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Columbia City Council to review GetAbout Columbia projects, city budget

Monday, September 2, 2013 | 6:50 p.m. CDT; updated 7:54 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 2, 2013
GetAbout Columbia has several proposed plans to create more sidewalks and trails throughout the city. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department and GetAbout Columbia staff have prioritized these trails and sidewalks as the top five projects.

COLUMBIA — The fates of 13 GetAbout Columbia projects are expected to be decided at Tuesday's City Council meeting. Council members are slated to decide how to appropriate about $3.57 million remaining from federal grants.

City staff has prioritized the tasks left to be tackled and recommended that the funds be used to support five projects: an extension of the Hinkson Creek Trail, installation of two sections of sidewalk on Clark Lane, work on phase two of the County House Trail (West) and creation of a trail running from Old 63 at Shepard Boulevard to the east end of Rollins Street. The total cost of the five projects is estimated at $3.48 million.

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Eight other projects were prioritized lower and would not receive funding under the recommendation: bike lanes for Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard, a connection for the Hominy Trail, a sidewalk for West Boulevard, part of the Wabash Walkway, the Cosmo Park Trail, phase two of the County House Trail (East), the Old Plank Road sidewalk and a trail from Vandiver Drive to Rice Road.

The GetAbout list is receiving attention following the Aug. 24 work session on the city budget, where Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala received conflicting reports from City Manager Mike Matthes and his staff about progress on the Clark Lane projects. Members of Matthes' staff said they could not move forward on the projects until GetAbout funding was appropriated, prompting Skala and other council members to ensure that divvying up the funds was on the agenda for the next full council meeting.

The council can choose to accept the funding proposals as presented or to modify them. Either way, a vote on a finalized list is expected by the end of the meeting.

Tuesday's council meeting is also the last of three public hearings about the full city budget. Several budget amendments will be discussed, and some time will be dedicated to public comment.

City Council meetings are open to the public. Tuesday's meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Daniel Boone City Building.

Supervising editor is Margaux Henquinet.


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