Columbia to discuss road changes, Stephens Lake Park lights

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COLUMBIA - A Columbia city councilman is asking for a proposed road extension in the Willow Falls neighborhood to be done in an earlier phase rather than a later one.

Ward 2 City Councilman Michael Trapp said "Willow Falls, Plat No. 1" is on the consent agenda. He invited the developers of the project to Monday's meeting to hear concerns about the road. 

"In general, Columbia is a city that has poor connectivity and it really shows when we're trying to plow snow and it shows in our response time in our police and fire," Trapp said. "In general, it's a public good to have connectivity."

Trapp said he wants developers to know that some residents in the area would like Blue Ridge Road completed soon. It would connect the neighborhood to Creasy Springs Drive, so people don't have to use the neighborhood road, Prairie Lane, as much.

"I suspect the biggest thing they're going to factor in is 'Am I going to make more of a profit if I build it sooner or later?'" Trapp said. "I hope they would think that concrete is only going to get more expensive and even though not having the cost of the road right now might be a benefit, if they build the road sooner, it's going to be cheaper for them."

Whether Stephens Lake Park gets lights is also on the agenda. The proposal aims to improve public safety. Trapp said the council will discuss whether the lights would disturb surrounding neighborhoods. 

Mayor Bob McDavid, Councilman Clyde Ruffin and Councilwoman Laura Nauser will be absent from Monday's meeting. 

"I'll be acting as mayor pro tem for the day so I'll have the gavel and I'll be running the meeting, " Trapp said. "And every vote will count because its not majority rules, a majority of the council to set policy -- so all four of us will have to come to a consensus to vote yes on anything we expect to pass."

The pre city council meeting is cancelled due to the number of absences.