Council to take up $90K for uniform budget

The city council is expected to discuss a contract for nearly $90,000, to go towards clothing for city workers.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Columbia is looking for ways to save money in tight economic times. On Wednesday, the council is expected to discuss a contract for nearly $90,000, to go towards clothing for city workers.

It's an effort some say will promote professionalism and offer uniformity to city employees.

"It would be great if all the city workers could get uniforms that were paid for," said Midlands resident Kyle Ruffin.

That wish may be granted if Columbia's City Council approves the contract Wednesday. The agreement would continue to supply rental uniforms to city employees. Kyle Ruffin wears work-related attire every day, and knows the costs associated with uniformity.

"It would definitely help us out not having to pay for uniforms or cleaning them," said Ruffin.

But for a city that's already pinching pennies, some question whether the proposed taxpayer-funded uniform is even necessary. Instead saying city officials should focus more on balancing the budget, without adding expenses.

"I don't know if its the best idea," said Midlands resident Joseph Aiken. "Because it seems the state budget has been getting cut for years."

Both the state and city budgets have experienced some ups and downs. It's leaving city workers like Joseph Aiken questioning whether uniform talk should be considered. The Midlands man says the city should look into bringing jobs to the area, instead of concerning themselves with what workers wear.

"I was laid off from the South Carolina Arts Commission in 2007 and as far as I know they're still cutting the budget," said Aiken. "The money needs to be moved around and appropriated correctly."

"From the top to the bottom we all need to save a dollar," said Ruffin.

The savings for city workers still comes with a tab, one taxpayers may continue picking up.