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COLUMBIA -On Monday the City of Columbia is exactly halfway through the process of getting its 2012 budget approved.

The budget was initially unveiled on August 13. Since then it has gone through several work sessions by the City Council and all that remains is any public input and final approval. The budget is 542 pages long.

City Manager Mike Matthes says that according to a recent survey, Columbia citizens are highly dissatisfied with the conditions of streets in town. The budget he presented proposes adding $585,000 to the street maintenance budget. That addition brings the total amount for street maintenance to $1.6 million.

Matthes also proposes a $0.25 per hour raise for all city employees. The raise would be the first one in two years. He says a flat rate increase benefits those who are paid the least and who are having the hardest time financially. Instead of a percentage based increase that would benefit those with higher wages the most. The pay increase comes to $520 more per year per city employee.

In the budget City Manager Mike Matthes says, "I think of the budget as the public statement of what Columbia City government cares about."

The public can have their input heard at the regular City Council meetings on either Tuesday Sept. 6 or Monday Sept. 19th.