Voter turnout in Columbia was low today as residents decide on a $32.3 million bond measure for the city’s sewer system.
Around noon, only about 2,400 people had voted. Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said she isn’t quite sure why there has been such the low turnout.
The proposal comes because the city’s need for major sewer improvements. With the bond the city would be able to complete major maintenance on the existing sewer system due to rainwater getting in the system and old pipes.
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.
The Boone County Regional Sewer District has received a $1.36 million low-interest loan from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The one-time loan is to fund two upcoming projects, including the sewer extension to the new Battle High School.