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columbia city council

Councilman Ian Thomas Facing Criminal Charges for Deal With Developers

Sep 5, 2019
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas has been charged with a misdemeanor after negotiating a quid pro quo with two developers last year, Cole County Prosecutor Locke Thompson confirmed Thursday.

Thomas was charged with attempting to commit an act prohibited by a public official for offering to lend his support to a development project if the developers supported affordable housing. 

First Hearing on Columbia Budget Set for Monday Night

Aug 19, 2019
Columbia city hall
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia residents will have their first official chance to offer feedback on the proposed $485 million city budget for fiscal 2020 on Monday night.

The hearing will be held during the regular meeting of the Columbia City Council, which begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Daniel Boone Building, 701 E. Broadway.

The agenda for the meeting features several budget-related bills.

17 Acre Annexation Agreement Approved by One Vote Margin

Jun 18, 2019

The Columbia City Council meeting began with a somber introduction by Mayor Brian Treece as he proposed a moment of silence to remember Darwin Hindman, the former mayor of Columbia, who died early Monday morning.

Hindman, 86, was the longest-serving mayor in Columbia, spending 15 years in the position from 1995 to 2010.

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia residents gathered Wednesday night to share what they are looking for in their next city manager.

CPS HR Consulting organized the input meeting. The recruiting firm says it will use the community’s feedback to “define the ideal candidate.”

$42.8 Million Dollar Water Bond Would Pay for Treatment Plant Expansion

May 7, 2018

The aging McBaine Water Treatment Plant can’t reliably handle the 32 million gallons a day that it’s supposed to, nor can it handle the increased demand that comes with a growing population.

The Columbia City Council is set to consider a $42.8 million bond issue that would fund a rehabilitation of the treatment plant, among other projects. An ordinance to hold a special election on Aug. 7 for the bond issue will be introduced at Monday night’s council meeting. The council will discuss the bond issue at a subsequent meeting.

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


The Columbia City Council approved the plan to build a trail that will connect Columbia’s eastern neighborhoods to the central city Monday night.

The Shepard-Rollins trail project will cut through about 35 acres of woods east of Columbia’s East Campus neighborhood and west of Old 63; it will cost $2.8 million to complete.

Community Policing Resolution Sees City Council Support

Jan 17, 2018
File / KBIA

The Columbia City Council on Tuesday night discussed a draft resolution that would direct City Manager Mike Matthes to design a program, timeline and budget by June 30 for the Columbia Police Department’s transition to community-oriented policing. The council scheduled a vote for the resolution on Feb. 19 but plans to allot time for additional public commentary during the Feb. 5 meeting.

Roundabout to be Built at Intersection of Vandiver and Parker

Jul 5, 2017

The City Council approved a roundabout at the intersection of Vandiver Drive and Parker Street on Monday night.

The project will cost $900,000, and construction is expected to begin in summer 2019, according to a city memo. The roundabout is in response to safety concerns about the current intersection, council members said.

Second Ward City Councilman Michael Trapp said there has been outspoken public support for the project.

"Everyone would like to see it move as quickly as possible," Trapp said.

City Studying Tobacco Licenses to Improve Tobacco 21 Enforcement

May 29, 2017
Sudipto Sarkar / flickr

City staff are studying how to implement a tobacco retail license to pay for better enforcement of the city's Tobacco 21 ordinance.

In a letter to the City Council on April 25, the Columbia-Boone County Board of Health recommended all tobacco retailers in the city be required to buy tobacco licenses. The council accepted the report at its May 15 meeting, as well as an offer from Stephanie Browning, director of Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, to work with City Counselor Nancy Thompson to explore the best ways to implement an ordinance.

Columbia City Council Might End Licensing Requirements for Cats

May 29, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Columbia is littered with unlicensed cats, and the City Council is trying to determine whether to drop the licensing requirement.

Data from the past seven years estimates that only about 2 percent of cats and 11 percent of dogs in Columbia have been licensed, according to the city's Board of Health.

CoMo Connect Copyright Case to Keep Moving Forward

Apr 19, 2017
Columbia bus
Columbia Transit

Columbia’s public transit program can still call itself CoMo Connect – at least for now. A federal judge ruled the bus system’s name can stay as is despite a copyright claim from another Co-Mo branded company.

CoMo Connect can mean two things: Columbia’s bus system or an internet, TV and phone provider owned by the Co-Mo Electric Cooperative. The co-op sued in October saying having two CoMo Connects was too confusing for mid-Missourians. Jeffery Simon is a lawyer for the company.


Columbia City Council released its eighth annual DirectionFinder survey that details Columbia residents’ satisfaction and concerns of city services from the past year.

The survey showed satisfaction with the city’s sidewalks are up by 8 percent compared to the last year’s survey. However, satisfaction with the city’s streets are down by 8 percent.


City Council decided in a unanimous vote on Monday to join a handful of cites across Missouri to track prescription drugs. A database of prescriptions will prevent patients from seeking multiple prescriptions from different doctors by coordinating records. 

City Council Votes to Join Prescription Drug Database

Mar 7, 2017
The Javorac / Flickr

Columbia will establish a prescription drug monitoring program, joining an existing database in St. Louis County, in an effort to address drug-related problems, including opioid addiction.

Columbia City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the ordinance that establishes the monitoring program. The city will enter into an agreement with St. Louis County, which has already created a prescription drug monitoring database managed by Appriss, Inc. that many other Missouri cities and counties have already joined including Kansas City, Independence, St. Charles County and Jefferson City, which voted to join earlier Monday.


After 15 speakers and more than five hours of public comment, the future of Columbia’s new planning and zoning regulations is still uncertain.

The Columbia City Council held a special public hearing Saturday to hear public comments on the proposed changes to the code. Known as the Unified Development Code, the 400-page document details the most dramatic changes to Columbia’s planning and zoning code since 1964. Homeowners, property owners, real estate agents and members of the Columbia Improvement District all proposed sometimes contrasting revisions to the plan during the hearing Saturday.

City Council Member Not Seeking Re-Election

Oct 28, 2016

Columbia Fifth Ward Councilmember Laura Nauser says she will not be seeking re-election in 2017.

Nauser has been battling ovarian cancer and says she wants to take time to relax and spend time with her family moving to Colulmbia from Florida. She says she’s proud of the community she has served.

“I think the thing I have enjoyed the most is getting out and meeting people. I like to talk and meet with people and solve problems. So I think that is one of the most rewarding things,” said Nauser.

File / KBIA

The Columbia City Council heard a report on a possible good Samaritan ordinance at its Monday night meeting.

The proposed ordinance would be based on a similar law St. Louis enacted in June. The good Samaritan ordinance would protect people seeking medical care in case of a drug overdose from facing drug charges, as well as those asking for assistance for someone having an overdose.


The Columbia City council voted Monday night to approve a $440.9 million budget for the 2017 fiscal year. The budget included some increases in residential and commercial utility fees, and spending to hire four new police officers.

City Manager Mike Matthes provided a brief presentation over the utility fees and explained that although it may look as if there is a deficit in the budget, there is not.


  Residents will have an opportunity tonight to voice their opinions on a proposed two lane roundabout at the intersections of Forum Boulevard and Green Meadows Road at tonight’s Columbia City Council meeting.  

Skala Defeats Leuther in Columbia City Council Third Ward Race

Apr 5, 2016

Karl Skala will continue on as Columbia’s Third Ward Councilman after winning 56.63 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s municipal elections. Incumbent Ian Thomas also won his race against challenger Daryl Dudley, who had suspended his campaign in late march amid complaints about his financial disclosures.

 A group of Columbia residents are putting together a petition to recall Fifth Ward Councilmember Laura Nauser.  


The Columbia City Council voted 6-1 last night to approve the combination of two lots of land to make way for a new apartment complex on Locust Street.

Mike Matthes / City of Columbia website

  City Manager Mike Matthes got a salary increase after much city council discussion last night.

The amendment to Matthes’ contract had unanimous approval, taking his base salary from $150,000 to $165,000. But as Third Ward Council Member Karl Skala made clear, Matthes is not actually receiving a $15,000 raise.

Columbia City Council Sends Roll Carts to Voters

Nov 3, 2015
File Photo / KBIA

The issue of roll carts came back up in front of the Columbia City Council last night, and will be in front of voters next year. The council discussed an initiative petition to ban roll carts as the city’s way to collect garbage, and  unanimously voted to put the issue in front of voters during the presidential primary on March 15, 2016.

Columbia City Council Discusses Red Light Cameras

Nov 3, 2015
File Photo / KBIA

Red light cameras were ruled constitutional by Missouri’s Supreme Court in August, but they won’t be coming back to Columbia, yet.

Chris Green / KBIA

The City of Columbia renewed an agreement with MU’s veterinary hospital that will allow for around-the-clock emergency services for sick or injured animals brought in by Animal Control.

Emerald O'Brien / KBIA

A plan to build at least 18 new bus shelters in Columbia is moving forward after last night’s city council meeting.

The Council voted unanimously to approve the project after a public hearing with 10 speakers - almost all in support of the plan. The city will use $570,000 funds from the federal and local grants to build the shelters.


Residents living near the site of a proposed 24-hour homeless drop-in shelter reviewed plans for the building Tuesday night. The Columbia Alliance to Combat Homelessness, CATCH, presented preliminary building plans to members of the North Central and North Village neighborhood associations.