Columbia City Council to Discuss Funding for Workforce Development Programs



On Monday, Columbia’s city council will hear a demand from John Glascock and city staff on where to spend $ 2 million of the $ 25 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds that would address developmental inequalities that were revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

City staff recommend funding three workforce development programs: MACC, Job Point and CoMo Cooks. These programs currently aim to prepare future workers, the self-employed for unemployment and to encourage people who wish to start their own business.

MACC’s proposal includes the expansion of the Mechatronics and Makerspace programs, as well as personalized training and scholarships for college and early career technical education.

CoMo Cooks shared commercial kitchen proposal aims to purchase additional equipment, renovate the space to a new permanent location and increase program offerings for Marketing, Retail, Business Coaching, Workshops and training.

Job Point’s proposal concerns the purchase and renovation of a new training center and the purchase of software and a commercial driver’s license (CDL) simulator.

ARPA funds would allow the three programs to expand their capacity to educate more citizens, especially those under-represented in post-secondary education or affected by racial and social economic inequalities.

Internet sales usage tax

The council will also have the first reading of a proposal to impose an internet sales tax on out-of-state purchases, in the April 2022 poll.

City staff have prepared an order asking voters to approve a use tax on purchases made outside of city limits of taxable items that will be used, stored or consumed in the city of Columbia and on which no local tax was not collected on the purchase.

The purpose of the use tax is to protect Columbia businesses from unfair competition with vendors located outside of city limits who are not required to collect local taxes.

The council says suppliers located outside of city limits and internet-based suppliers have a competitive advantage over suppliers from Columbia because they do not have to charge local sales tax. The usage tax would ensure that purchases made from vendors located outside of city limits are subject to the same local tax rates as purchases made from Columbia vendors.

Boone County Commissioners said Thursday they intend to do the same.

Sewer and wastewater

Council is also expected to hold public comments to discuss proposed improvements for sewer rehabilitation and wastewater debris disposal.

Approximately 75,000 linear feet of sewer lines will be rehabilitated. Many pipes are cracked and broken, near the point of failure.

The project would repair sewer lines, manholes and side connections located in downtown Columbia and on Business Loop 70. Reconditioning these lines will reduce inflow and infiltration as well as the frequency of shutdowns. .

The project is expected to start at the end of 2022.

Announcement of the new municipal manager

Also on Monday, the announcement of the new general manager will be made at 4 p.m.

The board did not provide the public with any finalist names. Current city manager John Glascock has announced his intention to retire in June.


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