Columbia Leaders Looking for New Way to Fund Development

3 years 2 months 4 days ago February 18, 2014 Feb 18, 2014 Tuesday, February 18 2014 Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:52:00 PM CST in News
By: Nick Thompson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Columbia city leaders told KOMU 8 News Tuesday they now face a longer uphill climb in finding ways to improve downtown infrastructure.

The city council voted down 5-2 Monday night a list of projects that would be funded by a central city tax increment financing, or TIF district. The list of projects included nearly $20 million worth of immediate needs and $50 million worth of long-term facelift projects.

Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine told KOMU 8 News that procedurally, the council basically killed the TIF idea. St. Romaine and utility directors froze development downtown in recent months, saying the infrastructure could not handle more development.

The city manager's office pushed to get a TIF in place, saying it was the only viable option for getting downtown ready for hungry developers.

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala told KOMU 8 News he is glad the city froze development because it gives leaders the opportunity to come up with long-term solutions for downtown. He said his constituents did not support the TIF idea and he voted against it. Skala said the city now needs to find a more politically popular way to thaw the freeze on downtown development.

"Moving forward the idea that everything is going to cease downtown is nonsense," Skala said. "We ought to rebalance this issue about the public and private contribution to infrastructure and the impact on infrastructure."

Skala said Columbia was long a smaller community with an appetite for development and the public paid for a greater share of the services needed to accommodate more residents.

Now, Skala said residents are telling the council they want the developers to increase their share of the cost.

Skala and the other city council members have identified some other methods for funding needed infrastructure improvements.

Skala and councilman Ian Thomas said the city could increase developer impact fees, fees that are assessed to developers and are calculated by taking into account the impact the project will have on surrounding infrastructure.

"Classically or historically in this town we have encouraged growth or subsidized the growth to the tune of maybe a 90 percent public contribution to 10 percent private contribution or maybe 80/20, somewhere in that range," Skala said. "We can no longer continue to do that."

Skala said the city could also increase the user fees charged to developers for the roads. The city charges $0.50 per square foot for residential or commercial properties, regardless of how the property is used. Skala said a convenience store that contributes 17 times as much traffic should be paying much more for its impact on the infrastructure.

Skala and other city council members also mentioned raising taxes or issuing bonds.

Columbia voters passed a more than $30 million sewer bond issue last year and most of the bonds are paying off routine maintenance projects. The bonds are also paying for new extensions of sewers outside of the "urban service area."

Skala said the city could look at moving the downtown sewer projects ahead of the extensions of sewers outside the urban service area.

Skala also said the city could look at moving the downtown projects ahead of other scheduled infrastructure improvements throughout the city.

Skala said he spoke with St. Romaine Tuesday and St. Romaine said the city could create a cocktail of different funding methods to improve downtown.

St. Romaine said nearly $200 million of private investment wanted to come into downtown this year. He said the TIF was a way to ensure the improvements would be made quickly, because some of the other options could take a year or two to get in place when some developers want their high rise towers to appear in the downtown skyline within two years.

"When developers bring us plans they basically ask us to sign of on a will service that basically says we will be able to serve them for electric, water, stormwater needs," St. Romaine said. "At this point basically the answer right now is we cannot."

St. Romaine said he would work with city staff and the city council to find new ways to fix the infrastructure problems, but he said many development proposals are probably off the table because the city will not be able to serve them in a timely fashion.  

More News

Grid
List
COOPER COUNTY - Two people died during a plane crash on Highway 98 near Boonville around 1:40 p.m Monday. ... More >>
1 hour ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 5:03:00 PM CDT in News
ARGYLE - For years, the Rock Island rail line carried trains across Missouri, straight through towns like Eldon, Freeburg and... More >>
2 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A teenager who was shot by a Kansas City store clerk who thought the boy was... More >>
2 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
BOONVILLE- What began as a joke between two friends inspired an event that raised money and awareness for a... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:49:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County authorities are investigating an apparent murder-suicide involving a couple in their 80s. ... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a 51-year-old St. Louis-area woman died while she was sleeping when she was struck... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
EUREKA, Mo. (AP) — A Mexican wolf born this month at a wildlife center in suburban St. Louis is offering... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Community Services Department recently released its 2016 Annual Report and Program Directory, which highlights where... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 1:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed spending plan for 2018 significantly reduces funding for a range of executive departments, from... More >>
5 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Two men are on the run after assaulting a man in his home and stealing cash and other... More >>
6 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:23:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Boone County and Jefferson City discussed an agreement to respond as backup for each other's 911 call... More >>
6 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:07:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new report shows that only about one in every 10 Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables. Just... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT in Weekly Wellness
COLUMBIA - Police are still looking for a suspect they said robbed a convenience store in west Columbia early Monday... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 10:14:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A controversial bill moving through the Missouri General Assembly could change the handling of workplace discrimination claims in... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 10:06:15 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a man has been killed and a woman wounded in a shooting at convenience... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 9:04:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a vehicle has struck and killed an 8-year-old boy in St. Louis. The... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 8:55:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a 23-year-old man has been fatally shot in Kansas City. The Kansas... More >>
10 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:53:00 AM CDT in News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the deaths of an 83-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman in St. Louis... More >>
10 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:50:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
7pm 72°
8pm 68°
9pm 65°
10pm 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Taken
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld