Sedalia City Council members heard three presentations on Monday night, including info from SDDI, Personnel and the Cemetery departments.

SDDI Executive Director Meg Liston was the first presenter.

Sedalia Downtown Development Inc., is a Missouri non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3)status and a 12-member board with 50 program donor sponsors formed in 1994.

The organization's mission statement is to unite the entire Sedalia community for the economic and cultural revitalization of the downtown area, Liston noted.

SDDI promotes numerous downtown events throughout the year and provides funding as well. Some of the events include Chocolate Crawl, Thanksgiving Lighting and Fireworks, Scott Joplin Festival, Trick or Treat, Wine and Brews on the Avenues, St. Pat's Day and many others.

Some of the highlights of 2018 included a Corvette Show, Lions Club Pub Crawl, and a Missouri Preservation Conference.

A new event planned for 2019 is a National Wheelman Convention in July, Liston said.

The average age of the downtown Sedalia resident is 30.6. There are roughly 500 residents currently living in the downtown area.

SDDI manages and maintains the Amtrak train station lobby. Amtrak sees about 10,000 on-and-offs yearly in Sedalia, Liston noted with about a half dozen trains passing through the State Fair City every 24 hours.

John Rice spoke for the City's Personnel Department Monday night.

The Personnel Department oversees 257 full-time employees with the recent addition of the Sedalia Water Department added to the roster, Rice noted, adding that the City saw a significant increase in departures over the past year (53). The average time spent trying to fill an empty position is 20 ½ days, down from 23 days last year.

The average age of a City of Sedalia employee is 47 ½. Public safety employees are a bit younger with an average age of 39.4.

Crown Hill Cemetery Director Roger Waters spoke to the Council about the current state of affairs at Crown Hill and also addressed future needs.

His department has conducted 126 services so far in 2018, 90 of them were casket burials, Waters noted. There is a trend towards more cremations, so the need for another Columbarium at Crown Hill needs to be addressed. The cost of a new Columbarium is around $10,000, and a new area to place it needs to be discussed, he said.

The Columbarium that was installed in February 2017 had 32 niches and there are presently 10 niches left to sell. There is at least an eight-month wait for a new Columbarium from purchase to installation, he noted. The City charges $650 for each niche, he added.

A total of 51 graves have been sold so far this year, Waters said.

Plotting out new areas for burials and roads is a necessity over the next five years, Waters noted. Currently, Crown Hill has 2300 grave lots left to sell, but many of those do not have ideal locations, due to proximity to roads and drainage ditches.

Waters also noted that he would like to create a cremation-only area at Crown Hill with smaller gave lots and landscaping to make it more appealing to families that the cemetery serves.