The Columbia City Council Will Consider the Marijuana Tax and Park Upgrades.

Columbia City Council to discuss marijuana tax, park improvements

On the 17th of January, the Columbia City Council will convene. Several public forums and debates will be held throughout the gathering. Here are a few of the main points that will be covered.

Changes to Marijuana Tax and City Code

On Tuesday, the City Council will deliberate on whether or not to add a 3 percent sales tax to legal marijuana for adults. The extra tax would be put to a vote on April 4, 2023, if it were to be put to a vote.

At the same meeting, the council will deliberate on whether or not to amend the city ordinance on marijuana regulations. When selling medical marijuana became legal in Missouri, the city code was updated to reflect the new law.

The city’s code has to be updated to reflect the changes brought about by the legalization of recreational marijuana following the passage of Amendment 3 and the amendment of the Missouri Constitution on November 8, 2022.

If this request is granted, the City of Columbia’s Unified Development Code (UDC) would be updated to include definitions and revised use-specific regulations for the operation of comprehensive and microbusiness marijuana facilities.

Public Hearing for Cosmo Park Bike Trail

There is also talk of getting the authority to build a bike park in the far northeastern corner of Columbia’s Cosmopolitan Recreation Area (Cosmo Park). The green light for the new construction is contingent on the project plan being approved as well.

Some recent changes are as follows:

  • Access point to Rhett’s Mountain Bike Trail; Asphalt pump track; Cyclocross event venue; Bike playground; Mountain Bike Skills Course
  • In the event that the municipal council gives its blessing, completion is expected to occur in the late summer of 2024.

Improvements to The ARC

The ARC, or Activity and Recreation Center, is also lobbying for park upgrades.

They are as follows:

  • The Water Zone’s play structure and aggregate flooring will be replaced.
  • The flooring in the aquatics center’s administrative spaces and social areas will be replaced.
  • Fixing the ARC elevator’s crumbling foundation Changing the elevator’s governing valve
  • Upon receiving approval, renovations would begin in the spring of 2024 and be completed by the autumn of 2023.

Agreement for Donation of Real Estate – Alspaugh Property

With the help of John and Carol Ann Alspaugh, the Parks and Recreation Department would like to accept a 201-acre land grant. Conveniently situated at the crossroads of Vandiver Drive and Mexico Gravel Road, the land is available for purchase.

The conditions for the park’s approval are as follows:

  • All future generations will enjoy the property now used as a city park.
  • John W. Alspaugh Park is the chosen name for the green space.
  • The park will remain a green area, rather than being converted into sports fields.
  • Protecting wildlife is a top priority.
  • We can’t build any highways with paved surfaces, but we can set up some hiking paths.
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