Columbia City Council meets for second time to discuss 2014 budget

Public safety listed as a priority

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The new fiscal year begins in October for the city of Columbia.

The city manager led today's council meeting hoping to get one step closer to finalizing the budget.

Columbia's city council is halfway through its discussions in completing the 2014 budget, but still has work to do.

Mayor Bob McDavid said there is a common theme of what needs to be done -- prioritize.

"We don't have enough money to satisfy every need so it becomes a matter of prioritizing," McDavid said.

That is what brings everyone together today.

The Columbia's city budget is nearly 600 pages long, but it's not just the size of the budget that is a challenge.

City manager Mike Matthes addresses one topic that has caught the community's attention after a summer riddled with violence and crime.

Two officers and one sergeant will be added to the Columbia police force next year.

Matthes says the city's spending more than $100,000 in additional money on the police department.

"Like all cities, Columbia has more needs than it has money so we have to prioritize. We have substantial needs in public safety staffing and infrastructure mainly roads," said McDavid.

Those are just the top priorities.

But city leaders feel that they are making progress in the budget.

"I think we all have a better perspective on what the different needs are," McDavid said.

Another topic thoroughly discussed was school resource officers.

Yesterday marked the first week back for Columbia schools and all three high schools had an SRO present.

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