COLUMBIA, Mo. - The City Council rejected the $4 million Henderson Sewer expansion west of town, leaving MidwayUSA owner and CEO, Larry Potterfield, frustrated with the City of Columbia’s decision. But Potterfield said he might run for mayor in order to get things done.
Tuesday night, the City Council cast a 4-3 vote against extending the sewer line along Henderson Branch, which would then connect to two commercial properties in the Midway area.
”This is the thanks we get from the mayor and his partners on the City Council," Potterfield said. "What do you do if you don’t like that?"
He said he does not fault the mayor or council members personally, but he believes they do not have the experience to have the position.
”I think if they had experience in urban planning, if they were serious business people, and they understood all that has to be done to grow the community, they would think differently,” Potterfield said.
Potterfield said he sees the vote as an absence of trust. Citizens voted, and the city has set aside money since 2013 to expand the sewer line.
ABC 17 News reached out to all members of the Columbia City Council and only heard back from third ward Councilman Karl Skala. Skala said the money for the sewer should go toward repairs as opposed to this expansion.
Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick also expressed disappointment by the vote as well.
“This ballot initiative was passed by nearly 80 percent in 2013. To tell the voters our votes don’t count is disingenuous," McCormick said in a press release. "This project would improve the business community as a whole and would help make Columbia even more competitive in regional, state and national levels.”
MidwayUSA has threatened to move its company to another city in the past after the expansion was rejected several times. However, it's unclear whether or not the company will move now.
“I don’t know if MidwayUSA is moving or not, but I can tell you Midway thinks a lot differently today and how we might deal with it with the City of a Columbia than we did yesterday,” Potterfield said.