Growth of downtown Columbia sparking utility study

Columbia to study downtown electrical, water infrastructure

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia Water and Light is preparing to initiate a study on how the city is handling getting electricity to downtown.

"We just want to make sure we are ahead of the curve and have the electricity when and where it's needed," said Connie Kacprowicz, spokesperson for Columbia Water and Light.

City leaders tell ABC 17 News the recent growth spurred the 2014 study.

"Over the last several years, we've seen a lot of high density apartment buildings being built in the downtown area of Columbia, so at this point we can serve them just fine," said Kacprowicz.

The Brookside Downtown complex opened last year and houses more than 500 residents. The Loft on Ninth Street opened just months ago with 64 units.

"As we see different development projects go through we need to evaluate the load," said Kacprowicz.

Kacprowicz says if the city's growth continues as it has over the past few years, more power lines will be needed.

Water and Light officials say they are not concerned about not having enough power to serve downtown, just how its infrastructure is set up.

Part of the study will include details about the new power substation in south Columbia. Kacprowicz said it could take the burden off the current substation that serves downtown.

The department will not have any cost estimates until the study is performed next year.

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