Columbia considers partnership to revitalize old county fairgrounds
COLUMBIA - City council members are facing an old question with new options heading into the new year:
What is the future of the former county fairgrounds?
The Central Missouri Events Center (CMEC) is often referred to as the fairgrounds because it was once the home of the Boone County Fair (now held in Sturgeon). The Boone County Commission voted to close the grounds after a sales tax increase failed to pass in 2015.
The city of Columbia will decide Tuesday night whether to take part in a revitalization project for the property.
However, the decision would come with a cost: scrapping the plans to build a $3.7 million sports complex at Phillips Park in south Columbia.
A report by the city's Parks and Recreation Department shows after the original complex plan, the city was approached with the possibility of building a bigger sports complex at CMEC with Boone County and a non-profit organization called Mid-Missouri Sports Park (MMSP).
The report also shows four potential options:
- Continue with current plans of constructing the multi-sport complex at Phillips Park
- Work with MMSP to construct the complex at Phillips Park
- Work with Boone County and MMSP to construct the complex at CMEC
- Halt plans altogether to assess options
UPDATE (10:35 p.m.): Council members vote to delay decisions for 30 days to further assess potential options.