The City of Columbus includes a mix of residential, rural and commercial property. Columbus boasts large tracts of public land, including Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area and Lamprey Pass WMA. We provide a full level of municipal services in the community, including street and park maintenance, planning and zoning, elections, licensing, auditing, building inspection, prosecution and general administration. The City owns and operates a volunteer fire department through a joint powers agreement with the City of Forest Lake. Police protection is provided through a contract with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department. Columbus is located within the Forest Lake Area School District (ISD #831).

City Council

The Columbus City Council is comprised of five Council Members, including the Mayor. The Mayor serves a two-year term and City Council members serve four-year terms. The Council meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in City Hall. Meetings are videotaped and broadcast on LATV Channel 10 the same week as the meeting, on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday at 7 a.m. 

The City Council takes recommendations from the Planning Commission on applications. The Council is advised by City Staff such as the City Attorney, City Engineer, City Planner, City Administrator and others.

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission for the City of Columbus is composed of five members from the Columbus community. The term of each member shall be three years and until a successor is appointed and qualified. The Planning Commission members serve without compensation, but are granted reimbursement for expenses incurred in performance of official duties. The City Council is responsible for appointing Planning Commission members.

The Planning Commission is tasked with hearing applications for the first time, holding Public Hearings and then making a recommendation to the City Council, among other things. The Planning Commission meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.

Park Board 

The Park Advisory Board is a voluntary group of five residents that meets to discuss park acquisition and development. Six Park Board meetings will take place in 2024, all of them on Tuesdays: January 30, April 16, May 14, July 16, September 17 and November 19. Meetings are held at City Hall.

Public Works Advisory Board

The Public Works Advisory Board is comprised of seven volunteers from the community. They hold their meetings as needed (at least once annually) at the Public Works Maintenance Facility (16345 Kettle River Blvd.), but don't have an exact schedule at this time. If you are interested in attending one of their meetings, contact the City Offices for information.