The city will pay Midwest Environmental Consultants up to $43,500 to do an environmental assessment of the former Ameren property at St. James and Orr streets.

In April, the Columbia City Council approved buying the 2-acre property in the North Village Arts District. Whether it will be used for green space, a performance venue or some other purpose has yet to be decided.

The Ameren property was the site of a manufacturing gas plant, a former subsidiary of Union Electric. Ameren has removed about 30,000 tons of contaminated soil and dug from 14 to 21 feet down to do so, per a covenant between Ameren and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Phase 1 of the assessment will investigate the limitations of the property in order to minimize contamination.

The Department of Natural Resources will give Midwest Environmental Consultants files that include information about the remediation of this site and neighboring sites.

The consulting agreement approved at Monday's council meeting will provide information about beneficial risk and liability information about the recreational uses of the property.

The consultants will be paid by the North Village Land Purchase Capital Improvement Project account.

  • General Assignment reporter, Summer 2021 Studying publication design Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 573-882-5700

  • Elizabeth Brixey is the Columbia Missourian's education editor and an associate professor in the Missouri School of Journalism. She can be reached at (573) 882-2632 and

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