Was the wind storm a budget buster for Columbus?

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As Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman looks ahead to the November budget, city council voted last night to take money out of its rainy day fund to fill a $10 million gap in its budget. WOSU spoke with the mayor to find out how the wind storm impacted the city’s pocketbook.

“I’m sure it impacted us. I’m sure we have overtime costs. I’m sure it did have an impact,” Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said.

Coleman said the wind storm was not the reason the city raided its rainy day fund in the middle of the year. Rising fuel costs and a slumping economy were the major reasons.

Coleman said the city will analyze costs from the storm over the next week or so to see just how much of an impact it had on the city’s budget.

The mayor said when the storm hit he declared an emergency and called for, in his words, “all hands on deck.”

“Even thought we’ll have some costs associated with this wind storm, my hope is because we declared an emergency, a disaster emergency, that the federal government will reimburse us for much of our costs,” Coleman said. He said. he’s not sure how much money the city could stand to get back from the federal government. And it’s uncertain how long it could take to get any funds.

The city will pull $10 million from its $44.5 million rainy day fund. City Auditor Hugh Dorian suggested Monday night he may have to tap into the fund again before the end of the year.

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