Jenna Stephens began the meeting with introductions. Officer Alex Broder of the City of Columbia Police Department discussed the reorganization of the department’s Pro-Active Community Enforcement (PACE) team. The PACE team has been decentralized but will continue to be active in the city’s communities. The south region PACE team will report to a regional captain and have three officers dedicated to the region, in addition to Officer Broder. Officer Broder encouraged residents to continue to be watchful and vigilant and to report any suspicious behavior they see.
Residents can view local crime statistics using the RAIDS Online website and may contact Officer Broder at (803) 315-9143 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy Whitfield of the Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission, which serves as an advisory board to the city, discussed the Commission’s request to have the city begin to bury power lines. The Commission is asking local organizations to adopt its utility resolution, which encourages the city to route power and utility cables underground for safety reasons and aesthetic appearance. Because it did not have a quorum at the meeting, RCC was unable to take a vote on the resolution but will put forth a vote via e-mail.
Karen Kuse of the Montessori School of Columbia provided an update to the school’s plans. The school is currently renovating the home at 413 S. Maple St. It also has a contract on 411 S. Maple, which it plans to renovate for offices, and it intends to eventually tear down the home at 415 S. Maple and build a new classroom building. The school has also received the title to the street for the block of Oceola between S. Maple and Howard and will close that block to vehicular traffic. The school had a strategic planning meeting in Feb. 2014 where it solidified its plans for growth. The school plans to grow to no more than 108 students (87 currently) so that it can maintain small classrooms with personal interaction with students and their families.
Jenna stated that some members of the community have expressed concerns about the overuse and appearance of Owens Field Park. In addition to the YMCA’s soccer league and the use of the Dreher High School track, a Miracle Field is planned for the park. Mike Miller, vice president of RCC, plans to send a letter to the city’s parks department formally asking the department to assess the use of the park.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:30.