UPDATE: Residents Vote on $2.6m in GetAbout Projects

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COLUMBIA - After the city appropriated an extra six million dollars to the GetAbout Columbia project, residents gathered at the Columbia Activity and Recreation Center Wednesday to give opinions on how that money should be used. The Columbia Public Works Department said the city found out about this extra funding a few months ago when Congress appropriated it.

Columbia started with a list of 19 potential sidewalk and trail projects, and the Columbia City Council has already approved five. With funds already allocated toward those projects, Wednesday's meeting gathered input for the city to figure out how the city should spend the remaining $2.6 million.

Columbia resident Jeff Marlow said GetAbout Columbia projects could help he and his wife bike to their jobs at the Women's and Children's Hospital. "We'd have to take our lives in our hands to get across Highway 63 and I-70," Marlow said. "One of the proposals here would enable us to get over to the other side of I-70 in a safer manner."

City engineers were on-hand at the open house to answer resident's questions. Among the projects residents were concerned about are the potential additions of a sidewalk on Clark Lane and a trail from Vandiver Drive to Rice Road. 

Residents filled out surveys to rate priority projects at the meeting, and that survey will be available online for the next two weeks. The city estimates it will take about three weeks from Wednesday to summarize the responses and submit a memo on the findings to the city council.