Columbus City Council discusses agenda, 2019 budget

Columbus City Council discusses agenda, 2019 budget
Updated: May. 8, 2018 at 4:09 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It was a jam-packed morning for Columbus city leaders, as they moved through their scheduled council agenda, only to start a special meeting designed to discuss the proposed fiscal budget for 2019.

"Council has to vet through all of this. That's the process, but I feel that the general proposals are going to remain," Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and other city leaders have publicly stated their desire to include specific measures to the 2019 budget.

They include a proposed 1.5 percent salary increase for full-time city employees, adjustments to cost of living and healthcare, as well as increasing the monthly garbage fee to address concerns with the city landfills.

Perhaps the most talked-about measure and the one that crept into the conversation during the council meeting is a nearly $1,000  pay raise for new officers to join the force.

This means a paycheck just over $40,000 a year to start, while the city works to address pay compression within the police department that hopes to fill more jobs soon.

"We've been trying for several years to move our police department forward, to keep them competitive. I think that's really beginning to make a difference in police pay," Tomlinson said.

All the money in these measures and others will be finalized as council hosts several special meetings throughout May and June.

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