Airport improvements were the main topic of discussion at Monday night's City Council meeting.

The Council tabled decisions on ordinances pertaining to runway improvements with a state block grant, as well as apron construction and north hangar apron expansion.

Sedalia Regional Airport Manager John Evans explained the cause for the delay.

"We're postponing voting on these two projects (both cost around $100,000) until the Feb. 27 meeting. The problem is, if we commit to the one for the apron planning and bidding, that means we're going to say yes to the $1.9 million to build the ramp," Evans told KSIS Radio, adding that City leaders voted yes for it five years ago in the City's master plan.

The second is redesigning the crosswind runway, referred to as a "runway protection zone."

"Although the cost is around $100,000, the City only pays $10,000 - $11,000. But it's the same thing, it's committing to $1 to $1.5 million to redo that runway the next budget year," Evans said. "We just want them to totally understand that."

The Council will examine the issue at its Feb. 27 work session, according to City Administrator Gary Edwards. "We don't want to rush it," he said at the pre-council meeting. "It's going to be a very important and active work session for you," he promised Council members.

The block grant agreement between the City of Sedalia and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission involves three elements -- a "Runway 5/23 Study," an "Airport Layout Plan Update" and an "Environmental Assessment for Runway Improvements."

A change order was approved from Emery Sapp and Sons in the amount of $1,408.90 for a taxiway construction project at the airport.

Most of the rest of the meeting focused on the Sedalia Animal Shelter.

The Council approved setting up a fee structure recommended by the Animal Shelter board, according to Edwards. Councilman Bob Cross inquired about the fees, asking him if they were all higher. Edwards responded, saying they were "different" than what was charged in the past. Cross said he thought the adoption fees might be a little too high for some people.

The Council also approved changing the status of the Animal Services Manager to non-exempt, meaning that the manager would now be eligible for overtime pay through the Sedalia Police Department.

The Council also approved an ordinance for a new agreement for Thompson Hills Animal Clinic to provide veterinary services to the City of Sedalia.

And finally, the Council approved a change order from Poort excavating in the amount of $21,629.20 for storm drainage improvements.

After the pre-council meeting, Council members were introduced to California musician Frederick Hodges, who attended both the pre-council and regular City Council meeting with his hostess Kathleen Boswell, a former councilwoman herself. Hodges is touring 11 area schools this week over a five-day period as this year's Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation's Artist in Residence.

Hodges will be performing at the Hayden Liberty Center, 111 W. 5th Street, on Thursday evening as the accompanist for a silent movie (Girl Shy, starring Harold Lloyd), starting at 7:30 p.m.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Joplin's death, Boswell noted.

Randy Kirby
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