Thursday, September 13, 2018

Quick takeaways from September's borough council meeting

MARKET HOUSE PROPOSAL

Philip Goropoulos

Philip Goropoulos of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) presented a proposal for use of the Columbia Historic Market House, currently vacant. The proposal focused on four main areas: Food, Restaurant, Social, and Gathering.
  • Food: 9-20 vendors would provide fresh food at custom-built stands Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; an “after-market” Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Restaurant: Seating for 40-50 people, lunch and dinner, open Tuesday through Saturday; breakfast might be an option, as would “Pay-What-You-Can Tuesdays,” to be underwritten by CHI.
  • Social: Venue for events, activities, movies.
  • Gathering: Hub within the community, town halls, large meetings, safe spaces, etc.
The building will remain the property of the borough, and CHI will be responsible for management and operations. Goropoulos foresees using a management agreement, similar to that used for the operation of Columbia Crossing. The borough will be responsible for restoration of the building.

Another proposal for the Market House, from Royal Square Development & Construction, will be presented at the Public Works and Property Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 18.

(More details to follow)



LIGHTING PROJECT, MULTIMODAL GRANT

Council approved the application of a Multimodal Transportation Grant in the amount of $1.45 million to be used for the Columbia Streetscape Program. The funds will be used for the purchase and installation of lights along Route 462, safety enhancements on Front Street (Route 441), and overall design and engineering of streetscape improvements. The borough will contribute $1 million to the program.

In February, council approved the purchase of 60 lights at a cost of $347,000 to be installed along Route 462, from the bridge plaza to Bully’s. (Columbia Spy reported on the purchase HERE.) If the grant is approved, additional lights will run to Malleable Road.


TRASH, STREET SWEEPER

Mayor Leo Lutz said the street sweeper is getting “beat up” from picking up plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and metal objects. He said borough employees must sort out these items from the regular sweepings that are picked up. “The gutters in Columbia are not open trash cans, and we need to do a better job of picking up that debris in our community,” Lutz said.


FULL-TIME PROPERTY INSPECTOR FOR CODES DEPARTMENT

The borough is looking to hire a full-time property inspector for the codes department to replace two part-time inspectors, one of whom retired, the other having resigned.


NEW COMPTROLLER POSITION
Council voted to direct the borough solicitor to draft an ordinance to create a “comptroller” position. Borough Manager Rebecca Denlinger said the position is being created to allow the borough to “dig a little deeper on the financial front.” She cited funds, bond issues, and additional capacity within the finance department as reasons the position is needed.



ADDITIONAL INFO TO BE POSTED

16 comments:

  1. The street sweeper hits the whole and rocks at 320 s 2nd street and the mayor knew about it last year, it was documented here on the spy. But the stand off continues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This won't make the paper , why would they care???

      Delete
    2. tax payers pay for repairs , fix the damn 3 year old hole , borough manager get involved , this is childish

      Delete
  2. Well there goes 1 1/2 million of the sewer money in dim lights but they look good , it will be like the fence at heritage dr or street when they get hit by a car or something. HUM another fart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Those lights look nice but the candle power has a lot to be desired, they might as well be candles in the lites, good to hide in the shadows. Maybe this will get us a dog ,because you can't see that good!

    ReplyDelete
  4. mayor you need to do more to get respect ,it comes at a cost and the parking thing doesn't help your case.

    ReplyDelete
  5. BOROUGH COUNCIL NEEDS A OVERHAUL, lights to lite up streets, river park , give tax payers a break and maybe pride will come back in town. CUT TAXES , NOT THIS SPENDING, what is wrong with these people when that sewer money is gone it is GONE. The school should be on line no building, no administration just some teacher to grade the people that want to learn, it is worth a try it is not working now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. borough taxes have not risen in like 15 years. that in and of itself is a tax cut...i'm glad our elected people are doing a good job a moving this town forward

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yet we are still the second highest municipal tax in the county!!!

      Delete
    2. 2nd highest school tax

      Delete
    3. school should be on line , get rid of all the dead weight on that hill, online no building !!!!

      Delete
    4. We have been over taxed for 15 years.

      Delete
  7. We don't need a comptroller! In a town our size the borough manager should be able to handle these duties. Looks like she is trying to build her own little empire. Please don't waste our tax dollar on an unnecessary position!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree I thought that's what we are paying our manager big bucks to manage our little town. She is not even from Columbia. So how does she even know how our town was years ago talking about bringing it back to where it was

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, maybe it is better that she is not from Columbia and doesn't have that so called "tide pride". Emotional detachment might be could for making hard decisions. You know, you have people who still send their kids to the high school with full knowledge of how pitiful it is!

      Delete
  9. i do agree with spending $347,000 or more for lights! they aren't strong (when it's windy they move back and forth) AND they are way way TOO DIM....LOVED the old lights downtown they lit up the area so perps COULDN"T hide in the shadows. the ONLY bright lights are in River Park...you can see them from Mars. they MUST do better with replacing lights that actually give off enough light!

    ReplyDelete