The City of Sedalia issued a press release just after 5 p.m. Wednesday concerning a very rare open session with City Council that followed a closed session Monday night:

“Some comments were made during the March 18 Council Meeting regarding where fire stations should be located to provide the best possible emergency response times to all citizens.

Concerns were also raised over the recent and sudden discovery of structural issues with the Washington Street Bridge over the railroad tracks, causing it to be temporarily closed, which complicates matters. Staff has been diligently working with the Mayor and Council on fire station locations for quite some time. The bridge closure, though, certainly highlights and exemplifies some of the many considerations for this process.

Therefore, staff pulled together the various analysis that have been prepared and reviewed them again with the Public Safety Council Committee last Thursday.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

Because of the specific concerns raised on Monday night, Chief Irwin was asked to repeat this presentation for the full Council during an open session that followed the closed portion of the meeting.

Council was also reminded that immediately after we were notified of the issues with the bridge, we began and continue to work with the bridge expert engineer recommended by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) to pull together a plan to get the bridge operational as soon as safely possible.

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After much discussion, Council directed staff to consider options that include a satellite fire station that could be operated on the north side of the railroad. Additionally, staff will continue to push for and develop short-term options that can be implemented quickly while the bridge is down. Mayor Dawson stated, “We greatly appreciate the number of individuals showing up to participate in city government Monday, and we want to assure everyone that their comments are taken seriously.”

He continued with reassurance that “all avenues are being rigorously explored to reopen the Washington Street Bridge as quickly as possible and to address the extra public safety concerns while it is out of service.”

Rabndy Kirby
Randy Kirby

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