Council seeks public input on how to spend $ 25 million in bailout funds | New
Colombians are invited to share their thoughts on how the city is expected to spend the roughly $ 25 million it expects to receive under US federal bailout law over the next two years.
Columbia City Council will solicit ideas from the public in a working session Monday at 5 p.m. in the Council Chamber of the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.
City staff in a PowerPoint presentation described the eligible uses of the money, which is intended to help local governments cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The law allows cities to use the money to cover the cost of public health responses, to cope with negative economic impacts, to invest in water, sewers and broadband infrastructure, and to compensate for loss of electricity. income.
Mayor Brian Treece, in a budget working session on May 26, offered his ideas on how to spend the money. He said in his own PowerPoint presentation that the one-time influx of money offers the opportunity to make “catalytic investments to transform Colombia’s economy.”
Treece suggested that the city could:
- Inject $ 2 million into streets and sidewalks to fill gaps in the city’s transportation network.
- Spending $ 3 million to establish a rapid-access treatment center that would provide immediate care to residents in need and divert them from hospitals or prisons. Treece proposed a partnership between city and county law enforcement, health care providers, emergency rooms, and behavioral health care providers.
- Devote $ 1.4 million to workforce development, which would include a one-year teaching certificate for advanced electrical skills. He said it could be a stand-alone program or an extension of Moberly Area Community College’s mechatronics program.
- Spend $ 2.5 million on an elaborate stormwater diversion project along Business Loop 70 that would include a series of retention ponds north of the Business Loop and south of Interstate 70. Treece is considering plans water and attractive trails that would connect downtown residents to grocery stores, higher education institutions, and transit systems. The Business Loop Community Improvement District already plans to spend $ 1.5 million on stormwater management projects.
- Allocate $ 1 million to an emergency shelter for the homeless.
- Use $ 10 million to establish municipal broadband service.
Council members at the budget working session suggested that it would be a good idea to get public input early on on how best to spend the money rather than waiting for public hearings on the overall budget. for fiscal year 2022 which will take place in August and September.
City staff will make a presentation during Monday’s working session before allowing the public to comment.