COLUMBIA — Columbia's new City Manager Mike Matthes was sworn in at the beginning of the City Council meeting Monday night. His first meeting lasted just about two hours and dealt with issues that included the Short Street garage and a Water and Light bond.
Short Street garage
City Council gave their nod of approval to continue to halt design work on the proposed Short Street parking garage.
Concerns about spending money on the garage design without assurance that a hotel would be built were brought up at the April 18 council meeting, according to a previous Missourian report.
At the meeting, Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said Regency Hotel redeveloper Dave Parmley understands there will be monetary penalties if the agreement falls through.
“That certainly will put him with some skin in the game,” St. Romaine said.
St. Romaine said Parmley is pursuing the DoubleTree hotel franchise. He said that it's looking "fairly positive" that DoubleTree will be the franchise and that Parmley should know within the next two to three weeks.
Water and Light bond
The Council authorized an $80.5 million Water and Light bond for water and electric system improvements. The city has 30 years to pay off the bond.
Wells Fargo won the bid with the lowest average real interest rate of about 4.38 percent, Finance Director John Blattel said.
About $49.5 million of the bond will be used to purchase the outstanding shares of the Columbia Energy Center, which was approved by voters on April 5. About $22.2 million will be used to maintain the water system and about $8.8 million will refund a portion of the Water and Electric Bond Series A 2002, according to the report.
The Columbia Public Works Department will receive a $20,000 grant from the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District to purchase compost recycling containers. The project aims at turning food into compost that would otherwise end up in a landfill.