City council to meet Friday for annual retreat

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COLUMBIA - The City Council was set to meet Friday in Columbia to pitch initial ideas for next year's budget to the public.

The council's annual retreat was set to start at 9:00 a.m. Friday. The workday includes reviews of financial reports and a chance for council members to meet with the city's various department heads.

Second Ward Councilman Michael Trapp said the day is about assessing priorities for the budget in the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

He said the city council's priorities could include allocating $700,000 for police and fire pensions and directing $250,000 to help Job Point fundraise to purchase its building.

Trapp said the city would also like to have enough money to give city staff a one-time payment to make up for the fact the budget doesn't include enough money for raises.

"Our staff are hard-working and they're deserving of a raise but we're not in a budget position to do that," Trapp said.

The city has a budget surplus from last fiscal year, according to Trapp.

"We continue to delay fleet purchases. We have a hiring freeze," he said. "So, those savings were hard won so we want to be careful that we invest them in the things that are gonna have the most impact."

The city council's annual retreat takes place at city hall.