Columbia's City Council looks at budget

    The City of Columbia has to make some tough decisions about how they spend theirs.

    Wednesday morning, City Council will decide on paying cash to consultants, while benefits for some key city employees are on the chopping block.

    The City of Columbia's spending habits have been under the microscope for months and one portion of their payroll is still asking questions.

    "We're not trying to get anything that we're not owed we just simply want fair and equitable treatment," said Travis Carricoto.

    Carricoto is with the Columbia Firefighters Association. He's confused why the city is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to consultants, while they are considering cuts to firefighters holiday benefits.

    "We simply just want some of that time off to be with our families, to be away from work and to decompress," said Carricoto.

    "We had a very good budget that was passed," said Mayor Bob Coble. "And we are on target for last month so we feel very good about it."

    That "good budget" Mayor Coble is referring to, goes before council members Wednesday. On their agenda, WACH-Fox News found nearly $187,000 up for discussion, which could go towards paying several consulting groups for unspecified duties.

    "All cities have some lobbyists in the statehouse to make sure that we are protected," said Coble.

    City employees like Travis Carricoto argue they aren't being protected. And worry their holiday pay could be a thing of the past. It the cuts are made, its because the city has hit a financial brick wall.

    "No decision has been made, we are just looking at options," said Coble.

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