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Columbia City Council meeting • November 29, 2006 • 8 am• City Hall

Joe Grant

Joe Grant

Roll call

City council convened Wednesday morning, November 29, at 8 am for its executive session. Around 9:30, council began its planning session.

Federal legislative update

Barbara McCall , Columbia’s Washington lobbyist, reviewed the city’s interests in Congress. After several years of cuts, both the House and the Senate versions of the FY 2007 Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill (HR 5576) call for an increase for community development block grants (CDBG). As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. Connecticut, Congress moved to restrict the use of eminent domain by local governments. The FY 2006 Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act forbids the use of federal funds for any projects in which a local government uses eminent domain to transfer private property from one private owner to another private owner. Council established priorities in a numerical sequence as directions to McCall:

Ron Fulmer

Ron Fulmer

(1) CMRTA transit facility,

(2) North Main Street,

(3) Harden Street,

(4) youth gangs/law enforcement,

(5) affordable housing.

The Innovista’s riverfront development costs were seen as too high to take a number for now, not until there’s more planning in the process, to include a public hearing. The city is expected to cough up 35% of the total cost of $75 million, for now.

Local legislative update

Ron Fulmer , Jack West , and Joe Grant offered observations on the city’s status with the state legislature. Sen. Jake Knotts’s bill on gangs (S79) appears promising. Sen. Robert Ford of Charleston is a big backer. West declared property tax relief on high-end housing was just about the worst legislation of the past year. The tax burden shifted from the well-to-do homeowner to the small business owner, sometimes the same person. Council was told not to expect any rise in cigarette taxes or gasoline taxes to offset the fall in expensive home taxes.

Barbara McCall

Barbara McCall

Capital improvements

Steve Gantt , assistant city manager, tabulated the city’s capital improvement projects for the past two years plus some current and uncompleted contracts. Gantt’s numbers were exact. Here are rounded totals:

Steve Gantt

Steve Gantt

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

construction cost: $37,100,000 ($262 psf)

completion: September 21, 2004

Southeast Vista District Infrastructure

construction cost: $19,300,000

completion: July 18, 2005

Columbia Canal Front

construction budget: $8,100,000

completion: 2008


construction budget: $4,700,000

completion: 2008

Convention Center Hotel Parking Deck

construction budget: $20,800,000

completion: April 30, 2007

Parking Deck at Lady and Lincoln

construction budget: $10,500,000

completion: 2008

Parking Deck at Blanding and Sumter

(on hold)

Parking Deck at Taylor and Sumter

(on hold)

Harden Street/5 Points

construction contract: $29,400,000

completion: February 5, 2007

Main Street, Phase I, Gervais to Hampton

construction contract: $5,500,000

completion: early 2007

Main Street, Phase II, Hampton to Laurel

construction budget: $7,500,000

completion: 2008(?)

Lady Street

construction contract: $10,300,000

completion: early 2007

North Main Street, Phase IA, Elmwood to Parkside;

Phase IB, Fuller to Fairfield

construction budget: $29,300,000

completion: 2008(?)

Two Notch Road Utility Relocations

construction cost: $3,400,000

completion: August 21, 2006

North Main Fire Station Renovations

construction cost: $660,000

completion: April 4, 2006

HOPE VI – Lower Saxon

construction cost: $2,500,000

completion: (began June 9, 2003)

Columbia NE Fire and Police Station No. 4

construction contract: $1,900,000

completion: June 25, 2007

Wayfinding Sign Project

contract: $224,300

completion: July 5, 2007

Sunset Boulevard/Avant Park Central Project

construction budget: $150,000

completion: 2007(?)

Hampton Street Pedestrian Bridge Demolition

contract: $127,000

completion: early 2007

North Harden Street

funding to date: $1,800,000

completion: 2008(?)

Water Projects

construction cost: $66,800,000

Professional Services, Water Projects

contracts: $7,700,000

Sewer Projects

construction cost: $60,000,000

Professional Services, Sewer Projects

contracts: $11,500,000

Storm Drain Projects

construction cost: $4,700,000

Professional Services, Storm Drain Projects

contracts: $2,000,000

Professional Services, Non-CIP (A&E, mostly)

contracts: $5,700,000

Note : Missing is the architecture/engineering fee for the convention center, as contracted with Stevens & Wilkinson of SC.

Total Construction Cost: $324,800,000

Total Professional Services Fees: $27,900,000

Next meeting

Council meets Wednesday morning, December 13, at 9. A business improvement district (BID) appeal hearing is scheduled for 10. Both meetings are on the third floor of City Hall, corner of Laurel and Main.

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