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CITY USES OWN NEGLECT: To prove "blight" to state officials

REDI chief asks Glascock for pictures of failing storm sewers
 
COLUMBIA, 4/13/12  (Beat Byte) -- Among the most contentious issues at public meetings about the City of Columbia's Blight Decree/EEZ project is City Hall's own negligence in allowing storm sewers, streets, sidewalks, and other critical infrastructure to deteriorate, contributing to so-called "blighted" conditions.

Now, emails reveal the ultimate hypocrisy:  City Hall is using that neglect to support its EEZ -- Enhanced Enterprise Zone -- application.   Bernie Andrews, vice president of REDI, City Hall's economic development agency that doubles as a business lobby, asked Columbia public works director John Glascock to provide evidence of blight. 
 
"Winner of the scariest storm drain contest," reads one of the photos Glascock sent. 
 
"John,  REDI will be working on the Enhanced Enterprise Zone application to the Missouri Department of Economic Development.   In the application, I would like to cite a few examples of 'deteriorating infrastructure'," Andrews emailed Glascock Feb. 9, three days after City Council members approved a Resolution blighting nearly 60% of Columbia.  
 
"I recall one PowerPoint presentation that you did last year at the Chamber [of Commerce] regarding the conditions of storm sewers and/or sanitary sewers that showed crumbling/damage, and the lack of an adequate amount of money to fix all the needs," Andrews continued.   "Do you have that report, and other similar reports that address the needs of sewer and roads that I can comb through for parts to use in our application?"
 
Along with over 1,000 emails in a Sunshine Law request, CiViC obtained the photos -- samples here -- Glascock sent that show deteriorating storm sewers and other neglected infrastructure around Columbia. 
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