Columbia City Council to Vote on Utility Database Proposal

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will vote Monday on a proposal to allow citizens to access detailed utility data online.

If the council approves the policy, Columbia residents would soon be able to see water and electrical use for a particular property in Columbia on the city's website.

City officials have been discussing this idea for nearly a year, and because so much planning has already gone into the idea, city officials said if the council approves the policy Monday, the website will be running within the next couple of months.

The website would serve as a guide for people looking to buy or rent homes and would help them make educated decisions.

"There's a lot of students that rent property and other people that don't want to own property, that would rather just rent. These days utilities and the cost of utilities is an important part of the decision as to what type of property to rent," said Tony St. Romaine, Deputy City Manager.

St. Romaine told KOMU 8 News city officials have not heard any privacy concerns in regards to people searching the site to see if people are not using utilities during a certain month, possibly indicating a person or family is not present in the home.

"One of the concerns that we did hear was that we should not be showing people's names, so the idea is really to just make it addressed based," St. Romaine said.

St. Romaine said Columbia residents would most likely have some type of login to access the part of the city's website.