Work Session
WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2000

The Columbia City Council met for a work session, Wednesday, March 1, 2000, in the Council Conference Room.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.  Council members present were:  The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, The Honorable Francenia B. Heizer, The Honorable Jim Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., and The Honorable Sam Davis.   Also attending were Mr. Michael A. Bierman, City Manager and Ms. Vivian A. Krigline, City Clerk

1. Review of Regular Agenda

Mr. Bierman reviewed the agenda with Council.

Item IV. A. 5. (Sale of Cul-de-Sac at corner of Daly Street and Bratton Street):  Ms. Sinclair asked that the street be finished out properly since it will no longer be a cul-de-sac.

Item IV. A. 3. (Sale of property to Zion Baptist Church):  Jim Gambrell stated the transaction will be a transfer of deed to the church, not a sale.

Item V. A.  Council discussed repairs to be made to the parking garages, and the problems with the cleaning of the Lady Street Garage (Affinity Building).  Council asked that the flooring be replaced to make cleaning easier.  Council also asked staff to continue discussion of privatizing garage management.

2 Report from Sports Council - Baseball

Mr. John Durst of the Columbia Regional Sports Council, presented a report on the possibilities of an AA Baseball franchise for Columbia and the proposed construction/repairs to the Capital City stadium.  The Sports Council did not take a position on options for a new/renovated stadium.  Mr. Durst did explain the lack of an available AA franchise for Columbia.

Council discussed, and asked the City Manager to negotiate an agreement with the Capital City Bombers manager on the various options previously presented.  Council discussion included:

* Concern with the location and expressed that location is a factor.
* Ms. Sinclair expressed reservations with the stadium going into the Vista area.
* Mayor Coble asked to know how much Mr. Cohen is willing to put into the project.
* Council asked for information on possible locations if a new stadium is built.
* Ms. Heizer expressed that the facility has to pay for itself as it is a regional facility, and should pay for itself through a revenue source.
* Mayor Coble expressed the desire for a new stadium, but wants to compare the other options.
* Mr. Davis asked that a financial plan be presented with each option and a additional  discussions be held if a new location is considered.
* Ms. Heizer asked that a funding source be identified other than the General Fund.
* Mr. Cromartie stated the neighborhood around the existing stadium has expressed concerns about the future use of the property should the stadium be relocated, and asked that that information be made available with the proposals.

Mayor Coble made a motion to authorize the City Manager to obtain financial plans for all options on the renovation/relocation of the Capital City Stadium as soon as possible, taking Council’s discussions into consideration.  Upon second by Mr. Cromartie, Council unanimously approved Mayor Coble’s motion.

3. Review of Billboard Ordinance

Mr. Chip Land, Zoning Administrator, reviewed with Council the three ordinance drafts for changes to the billboard ordinance.  Council discussion of the proposals included:

* Need for input on zoning areas where billboards can be allowed with an overlay.
*  Committee is working on version three, with in interest for an amortization program; however it is not incorporated in the ordinance because of legal and financial issues involved.
* Provision is desired for removal of abandoned signs.
* Sign inventory will be done this summer.
* Discussed scenarios for denied locations and an appeals process.
* Discussed ratios proposed for removal of signs

Council went into the regular meeting at 10:00 a.m.

Council returned to work session at 10:25 a.m.
4. Council discussed a request from Hand Middle School and the Shandon Neighborhood Council to provide a water meter and tap fees for a sprinkler system on property located at the school.  The property will be used as public space as well as school activities.  After discussion, Ms. Sinclair made a motion, seconded by Mr. Papadea, to approve the installation of the water meter and to waive the tap and water fees as long as the property remains available for public use, with a 90-day termination notice if the property is not used as Council desires.  The motion was unanimously approved by Council.

5. Upon motion by Ms. Heizer, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council unanimously approved the installation of “Welcome” signs for the Elmwood Community Council.

6. Council was informed that the Ways & Means Committee has placed $2.5 million for the convention center in the State budget that is going to the House.h