Columbia Residents Discuss Possible Blight Designation

5 years 6 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, November 01 2012 Nov 1, 2012 Thursday, November 01, 2012 5:32:00 AM CDT November 01, 2012 in News
By: Katie Brennan
loading

COLUMBIA - One of the areas in the middle of Columbia's ongoing argument over 'blighted' areas and Enhanced Enterprise Zones, or EEZs, met Thursday to discuss the issue.

The city is considering deeming two areas of Columbia "blighted" so that it can put tax incentives in place to encourage business growth in those areas.

Residents in the proposed southern zone met at the Lenoir Community Center Thursday afternoon and heard arguments both for and against the program.

Bernie Andrews with Columbia's Regional Economic Development, Inc. explained the potential for the EEZ program to bring manufacturing and low-skill jobs to Columbia by giving companies a break on property taxes.

Then, Dan Hemmelgarn with the group Citizens Involved and Invested in Columbia, or CiVic, explained his concerns that public education would suffer from the change, since property taxes fund Columbia schools.

Residents asked both men questions after the presentations.

City council member Barbara Hoppe also attended the meeting, as the southern zone is in Ward Six, which she represents.

Citizens shared their opinions as well.

Hal Virgen, who has lived in Columbia for 11 years, said the program would help get kids jobs who would otherwise be causing trouble in the community. 

"Here in Columbia, our biggest problem are the kids who don't have a job, who don't have education, and who don't have a chance. You need to get manufacturing jobs or training jobs in here that will get those kids a chance and a break to get started...EEZ can do that," said Virgen.

However, several residents expressed concern with the lack of data supporting the claim that EEZ tax breaks bring companies to town.

"There is no data to show that tax abatement is going to bring companies here, because they look at so many other things like how available is the workforce? How educated are the people? Is this a good place to live? Those are all more important than tax abatement on where a company is locating," said Columbia resident Linda Green.

Green added, "We don't need EEZs to bring people here. We don't need to give away our taxes to essentially bribe companies to come here, because this is a great place, and education is one reason it's so great here."

The Enhanced Enterprise Zone Advisory Board will hold a meeting November 14 to further discuss the program before it gives its recommendation to the city council sometime in December.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The ACLU of Missouri is suing the Independence School District on behalf of a senior... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 6:35:52 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD – Locals living in this town of about 700 people are concerned after abruptly hearing about a special... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:47:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Thornbrook neighborhood was without water and electricity for almost two hours on Friday. Columbia Water and... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:36:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Four vehicle crashes have occurred this week along State Road F west of Fulton in Callaway County.... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 4:12:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After serving eight years in the United States Air Force, the passion of this veteran for sky travel... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In another day of political theater, the special House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens heard new testimony... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Organizers are expecting a large turnout for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans" airshow on Memorial Day weekend. ... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- When most people lose an animal, one of the first steps is to put a "missing" sign on a... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:46:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Aircraft and pilots met at Columbia Regional Airport Friday to prepare for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans"... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:45:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A high-speed car chase ended Sunday when the suspect slid into a ditch, according to a press release... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- It's no secret more cars will out for Memorial Day weekend, but many drivers are taking precautions before... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than five hundred Missourians have lost their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses after a Department of... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 1:48:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old western Missouri boy fought off an attempted abduction by hitting the... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an early morning crash on I-70 Westbound. It caused major backups... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:47:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Thursday, the Columbia Airport Advisory Board announced the TSA approved a security screening lane to open by... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:41:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- May is known for Mother’s day, Memorial Day and in Missouri, the start of tick season. “May, June... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:21:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council discussed a recent engineering study today centering on increasing traffic flow east of Columbia.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:11:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is encouraging people to practice safe boating ahead of Memorial Day weekend.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 6:55:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
8pm 79°
9pm 75°
10pm 74°
11pm 73°