City might pay for taxis to council meetings

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 | 4:45 p.m. CST; updated 10:40 p.m. CST, Tuesday, February 22, 2011

COLUMBIA — Take a taxi to Columbia City Council meetings in the near future, and the city might be picking up the tab.

City Council members approved a motion 5-2 Monday night to draft a bill concerning transportation to and from City Council meetings. Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser and Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill voted against drafting the bill.

The legislation, if approved, would allow Columbia residents to take taxis to and from City Council meetings for a three-month trial period. The council suggested paying for the trial with council reserve funds not exceeding $250 per meeting.

The $250 would cover one driver and van service for the meeting.

First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz suggested that reimbursing residents who take taxis — with a cap set at $250 per meeting — might be more cost-effective.

Many Columbia residents who rely on public transportation are not able to attend City Council meetings because bus services stop at 6:25 p.m. Mondays, according to a report presented at the meeting. Council members requested the report in April.

The proposed legislation will be voted on by the council at its March 7 meeting.

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Corey Parks February 22, 2011 | 9:53 p.m.

Oh my. What is happening in this city.

(Report Comment)
Michael Schoelz February 22, 2011 | 10:11 p.m.

apparently nothing of any pressing interest. for better or worse.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 23, 2011 | 7:49 a.m.

These meetings are televised on a community access channel, right? I'd think a reasonable accomodation might be to set it up so people that can't make it to a meeting (for whatever reason) can call in and address the council. Taxi service might be OK in some instances, but I think a call-in accomodation might do the same thing for many people and save money in the long run.


(Report Comment)

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