Wednesday morning, Columbia City Manager Bill Watkins delivered his annual State of the City speech. Watkins said the city is taking steps in the right direction, and the improvements are starting right at city hall.
"The council unanimously determined that the tipping point for city hall had arrived," Watkins said.
It's one of several city buildings scheduled for renovation.
"The Daniel Boone building will be renovated inside and out. In fact we've already started work in the lobby," Watkins said.
In addition, the city completed work on the Howard and Gentry buildings downtown. The city also worked with downtown businesses to develop a new sign ordinance. Now, Watkins and the city are looking ahead to the "Sasaki plan," in which the city, Stephens College, and MU will coordinate planning on city areas surrounding campus.
Watkins is pushing for the city to work on run-down properties, which are labeled as N.R.T. areas, and transform them into livable areas. The city is also looking forward to working with the Farmers' Market and the Columbia Youth Basketball Association as they develop facilities next to the ARC.
Watkins said the renovations to city buildings are symbolic of the city's commitment to improving the area.
"They're not just nice buildings. They represent long-term relationships with the community," Watkins said.
The end of the city's fiscal year is September 30th. That leaves July and August for the council to hold public meetings over budget issues.