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Columbia City Council to discuss funding workforce development programs

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

On Monday, the Columbia City Council will hear the request from John Glascock and city staff on where to spend $2 million of the $25 million American Rescue Plan Act funds that would address development inequalities that were exposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

City staff recommends funding three workforce development programs - MACC, Job Point, and CoMo Cooks. These programs currently work to prepare future workers, unemployed self-employed workers, and encourage people who want to start their own business.

The MACC proposal includes the expansion of the Mechatronics and Makerspace programs, as well as customized training and early college career and technical education scholarships.

The CoMo Cooks shared commercial kitchen proposal is for the purpose of purchasing additional equipment, renovating space in a new permanent location, and increasing program offerings for marketing, retail, business coaching, workshops and training.

The Job Point proposal is for the purchase and renovation of a new training facility and purchase of software and a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) simulator.

The ARPA funds would allow the three programs to expand their ability to train more citizens, especially those underrepresented in postsecondary education or impacted by racial and social economic inequality.

Internet sales use tax

The council will also have the first reading of a proposal to put an internet sales tax on out-of-state purchases, on the 2022 April ballot.

City staff has prepared an ordinance to ask voters to approve a use tax on purchases made outside city limits of taxable items that will be used, stored, or consumed in the City of Columbia and on which no local tax was collected on the purchase.

The purpose of the use tax is to protect Columbia businesses from unfair competition with vendors located outside of the city limits that are not required to collect local taxes.

The council says vendors outside of the city limits and internet-based vendors are at a competitive advantage compared to Columbia vendors because they do not have to charge a local sales tax. The use tax would ensure that purchases from vendors located outside of city limits are subject to the same local tax rates as those purchases made from Columbia vendors.

Boone County commissioners said on Thursday they intend to do the same.

Sewer and wastewater

Council is also expected to hold public comment to discuss proposed sewer rehabilitation and wastewater debris removal improvements.

Approximately 75,000 linear feet of sewer lines will be rehabilitated. Many of the pipes are cracked and broken, nearing the point of failure.

The project would repair sewer pipe, manholes and lateral connections located in Downtown Columbia and on Business Loop 70. Rehabilitation of these lines will reduce inflow and infiltration and the occurrence of stoppages.

The project is anticipated to begin in late 2022.

New City Manager announcement

Also on Monday, the announcement of the new city manager will be made at 4 p.m.

The council has not provided names of any finalists to the public. Current City Manager John Glascock announced his plans to retire in June.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. How will this “use tax” be collected, and from whom? Are you expected to audit yourself and pay tax on your purchases, or is the City going to claim tax jurisdiction over the world?

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