Columbia City Council Says No to Downtown TIF District

4 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, February 18 2014 Feb 18, 2014 Tuesday, February 18, 2014 8:06:38 AM CST February 18, 2014 in News
By: Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor

COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council voted down a Tax Increment Financing District, or TIF, five to two at Monday night's meeting at city hall. Some city leaders and community members wanted the TIF implemented to help fund downtown infrastructure improvements.

KOMU 8 News previously reported that Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine told the Columbia Tax Increment Financing Commission that several student-housing developers want to get in the downtown game, but they need capable infrastructure.

Boone County officials opposed the TIF proposal and planned to sue the city if it passed. The county argued the city does not have the authority to use a TIF district.

The city had identified aproxmiately $70 million worth of improvements it wanted to make to downtown with help from a TIF, like the sewer system.

According to Columbia Public Works, increased residential demand downtown has stressed the city's sewer system. The city proposed a project to replace 1,000 feet of the 100-year-old storm drain system in parts of downtown. The city said the current system is in poor condition.

The council said improvements need to be made, but want to look at options other than a TIF district.

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