Compared to the rest of the country, Columbia’s economy is pretty good. Unemployment is well below the national average. But the numbers can also tell a different story, one where massive changes are already underway.
The “density” of Columbia’s downtown areas was a key topic emerging from the fourth phase of the city’s public-input program known as “Columbia Imagined.” A slightly smaller crowd than usual gathered at Columbia city hall last night (Tuesday) to discuss the fourth phase of the planning program. Called “Where are we headed?” the discussion drew Columbia community development planners and a crowd of about 20 participants to discuss possible options for Columbia’s growth.
The Columbia City Council has agreed to rezone two lots on Walnut Street to make way for a new apartment building. The decision came in a vote at Monday's city council meeting, where councilmembers voted 6-1 to rezone two lots on Walnut Street near College Avenue from residential to commercial, despite protests from neighbors.
After an earlier rezoning request was denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission, Jon and Nathan Odle, owners of the property, added two amendments to the request, including contributions to a new city bus system known as FastCAT Express.
The Jefferson City City Council has taken on a debate about smoking in public housing. A subcommittee of the City Council has announced a special meeting to discuss smoking regulations in public housing and whether the council has any power to change them. Several citizens from public housing and Smokefree Jefferson City asked the council earlier this month to strengthen regulations on smoking in public housing.
In the next few days, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the federal health care law. Even if the court upholds the law, one key component will be under fire here in Missouri come November. On the ballot will be a measure targeting the law's required online marketplaces, or health insurance exchanges, where individuals and small businesses can buy plans.
In what continues to be one of the most divisive issues in Columbia, a proposed Enhanced Enterprise Zone was the topic of more public discussion and a rally at last night’s Columbia City Council meeting.
Columbia residents rallied last night to express frustrations over the Enhanced Enterprise Zone and what they believe to be a nonresponsive municipal government.
Columbia residents have publicly voiced their opposition to the measure that is designed to bring jobs to Columbia through a series of tax credits for businesses that set up within the zone’s boundaries.