Business Beat: September 21, 2011 | KBIA

Business Beat: September 21, 2011

This week: Yogurt businesses are booming in Columbia, but is it because of a preconceived notion? Mamtek International, based in Moberly, was suppose to bring 600 more jobs to the city but is now having financial difficulty.  And Monday’s City Council meeting left Columbians unhappy with a new price increase.

Hosted by Nick Adams.

Columbia’s city council has passed the fiscal year 2012 budget. The proposed bus service reductions were mostly eliminated. But regular bus fares in Columbia are going up from one dollar to a dollar-fifty. The cost of a ride on Columbia Para-transit will remain at two dollars, thanks to a last minute amendment allotting around 29,000 dollars from the city council’s own reserve fund to Para-transit. KBIA’s Camille Phillips was at Monday’s city council meeting  – and heard the impassioned pleas and reasoned arguments from the many Columbia residents.

Last year, Mamtek International, a sugar substitute producer, announced its plans to build a factory in Moberly, which would bring more than 600 jobs to Moberly.  The company is struggling financially. According to a UMB release, the company missed its first payment to the city, due August first then another payment due to the Trustee on August 15th.  UMB sent a notice of default to Mamtek on September first.

Mamtek was authorized for state tax incentives through two economic incentive programs.  Missouri Department of Economic Development spokesman John Fougere says the company has not received any state money and won’t unless it creates the jobs it promised.

The company estimates 20 million to 44.5 million dollars are needed to complete the project.  UMB has a conference scheduled with the bondholders on September 23rd.

Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?  Well it looks like the nation as well as the city of Columbia chooses Frozen Yogurt.  The city already has around 10 stores that offer frozen yogurt, and recently another one  opened on West Broadway. The popularity of frozen yogurt has grown because it’s considered a healthy treat. But exactly how healthy is it? Yiqian Zhang went yogurt shopping, in search of some answers.