What downtown sewer projects really mean for Columbia

4 years 4 months 1 week ago Thursday, July 31 2014 Jul 31, 2014 Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:10:00 PM CDT July 31, 2014 in News
By: Jacob Jones, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is moving forward with more than $5 million for downtown sewer relief projects.

Some residents are concerned about the necessity of these projects, and want to know were the money to pay for these projects is coming from.

The ordinance, passed July 21, states these projects will not use debt spending, as the money to be used is already in existing city accounts. The ordinance also states these projects will not impact sewer maintenance costs since these projects are specifically building new sewers that will replace existing ones.

In total, $5,780,794 will be set aside to "increase downtown sewer capacity" from Turner Avenue to the Flat Branch watershed, as well as from Stadium Boulevard to Elm Street to 6th Street. Another $194,794 will be reallocated to stabilize a section of stream bank to protect the North Grindstone Outfall Sewer.

This project was originally scheduled to begin construction this year, but the city council postponed the project until FY2015 to make more funds available for Flat Branch Watershed relief projects.

Here is a list of where the funding would come from:
• $2,161,138 from the Sewer Retained Earnings balance
• $150,000 from Collegiate Housing, due to the project's impact on the proposed Opus apartment building
• $2,074,862 in combined transfers from various accounts of projects that have either been completed, delayed, or postponed
• $1,394,794 from the FY2015 city budget, upon approval

Some residents have expressed frustration about these projects, specifically because the work done between Elm and 6th would accommodate a 256-bedroom apartment complex proposed by Opus developers.

Grass Roots Organizing (GRO) is a Missouri organization dedicated to protecting human rights. Aaron Johnson, with the Columbia GRO office, has been fighting this development. He argues spending city money to allow for a luxury apartment, as opposed to affordable housing, is not acceptable.

"This is just an example of corporate luxury housing that's not really helping the city," Johnson said. "It's an out-of-state developer that's coming in...it's going to have more impact on the city's infrastructure than just here and now."

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser said these projects are larger than the Opus development.

"Downtown has constantly, when you look at the CID reports that we get, they've consistently been bringing in more revenue and more businesses, and more activity, so that certainly helps out the community as a whole," Nauser said.

Nauser said the infrastructure downtown in some areas in close to 100 years old, and has caused problems for residents in the area. 

"The system as a whole needs to be repaired," Nauser said. "Rainwater is getting into our sewer system, which is helping facilitate these basements backing up and raw sewage coming from some of our manholes."

Nauser also said slowing down growth is not a message Columbia wants to send to potential businesses. She mentioned the University of Missouri as another determining factor in her decision to approve this ordinance. 

"We have a partner in the University of Missouri," Nauser said. "They are a big economic engine in our community. They have said they are going to continue to increase their enrollment, irregardless of what the city does, whether we work to help with that or we work against them. I would prefer to work with them and be a partner so that our community can continue to grow and be vibrant."

More News

Grid
List
TAOS - A school bus holding 38 students ranging from K-12 was hit head-on Tuesday morning while stopped on Dove... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:19:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Both U.S. senators from Missouri are demanding answers about the death of a veteran after an... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:58:05 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gunfire in the neighborhood around Blue Ridge Elementary School led to a modified lockdown Tuesday afternoon, and police... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:39:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools has named the first football head coach for the new Capital City High... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:55:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The agreement between the Jefferson City School District and the city will reimburse the school district up... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:30:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters responded to a residential structure fire overnight. The blaze started around 11:49 p.m. Monday. The fire... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 3:16:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some students are starting to voice their opinions about possible redistricting of a new middle school. CPS... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 8:30:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than 100 people gathered in Jefferson City Monday to learn more about the planned health care... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Nobel Prize winner George P. Smith, a retired professor, says he lives a rather humble life beyond the... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 7:13:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft on Monday asked the Democratic auditor... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 4:22:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri's Dr. George Smith was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Monday afternoon in... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:50:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Boone County circuit judge sentenced Miles Leighton Hillegas to seven years in prison Monday for an April... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:15:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Christian Fellowship School is mourning the loss of student Bryce Hill, who was killed in a crash Saturday... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:14:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU assistant professor Pamela Brown said Dr. George P. Smith deserves the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for more... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:06:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Charges have been filed in the fatal shooting of 19-year old Nilez Nichols in Jefferson City. Prosecutors... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 2:20:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The holiday period is a busy time for scams targeting shoppers, according to Michelle Gleba, Regional Director for... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 1:04:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A massive tuba ensemble has smashed a Guinness World Record in Kansas City and spread... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 12:07:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN- University of Missouri Professor Emeritus George Smith officially accepted his portion of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Monday.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 11:18:00 AM CST December 10, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
3pm 53°
4pm 54°
5pm 52°
6pm 49°