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Columbia City Council to vote on hotel parking agreement and discuss banning flavored vapes

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Columbia City Council plans to vote on the parking agreement for the new Cherry Street Hotel, but this time with more data presented.

The agreement would provide 99 spaces in the 10th and Cherry Street garage for the proposed Cherry Street hotel. Council members tabled the agreement at a July meeting over concerns about the fairness of the agreement.

The 10th and Cherry Street parking garage has 276 parking spaces. Of those, 164 are permit spaces, 104 are hourly spaces and eight are spaces for people with disabilities. The garage oversold permits, though, bringing the total permits issued to 209.

There are currently 91 requests on the garage's waiting list, and some council members have expressed concern the proposed agreement could put the Cherry Street Hotel in the front of the waiting list, displacing existing permit holders.

The council plans to discuss and vote on the agreement at the meeting Monday night.

Columbia City Council members will also look over a report from the Board of Health about banning flavored vapes to reduce the number of youth vaping in Boone County.

According to an agenda memo, the Board of Health began studying the issue of youth vaping and its impact on mental and physical health in October 2019. Now, the board has sent the report to council, requesting assistance to prevent teen vaping.

The report details three recommendations that could help decrease youth vaping, including zoning restrictions on vape shops, since vape shops can currently operate near schools.

Health officials also recommend a ban on flavored vapes since currently E-cigarettes are sold in over 15,000 flavors. The 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed flavored e-cigarettes were preferred by 85% of high school users and 74% of middle school users in 2020.

The board is also recommending the council explore higher taxes on vaping products to increase the cost and hopefully reduce use by youth.

No vote is expected on the report Monday night.

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Zola Crowder

Zola Crowder joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in June 2020 after graduating from the University of Missouri with a broadcast journalism degree. Before reporting at ABC 17, Zola was a reporter at KOMU where she learned to cover politics, crime, education, economics and more.

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