Posted: Mar 24, 2013 12:34 PM by Ruohan Xu
Updated: Mar 24, 2013 2:31 PM
COLUMBIA - Karl Skala's bid to return to the Columbia City Council is built in part on a plan Skala says could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars more for Columbia's infrastructure, including road construction, stormwater repairing, and airport projects.
Skala proposed the Trip Generation Model to the city council Monday. It would change how the city collects the development fee, going from size-based fees only to a combination of size-based and use-based fees. The approach calls for the city to assess development fees not only on the size of the development, but also on the impact of that development on the roads. The more traffic the development will generate, the higher the development fee it will pay.
Skala said, with the current system based on square footage, a 2,000-square-foot house would yield $1,000 to the city. But with the Trip General Model, a 2,000-square-foot house would yield $1,010, which is about the same for residential properties. But a consumer store such as the 180,000-square-foot Walmart, which would currently yield $90,000 to the city, would yield $696,000 under the new model.
Skala's opponent for the seat, Third Ward incumbent Gary Kespohl, said the Skala plan sets fees way too high.
"If we raise the fees like he would like the city to do, it's going to close Columbia. We are not able to open for any business," Kespohl said.
Skala said Columbia is desperately behind in road repair and is short of funds to make those repairs. According to a recent survey, the public's main priority when it comes to infrastructure is road construction. Skala said the city has $900,000 funds for road infrastructure, but there are $24 million in needs.
"Raising taxes is a political strategy that was just narrowly passed in 2005. The city asked for $80 million for infrastructure that year, but the city is planning on asking for $203 million on 2015. The possibility to approve that is low. But if it doesn't pass, we will all suffer," Skala said.
Kespohl said Skala's plan probably would not work in Columbia. He said the reason that people live in the community is to pool resources, like taxes. People pool their resources so they can build infrastructure and maintain infrastructure that they cannot do on their own.
"What we need to do is to put more of our tax dollars, which we have already collected, into roads and sidewalks that Columbia needs," Kespohl said.
Matt McCormick, president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, said its job is to make sure local businesses can be successful. The chamber is aware of the proposal but wants to discuss it more before taking any action or position.
"There are always different ways to fund that, where that money comes from, and how it comes. So what we will want to do is to sit down and take a look at different avenues that can take place. To see what is the best way that benefits the business community but at the same time makes the transportation an easy process for people," McCormick said.
Posted 11:05 PM 11/30/2015 by Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department arrested a woman on several charges after she hit multiple vehicles, sending two people to the hospital.
The department arrested Deborah Barr, 51, from Columbia on two counts of assault, assaulting a law enforcement officer, leaving (More)
Posted 7:52 PM 11/30/2015 by Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department is investigating a shooting that sent one man to the hospital.
Investigators said the incident was reported at 5:07 p.m. Monday at 728 Grand Avenue.
Detective Dal Hedges said the man was taken to Fulton Medical Center initally but did not (More)
Posted 1:08 PM 11/30/2015 by Derek Brizendine, KOMU 8 Reporter
CENTRALIA - The City of Centralia hopes expanding its electrical system will help bring growth to more parts of town.
Boring for the first of three new underground electrical conduits began Monday. The conduits will run under the two rail lines in the city and widen (More)
Posted 5:36 PM 11/30/2015 by The Associated Press and Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
COLUMBIA (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked Missouri's health department from revoking the abortion license held by a Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia.
The temporary restraining order issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey is set to (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 4:38 PM 11/30/2015 by The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri higher education leaders have dropped plans for a potential 2016 ballot measure that would have raised taxes on cigarettes to fund college scholarships.
Supporters of the "Missouri Promise" initiative announced their decision (More)
Posted 3:56 PM 11/30/2015 by The Associated Press
FLORISSANT (AP) — A St. Louis County man is now charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the Thanksgiving night accident that killed a 6-year-old girl.
Six-year-old Dezirae Thayer was in a relative's car that stalled on a Florissant road Thursday night and was (More)
Posted 3:53 PM 11/30/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 13-year-old boy is dead after being shot in north St. Louis while he and two other minors were allegedly stealing from a vehicle.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the shooting happened about 12:45 a.m. Sunday. Police say Martinez Smith-Payne and (More)
Posted 3:51 PM 11/30/2015 by The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY(AP) — A petition drive in Kansas City is seeking to overturn restrictions on electronic cigarette use in enclosed public areas.
The Kansas City Star reports the Kansas City Council voted Nov. 19 to support three ordinances restricting tobacco and e-cigarette (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 3:12 PM 11/30/2015 by Jenna Baker, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - Two local small businesses said they faired well this Thanksgiving shopping weekend despite in-store sales on Black Friday dropping drastically.
ShopperTrak, a retail researcher, reported in-store sales on Thanksgiving declined from more than $2 billion in 2014 to (More)