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Columbia moving forward with Downtown park at former Superfund site


The City of Columbia is moving forward with a plan to build a new park in the Downtown Columbia area.

The park will be built in an empty lot at Orr Street and Park Avenue at a former site owned by Ameren. The site was deemed a contaminated Superfund site and was cleaned up starting in 2014.

Downtown Community Improvement District Executive Director Nickie Davis said this is something the CID has wanted for years.

"It's been an eyesore for a long time and the city was finally able to negotiate and buy it... and what the district, what north village arts district what we wanna see is a green space," Davis said.

Davis said Columbia Parks and Recreation received a grant worth $1.5 million for the green space to be constructed. This grant includes tearing down buildings and removing cement, which Davis said is already underway.

Davis said that the design features of the park still need to be approved through public comment. However, she was unsure of when this will happen.

"So it will go out to public comment um with probably a couple of different designs of what that space will look like," Davis said.

Davis also noted that the idea for a new park came because businesses in the North Village Arts District have a history of asking for one to be built. She also said that having a park in the city helps to keep the area active and bring visitors to downtown.

"It lowers the temperature...It brings more sense of a community... It lets workers take a break in a fun area," Davis said. "We have 5,000 residents people can utilize that park for whatever they may want to, and we also have lots of animals down here."

Davis said the CID hopes the park will be built by 2024, but an official date has not been set.

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Nia Hinson


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