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City leaders stay until morning hours discussing issues

Columbia city leaders stayed until the early hours of Tuesday morning addressing some of the big issues in the city.

Everything from open burning to sidewalk cafes to downtown development was discussed.

The city council members voted to allow the sale of land on Eight Street to be used as a site for a homeless drop-in center. This would give the homeless a place to go during the day for their everyday needs.

Council members tabled a decision on banning open burning within city limits. They tabled it for three months to allow further research on the health impacts of burning.

The big item on the agenda was, once again, downtown development.

A new housing complex was proposed downtown on Tenth and Broadway. It would be built where the Buchroeder’s Jeweler’s parking lot is.

It was just read for the first time, with no vote taken on it.

But it does come in the middle of city leaders debating downtown development and whether or not Columbia has the infrastructure for it as well as a potential lawsuit against the city on the table.

The lawsuit would come from the lawyers for the Opus Development Group.

City council approved Opus to develop downtown on March 19. But a citizen petition asked the city to rescind the approval and not allow the developer to build.

Opus lawyers stood before council and said they would take legal action if not allowed to build.

Mayor Bob McDavid said he believes the petition is irresponsible and should be invalidated by city council. He even went so far as to say it could be putting the city’s public safety of spending at risk.

“It would absolutely cripple our ability to pay for water, electrical and road needs….just be absolutely crippling,” McDavid said.

Council members did not vote on invalidating the petition.

Article Topic Follows: News

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