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0729 Council Garage

0729 Council Garage

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Columbia missourian

TUESDAY, July 29, 2008 — Page 3A

New nuclear plant possible in Mo.
AmerenUE filed to build another plant in Callaway County.
news@ColumbiaMissourian.com FULTON — AmerenUE filed an application Monday with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to build and operate a new nuclear plant in Missouri, spokesman Mike Cleary said. As of Monday afternoon, the commission had not yet released a copy of AmerenUE’s application, which seeks a combined construction and operating license for a 1,600-megawatt nuclear power plant next to the utility’s existing nuclear plant in Callaway County. Commission spokesman Scott Burnell said that while the 8,000-page application was received, it won’t be released for “several days” because it needs to be transferred into the agency’s computer system first. The utility hasn’t decided whether to build the plant.

City Council takes on garage
The developers try to tackle how to best build the new site.
news@ColumbiaMissourian.com Debate continued Monday night at the City Council work session over the design of the $10 million to $15.5 million parking structure that will be built on Walnut Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. Proposed designs of the parking structure were presented by Walker Parking Consultants and Peckham & Wright Architects. The design of the building is controversial because of the number of purposes it will fulfill. It is meant to house parking for police, parking for the public and space for businesses on the ground floor. Public Works Director John Glascock addressed Third Ward

Cleary said earlier this month that the timing of the application “basically saves our place in line, so to speak, for certain tax credits” under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. At a July 9 meeting in Fulton, Joe Colaccino, chief of the commission’s division in charge of reviewing the proposed plant’s design, said the commission expects the review to take about 2½ years. If the plant is built, the utility projects it would need to be online around 2018, Thomas Voss, president and chief executive officer of AmerenUE, said in a news release issued on Monday. AmerenUE representatives had previously said the utility intended to make the decision whether to build the plant by the middle of 2011, but Cleary said Monday that the timeline is a bit more uncertain. “We just want to say within the next few years,” Cleary said. The uncertainty, he said, is based on how long the construction and operating license application process is going to take.

House: Goal could change with teens’ needs
CONTINUED from page 1A For example, if there is a demand for a safe space for homeless pregnant teenagers after the complex is built, the goal of the house could adapt to address that, Preis said. CMCA is continuing to talk with Hickman High School staff to identify and address the needs of teenagers, he said. CMCA plans to apply for funding, mostly from federal and state sources, to start building and will begin to contract out the programs and services to be offered in the home. Neighbors, in voicing their opinions of the project, began with a discussion of whether there should be a front porch and turned toward the plethora of social service facilities in the North Central and First Ward neighborhoods. Some thought the porch would fit in more with the houses in the neighborhood, but others thought it might promote loitering. In the end, CMCA and Goldschmidt were willing to incorporate community concerns in the site’s plan. Despite opposition from some neighbors, it was clear that because
the site is private property, the project will go forward at that location. Neighbors recognized that the house’s design fits in with the neighborhood, but maybe a little too much. One resident called it “ho-hum.” Lorenzo Lawson, executive director of Youth Empowerment Zone, works with youth in the neighborhood. He pointed out that many businesses, such as bars and pay-day loan companies, have moved into the neighborhood, causing more problems. “Nobody’s protesting them, but people are complaining about trying to help these kids that can’t help themselves,” Lawson said. “If it was your kid, wouldn’t you want someone to help them?” The home would not be the first of its kind in Columbia. Sol House, run by Rainbow House, serves as a transitional home for otherwise homeless people between the ages of 16 and 21. Since it opened in November 2007, the need for its services has surpassed the resources available, said Heather Windham, Sol House director. Although 17 young adults have lived in the house so far, another 35 youths have contacted the house, the location of which is confidential. “Some of those (youths) didn’t meet the requirements of the house, like they were pregnant or parenting, some we referred back to child services, and some are on a waiting list,” Windham said. Sol House doesn’t have the resources to deal with pregnancies, young children and severe mental illnesses, she said. Others found that Sol House didn’t meet their requirements. “Some find out about the program, the rules and expectations, and they just aren’t ready for that,” Windham said. Sol House residents face a strict curfew, are required to do community service and must pass a drug test if they have a history of substance abuse. Sol House tenants have had a positive impact on the neighborhood, Windham said. They hosted a barbecue for the neighborhood watch program, participated in the neighbor-

Councilman Karl Skala’s concerns about the use and height of the building, which will be similar in size to the Hitt Street parking garage. “We gave you some numbers about who is going to park there, and it’s going to be pretty full as soon as we open it,” Glascock said. There will be approximately 600 parking spaces in the structure, and research completed in 2001 indicated a need for 635 spaces in the area of the intersection. One of the council’s main concerns was the number of entrances and exits that will be available to drivers in the parking structure. Four of the six proposals for the design of the structure provide only one exit and entrance. The other options allow for two entrances and one exit. Another concern was how

traffic will flow within the structure. Because the building design is eight stories tall, a single-ramp two-way traffic design would take a driver approximately 8 minutes to travel top to bottom while going 5 mph. A design with two separate one-way ramps would take a maximum of 4 minutes to travel. It would provide drivers the option to switch ramps and follow the opposite stream of traffic, making for a shorter drive in the garage. Dave Ryan of Walker Parking Consultants noted that this second choice was a more “userfriendly option.” It allows for approximately 40 more parking spaces than the single-ramp design. Despite the need for more parking in the area, Skala also voiced concerns about what it will mean for the city to host businesses, especially in what

he termed “such an imposing structure.” City Manager Bill Watkins agreed with Skala’s concerns about hosting businesses in a city structure. “The city is not in the leasing business; we don’t do it well,” Watkins said. “It’s not something that’s in our core mission, and we ought to farm it out or bring in a partner to do that because they can do it better.” The controversial nature of the project remains a cause for concern for some council members. “I just want to throw that out there to be really sensitive to the kind of things I think we’re going to encounter as we move forward with this, regardless of what decisions we make,” Skala said. A public hearing and vote will be scheduled for this fall, and the goal for beginning construction is by the first of the year.

Creek: Commercial land project’s focus
CONTINUED from page 1A
with a study to determine what low-impact development techniques would be most feasible for properties in the target area to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution in the Hinkson. These techniques usually involve filters or retention structures that clean or slow contaminated runoff flowing into a waterway. “If you have an 80-acre parking area or so, basically you make a hole in the existing parking lot and put in a filter,” said Scott Hamilton of ShowMe Clean Streams. “You’re taking the existing situation and changing it so the runoff does not hurt the stream.” Florea said the techniques that could be used by property owners to improve the Hinkson may vary. “There may be larger retention structures that let pollutants settle out or run the water through a constructive wetland,” Florea said. “There’s even products out on the market that are mechanical filters. A lot of it will depend on the individual property, what’s best for that and what they’re trying to treat.” This phase will deal primarily with existing commercial and industrial developments. New developments in Columbia are subject to a city stormwater ordinance that requires state approval of land preservation and stormwater control plans, said city engineering technician Darrell McSwain. These rules, however, do not address developments already in place. “The reason for focus on retrofitting is because we now have a stormwater ordinance that will take care of the new developments,” Hamilton said. “That doesn’t help with existing problems. In order to help the situation, you need to go in and improve what was occurring before.” Property owners interested in the restoration project will be partially reimbursed for their efforts. Florea said the county would pay for 60 percent of the total costs for installing lowimpact development techniques. Grant money will also be spent on the hiring of a full-time project manager to oversee the second restoration phase. A steering committee of conservation and city professionals and a stakeholder committee of the public will help oversee the project. Florea said he hoped the stakeholder committee would be appointed in September or October. Florea said the ultimate goal of the restoration project is to identify contaminants in Hinkson Creek and improve its water quality. “The Hinkson is on the 303(d) list of impaired waters,” Florea said. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resource’s Web site, Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act requires that each state identify waters that are not meeting water quality standards and for which adequate water pollution controls have not been required. The list helps state and federal agencies keep track of waters that are impaired but not addressed by normal water pollution control programs, the site states. “It would be nice, it would be in the community’s best interest to get the stream off that list,” Florea said. “We still don’t know what the impairment or contaminant in the creek is. If we can start to work on that, that’s moving in a positive direction.”

hood association and helped neighbors with lawn chores, Windham said. “It can actually enhance the community. I can guarantee ours has,” Windham said of the program at Monday night’s meeting. Windham was asked later in the meeting to speak to the North Central Neighborhood Association about the interaction between Sol House and its neighborhood so that residents could get a clearer picture of such a relationship. If grant funding is secured, the home could open in summer or fall 2010.

House timeline
Fall 2008: Applications submitted for funding. Winter 2008-09: Design plans converted to construction drawings. Spring/summer 2009: If funding is secured, do another community needs assessment. Fall/winter 2009: Begin building. Summer/fall 2010: Open.

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CONTINUED from page 1A to be on food and not on energy,” he said. “And I think we’ve taken our eye off the ball.” The Missouri Corn Growers Association, the most vocal defender of the ethanol requirement, said agriculture should focus on food, but that doesn’t mean it must ignore its ability to contribute to energy needs. The commodity group has touted the ethanol requirement for lowering gas prices and helping corn farmers stay in business. Ashley McCarty, the group’s director of public policy, said Monday that a weak dollar has driven up prices for all commodities. She said the committee’s attention to ethanol is indicative of interest in biofuels more than softening support for requiring their use. The interim legislative committee also plans to tackle the dispute over animal feeding operations that has split the state’s farmers. Much of the controversy surrounding the animal feeding operations has focused on who should be allowed to regulate them. More than 30 cities and counties have adopted their own health and zoning

Ethanol: Committee seeks sustainable fuel
ordinances designed to restrict such farms. According to documents from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which grants permits to many of the farms, 529 animal feeding operations were in the state as of January 2008. Of those, just 20 were of the largest category, known as Class 1A. The number of animals within a feeding operation varies depending on the species. For example, a Class 1A farm could have more than 3,500 horses; 7,000 cattle; 4,900 dairy cows; 385,000 turkeys; or 17,500 hogs that weigh more than 55 pounds. Supporters of those ordinances blame the farms for odors, dirty water and falling property values. They argue that animal feeding operations are a matter of local control and the rules that govern them should be decided by those living in the area. But some of the state’s largest farming groups, Gov. Matt Blunt and others contend that the local ordinances have been unreasonable and have balkanized Missouri’s rules for farming. They say inconsistent rules across the state and within a county impede agriculture.

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