COLUMBIA — The street map of downtown Columbia isn’t going to be changed just yet.
City Council tabled a proposed ordinance by a vote of 4-2 to name five east-west alleys at its meeting Monday. The decision came after City Manager Bill Watkins raised concerns about the infrastructure demands of alley-based businesses, including snow removal and emergency services.
“All these things can be solved with money,” Watkins said, “but is this the best use for our resources?”
The alley name discussion began when the city received a request over the summer for a building permit from downtown property owner John Ott, who wants to start a business with an “alley-only” entrance. Under current city code, a business must have a permanent address, and without a street name for the alley, Ott cannot develop such a business.
Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade and Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser both voted against the motion to table. Ward wanted more consideration for the names themselves while Nauser felt the council shouldn’t solely be considering one individual’s request.
City staff will look into how the infrastructure problems could be addressed and report back to the council in two weeks.