The Sedalia City Council met Monday night and heard a couple of presentations before the regular meeting began.

Randy Kirby

The first was from Finance Director Kelvin Shaw, who noted that the City's Sales Tax revenues are currently up 4.1 percent over 2016's figures.

Local sales taxes account for over 40 percent of the City of Sedalia's funding for many essential services such as police and fire protection. Therefore the decline seen in recent years, which mirrors the flat growth nationally, adds pressure to the long-term sustainability of those services, Shaw said.

Increased internet sales are partly to blame for this trend, he noted. People are going out to shop less and staying home and buying more frequently on the internet. This becomes evident when you see several retail chains downsizing or closing their stores nationwide. As a result, sales tax revenues for cities across the state are declining as well. Some signs are being seen in Sedalia, but it is not being hit as severely as others.

Shaw's finance department has developed a watch list of retail locations within the City that focus on businesses that have indicated a cutback recently.

Out of eight stores being monitored, three are doing better than average, and five of the eight are in fairly good shape. One business, however, is on the decline, Shaw noted.

The formula used involved dividing the previous four years of sales tax by the square footage of the individual businesses to establish a baseline, he explained.

In conclusion, Shaw said that if the declining trend continues and even accelerates, the effects will continue to be felt, and a proactive approach in dealing with it will be needed to avoid disruptions in essential City services.

The other presentation was from Community Development Director John Simmons, who  gave an update on Code Enforcement and the ongoing steps to improve the appearance of Sedalia.

Randy Kirby

At the start of the regular meeting, retiring Parks & Rec Director Mark Hewett was recognized for his 17 years, 11 months of service to the City of Sedalia by Mayor Stephen J. Galliher.

The Council also:

*Approved an agreement between between the City and Ideker, Inc., and the $3,245,519 state block grant agreement between the City and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for reconstruction of 5,000 feet of Runway 18-36 and replacement of the PIRL system at the Sedalia Regional Airport.

*Approved a $50,712.27 agreement between the City and Do-Rite Construction and Excavating of Lincoln for Streetlight conduit installation along Mitchell Road.

*Approved an agreement between the City and Cintas for uniform service for all Public Works Departments.

*Added a section to the Code of Ordinances regarding temporary permits for liquor by the drink and sale of liquor in its original package for special events and adding that fee to the City;s fee schedule.

*Amended a secion of the City Code relating to the composition of City Council departmental committees.

A new liquor license was granted to Elvin Dale Malone dba “Malone's Downtown Irish Pub, LLC” at 404 S. Ohio, for liquor by the drink and Sunday sales ($75).

Nine liquor license renewals were approved as well, including four for Dollar General, for packaged liquor ($150), and one each for Jennifer Mather dba American Legion Post 642 ($450), Priti Bhakta dba Hotel State Fair-Truman ($150), Tom Jorgense dba Pizza Hut ($75), Amanda Goon dba Break Time ($150), and Charles Wansing dba Chez When ($450).

Bonita Nash was absent from Monday night's proceedings.