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Columbia-area residents play basketball at Douglas Park (2022 file photo courtesy of Columbia Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Tammy Miller)

LGBTQ sanctuary city ordinance and Douglass Park improvements on tonight’s Columbia city council agenda

Columbia’s Douglass Park is located on North Providence (file photo courtesy of Columbia Parks and Recreation)

A Columbia resident wants the city council approve a sanctuary city ordinance involving its LGBTQ residents.

Resident Mel Tully will address the council from the podium during tonight’s meeting, and is expected to outline her proposal at that time. The council will listen to Tully’s testimony but the issue will not be voted on tonight.

Columbia’s city council will hold a public hearing and is also set to vote tonight on a $995,00 improvement project at the 6.8 acre Douglass park.

The proposed improvements would include construction of a skate park, improvements to the basketball courts and renovations to the aging Douglass park family aquatic center. There are plans to replace the existing baseball goals and scoreboards and to convert the court lighting to LED fixtures, as well as resurface the two basketball courts. The Columbia city council’s five-page packet says that since 2020, recreational programming such as Moonlight hoops have not taken place at Douglass Park.  The packet notes there’s a desire for these programs to return to the courts on an annual basis. Under the proposal, the court will include “Coach Willie Cox Court” in two locations along the sideline. It’s designed to recognize former Mizzou women’s basketball team director of recruiting Willie Cox, who died in 2019.

The council’s packet notes the voter-approved park sales tax will provide $400,000 for the project, while a state community revitalization grant will provide $495,000.  The Veterans United Foundation and Mizzou Sports Properties are donating $50,000 each for the project.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 at city hall.

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