Friday, August 31, 2007

Columbia Downtown Site for Future Market

Columbia Tribune from August 20- Columbia officials are considering a downtown site occupied by an AmerenUE construction headquarters as a possible site for a future open-air farmers market.

But before anything can be done to accommodate a market on the lot at 210 Orr St., AmerenUE must remove hundred-year-old coal tar that has leached into the ground, posing an environmental hazard but no threat to humans.

City hall is working to broker a land swap with AmerenUE, which said it is eager to move from the downtown site.

"It’s not convenient for us to get our trucks in and out on Orr Street, so we’ve had discussions with the city about some kind of exchange," AmerenUE spokesman Mike Cleary said.

The 2-acre parcel is the site of the former Columbia manufactured gas plant, which was built in 1875. The plant expanded twice during its operation. By the time it closed in 1932, the plant straddled the east and west sides of Orr.

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