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Columbia City Council delays vote on plan for brick streets

Monday, November 18, 2013 | 10:21 p.m. CST; updated 10:31 p.m. CST, Monday, November 18, 2013

COLUMBIA — A decision on the fate of Columbia's brick streets will have to wait.

At its Monday meeting, the Columbia City Council delayed a vote on a plan for maintaining Columbia's brick streets after Mayor Bob McDavid expressed concern about moving too quickly on the issue. The plan will be taken up at the council's second meeting in February.

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McDavid said he wants more input from the Human Rights Commission, the Disabilities Commission and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Commission.

"I just think this is a policy that impacts each of these organizations greatly," McDavid said.

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala agreed with McDavid that the council needs more time to gather information about the resolution.

"To be quite honest with you, the first I really heard about it was when I read about it in my packet," Skala said. "There is a good deal of interest both from the disabilities community and from the public at large."

The plan, which was drawn up by the Historic Preservation Commission, would keep bricks from being removed from streets in part of downtown Columbia. It also includes recommendations for relaying bricks on some streets over the next 20 years.

The plan also recommends uncovering some brick streets that are now paved over. Advocates for the people with disabilities oppose this part of the plan, saying that brick streets can be hazardous.

A year and a half ago, Public Works Director John Glascock approached the Preservation Commission with concerns that city workers didn't have enough guidance on dealing with brick streets.

Historic Preservation Commission member Brent Gardner said he has been working on the issue of maintaining brick streets for eight years.

"I thought we might have some finality tonight, but we do not, so I'll have to come back in February I guess," Gardner said.

Members of the Disabilities Commission said they were happy the plan would get more consideration.

"I am pleased that the city decided to table it and get further data analysis, research, report from staff, that type of thing, before we move forward," commission member Cheryl Price said.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.


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