It's Your Money: City of Columbia Consultants

3 years 8 months 4 days ago May 13, 2013 May 13, 2013 Monday, May 13 2013 Monday, May 13, 2013 7:12:00 PM CDT in News
By: Brittany Pieper
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - In 2012 the City of Columbia spent $3,854,734.56 of tax payer money on consultants.
"That sounds like an excessive amount," Wesley Dickman, a Columbia tax payer, said. "I would like the city to maybe explain a little better and be more transparent with how that money was spent in consulting."

City Manager, Mike Matthes says the city wouldn't be able to do lots of big projects without them.

"What they do are those things that we can't do. We don't have the talent for or the certifications to do," Matthes said.

In 2012 Columbia paid $324,077 to Walker Parking Consultants who worked on the Short Street parking garage that is now under construction.

"You have to have stress tests on all the materials. You have to have the engineering. You have to have the architecture work" Matthes said.

The city's highest paid consultant, Black and Veach Engineering and Architecture, earned $1,019,375.83 for its work on the waste water treatment plant among other projects.

"We don't have any employees on staff that could design a wastewater plant that complies with all the federal laws about water quality that we release, etc," said Matthes of the multi-million dollar project.

City leaders say they would rather hire an expert consultant for a one time project than an employee who the city would have to pay a salary for each year or lay off after the project finished.

Compared to other college towns in neighboring states, Columbia spends a similar amount on consultants as Lawrence,KS which spent $3,453,909 and Fayetteville, AR which spent $4,317,911 on consultants in a year. Columbia spent less than half of Iowa City, IA's $8,888,915 that went to consultants last year.

With almost 60 different consultants on the payroll, even Matthes doesn't know exactly what each one does. When asked about The Standard, a company to which the city paid $360,964.18 in 2012, he said, "I'm not sure, I haven't heard of that company."

The Standard's website says the company gives insurance, retirement, and investment advice.

The money spent on consultants makes up a little less that 1% of the city's yearly budget.

More News

Grid
List
COOPER COUNTY - Just before 5 a.m. Monday morning, the Cooper County Fire Protection District responded to a structure fire... More >>
39 minutes ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 8:29:00 AM CST in Top Stories
CAMDEN COUNTY - Deputies took a suspect who stabbed three people Sunday into custody without incident. The suspect is awaiting... More >>
10 hours ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 10:20:00 PM CST in Top Stories
BOONE COUNTY - The northbound lanes of Highway 63 near Hinton Road were closed after the engine compartment of a... More >>
11 hours ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 9:49:07 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are hoping to expan d services to Missouri customers... More >>
13 hours ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 7:50:00 PM CST in News
GRANBY (AP) — Anoth er Missouri school district is c onsidering whether to join 18 others that have adopted a... More >>
13 hours ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 7:46:03 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Steven Hughes thought he found the perfect car for his family of five — until the title proving... More >>
16 hours ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 4:59:00 PM CST in News
MARSHALL (AP) - Missouri authorities are searching for a suspected parole violator they say exchanged gunfire with a state trooper... More >>
16 hours ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 4:27:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A break in at popular downtown restaurant Cafe Berlin forced the restaurant to close Sunday, according to a... More >>
18 hours ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 2:19:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Mixed reactions came out of mid-Missouri Sunday as the weekend ice storm began to wind down. While... More >>
21 hours ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:07:00 PM CST in News
LAKE OZARK - After being stuck indoors waiting for this ice storm to end, some people might be getting a... More >>
1 day ago January 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017 Sunday, January 15 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 5:42:00 AM CST in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - A man died at the hospital after a car crash on I-70 Saturday night, according to a... More >>
1 day ago January 14, 2017 Jan 14, 2017 Saturday, January 14 2017 Saturday, January 14, 2017 9:45:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Room at the Inn, Columbia's emergency winter shelter, will remain open through at least Sunday morning due to... More >>
1 day ago January 14, 2017 Jan 14, 2017 Saturday, January 14 2017 Saturday, January 14, 2017 8:11:17 PM CST in News
FREDERICKTOWN (AP) — Authorities say a 74-year-old woman was killed in a house fire in southeastern Missouri's Madison County. ... More >>
1 day ago January 14, 2017 Jan 14, 2017 Saturday, January 14 2017 Saturday, January 14, 2017 4:22:00 PM CST in News
PLATTE CITY (AP) — Missouri authorities say one of 13 occupants of a van was killed when the vehicle crashed... More >>
1 day ago January 14, 2017 Jan 14, 2017 Saturday, January 14 2017 Saturday, January 14, 2017 3:29:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Works sent home all but eight members of its street crew Saturday afternoon because of the... More >>
1 day ago January 14, 2017 Jan 14, 2017 Saturday, January 14 2017 Saturday, January 14, 2017 2:43:00 PM CST in News
PULASKI COUNTY - A man was arrested after pointing a rifle at deputies and possibly endangering a female and several... More >>
1 day ago January 14, 2017 Jan 14, 2017 Saturday, January 14 2017 Saturday, January 14, 2017 2:43:00 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwes tern Missouri man has been ordered to spend two decades in prison for sexually abusing... More >>
1 day ago January 14, 2017 Jan 14, 2017 Saturday, January 14 2017 Saturday, January 14, 2017 1:32:08 PM CST in News
---UPDATED SUNDAY MORNING (1/15/17)--- MID-MISSOURI - Our Live Doppler 8 First Alert Weather Team has been tracking this ice... More >>
1 day ago January 14, 2017 Jan 14, 2017 Saturday, January 14 2017 Saturday, January 14, 2017 12:02:00 PM CST in Weather
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
10am 44°
11am 47°
12pm 49°
1pm 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Celebrity Apprentice
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Howie Mandel All-Star Comedy Gala
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld