Coleman Unveils 2016 Columbus Budget Proposal
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's final budget proposal is the largest in the city's history. Coleman, who is leaving office at the end of the year, presented City Council with an 834.8 million dollar spending plan for 2016 yesterday, which is 2.7 percent higher than the 2015 proposal. It includes 500 thousand dollars for the purchase of police body cameras.
Coleman also proposes setting aside over 2 million additional dollars for the city's rainy day fund.
Two thirds of the plan is dedicated to public safety spending, which is about normal for the Coleman administration. That includes funding for one class of 40 firefighter recruits and two classes totaling 70 police recruits. And Coleman proposes earmarking 280 thousand dollars for a needle exchange program to combat the spread of infectious diseases and help stem a flood of heroin overdose cases that he says is a serious threat to the city.
City Council is expected amend and approve the proposal by early February. Two-thirds of the budget is funded by income taxes. The city auditor's office projects a 3 percent growth this year, unchanged from last year. The office projects a 30.2 million dollar carryover from this year's budget.