Columbia approves tax levy increase

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The Columbia City Council on Monday night approved its tax levy for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2013, in the amount of $1.94 million. This represents an increase of about $90,000 over last year.

More than the $90,000 is coming from an increase in the tort immunity/insurance liability fund due to the STS lawsuit.

“That fund has gone up some $68,000 in order to allow us to pay a $200,000 portion from the city, which is one-third (of the settlement) over three years,” said City Administrator Al Hudzik.

The other large increase was in the police pension fund.

“Those two increases are more than the $90,000 that ultimately the taxpayers’ taxes are being increased,” he said.

This means other city funds will see some reductions to make up the difference, Hudzik said.

The council also recognized Director of Community and Economic Development Paul Ellis for earning acceptance into the American Institute of Certified Planners.

“Being AICP-certified is recognized as a milestone achievement,” said Justin Carney, President of the St. Louis Metropolitan Section of the American Planning Association.

Ellis earned his acceptance through completing a rigorous testing process, as well as years of experience in city planning, Carney said.

The city council also voted to approve a resolution authorizing the purchase of new interoperable radios for the police department. To fund the purchase of the new radios, an FCC-mandated change by 2013, the city accepted $65,000 from Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein.

“It’s an example of how the county and city can work together to get a project done,” Koenigstein said.


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