A proposed 2016 budget was presented at Columbia Borough Council's Tuesday night budget meeting. Among the items discussed were the following:
- The annual police department budget of $2.8 million is approximately equal to the annual amount of property tax revenue. The borough is exploring various options, including regionalization, to contain costs. Several councillors noted that the current situation is "not sustainable" and services may need to be cut in the future if no other options are implemented. According to council, infrastructure improvements and various services have routinely been paid for largely by grants and earned income tax revenue.
- The borough is looking at filling several positions: full-time codes department employee, highway one level employee, borough manager.
- The proposed millage is 7.75, a reduction of .25 mil, as recommended by the borough auditor. (.25 mil generates $85,000 per year for the borough.)
- The borough was recently informed by their solicitor that the fire company cannot sell the former Columbia No. 1 building on Front Street, because it is on borough land and is therefore borough property and must be sold through a bidding process or other means.
- Pam Williams requested $6700 to show a series of four movies. The proposed series is an expansion of the recent Movie Under the Stars presentation held at Columbia River Park. Council referred her to the Parks and Recreation Board December 1 meeting.
- Beth Troxell of Susquehanna Center for the Creative Arts requested $3900 for a series of free art classes for Columbia students.
- Department managers are scheduled to attend the meeting of the whole, Monday night, October 26, at 6 p.m. for further budget discussions.