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      Columbia mayor, Boone County commissioner talk transportation

      Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid and Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill gave presentations to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Thursday.

      McDavid addressed several topics, including improvements and renovations at the Columbia Regional Airport. He thanked highway commissioners for the recent improvements on Highway 63 near the airport, and reminded them that the airport still needs a lot of work to stay competitive in the airline industry. McDavid wants a 40% market share of airline passengers by the year 2020.

      "We need a three gate terminal," he said. "We need the ability to seat 300 passengers. We are working to capture a local source of revenue. Weâ??re working to level that into some federal funding. That is something that will be evolving over the next few months.â??

      Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill gave a presentation on the transportation plans for the new Battle High School in Boone County, which will be just outside of the Columbia city limits.

      Columbiaâ??s newest high school is set to open this fall on St. Charles road. Atwill praised highway officials for their work and planning on the traffic flow near Battle High School.

      "The purpose of my position here today with you, is not to ask for anything but to thank you and the staff for all that has been done in this regard," he said.

      MODOT Director Kevin Keith also announced today that his department turns 100 years old this year.

      Keith said his staff is planning several events in honor of that milestone.