Friday, February 15, 2008

Columbia Fitne$$

It's going to cost more to use Columbia's sports and fitness clubs, according to this story in the Flier.

The CA board approved a 3 percent rate increase starting in May, apparently because it is worried about the health of the economy.

In other action, renovations to the Stevens Forest pool will have to wait until at least 2010 and money was cut to fix up the water slide and snack area at the Swim Center. The board decided that the People Tree needs some sprucing up and there will be some modest repairs to a retaining wall by Lake K, but the association will hold off on other changes downtown.

The Flier said the CA board cut funding in its budget for a new headquarters building and other renovations until it sees what General Growth plans for downtown.

On Jan. 31 board members cut from the budgets projects to replace the boardwalk, gazebo and bell tower next to the lake and to upgrade the sitting area around the statue called "The Hug" near the lake. On Feb. 6, members also cut $3.6 million for the construction of a new CA headquarters downtown.

Members said they cut the projects because they do not yet know the contents of a plan to redevelop Columbia's Town Center that is being drafted by General Growth Properties Inc., the predominant property owner downtown.

General Growth is set to release a draft of a plan in April that will outline ways to add residential and commercial density to Town Center over the next 30 years, while making it more accessible to pedestrians.

"Since General Growth is coming forward with a plan, we should not invest money into something we might want to alter," board chairwoman Barbara Russell, of Oakland Mills, said of the vote to cut the proposed funding for the projects.

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