COLUMBIA — Columbia voters will decide in November whether or not to renew a one-eighth-cent park sales tax. The Friends of Columbia's Parks committee is working in support of that extension.

Mayor Bob McDavid announced the appointment of the committee at the Columbia City Council meeting Tuesday night, according to a city news release.

In 2000, voters approved a one-quarter-cent sales tax for Columbia parks, one-half of which is renewable every five years. Voters renewed it in 2005.

Former Mayor Mary Anne McCollum and Columbia Daily Tribune publisher Vicki Russell are the committee chairwomen. Boone County National Bank President Steve Erdel is the treasurer, according to the release.

Erdel said the parks system is one of Columbia's better assets.

"It's an extension of an existing tax," he said. "It's not an increase in any way, shape or form."

If passed on Nov. 2, the extension would raise about $12 million for local parks during the next five years, according to the release.

Other appointed committee members are Tom Atkins, Marin Blevins, Sue Davis, Dan Devine, Meridith Donaldson, Kee Groshong, former Mayor Darwin Hindman, Linda Hutton, Karl Kruse, Tom Mendenhall, Joe Moseley, Clyde Ruffin, and Mike Vangel.

More appointments may be made in the future, according to the release.

The committee is scheduled to hold an organizational meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in Conference Room 1A at City Hall.

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