UPDATE: Columbia City Manager Reacts to State of City
COLUMBIA - Despite setbacks like the fire at the Brookside on College location, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes said the city is growing. Matthes also said Columbia leased out nearly all spots in a new parking garage downtown but growth is a "double edged sword."
Although he sees some strength in the growing economy, growth doesn't bring only positive change. In his state of the city address to the city council, Matthes says he thinks the growth will increase the amount of poverty in the city.
Not only is the growth having an effect on poverty, but this could also be tied to the increase in violent crimes across the city. "This is one of those really troubling things and we are very much focused on this issue. We do see the crime going up, especially violent crime. There are more shots fired, more people that have been shot," said Matthes.
On the other hand, increasing construction is a sign of a growing economy, and people spending more in Columbia. Since more people are moving to the city, more high quality construction downtown and around the city are helping the city with positive growth.