Columbia OKs handful of measures

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The Dec. 7 meeting of the Columbia City Council was held with all members attending remotely due to an employee at City Hall recently testing positive for COVID-19.

Columbia City Administrator Doug Brimm made the announcement at the beginning of the meeting and Columbia EMS Chief Kim Lamprecht added that “multiple” EMS employees had recently tested positive for coronavirus.

“Everybody just hang in there folks, keep following CDC guidelines, pay attention to what’s going on out there and we’ll all get through this,” Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson advised.

Several ordinances were approved, including a special use permit for Three Tails Parlor & Pantry to continue dog grooming at its new location. 

Other ordinances passed allowed an easement to be vacated, approved a corrective plat for the 11 South development, abated taxes, approved city employee membership in the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association and approved a partnership between the city and Domex Properties for an upcoming residential subdivision development.

The council also approved a tax levy for fiscal year ending April 30, 2020. The levy was raised 4.09 percent, but “is estimated to result in the city’s property tax rate remaining status quo,” according to the agenda item report.

Under new business, aldermen were given a copy of a “red-lined” Columbia City Code showing suggested updates to make the code current with state statutes as well as to clear up confusing language or remove outdated phrasing.

Brimm asked the council to send him specific questions they may have about changes and they will be discussed prior to adoption. 

Brimm explained that developing changes to the code has been a two-year process, beginning with former city administrator Jimmy Morani and continuing with Columbia Deputy City Clerk Kelly Matthews contributing a “significant amount of work” and will be ready to adopt at the next meeting pending any major objections.

Columbia City Engineer Chris Smith gave an outline of the upcoming Quarry Road resurfacing project in his department report for the Nov. 16 meeting. 

Phase I, which will cover the area from Ghent Road to Palmer Creek Drive, will begin once pre-construction meetings are complete.

Phase II, from Palmer Creek Drive to Rueck Road, has been approved by IDOT and will begin pending Phase I completion and final project report approval.

When the project begins, culverts will be repaired and replaced along Palmer Creek and the shared use path and Quarry Road will be resurfaced. The road will be closed at times and traffic will be diverted when needed.

Visit columbiaillinois.com or the city’s Facebook page for updates and construction schedules.

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