COLUMBIA — At a meeting that stretched for more than four hours, the Columbia City Council tackled various issues, including funding for city projects and renaming a prominent street running through MU.
Maryland Avenue renamed Tiger Avenue
City Council members voted unanimously in favor of renaming Maryland Avenue to Tiger Avenue, affecting 10 properties on the street. University Affairs director Ana Romero said it would be beneficial for the university to have its main thoroughfare reflect school spirit. The only concern was there would be confusion between Tiger Avenue and the existing Tiger Lane, located off of Worley and Bernadette streets. City Manager Bill Watkins said because address numbers are in different ranges on each street, it would “make any kind of mix up very rare."
Hinkson area sewer extension proceeds
The council motioned to proceed with final plans for sewer extension along Hinkson Creek north of Mexico Gravel Road, a project voters approved on the 2008 ballot. The estimated cost for the project is $8,146,436. The extension will increase sewer service capacity to the area and eliminate a pump station, removing the need for its upkeep. Former Councilman Karl Skala and Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe both expressed concern about soil and erosion, which they said could cause further pollution to the creek. “We have to be really careful about the environmental consequences,” Skala said.
Bus funds appropriated
A unanimous council vote appropriated funds for the purchase of three transit buses and two Para-Transit vans, funded primarily with a $1 million federal grant. The local share of the cost was $236,807, with $225,635 previously appropriated.
Shuttle service added to Prunty Hall
The council also unanimously approved an amendment to the agreement between the UM System Board of Curators and the city, adding a shuttle bus between MU and Prunty Hall at Stephens College for MU students living in that residence hall during the fall semester.
Solid waste utility manager honored
The council recognized Richard Wieman, Columbia solid waste utility manager, for receiving the Professional Manager of the Year Award in Solid Waste from the American Public Works Association. Wieman has headed the Solid Waste Division in Columbia for 35 years. During his career, Wieman has been innovative in programs such as landfill design, composting and residential trash pickup routes, Mayor Bob McDavid said. “It’s a privilege to work for this community, and this award should be reflective of the city as a whole,” Wieman said.
Census Bureau recognizes Columbia
The U.S. Census Bureau recognized Columbia for its performance in the 2010 Census. Columbia increased its mail-back rate from the 2000 response, bureau representative Dennis Johnson said.
New committee formed
McDavid announced that the first meeting of the Friends of Columbia Parks Committee will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday at City Hall in conference room one. The committee's focus will be on the extension of the one-eight cent parks tax. Former Mayor Darwin Hindman is a member.