Mayor Tomlinson unveils FY 2013 proposed budget - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Mayor Tomlinson unveils FY 2013 proposed budget

In Tuesday's Columbus City Council meeting, Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson unveiled her new budget. In Tuesday's Columbus City Council meeting, Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson unveiled her new budget.
One of the items on the list is a hot topic from last year: one-day-a-week trash pickup. One of the items on the list is a hot topic from last year: one-day-a-week trash pickup.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

In Tuesday's Columbus City Council meeting, Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson unveiled her new budget.  One of the items on the list is a hot topic from last year: one-day-a-week trash pickup.

"It is simply no longer environmentally or fiscally responsible to continue the excessive service of continued twice a week garbage pickup when it only encourages or enables our citizens to not recycle," said Tomlinson of the proposal she says could save taxpayers $250,000.

Her nearly $267 million proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 also includes reorganization of several departments and reducing or eliminating government subsidies, but there is a bright side.

"This city really is on very solid ground.  When you look and compare to what other cities have been though during this very difficult economic time Columbus is in solid financial shape."

However, she admits this budget has some sobering points especially the need to dip into the reserve fund.

"In order to balance our budget, we have had to use 15.5 reserve days which is several million dollars."

Tomlinson says that will put our city just above the minimum of 60 days of reserve funding that is suggested for a city.  She says the majority of the money from the reserve funds are slotted to go to commitments like the River Restoration Project or the Naval Museum.

The proposed budget also includes savings for taxpayers.  One example is nearly $2 million in the first year after a proposed pension reform plan.

"It's critical.  Without adopting that reform, we'll be $2 million in the hole, and we will not have the reserve fund luxury of paying for it."

Tuesday evening was just the presentation of the fiscal year 2013 budget.  The next four weeks will be budget review sessions for city council members.

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