)

Look for affordable housing to be a key component of Columbia city manager De’Carlon Seewood’s budget address on Thursday afternoon at city hall. Mr. Seewood tells 939 the Eagle that he wants to create a new city department.

“It will be dealing with residential home ownership. One with homeowners assistance. One because we know that affordable housing is one of the priority issues that we’ve talked about. So having a department whose concentration would be working on that, that’s important so that will be highlighted in the budget,” Mr. Seewood says.

The Columbia Board of Realtors tells 939 the Eagle that the average single-family home sold price in Columbia in May was $376,000.

Columbia’s approximately 1,500 city employees would receive a pay increase, under Mr. Seewood’s proposed budget. He tells 939 the Eagle that his proposed budget includes $10-million in personnel costs for pay raises.

“We’re trying to make a significant impact for our employees. And so our employees have been our priority as we’ve been trying to develop our budget process. So that will be seen,” says Seewood.

Columbia’s city council approved Mr. Seewood’s 2022 recommendation for a seven percent pay raise for city employees. Seewood wants to make the city of Columbia the employer of choice in town.

Columbia’s current budget is about $506-million, and you’re invited and encouraged to attend the Thursday budget address in the city council chambers. Mr. Seewood’s proposed budget will be introduced at next Monday’s (July 17) meeting. Residents will have the opportunity to testify about the budget at three council meetings: August 7, August 21 and September 5.

The council is expected to vote on the proposed budget on September 18.

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