City Council approves resolution supporting new soccer complex

Last month the Cole County Commission agreed to help with the development plans for a soccer complex to an area near the Special Olympics headquarters off Christy Drive.

Commissioners signed a resolution to be the tax credit sponsor for the project and signed an application for the sponsorship to the Missouri Development Finance Board.

Monday, the Jefferson City Council approved a resolution supporting the County Commission’s submission.

Luke Holtschneider, executive director of Jefferson City Regional Economic Partnership, earlier said the tax credits would allow the project’s donors to get 50 percent of a donation back in the form of a tax credit.

United Capital City Soccer Club wants to have four to six fields located on nearly 21 acres in the area where an old rock quarry is currently located.

They have a little more than $ 3 million in funds raised and believe it will take $ 8.5 million to build four fields and $ 10.25 million to build six fields.

UCCS is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and is applying for tax credits with the MDFB Board to help raise additional funds. To do that, they needed a municipality, such as the county, to sponsor the tax credit application. Although the county would be representing the soccer group as a sponsor, there is no liability to the county.

• In other business Monday night, the council approved a new mutual aid pact between the Jefferson City Fire Department, county fire departments and the Holts Summit Fire Protection District. It will apply to structure fires only.

Automatic aid is seen as more proactive than the typical mutual aid agreements departments have had.

Under automatic aid, resources from other agencies can be dispatched at the same time the primary agency is called to an emergency scene.

Along with Holts Summit, the other agreements are with the Cole County Fire Protection District, Regional West Fire Protection District and Osage Fire Protection District since they all border the Jefferson City limits. Each district’s board of directors has already approved this proposal.

JCFD would divide up the city into four zones, and in each one of the zones, neighboring agencies would come in and help JCFD with just one truck and three crew members to respond in the city limits. Then JCFD would send them one truck with three people to certain areas directly adjoining the city limits.

• Also Monday night, the council approved rezoning of 101 Jackson St. and 504 State St., from MU-1 Mixed Use to PUD Planned Unit Development. The two properties are located on the southeast corner of the East State and Jackson streets intersection.

The request, filed by the Jefferson City Housing Authority on behalf of Transformational Housing which was the applicant for the rezoning, will allow five apartment units to be put within an existing three-story residential structure at 101 Jackson St. This would also accommodate a parking lot to provide off-street parking to be placed on the lot at 504 E. State St.

Transformational Housing is an organization that was formed by local churches to provide affordable housing within the community. Their first building opportunity was at 203 Cherry St. which has recently been renovated.

According to the application, the exterior building envelope at 101 Jackson St. will be repaired to keep it within the historic nature of the neighborhood. Lighting fixtures and other features for the new parking lot will be sensitive to the historic neighborhood.

• Among bills introduced Monday night was a measure to add Juneteenth as a paid holiday for city staff.

The Juneteenth celebration is a holiday which honors June 19, 1865, the day when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to announce the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln had signed 2½ years earlier.

In June 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation that establishes Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Missouri made June 19 a state holiday, known as Emancipation Day, in 2003.

The Cole County government also recognizes the Juneteenth Holiday as does Lincoln University.

City staff had asked the City Council to add Juneteenth as a paid holiday for employees during budget discussions last year.

Currently the state and Lincoln have 13 paid holidays for their employees while Cole County has 12.

Jefferson City currently has 10 plus a floating holiday that may be approved by the City Council. If it is approved, then it is added on at the beginning of the city’s fiscal year, Nov. 1.

City Human Resources Director Gail Strope told council members the cost for adding Juneteenth would be more than $ 79,000 with the majority of that amount going to pay the police and fire personnel who work that holiday. That figure was based on an eight-hour work day and current staffing and pay levels.

Ward 2 Council Member Mike Lester sponsored the measure and asked to amend the bill so that funding would not come from the Public Safety Tax Fund, but only from the General Fund to pay the costs to add to the holiday. Lester said he felt that how they fund the holiday should be the same as how they fund all other holidays. The council agreed and approved the amended bill and it could be approved at the next council meeting next month.

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