The City of Sedalia's $60 Million Sewer Bond issue passed by a nearly 80 percent margin, garnering 760 yes votes and 201 no votes.

Turnout for the special election was a mere 7.71 percent, with 961 voters coming out on Tuesday, out of a possible 12,465 registered voters in Pettis County.

The money that will now be borrowed will be used to make significant improvements to the city's wastewater system.

The State of Missouri is requiring the City of Sedalia to replace the North Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant’s technology is severely outdated, with most of the equipment dating back to the 1940s. That technology no longer meets the requirements of the state’s DNR nor the requirements of the federal EPA.

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The City will have 30 years to pay back the $60 million, and Mayor Andrew Dawson said the plan is to replace outdated technology, ensure the quality of our drinking water and prevent sewage from contaminating groundwater and streams. The improvements will help the City comply with the state’s requirements and solve many of the ongoing problems residents have had with the current system, he said.

Tours of the Central Wastewater plant were held last week to explain the wastewater process and to encourage voters to pass the bond issue. The tour presented on Thursday was mostly attended by Cty officials.

Mayor Andrew Dawson expressed his gratitude and optimism following this pivotal achievement: “The passage of this bond measure is a clear endorsement of our residents’ faith in our stewardship and their approval of necessary enhancements to our city’s infrastructure. It represents a crucial step forward, enabling us to access the funds needed to upgrade our wastewater systems, which are essential for the health and growth of Sedalia.”

City Administrator Kelvin Shaw added, “This is a significant milestone for our community, showcasing our collective commitment to securing a better future for Sedalia. With the authorization to borrow up to $60 million at a favorable interest rate, we are now in a position to plan strategically for the comprehensive improvement of our wastewater treatment facilities.”

The bond measure’s approval does not immediately kick off the implementation phase but opens the door for Sedalia to approach the state revolving fund for the necessary capital. This financial strategy ensures that the city can undertake the project with a sound fiscal foundation, reducing the overall cost to ratepayers while addressing the pressing need for infrastructure modernization.

Mayor Dawson further emphasized, “The overwhelming support for this initiative not only reinforces the trust our community places in us but also allows us to move forward with securing the funds needed from the state revolving fund. We are deeply appreciative of this support and committed to proceeding with transparency, ensuring that our residents are well-informed and engaged throughout this process.”

As Sedalia prepares to navigate the next steps in accessing the funds and planning for the wastewater system improvements, city officials are dedicated to keeping the community updated on developments and ensuring that the project aligns with the city’s long-term vision for sustainability and growth.

In the top photo: Jeff Barnard with engineering firm Burns & McDonnell, takes questions from those attending a tour of the City's Central Wastewater plant last Thursday.

Wastewater tour

Gallery Credit: Randy Kirby

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