Columbia Leaders Looking for New Way to Fund Development

4 years 5 days 2 hours ago Tuesday, February 18 2014 Feb 18, 2014 Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:52:00 PM CST February 18, 2014 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
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department spent the morning investigating a possible threat against Columbia Public Schools. The post... More >>
11 minutes ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:27:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mary Ratliff grew up in the small community of Ripley, Mississipi. It is a community where she said... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:52:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
UPDATE COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools sent out a release Friday afternoon to the families of CPS, clarifying... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:46:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never removed a governor through impeachment. But after Gov. Eric Greitens' felony indictment yesterday, some... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:55:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
REPUBLIC (AP) — Police have seized five guns and two books from a 13-year-old boy officers allege had threatened... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:39:46 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Governor Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday afternoon on a felony charge of invasion of privacy. The indictment alleged... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:39:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
BELLAFONTAINE NEIGHBORS (AP) — Police have found three dead in what officers suspect is a murder-suicide in a St.... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:34:52 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Seven people have been indicted in a Kansas City drug-trafficking conspiracy that included two... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 10:24:18 AM CST February 23, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Gov. Eric Greitens will step down from the Republican Governors Association's executive committee amid backlash from... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 10:12:00 AM CST February 23, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the indictment of Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local):... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 8:34:00 AM CST February 23, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - The Pantry is offering people a chance to donate food and help the community on Friday. The... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 7:49:00 AM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his proposal to arm teachers. KOMU 8 asked educators and other mid-Missourians... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:50:00 PM CST February 22, 2018 in Top Stories
FULTON - The Callaway County Sheriff’s Office is requesting a more than $9,000 grant from the Missouri Department of... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:20:00 PM CST February 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - For those who watch the winter Olympics and think "I could do that", there is an opportunity... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:02:00 PM CST February 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – No. 11 Mizzou will look to keep the good times rolling on Senior Night tonight as they tip... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:58:00 PM CST February 22, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - It's the day Tigers fans have been waiting for; the return of Michael Porter Jr. Mizzou Athletics... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:50:00 PM CST February 22, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Gov. Eric Greitens is calling his indictment on invasion of privacy a "disappointing and misguided political decision."... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:19:00 PM CST February 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Six Fulton residents were sentenced in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute more... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:02:00 PM CST February 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
5pm 49°
6pm 48°
7pm 45°
8pm 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:30p
The Goldbergs
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
The 3rd Annual Howie Mandel Stand-Up Gala
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld