The Columbia City Council honored Marin Blevins with the 10th Howard B. Lang, Jr. Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service at its meeting Monday night.

Blevins, former chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission, received a plaque and a $1,000 gift, which he donated to the Parks and Recreation Endowment Fund.

The award is named for Howard B. Lang Jr., who served as mayor of Columbia from 1953 to 1957. Mayor Brian Treece presented the award to Blevins and quoted his nominator, Ted Farnen, vice chairman of the Parks And Recreation Commission.

“Marin is a shining example of a person who gives back to his community,” Farnen wrote in his nomination letter.

Treece said Blevins started several competitive sports programs for both soccer and basketball.

Blevins coached city sports programs for 32 years and volunteered with Special Olympics for 37 years.

Lang’s daughter and Blevins’ family were in attendance for the award presentation.

“The more you volunteer the more you grow as an individual,” Blevins said. “I want to thank the selection committee for picking me, that’s wonderful. A total surprise.”

Later in the meeting, the council unanimously approved the Copperstone Commercial development plan.

The application was presented by Crockett Engineering on behalf of HJRJ Investments LLC. The company is owned by John Hall, who has lived in the Copperstone neighborhood for eight years.

The area will include four residential houses and two commercial office buildings off Frontgate Drive and Vawter School Road.

Public comments submitted to the council were overwhelmingly in favor of the project. Many residents in the neighborhood said Hall had spoken with them about their concerns and they support the plan.

“I went through 43 iterations with the neighbors,” Hall said. “It was exhausting, but it was worth it.”

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala praised Hall’s interaction with the community.

“I appreciate that you said the product has gotten better because of the interaction, and it was well worth the cost,” Skala told Hall.

Tim Teddy, Columbia’s community development director, said the area was originally zoned in 1998 commercially. He said this is the first time a specific building plan was proposed.

Earlier at a council work session, the council was updated on the status of the new airport terminal at Columbia Regional Airport. The project is expected to cost $35.3 million. Some of the money for the project will come from the FAA, airport revenue and the city of Columbia.

Stacey Button, director of economic development, said the plan is to break ground on the new terminal in the spring of next year and to finish it in the spring of 2022, weather permitting.

Supervising editor is Marcelle Peters.

  • General Assignment, summer 2019 Studying investigative journalism Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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