Area briefly

Thursday, September 30, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:16 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Vandalism sets back finishing Tiger Spot

MU’s Tiger Spot seems cursed.

After almost three years of repair work, artists experienced another setback in the restoration of the glass mosaic located in front of MU’s Ellis Library — a paint job.

Police were alerted by artists working on the mosaic Wednesday morning that white paint was thrown on the spot.

University officials believe the damage can be repaired, but will push completion of the repairs back approximately two weeks. Artists were in the final phase of restoration when the defacement occurred.

The Tiger Spot, unveiled in October 2001, was originally damaged by a combination of weathering and vandalism.

The project and repairs have been funded through private donations, which total $207,500. There is no estimate of how much the current damage will cost to repair.

—Maureen Waters

Roads extension hearing postponed

Today’s public hearing on proposals to extend major roads in central Columbia has been postponed until Oct. 27.

The Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization rescheduled the hearing because Mayor Darwin Hindman could not attend the meeting, said Chuck Bondra, interim director of the city’s Planning and Development Department.

CATSO must hold a public hearing before it can make changes to Columbia’s Major Roadways Plan, including the extension of Scott Boulevard and Fairview Road. The changes are needed to conform to the Missouri Department of Transportation’s plans for the expansion of Interstate 70.

Department of Transportation officials plan to hold a public hearing on an environmental impact study on expanding the interstate in November and to adopt it by the end of the year. The rescheduling of the CATSO hearing will not affect these plans, said Bob Brendel, a spokesman for the Interstate 70 improvement project. The public hearing is set for for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Daniel Boone City Building.

—Andrew Zahler

Task force probes costs of expansion

On Wednesday, a new task force evaluating the County Commission’s proposed $15 million government facilities expansion questioned whether the county had accounted for all costs associated with the project.

Members of the Boone County Space Needs Task Force, a 16-person group of former and current government officials, bankers and lawyers, asked in its inaugural meeting Wednesday whether the county had considered rental and construction costs throughout renovations and whether some offices could be moved to lower-cost locations.

To ease crowding at the courthouse and give some county offices room to expand, the commission has proposed adding two additional floors to the courthouse, razing the Johnson building, constructing a new two-story office building next to the courthouse and finishing the third floor of the Roger B. Wilson Boone County Government Center. The proposal also includes remodeling the other two floors of the government center.

If approved, the project would be paid for with a bond issue calling for a seven-cent property tax levy, which has been reduced from a nine-cent levy initially estimated by the commission. Presiding County Commissioner Keith Schnarre advised the task force to consider whether lower-cost, short-term solutions might meet the immediate needs of the county. The task force will tour the facilities in question next week.

— Brendan Watson

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