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Developers seek annexation along future connector                                                                                       It’s on: the race by speculators to stake out land along the future Stadium Boulevard connection to Interstate 70.

Subsidiaries of Alexander Forest Investments want the city to annex 271 acres they own, land that is north of Route WW along Grindstone Creek, west of the future Rolling Hills Road extension and south of Richland Road.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will hear a proposal for the annexation Dec. 4.

The subsidiaries, East Richland Road Properties and Richland Road Properties, submitted a petition for annexation of the approximately $5 million worth of land late last month. The northeastern and southern portion of the land would be initially zoned for multi-family housing, while the northern portion along Richland Road would be zoned commercial.

The companies’ attorney, Robert Hollis, said any work on the land would wait for road development. The East Columbia Environmental Impact Statement calls for an extension of Rolling Hills Road that would border the land’s on the east and connect to Grace Lane. And Stadium’s eventual extension would cut through the land. The Richland Road extension will be designed next year, Planning and Development Director Tim Teddy said, and could possibly be a four-lane road. The Stadium extension, however, is a longer way off, and possible routes for its extension are still being considered.

The City Council could vote on the annexation request as early as Jan. 5, 2009.

Project Solutions announces move                                                                                                           Project Solutions Companies is moving to the Shelter Office Plaza from its current office, 1390 Boone Industrial Drive. The engineering consultants and project management business will lease 11,000 square feet of office space on the second floor of 2005 West Broadway in Shelter Office Plaza.

The new space will allow Project Solutions Companies to double in size, Michelle Sanders, Project Solutions office administrator, said. The company and its 30 employees have outgrown their current location, she said. The company hopes to be relocated by early 2009.

Local development organizations receive grants
The Boone County Industrial Development Authority has awarded two grants to local economic development organizations. After accepting applications from non-profits and governmental organizations over the summer, REDI and the Missouri Innovation Center both received $50,000 grants from the IDA to help attract and grow businesses in Boone County.

The IDA is a local, quasi-governmental corporation formed to facilitate the issuance of tax-free industrial development bonds. It is governed by a nine-member board appointed by the Boone County Commission.

YouZeum receives state grant
Gov. Matt Blunt announced $125,000 in tax credits for Columbia’s YouZeum on Nov. 10.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development approved the Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits for the interactive museum. YouZeum will use the credits to complete the second phase of its renovation.

The renovation will add an exhibit for children six months to seven years old and a multipurpose area for conferences and events. The tax credits will also fund completion of the Healthy Baby and YouChooz exhibits.

Former SMB Consulting owner gets Gold Anvil
The Mid-Missouri chapter of the Public Relations Society of America chose Susan Bartel as the recipient of the Mid-Missouri Gold Anvil award at its Fall Institute on Nov. 6.

Bartel has been an assistant professor and the MBA director at Stephens College since 2006. Prior to that, she was a consultant and the owner of SMB Consulting and senior consultant for Williams-Keepers Business Services.

The Mid-Missouri Gold Anvil award recognizes a public relations professional who has advanced the profession and demonstrated the highest standard of excellence. The PRSA is the world’s largest public relations professionals organization, with over 20,000 members. The Mid-Missouri chapter has over 60 members.

Job Point awarded federal grant
Sen. Kit Bond’s office informed the Columbia community development organization Job Point,in October that it was awarded a federal Projects With Industry grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Job Point, which works to help Columbia residents find jobs and also provides workforce training, will receive nearly $2 million over five years. Job Point was one of 66 applicants selected nationwide.

United Way announces Live United Week
In an effort to confront a sharp decline in fundraising and contributions, the Mid-Missouri United Way chapter is attempting to increase awareness of its fundraising needs through Live United Week starting Monday.

The organization is asking businesses to ask their employees for help by doing activities as simple as charging $5 to wear jeans to work. The organization is struggling to reach its goal of $3.25 million, on which 31 partner organizations depend.

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