Fowler resolution on ARPA fund spending to be voted on Monday | Local

The Columbia City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a resolution regarding the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds that was introduced by First Ward Councilwoman Pat Fowler at a Feb. 7 meeting.

The proposed resolution calls for 100% of federal ARPA funds to be allocated to those hard hit by the pandemic, to alleviate some of the conditions of systemic poverty, racial inequality, and to move toward a stronger economy and public health capacity.

In an interview, Fowler noted that council member Ian Thomas and other community members played a role in crafting the resolution.

“While I presented it, it’s not just my resolution. It’s a two-member council resolution and we had about 20 people in the community who worked with us on the language of the resolution,” Fowler said.

Fowler presented the resolution at the February 7 council meeting as a number of concerned citizens spoke to the council about the lack of a homeless shelter in Colombia.

ARPA funds allow local and national governments to provide investments in their community to economically counter the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council has already committed to a path of allocating $12.5 million of ARPA funds in four categories: early access to mental health, community violence, homelessness and workforce development. artwork. At a pre-board meeting on February 21, a presentation was given on strategies for a broad process of public contribution to ARPA funds.

The board has expressed interest in having a rigorous public engagement process that includes public votes and focus groups within the Columbia community. There would also be an educational effort that would inform citizens about what ARPA funds are and how the city could spend them.

The board did not approve a specific approach, but discussions reflected the potential impact on the resolution proposed by Fowler and Thomas.

Fowler said the resolution and the proposed community engagement process “align perfectly” because its goal is for the city to recognize that some community members have suffered more during the pandemic than others.

“There’s clearly a disproportionate impact for some of us. This money shouldn’t be going to those of us who haven’t experienced difficult or different circumstances,” Fowler said.

Council will hear anticipated public comments on the proposed construction and maintenance of the Cosmopolitan Recreation Area. He will also set a public hearing date for the shelter reconstructions at Cosmo and the relocation of the Tot Lot playground.

Funding for the 1.25-mile fitness trail projects will come from the 2021 parks sales tax revenue stream and will cost about $100,000, according to a staff memo. The plan includes repairing and building asphalt, renovating memorial benches, and replacing signage along the tail. Renovations to those projects are expected to begin in the spring of 2022, according to the council memo.

Council will be asked to authorize the construction of these renovations.

In addition, council will be asked to hold a public hearing for the renovations to the shelter in Cosmo Park and the relocation of the current Tot Lot. The Lamb, Nickell, and Burford Shelters are all slated to be replaced with funds generated from 2021 Parks Sales Tax revenue. Some renovations include adding ADA accessible walkways and improving the existing parking lot. The project will cost around $300,000.

The Lamb and Nickell Shelters will undergo renovations to existing structures, such as roof replacement and new electrical siding. The Burford Shelter will be replaced, with a new steel shelter that will have ADA-accessible parking and will be raised 2 feet to eliminate drainage issues.

The schedule for shelter renovations will be staggered to minimize construction impacts on shelter rentals and special park events, according to the council memo.

The current Tot Lot is located next to the Nickell Shelter and has drainage issues, according to the memo. The new location will be on the south side of the Nickell Shelter to allow for better drainage, ADA accessible access, and provide ample space for the play area.

Currently, a sand volleyball court sits there, and it isn’t heavily used, the memo says.

2015 park sales tax revenue and funds donated by the Columbia Cosmopolitan Luncheon Club will be used to fund this project.

Park Sales Tax Implementation Plan

The 2021 Parks Sales Tax Implementation Plan will also be heard at Monday’s meeting. Citizens of Colombia have voted to extend the parks sales tax in November 2021.

The implementation plan will follow a cash flow basis for the proposed projects, in addition to the availability of internal workers, board leadership, donation or sponsorship opportunities, grant funding schedule, and other factors. related to projects. The proposed schedule is similar to the 2015 plan, according to the memo.

The University of Missouri Board of Curators has authorized the use of four university properties for training exercises for the Columbia Fire and Police Departments. The board should give routine approval to accept this offer.

The properties include 115 Business Loop 70 West, called Mizzou North, 303 S. Sixth St., 501 S. Sixth St. and 1400 Carrie Francke Drive, according to City Council’s consent program. The four buildings were already to be destroyed by the university.

Fifth Street Parking Garage

The council will also authorize the city to issue a tender and permit the construction of phase two of the Fifth Street and Walnut parking garage, which includes fencing over exterior garage openings on each floor beginning with the fifth. City Council authorized contractor Walker Consultants to design the fence for the project in February 2020. The fence is part of a larger project designed as a suicide prevention measure following several suicides at the garage, which is the tallest structure in downtown Columbia at nine stories. The cost of the project is estimated at $504,000 and the funds will come from the City’s general fund.

Financial audit of the 2021 financial year

Special items on the agenda include a presentation of the financial audit for the 2021 financial year presented by RSM. Audit findings include an 8.8% increase in total tax revenue, major capital events in fiscal year 2021, net debt outstanding, budget variances, company, general fund, fund statements and activity schedule, net position schedule, financial funds, government-wide financial statements, full financial report and financial highlights.

Report on the May 2020 agreement with the Mid-Missouri Radio Control Association

Prior to 2018, the city council approved an agreement allowing the Mid-Missouri Radio Control Association to use city-owned property for the purpose of launching and landing radio-controlled model airplanes.

Since the agreement, residents have voiced complaints about excessive noise, including at the last council meeting. The MMRCA has since pledged to change flight routes, but residents say they have not followed through.

Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas has written a report on the matter.

“If the City Council finds that the MMRCA is unreasonably disrupting the lives of residents of Longview, a number of possible actions can be taken, including the following:

• The agreement can be amended to restrict where and when model aircraft are allowed to fly.

• The agreement can be suspended or terminated.”

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