Columbia City Council agenda items at a glance

Monday, December 6, 2010 | 11:00 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Other agenda items from the Monday night Columbia City Council meeting included:

Park sales tax: Last week the council heard the Parks and Recreation Department's implementation plan of the one-eighth-cent park sales tax. At Monday's meeting, council members unanimously voted yes to the construction of the third of five total proposed baseball fields at Atkins Memorial Park. The field will cost $160,000 in total, $75,000 of which will be covered by grant money. The field will be ready in early spring 2012.

Conduct medals: The council recognized Columbia Police Officers Matt Gremore and Brian Graff with meritorious conduct medals for saving a 14-year-old boy in July 2010. The teenager was going to jump from a bridge at Providence Road when the two officers rescued him.

Stipends: At its pre-council meeting Monday, the council heard a proposal to amend the city charter to pay a stipend to council members and the mayor. A letter outlining the proposal was sent to the council on Nov. 29, and a number of the signatories to the letter were former members of city government. Bob Roper, a former chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, presented the proposal.

"There are a lot of us from a pretty diverse background that feel pretty strongly about this issue," Roper said. "A lot of us don't agree on anything, to tell you the truth. But we sure agree on this one."

The council did not indicate when they would consider the proposal in regular session.

Soil piles: The council voted 4-3 Monday night to pass an ordinance regulating the placement, duration and size of developers' soil piles.

First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz, Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser, Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe and Mayor Bob McDavid voted yes on the ordinance, while Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill, Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl and Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley voted no.

Nauser, who initially asked the Environment and Energy Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission to draft the ordinance, said she had been dealing with "nuisance piles" for over five years.

"I think we need to provide protection for people who have this problem," Nauser said.

The ordinance stipulates distances from streams, lot lines, roads, and existing structures that soil piles cannot encroach.

Farmers market: The council authorized $50,000 of funding for Sustainable Farms & Communities Inc. to build the Columbia Farmers' Market Pavilion and Education Center. This pavilion will become the permanent home of the Columbia Farmers Market. The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board approved the request in October. Lorah Steiner, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the construction is ready to begin.

—Missourian reporters Asif Lakhani, Alejandra Quintela Sanchez, Pavan Vangipuram and Kyle Deas contributed to this report.

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