Columbia Leaders Looking for New Way to Fund Development

2 years 5 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

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
WILDWOOD (AP) — Two people were killed in a two-vehicle collision in eastern Missouri. St. Louis County police say... More >>
3 hours ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 3:52:10 PM CDT in News
DIAMOND (AP) — Southwest Missouri has a newly dedicated prairie. The 163-acre George Washington Carver Prairie was dedicated Saturday.... More >>
4 hours ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 3:01:01 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Tim Kaine has always been a leader. While as a student at the University of Missouri, he... More >>
5 hours ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 1:37:00 PM CDT in News
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — A western Missouri man has been found not guilty in a 2014 fatal shooting at a Cass... More >>
5 hours ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 1:25:37 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A member of the Clay family has represented St. Louis and northern suburbs in Congress for... More >>
8 hours ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 10:38:26 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Republican candidates in Missouri's gubernatorial primary are pledging an aggressive law-and-order approach, two years after the... More >>
9 hours ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 10:03:16 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Road closings this summer in downtown Columbia could make it harder to enjoy local shops and restaurants in... More >>
15 hours ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 3:43:00 AM CDT in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS — One person was injured after a boat caught on fire at the 38-mile marker by... More >>
21 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 10:10:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has received a $1 million gift, the largest in its... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 5:07:03 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 51-year-old man is accused of pulling over a vehicle and acting as if he were... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 4:46:46 PM CDT in News
COOPER COUNTY — A man has been charged in relation to a hostage standoff east of Boonville Friday morning. ... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 4:15:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced the members of the Advisory Committee for the Director of Athletics search... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 4:01:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA — With the extreme heat this weekend, local medical experts told people to be aware of the signs of... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 3:53:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Out-of-towners from across the state are boosting sales for local businesses and restaurants downtown this weekend. The... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 3:13:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City Knights of Columbus hosted a barbecue fundraiser for the country's first Special Olympics training... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 1:54:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Athletes, parents, and officials across Columbia tried to beat the heat while participating in the Show Me State... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 1:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral for a Kansas City, Kansas, police captain shot... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 12:10:16 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A federal judge has tossed out a woman's lawsuit against Home Depot over the deaths of... More >>
1 day ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 11:38:15 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 93°
8pm 89°
9pm 87°
10pm 84°
11pm 82°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
Hollywood Game Night
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
7:00p
Bulletproof Heart
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Cougar Town

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Hollywood Game Night
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
7:00p
Bulletproof Heart
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Cougar Town