Schnucks aims to be part of Columbia community

Pictured is the Schnucks located in Waterloo.

Last week’s big announcement that Schnucks has purchased The Market Place grocery store was a topic of the Columbia City Council Monday night.

Bob Wiegert of Schnucks visited Monday’s council meeting and spoke about the company’s recent purchase of The Market Place from Joe Koppeis.

“I don’t think this is a situation where we’re coming in to change a store,” Wiegert said. “This is an opportunity for us to enter a community.”

The St. Louis-based chain already operates a branch in Waterloo, as well as nearly 100 other locations in the Midwest.

Mayor Kevin Hutchinson asked Wiegert about Schnucks’ approach to community involvement in light of Koppeis’ frequent fundraising and donation efforts for local causes.

“That’s certainly something we try to do – be a part of every community in which we operate our stores,” Wiegert said.

The Market Place will shutter its doors Jan. 12 and reopen as Schnucks on Jan. 16.

In other city council action:

Aldermen approved a contract with D&A Builders of Waterloo to construct a new pavilion at Metter Park.

“The Sesquicentennial Committee had additional funds left over and as long as the city could match what they donated, and agreed to help fund a sesquicentennial pavilion,” explained city administrator Al Hudzik. “It’s been in the budget for a number of years.”

The budgeted amount is $54,000, with the committee, which organized and funded a year-long celebration of the city’s 150th anniversary in 2009, giving the city $27,000 toward its cost. The actual cost of the contract entered into with D&A is $48,619.

According to the contract, the project will be completed by April 11.

City Engineer Ron Williams said the new streetlights downtown, installed as part of the Main Street Streetscape project, have been electrified. The contractor will return in the spring to finish landscaping and some cleanup to complete the project.

An amendment to the current fiscal year budget to allow for the purchase of property at 118 W. Sand Bank Road by the city was passed in the amount of $70,000.

“It’s surrounded on all the sides by property already owned (by the city) by the Department of Public Works building,” Hudzik said.

The cost will be shared, with the water department paying 40 percent, the sewer department paying 40 percent, and the general obligation bond issue of 2011, which had unspent funds remaining, covering the remaining 20 percent, Hudzik said.

The next large item pickup in the city will be Tuesday, Feb. 25.

The city’s monthly electronics recycling day will be Jan. 18, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Electronics, batteries and appliances can be recycled at the DOPW building the third Saturday of every month.

The next Columbia City Council meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 21, as the regular meeting day, Jan. 20, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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