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Mayor Proposes 2007 Columbus Budget

Mayor Coleman released details of his proposed city budget for 2007 Wednesday. Almost three-quarters of the $631 million budget would be spent on public safety.

Public safety, according to Mayor Coleman, is the city's top priority. His budget for 2007 includes additional personnel for the city's fire and police departments.

"We're going to have more fire fighters than we ever have," Coleman says. "We're going to have more police officers than we ever have had in the city of Columbus. We're devoting 70 cents from every dollar towards fire and police."

That means that around $438 million would be sent on public safety next year if the city council approves the mayor's budget request. Coleman's plan would recruit and train an additional 150 police officers during the next 14 months, which he says will help replace retiring officers. The mayor says he also wants to expand the operation of the police division's Anti Violence Strike Force.

Coleman says Columbus is the only major city in the US with a Triple A financial rating. The city is emerging from its worst recession in decades, he says, and for the first time in five years, it won't have to borrow money from its $41 million rainy day fund.