Stadium Expansion Worries Community
The promise of new jobs and economic growth sounds great to most, but some Columbia residents can't help but weigh the potential costs. Some worry about the environmental effects and the lack of community involvement in the decision to do the project.
It's hard not to notice the construction work on the east side of Highway 63 at Stadium Boulevard. Columbia is expanding eastward. There are those in the community who worry that environmental sanctity is being ignored. The developers of the land have the necessary city permits, but some think that isn't enough.
"Well, they are apparently doing things within the law, but obviously the law is not adequate. The land disturbance permit, the tree ordinance are just hollow shells," said the Sierra Club's Ken Midkiff.
City officials said they understand Midkiff's concerns, but as long as development stays within city rules, there's little they can do. They also said community involvement isn't necessary for a city permit. But, the community can voice concerns as the development moves through the planning and zoning commission.
Also of concern are allegations that the development could be over a site with archaeological significance. If that's true, the situation could become a federal matter. The developer claims they have looked into this possibility and it doesn't appear to be accurate.
The extension will eventually connect Stadium Boulevard with I-70 East of Columbia.