Columbia's Downtown Community Improvement District plans to donate $23,140 to replace broken cameras in downtown Columbia.
The cost of the cameras totals $7,000 and the other $16,140 will be used to cover the cost of one year of data hosting for the camera system.
The executive director of the CID Katie Essing said the CID had a fiscal budget around $820,000 this year with $40,000 was allocated to public safety.
“We had the dollars available and wanted to make this donation and hoped that it would free up the police budget to be able to direct towards more officers or other police initiatives,” Essing said.
Board member Debbie Sheals said that the CID has always been willing to help out the police department.
“We are obviously very interested in enhancing safety downtown,” Sheals said. “Our police force is woefully underfunded and this was a great way for us to give them some support.”
The CID gets its budget from property and sales taxes and all of its funds go to specific projects that improve the city of Columbia. Essing said along with its’s goals of beautification and economic growth, public safety is a priority.
“The safety and security of our customers and employees and residents downtown is a top priority,” Essing said. “So, that is why it is so important to us to support anything that will help with safety.”
The city council will vote at its November 7th meeting to approve the donation.