New task force to look at city's sewer, water, electric problems

4 years 2 days 13 minutes ago Monday, September 14 2015 Sep 14, 2015 Monday, September 14, 2015 10:16:00 PM CDT September 14, 2015 in News
By: Nicole Shaddy, KOMU 8 Reporter and Zack Newman, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A new task force to study infrastructure in Columbia met for the first time Monday night, but one city leader has concerns about its purpose.

The Mayor's Task Force on Infrastructure will meet over the next year to study sewer, storm water and electricity problems in the city. The task force is also tasked with figuring out possible funding to fix these problems, and will present their findings to the Columbia City Council in a year.

Below: An electric pole along Again Street in Columbia, Missouri on September 14, 2015. Former Columbia Sewer Maintenance Superintendent Bill Weitkemper said improvements need to be made to electricity and water infrastructure, especially in downtown Columbia. Photo: Zack Newman.

Below: An electric pole along Again Street in Columbia, Missouri on September 14, 2015. Former Columbia Sewer Maintenance Superintendent Bill Weitkemper said improvements need to be made to electricity and water infrastructure, especially in downtown Columbia. Photo: Zack Newman.

According to Bill Weitkemper, task force member and former city sewer superintendent, some of the main problem areas include the storm water system on Again Street, which backs up every time it rains. There are also concerns with the water and electricity capacity in downtown Columbia.

Below: A storm drain along Again Street that Bill Weitkemper, Columbia's former sewer maintenance superintendent, said is in a problem area on September 14, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. He said rain causes issues in the neighborhood and will be one of the focuses of the Mayor's Task Force on Infrastructure. Photo: Zack Newman.

Below: A storm drain along Again Street that Bill Weitkemper, Columbia's former sewer maintenance superintendent, said is in a problem area on September 14, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. He said rain causes issues in the neighborhood and will be one of the focuses of the Mayor's Task Force on Infrastructure. Photo: Zack Newman.

Weitkemper said he hopes real change can come about from the task force.

"I'm hopeful things will define how to fix the infrastructure and the repairs that will be needed," Weitkemper said. "It will cost a lot of money but we don't have a choice. The safety of Columbians is a priority."

Below: City Councilman Karl Skala discussed the formation of the task force in his home on September 14, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. He was the only dissenting vote for the formation of the group and said he is leery about how effective it will be. Photo: Zack Newman.

Below: City Councilman Karl Skala discussed the formation of the task force in his home on September 14, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. He was the only dissenting vote for the formation of the group and said he is leery about how effective it will be. Photo: Zack Newman.

However, Columbia Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said he's concerned the task force has already become too politicized. Skala was the only councilman to vote against the formation of the task force in July.

"I voted against it primarily because I thought this might be a devolution into a political fight, and frankly just a way of kind of kicking this problem down the road," Skala said.

Weitkemper said he thinks the public will be able to hold the task force accountable, as long as they show up to the meetings.

Below: The lid to a water meter in Columbia, Missouri on September 14, 2015. Former Columbia Sewer Maintenance Superintendent Bill Weitkemper said a potential method for the city to produce revenue in order to implement infrastructure improvements is to ensure water meters are on every apartment unit, not just the complex. Photo: Zack Newman.

Below: The lid to a water meter in Columbia, Missouri on September 14, 2015. Former Columbia Sewer Maintenance Superintendent Bill Weitkemper said a potential method for the city to produce revenue in order to implement infrastructure improvements is to ensure water meters are on every apartment unit, not just the complex. Photo: Zack Newman.

Correction: The last photo's caption was changed to correspond with the correct photo.

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban St. Louis-based company is offering free test-preparation classes for high school students in... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 2:25:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Curbside recycling was not collected Monday due to "severe collection staff shortages," the city said. There was... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 1:28:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY - A man pleaded guilty Monday to child molestation, prosecutors said. Dillon J. Robertson pleaded guilty to... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 1:12:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Interim Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones will officially remove the interim label from his job title at Monday... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 12:47:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police Chief Geoff Jones was sworn in Monday night during a Columbia City Council meeting. Jones became interim... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 12:47:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Adults who never received a high school diploma will soon have a second chance to go back to... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 9:27:00 AM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A family of four is getting help from the Red Cross after a fire forced them from... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 4:32:00 AM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The River City Habitat for Humanity housed more than 1 million nails over the weekend. Mid... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 10:31:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The mother of one of the victims in Columbia's two weekend homicides described her daughter as "a really... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 10:05:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in News
To start this climate conversation, we have to begin somewhere. So, let's start with the basics: the difference between weather... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 8:45:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - Three people died in a crash Sunday afternoon in Cole County while a driver fled from police... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 8:39:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Interim Police Chief Geoff Jones will officially make the switch to permanent police chief in a swearing-in Monday.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 3:40:00 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The family of a South Dakota woman who was found shot to death in Missouri last... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 15 2019 Sep 15, 2019 Sunday, September 15, 2019 2:39:29 PM CDT September 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers have taken a man into custody in relation to a shots fired incident on Sept. 3... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 9:51:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers responded to reports of a car crashing into a home in the 900 block of Sardonyx... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 9:45:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A truck crashed into the Ventura Townhome complex Saturday morning in relation to a domestic assault, according... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 5:20:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 4th annual Tunnel to Towers 5K was held at the Governor's Garden on Saturday. This... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 4:29:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City Police Department announced its participation in the National Child Passenger Safety Week enforcement campaign... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, September 14 2019 Sep 14, 2019 Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:37:00 PM CDT September 14, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
10pm 77°
11pm 76°
12am 75°
1am 74°