COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council approved plans for a pedway project on Providence Road at its meeting Monday night.
The project includes building an 8- to 10-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side of Providence Road from Wilkes Boulevard to Vandiver Drive. It is one of many projects funded by GetAbout Columbia, a $22 million federal grant to promote non-motorized transportation.
- The council voted unanimously to allow companies designated "manufacturers" a three-year phase-in of the new sewer rates voted on at the March 21 council meeting. While the ordinance designates "manufacturers" as those employing more than 25 people, Public Works director John Glascock said companies with fewer employees could also apply for a manufacturer designation.
- The council tabled a bill that would increase parking meter rates, parking garage hourly rates and hours of enforcement until the first meeting in June. The Special Business District board had requested more time to consider the potential impact of the changes.
- The council took the first step in dissolving the Gans Road and U.S. 63 Transportation Development District by nullifying a development agreement between the city and various entities owned by Elvin Sapp. The council voted unanimously in favor of the bill.
- The council authorized construction of the Avenue of the Columns streetscape project along Broadway and Eighth Street. The project includes landscaping, planting trees and installing brick or stone and lighting. Public improvement funds and contributions from adjacent property owners will fund the project. Any additional funds needed would come from other downtown projects' funding.
- The council authorized an employment agreement for the new city manager, Mike Matthes. Matthes will start May 1, and his salary will be $150,000 a year.
- The council heard a report about a downtown taxi pilot program. There will be designated taxi "pick-up and drop off zones" from May through July with six of the eight local taxi companies participating.
The sidewalk will connect the Providence Bikeway from Wilkes Boulevard and the Providence Road project from Vandiver Drive. The goal of the project, as with other GetAbout Columbia projects, is to connect the city with a number of trails in order to promote non-motorized travel, according to city staff documents.
The cost for the project was estimated to be $435,000. No one from the public spoke during the public hearing, and there was no discussion among council members. The council approved the plans unanimously.