City of Columbia

City to Conduct Smoke Tests of Sewers Downtown, on MU Campus

Mar 22, 2018

If you see white smoke rising from drains or buildings next week, don't be alarmed. It's likely to be part of a series of tests the City of Columbia Sewer Utility is conducting to identify areas where stormwater is getting into the sanitary sewers.

To tax or not to tax—that was the question short-term rental owners, hotel owners and the Columbia Visitors Bureau debated last night.

Meiying Wu

  The City of Columbia’s 2017 Citizen Survey results revealed that citizens’ satisfaction with quality of police services decreased in the past year.

Only 47 percent of citizens indicated they were satisfied with police response times and efforts to prevent crimes.


Dale Roberts is the executive director of the Columbia Police Officers’ Association. He said he was not at all surprised by the results.

“We’re not embarrassed by that number,” Roberts said. “We don’t feel like we got a bad grade. It actually supports what we’ve been saying all along, which is that we need more officers.”

Boone County Fire District Seeks Reimbursement through Legislation

Feb 15, 2018
Meiying Wu

After decades of negotiating territory with the city of Columbia, the Boone County Fire Protection District is seeking help through legislation.

For years, the Fire District hasn’t been getting reimbursed for services they provide in the annexed areas of the city because the property taxes are going to Columbia.

  The City of Columbia Commission on Human Rights met yesterday to review the possible addition of new protected categories. Protected categories shield citizens from being discriminated against for reasons such as race, religion and sexual orientation. The commission agreed to send a memo to City Council proposing up to six new categories, including receipt of government assistance and refugee status.


Today Paul Pepper visits with the City of Columbia's BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager, and PATRICIA HAYLES, Community Relations Specialist, about the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement (MCPA) awards nomination process. Applications are still being accepted! Also, Barbara invites those who need a small appliance repaired, and those who know how to fix a small appliance, to the first (possibly annual) "Fix-It Fair"! Watch for details! November 8, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager at the City of Columbia, about the annual 'Sustainable Living Fair' happening Sunday, October 15 at City Hall in downtown Columbia. Come and learn about all the ways to minimize your carbon footprint while saving a few bucks on energy bills! October 6, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager at the City of Columbia, about what Columbia's 'Climate Action Plan' means to the people of Mid-Missouri. Next month, the public is invited to attend a council meeting in which the Office of Sustainability will be presenting a comprehensive report that details efforts made by the citizens of Columbia to reduce carbon emissions, and a plan to continue those efforts into the future. Watch for details! July 24, 2017

New Lanes, New Look for Old 63, Stadium Intersection

Apr 10, 2017
MoDOT logo
File Photo / KBIA

There's something for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists in a $1.75 million project underway at Stadium Boulevard and Old 63.

Crosswalks with push-button signals, bicycle lanes and new turn lanes are being added to the intersection in an effort to make the area safer and more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.

Today Paul Pepper visits with BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager at the City of Columbia, about Earth Hour 2017. Plan to join the rest of the world and go dark from 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, March 25! A small gesture can make a big impact on future generations to come. Watch for details! March 23, 2017


Columbia city officials launched an online survey to assess residents' priorities regarding city projects for the next fiscal year.

According to the city’s website, it expects to receive federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development with a total of over $1 million.

Housing Programs Supervisor Randy Cole said the funds will go toward a variety of community activities to help provide economic opportunities, stabilize neighborhoods and assist with affordable housing.

Columbia Announces Plan to Upgrade Parking Meters

Dec 6, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Parking in downtown Columbia will look a little different come mid-January. The city’s public works department announced Tuesday it will upgrade nearly all of the city’s downtown parking meters.

The project, which comes with a roughly $475,000 price tag, will make each meter payable by coins, a new prepaid card system, or the Parkmobile app.

Of the more than 1,800 meters the city oversees downtown, about 90 percent will receive some sort of upgrade, though about half of existing meters will only get their internal mechanisms reworked.

The 710 meters set for replacement will make way for new meters that serve two parking spots at a time.

“These new meters have increased security. They have better tracking; better auditing data,” said Shay Jasper, of the Columbia Public Works Department. Jasper added the bright LED display will make the new meters easier to read.

The project is scheduled to start start Jan. 7 and finish on Jan. 13 assuming weather conditions are favorable, according to the city. Jasper said January was a good time to get the work done since many of Columbia’s college students are out of town for the holidays.

The new two-spot meters add a step to the payment process for drivers, making sure to select which spot they are paying for. Jasper says the process is “pretty straightforward,” and that the department will “hand out some brochures at the start” to help customers along.

Aleissa Bleyl / KBIA

More than 1,300 volunteers participated in Cleanup Columbia on Saturday, an annual event where people all over the city pick up litter along streets, streams and trails.

Work begins on Hominy Creek Trail Extension

Mar 22, 2016
City of Columbia

  Work on a new extension to Columbia’s Hominy Creek Trail began Monday, according to a city press release.

Demolition of Local Businesses Delayed

Mar 15, 2016

Two local businesses are still standing as their pending demolition has been delayed.

The city of Columbia announced in a press release last week that Quinton’s Bar and Deli and Britches Clothing at the corner of 9th and Locust in Downtown Columbia would be demolished on Monday the 14th of March. But the demolition has yet to happen, and Quinton’s has remained open as the new demolition date is still uncertain.

Today Paul Pepper visits with BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager at the City of Columbia, about Earth Hour! Barbara says "it's a global discussion and it's a global effort to really make a difference in climate change." It's coming up this Saturday - will you be ready to flip the switch? March 15, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager at the City of Columbia, talk about how - among other topics (such as recycling, the CoMo Energy Challenge, Christmas Tree curbside pickup and more) - Columbia uses methane from the landfill to power a turbine that generates electricity. Crazy stuff - watch! January 6, 2016

Today Paul Pepper visits with BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager at the City of Columbia, about ways to "save money where we can, so we can spend it where we want to." One way is to switch to LED light bulbs on the tree - they'll last for 40 Christmases! December 9, 2015

Cooperation gives Columbia Future Road Improvements

Nov 4, 2015
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

A cost share project between the City of Columbia and the Missouri Highway Transportation Commission has been finalized.

Today Paul Pepper and BARBARA BUFFALOE, Sustainability Manager for the City of Columbia, talk about a wide range of topics, including: recycling, household hazardous waste, CoMo Energy Challenge and more. You have questions, we have answers! November 2, 2015

File Photo / KBIA

The city of Columbia is moving back toward using red-light cameras. 

Previously, the city had used cameras from 2009 to 2013, but stopped because of unclear court rulings surrounding their use.

Last month, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled the use of red-light cameras was constitutional, which prompted the city to look back into installing cameras at various intersections.

City of Columbia Earns Partial Win in Former Employee Lawsuit

Sep 29, 2015
Joe Gratz / Flickr

Zim Schwartze filed suit against the City of Columbia, City Manager Michael Matthes and Police Chief Thomas Burton. Schwartze is a former police captain and former Director of the Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management. 

Kyle Norris / KBIA

The city of Columbia is looking toward the future. City Manager Mike Matthes spoke at public forum at City Hall Thursday morning about the city’s strategic plan for the next four years.

The plan, which will be introduced and could be approved by the city council at Tuesday’s meeting, includes five key projects: the economy, social equality, public safety, infrastructure, and workforce performance. Matthes said the biggest issue the city is looking to address is poverty.

cogdogblog / Flickr

  Columbia is offering the public an unusual way to charge their electronic devices.

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Jun 17, 2015
Juhyun Lee / KBIA

  Demolition crews arrived on site early this morning to begin work on the Downtown Shakespeare’s Pizza location. A crowd of local residents and journalists gathered and watch the process unfold.

File / KBIA

The Columbia City Council voted Monday night to withdraw the single-use plastic bag ban from the agenda until more research is done and community involvement is higher. There’s no estimate for exactly how long it would be before the issue might be brought up again, but City Manager Mike Matthes said it would be a “substantial” amount of time.

City of Columbia’s Official Website Attacked, Again

Feb 20, 2015
Iain Farrell / Flickr

The city of Columbia’s website,, faced its fourth cyber attack since December on Tuesday morning. The attack took the website down for about an hour. 

Gary Grigsby / KBIA

You may have heard about LEED certified buildings. The non-profit U.S. Green Building Council developed the nationally accepted LEED benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings.  It's a complex system where the owner of a building gets points toward LEED certification by incorporating sustainable practices into just about every aspect of the construction process.  

Clark Lane West will receive new sidewalks

Feb 12, 2015

  New sidewalks are coming soon to Columbia’s streets. Columbia residents met at City Hall Wednesday night to hear the details of the Clark Lane West and Hinkson Creek Trail Pedway project.

City Council approved the new sidewalk in 2012 as part of the second phase of GetAbout Columbia. Funding for the project comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot program. In 2006, Columbia was one of four communities selected for the program.

Report determines factors behind Firefighter's death

Feb 5, 2015
bruce britt
Columbia Fire Department

UPDATED at 9:20 a.m. CT on Feb. 5, 2015 with a statement by Chief Frazier.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health released a report on Wednesday of its investigation into Columbia firefighter Lt. Bruce Britt’s death and the walkway collapse at University Village last year.

The report determined the main factors in Britt’s death were the deterioration of the building and the failure of the university to notify the fire department of the building’s condition.