Columbia Council Talks New Parking Garage and Reapportionment

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COLUMBIA - Members of the Columbia City Council discussed plans for the proposed Short Street parking garage and ward reapportionment Tuesday night.  They held a work session to try to hash out proposals for both.  Although nothing much was decided, they did decide to hold a public hearing during their next meeting to let the public's voice be heard on the new city wards.

The Ward Reapportionment Committee gave the City Council five proposed new wards earlier this month. Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid says that the council is focusing on three plans - A, B, and E - after the city attorney deemed one illegal due to border problems.

Although there is no set timeline to redistrict the city - McDavid said it's important to get it done before the upcoming city council elections.  He also said he is excited to hear the public's opinion during the next City Council meeting.

"It will probably be a long public hearing because Columbia is an amazing town with a lot of engaged citizens.  And a lot of people will want to have their say.  We'll respect that and at the ending of the meeting we'll have an up or down vote on those three choices," McDavid said.

The public hearing will be held during the next City Council meeting on October 3.  McDavid said he hopes to have new wards in place after the October 17 meeting.

The council also looked at two plans for the proposed Short Street garage.  No action was taken on the plans and no action is planned in the near future. McDavid said the garage probably won't be ready for another two years.

To see the current wards, click here.

To see the Ward Reapportionment Committee's full report - including the proposed ward maps, click here.