The new "incentive budgeting" technique has resulted in a $1.9 million surplus in the City of Columbia's budget. City council members discussed Monday ways the money could be spent, including street and sidewalk repairs, the J.W. "Blind" Boone Home renovation and adding more wheelchair accessible entrances.
The council did not vote on any measure, but said it agrees on rewarding the city for saving money.
“We are still doing a lot of conservative budgeting, and we have maintained a 20 percent balance of the money that we have spent for each year," Second Ward Representative Michael Trapp said. "We are in a position where we have an excess of that. So, I think the most important thing is to return the money to the departments for the next years budget to encourage them to be under budget.”
City Manager Mike Matthes said he agreed that efficient spending is the goal.
“What comes first is that we provide the service," Matthes said. "Now, we can say we want to do it more efficiently, and so that’s kind of what this is trying to get at, to create a kind of scenario, and a way we can."
The city council will continue discussion on what to do with the surplus at the next meeting on April 1.