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Council Votes Against Moratorium

*** UPDATE 11:05 P.M. ***A St. Louis Company’s request to demolish the historic Niedermeyer building in downtown Columbia can now move forward. The company wants to tear down the Neidermeyer building to build a 16 story student apartment complex.As of 9:30 P.M. Tuesday night the Columbia City Council voted on a moratorium that would delay any downtown demolition for six months. The delay on any downtown demolitions didn’t pass. The vote between the five council members and the mayor ended at three to three, and therefore the issue failed and was not approved. Tuesday night more than a hundred people showed up to the city council meeting and around 24 people spoke publically either in support or against the proposal. Around fifteen people spoke in support of the issue, including the historical who are trying to save the Niedermeyer building. The issue was initialed tabled two weeks ago so the city could hear from two city groups. The Community Improvement District publically told council Tuesday night they opposed the plan. The Downtown Leadership Council asked the council to approve the plan Tuesday night.The Niedermeyer building owner’s lawyer also spoke, and enforced their threat to sue the city if the issue passed. When the council discussed the matter Mayor Bob McDavid said “I want to save the Niedermeyer, but I do not want to pass a bad ordinance.” He voted against the plan. Other council members issued the possibility of tabling the plan once again, but that too was killed by a three to three vote.When it comes to the Niedermeyer building specifically, it will not be approved to be torn down until at least this summer when there is no more working electricity and it is vacant. Now just because demolitions can move forward, the St. Louis company is still looking for approval for its request.After that issue was dealt with the Columbia City Council did approve a federal grant that will be used to hire 5 fire fighters immediately. *** ORIGINAL STORY ***The Columbia city council is discussing delaying demolition projects to save a downtown structure.A developer from St. Louis wants to demolish the older apartments and build a 16-story student housing complex. The Niedermeyer is currently the oldest building in Columbia.Earlier this month, the council tabled the issue, but the Downtown Columbia Leadership Council agreed to temporarily halt demolition in the district for the next six months.

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