COLUMBIA, 12/5/11  (Beat Byte) --  Some military veterans could get a special new benefit under an ordinance Columbia City Council members will consider Monday night:  free parking at all City-owned parking garages, spaces, and lots, which means just about anywhere parking is allowed downtown.
In other downtown business, Council members will consider an ordinance allowing historic preservationist John Ott, green architect Nick Peckham, and other building owners along Alley A to display so-called "decorative bollards" at each end of the alley to restrict auto traffic. 

The free parking for Veterans would apply to cars displaying a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Congressional Medal of Honor, or POW license plate under a new Missouri Law, RSMo. 304.725, which allows local authorities the discretion to authorize free parking.   Mizzou is apparently playing Scrooge 2011 under the law according to a City Hall staff report, refusing to participate in the Veteran's parking benefit. 

The "decorative bollards" ordinance comes complete with a detailed design by the American Bollard Company.  If you haven't heard of a bollard before, it's a "short vertical post" once used to moor ships.  The word may come from a botanical term meaning "tree trunk."   The Wikipedia entry below has extensive pictures and information. 

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