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

Columbia’s city council to vote on proposed $533-million budget tonight

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

Columbia city employees would receive pay raises under a plan that is scheduled to be voted on tonight by the seven-member city council.

City manager De’Carlon Seewood is proposing a $533-million budget, which includes $10-million in pay raises for the city’s approximately 1,500 employees. Mr. Seewood says increased pay is critical for city staff morale. His proposed budget includes pay ranges that are about six percent above the market. Under his proposed budget, Columbia would also pay the entire 11 percent cost for city employee health insurance premium increases.

With the start of the city’s fiscal year less than two weeks away, a council vote is expected tonight. Mr.  Seewood unveiled his budget blueprint in mid-July, and the city council has since held a Saturday budget work session and has held three public hearings on the budget. Seewood’s proposed budget also increases the Columbia Water Utility’s budget by $1.1 million. Columbia’s fiscal year begins on October 1.

Mr. Seewood’s proposed budget is a $27-million increase from the current $506-million amount.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 at city hall.

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