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Area commissions get raise from Columbus

CAC may have $2,500 to spend each year

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It would seem like a nice problem to have.

The members of the Clintonville Area Commission have in recent years found it difficult to spend all of the $1,000 allotted to them for expenses by the city, Treasurer James R. Blazer II said at the commission's March 7 meeting.

What prompted him to point out that fact was the announcement from neighborhood liaison Isom Nivins Jr. that city officials plan to up the ante, increasing the annual budget for area commissions to $2,500.

Columbus City Council announced last week that an ordinance would appear on a future council agenda to increase funding for all 17 area commissions.

"Area commissions serve as a vital link between City Hall and Columbus neighborhoods," said council member Troy Miller in the announcement. "Commissioners bring a wealth of commitment and passion to their service and our community is a better place for it."

At last month's CAC meeting, Blazer quipped that he didn't have sufficient fingers to count as high as the budget was now going to be.

The money can be used for a variety of purposes, including mailings and programming, the announcement said.

Blazer asked his colleagues for their ideas on ways to spend the additional money, in light of the way they have had to "stretch" in the past to come up with expenses for the $1,000 allocation. Blazer said he is in the process of preparing the budget and asked the other commissioners to offer their suggestions prior to the next regular meeting, set for April 4.

Money not used during the course of a funding year must be returned to the city.

Chairman Daniel B. Miller said the best way to help Blazer devise a budget that would use most or all of what the city provides would be to send him line-item spending ideas prior to the April session.

Nivins said once a budget is submitted to the city, it's not difficult to make adjustments.

Commission members voted unanimously March 7 to give the treasurer permission to adjust the annual budget to reflect the anticipated $2,500 in city funding.

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