Nov. 5, 2020
The city of Columbia hopes to receive more than $1.2 million in grant funding and will spend more than $300,000 as part of a project to recruit a manufacturing company to the city limits.
The city council voted Monday night to agree to pay a 20 percent match if the city receives the other 80 percent of the project cost as a grant. While the council had no discussion on the amount of the project or provided details during the meeting, Mayor Pamela Hoots said during an interview that the project is expected to cost close to $1.6 million.
Hoots said they have shown the potential manufacturer numerous locations in Columbia. They did not want to purchase land at the commerce park but are interested in an existing building, Hoots said.
If the city is successful with the project, there will be a lease agreement in place before the city borrows funds to help pay for the property, Hoots said. Lease payments would be used to pay off the debt.
Also during Monday night’s meeting, the council voted to apply for grant funding to build a facility to be used by the road, parks and recreation, and sanitation departments.
The council did not discuss the amount of the grant application during the public meeting. Hoots said during the interview that the request would be for $300,000. She said they are still considering options and are not sure if they would build the facility on existing city property or purchase new property.
Currently, Hoots said, the departments have a place to park equipment but no indoor space is available to work on projects.
The council also voted to apply for funding to build sidewalks to the schools. No costs were discussed.
Also during the meeting, the council voted to provide $1,000 in additional funding for the Columbia Cemetery for the cemetery board to repair monuments. The city currently provides $3,582 annually for cemetery maintenance.
The council also approved allowing the VFW to rename the roadside park, located on S. Hwy. 55. The name is not finalized but will honor veterans, Hoots said.
The council voted to allow the city fire department to trade Engine 3, a fire engine that has been replaced in service, to the Knifley Fire Department in exchange for four air packs, valued at $28,000 collectively. City Attorney Derrick Helm will oversee the exchange to make sure it
does not violate any agreements from past funding sources for the equipment.
Hoots said there has been a lot of interest in a drive-through Christmas event and asked for $3,500 to be allocated to add needed electrical outlets. Hoots said the event would take place at the Little League park. The council approved the funding.
Hoots announced that the city has received more than $333,000 in CARES funding to reimburse for costs due to COVID-19.
All council members were in attendance via teleconferencing. Hoots attended at city hall.
The meeting may be viewed online at youtube.com/watch?v=-0SKXlVzwmo or search YouTube for City of Columbia Kentucky Municipal Government.
By Sharon Burton