Columbia Council trusts engineering firm to make infrastructure estimates

Monday, October 1, 2007 | 11:09 p.m. CDT; updated 6:28 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — Although three council members said their constituents expressed concern about the infrastructure costs of the six proposed sites for a new high school, Columbia City Council made no motion to ask city staff to assess the costs.

The council agreed that the engineering firm contracted by Columbia Public Schools to make estimates was competent and adequate.

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala initiated discussion at Monday’s meeting.

“I’m representing a lot of constituents who have a huge stake in the site selection process,” he said.

Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade and Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe also said they had been contacted by residents.

Wade said that he thought Engineering Surveys & Services was capable of making accurate cost estimates.

City Manager Bill Watkins said both he and Tim Teddy, director of Planning and Zoning, had offered to help generate infrastructure estimates, but the school district said it didn’t need the help.

Watkins said he had made the offer to the Columbia Public Schools on several occasions.

Skala, after hearing that Watkins and Teddy had made offers to help with estimates, said the action was enough.

Hoppe said if there are gaps in the information given to the committee chosen to evaluate high school sites, it can come to the city with questions.

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