SHOW ME THE RECORDS: Neighborhood associations

Monday, July 30, 2012 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Most government records are open to the public at no charge. These records give citizens the opportunity to find out what's going on, how their elected officials are spending tax dollars, how the various departments within a governmental entity work and other valuable information needed to make strong decisions for the future. Each week, the Missourian highlights a government record that is available to the public.

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The records: A guide to Columbia's Neighborhood Organization Program, including a list of neighborhood associations and basic information on how to form your own neighborhood association.

Why you'd want them: Several of Columbia's residential areas are part of organized neighborhood associations. The city's website provides a map where you can click on your area and see which association it belongs to, if it is part of one. If you live in an organized neighborhood and want to learn more, the page contains a link to a document with a list of associations and a contact for each one. If there is not a neighborhood association in your area and you would like to create one, you can read an overview of the neighborhood association formation process.

Where you get the records: Go to Near the top banner of the page, hover over "City Government." Click on "Community Development" in the second column, then on "Neighborhood Services" on the left side of the page. Choose "Neighborhood Resources."

How much it will cost: The information is free.

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