Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
Home to the Activity and Recreation Center, this 20-acre piece of land and the adjacent 20-acre West Boulevard School grounds was formerly the Boone County Fairgrounds. Annual fairs were held at this site from 1948 through 1991. The Boone County Fair Board then traded the fairgrounds at Clinkscales and Ash Street for 226 acres known as the Cotton Woods Airport. In 1994 Ron and Vicki Shy donated 20 acres to the City of Columbia for recreation use.
The final master plan for this site is yet to be determined. In 2000, the City of Columbia sent out requests for proposals for the construction, operation, and maintenance of an ice skating facility on this site. No acceptable proposals were received. In 2001, Sustainable Farms & Communities, Inc. had plans drawn up for a Farmers Market Community Center for proposed construction on the Ash and Clinksales site. In November 2005, a ballot proposal was put before the voters to extend the Park Sales Tax for two years to fund a multi-use recreation facility that would house an indoor ice rink, covered farmers market, and indoor sports complex. The ballot issue was defeated.
In 2006, the Columbia Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) approached the City with a proposal to raise the necessary funds to construct a 61,000 sq. ft. youth sports facility to be located on the Ash and Clinkscales property. Upon completion of the building, it would be turned over to the Parks and Recreation Department for operation and programming. The proposed building would include eight indoor basketball courts. The proposal went before the City Council for consideration.
After reviewing the proposal, the City Council directed the Department to contact other organizations which had expressed interest in the potential development of the Ash and Clinkscales site and allow 30 days for those entities to provide updated information as to the status of their project and/or proposals. The department was also directed to advertise to the public soliciting statements of interest for use of the property. Agencies were contacted by the department and a request for statements of interest was advertised. Four groups submitted proposals: Boone Ice Group (BIG), Columbia Farmers Market (DFM), Columbia Youth Basketball Association (CYBA), and Positive Regional Impact Development Enterprise (PRIDE).
After the proposals were reviewed and a public hearing at the Park and Recreation Commission meeting was held, the Parks and Recreation Department and Commission recommended the CYBA/Rising Stars and the Farmers Market facilities for the site. The City Council held public hearings on the subject and ultimately approved a Memorandum of Understanding for both of the recommended organizations.
The original Memorandum of Understanding with Sustainable Farms and Communities granted two years to raise $900,000 for the construction of a permanent facility to house the Farmers Market. The funds would be given to the City to administer the construction of the facility. The City would be owner and operator of the facility with an agreement in place outlining Sustainable Farms' cooperative use of the facility. At the March 17, 2008 Council meeting, the Market requested that the City provide an option to extend the lease to a total of seven years in order to qualify for Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits from the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The tax credits are essential for organizations attempting to raise funds. In order to qualify for the tax credits, the Farmers Market had to be the owner for five years after the tax credits expire. If the tax credits are not used, the original agreement remains in effect. At the April 21, 2008 meeting the Council approved an ordinance granting the extension of the lease.
Similarly, a Memorandum of Understanding gave the Columbia Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) two years to raise $4 million to fund the construction of an indoor multi-court, multi-use recreation facility. The funds would be given to the City to administer the construction of the facility. The City would be owner and operator of the facility with an agreement in place outlining CYBA's cooperative use of the facility. CYBA commissioned a feasibility study that unfortunately indicated they would not be able to raise the required funds considering the current economic climate. Consequently, in a letter dated September 8, 2008 to City of Columbia Officials, CYBA officially terminated the Memorandum of Understanding.
On May 7, 2010 the City Council approved Clary-Shy Community Park as the official park name. (See related Council item.)
The following outlines the timeline for the Ash and Clinkscales property use issue:
See Council Agenda Items for more information.
Suiters are lining up for city's ARC land
May 17, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Basketball group plans open house
June 19, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Rinks, growers add bids for ARC land
June 28, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Advocates pitch ARC land plans
August 18, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Parks Board favors youth group for ARC site
September 26, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Council gives OK to youth basketball
January 17, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
City okays youth sports complex
January 17, 2007 - Columbia Missourian
Ice rink backers set sights on 2008
January 23, 2007 - Columbia Missourian