Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid announced the appointment of a citizens committee Thursday. The group’s job will be to inform the community of a proposed tax increase to improve the city sewage system. Third Ward City Councilman Karl Skala says Columbia needs this proposal.
“Our sewer system is just wearing out in some places, in particular on the West side in the fourth Ward there are a lot of common collectors, as they’re known and those have the responsibilities of the home owners to maintain those sewer lines,” Skala says.
Skala says the bond issue is necessary to make sure Columbia grows in a healthy, responsible manner as it expands with population growth.
The committee is composed of nearly 20 community members who believe the proposal would be beneficial. Project director for Missouri HealthNet Jill Lucht is a member of the committee.
“My participation on the ballot committee is that I’m a home owner in the first ward that’s had sewer backup into my basement,” she says. “So for me it’s important for the whole community of Columbia to understand the situation that people in certain neighborhoods are faced with and that this is one way to provide a solution.”
The committee plans to reach the community through various presentations and discussions.
Supporters of the tax increase say it could help to make the sewer system more reliable, improve wastewater collection, and ensure the system meets environmental requirements. The committee’s first meeting is scheduled for Sept. 23 and the bond issue election will be held Nov. 5.