Monday night, Columbia City Council voted 5-2 against a plan for a tax increment financing district that City Manager Mike Matthes had been promoting. The TIF would’ve paid for infrastructure projects in the downtown area.
Council member, Ian Thomas, had been hearing a lot of concern about the TIF the week prior to the meeting. He says people did not fully understand it and that they felt it was not constant with community plans. He says this concern was echoed in the meeting.
The Columbia City Council voted to not pass a bill to rezone 1.39 acres on the corner of Providence Road and East Broadway to build a CVS pharmacy Monday evening. The pharmacy would have consisted of a 13,000 square foot building, drive-thru pharmacy, 65 parking spaces, and more efficient sidewalks along Broadway.
Resident Rosie Gerding expressed her thoughts on the suburban look of the pharmacy would bring to the downtown area.
Karl Skala and Ian Thomas were sworn into office at a special city council meeting Monday evening in Columbia.
Fourth Ward Council member Ian Thomas said he wants to bring a more research based and analytical approach to policy making to the council. Thomas said he’s looking forward to working on finding a solution to the Providence Road congestion problem.
Third Ward Council member Karl Skala said he has many plans for the future.
Skala reclaimed the position from incumbent Gary Kespohl with 54% of the votes. This redeems his narrow defeat to Kespohl in 2010, when Skala lost the seat by 54 votes. Kespohl knew that this time it would be close and estimated that he knocked on nearly 5700 doors.
In his concession speech, Kespohl was brief. “I’m afraid for Columbia now because of some things that Karl is going to try to do. It may drive development completely out of Columbia. I hope it doesn’t, but it may.”