New developments downtown are paused because of aging infrastructure

COLUMBIA, Mo. - All future projects in downtown Columbia that would add to the sewer flow can not be approved temporarily.

Columbia Public Works officials announced that the sewers have hit capacity and something needs to be done.

Columbia city leaders presented a list of projects to the TIF commission about the needed improvements and advancements to Columbia's aging infrastructure.

The city has $70 million dollars worth of projects that the TIF would fund.

Many of those projects include the needed improvements to infrastructure.

City leaders told ABC 17 News that since October they have found that electric, water, and sewer lines have been stretched thin.

"Right now with the capacity we have we can't serve them all," said John Glascock, director of Columbia's Public Works.

In the past few years downtown Columbia has been booming with new housing complexes, hotels and stores.

Development has not slowed down until now.

The city has to make a decision on how to fix infrastructure so development can continue.

"There is bonding, the TIF, and different kinds of taxes," said Glascock.

What has been most talked about recently is this TIF.

Tuesday night city leaders presented the TIF commission members with a list of projects that would be funded by the TIF.

Some of the projects include $1 million for water main line upgrades, $10 million to add electric substation feeders that are reaching capacity downtown, $18 million for a parking garage to serve additional residents, $5 million to extend Elm Street, and $6.7 million to fix the 113 year old sewer line at Flat Branch.

"We have to go look into the future that we can design something that can last another 113 years," said Glascock.

The more than $30 million sewer bond that was on the ballot in November is currently being used to help with upgrades to the sanitary sewer system.

However, Glascock told ABC 17 News he does not know how far that will take them.

City staff plan to present the TIF district projects to the council on Monday. They will ultimately decide if downtown will become a TIF district.

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