replacement projects. Six traffic calming projects were proposed with clarification
requested from the Commission regarding the one proposed on Manor Drive. The
Commission requested clarity as to how projects get considered for the CIP.
Anderson responded that projects get pulled from a master list that contains
projects from the Sidewalk Master Plan, Ballot Initiative, and City Council.
Commissioners inquired as to what standard sidewalks are built to if they have
been from an old project list. Anderson confirmed that sidewalks are built to
Gabe Huffington highlighted the Parks and Recreation projects and noted the
Department’s funding sources including the Park Sales Tax. Huffington mentioned
three projects leftover from FY22 such as the MU Healthcare Pavilion whose east
and west wings are to be expanded. Parks had nine projects on the CIP list for 2023
including trailheads, MKT bridge replacements, new parks, and facilities
The Commission asked about park land acquisition. Huffington stated there is
approximately $150,000 budgeted each year for acquisition and that is usually done
at the end of the year once maintenance and project obligations are fully accounted
for. Commissioners asked about leftover project funds and maintenance costs to
which Huffington replied that funding stays with a project unless it is
re-appropriated or closed-out and put back in the general balance. There was some
discussion related to co-owned playgrounds where Parks provides funding to
Columbia Public Schools for playgrounds located on school property that are kept
open during non-school hours for the benefit of the neighborhood. This scenario
occurs in developed areas where the Parks Department cannot acquire parkland for
a neighborhood park.
Erin Keys covered Sanitary Sewer and Stormwater Utility projects. Sewer projects
would include annual sewer rehabilitation, an ongoing private common collector
elimination program, and four individual sewer projects. Commissioners and staff
discussed private common collectors in developed parts of town. Stormwater
projects addressed failing infrastructure and areas that were experiencing flooding.
Individual projects including replacing failing concrete boxes, undersized inlets and
pipes, and replacing entire systems. The Commissioners asked if there were other
failing stormwater boxes under buildings and if there was a plan to address those.
Keys, and other staff, noted there were several and replied that they address those
items via projects like the ones discussed, but sometimes property acquisition
issues arise prevent projects from happening.
Dave Storvick presented the City’s Water & Light projects for the forthcoming year.
Electric utility projects included numerous annual projects such as converting
overhead lines to underground, streetlights, and new service expansion. There
were several individual projects including items related to new substations.
Undergrounding electric service on the Business Loop was noted. The Commission
and staff discussed the costs and challenges associated with undergrounding
electric service. Sorrell noted that the City only owns the electric line and not the
phone, internet, cable and other utilities that share utility poles which make
undergrounding utility services more challenging. Staff also highlighted that the
cost of undergrounding electric line is upwards of $2,000,000 per mile.