A trio of strategic planning presentations took up the bulk of the first Sedalia City Council meeting of 2021 Monday night at the Municipal Building,  2nd and Osage.

First up was Animal Services Director Randi Battson, who gave an overview of the Sedalia Animal Shelter activities in 2020.

Some of the information she shared with Council during her slide show included:

There are five people on staff. Wynter Houtchens is leaving and is being replaced by Amy Close. The Animal Control Office is Troy Schneider.

There are 49 dog kennels and 96 cat kennels.

In 2020, the SAS adopted out 249 cats and 265 dogs, for a total of 514.

149 animals were returned to their owners, including 8 cats and 141 dogs.

25 animals had to be euthanized, including 14 cats and 11 dogs.

359 cats were trapped, neutered and returned inside the city limits in 2020, with a few more outside the limits, Battson said.

Advanced Pet Care has been replaced as the City's official veterinarian by Dr. Cheryl Albin, Battson noted.

Battson said her five-year wish list includes two full-time AC officers and a full time veterinarian on staff. The average cost of an officer is around $30,000, while the cost of a veterinarian is around $100,000 and up, not including equipment and supplies. Currently, the AC officers spend mornings at the shelter and is on patrol weekdays from 1 to 5 p.m.

Battson said she desperately needs to replace the AC vehicles, adding that they are constantly breaking down.

In addition, the concrete floors and and the walls of the dog kennels need to be replaced, according to MDA standards.

Also, a meet-and-greet area for prospective pet owners is badly needed.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

The second presentation of the night was given by Sedalia Fire Chief Greg Harrell, who noted that the SFD responded to 2,313 emergency calls in 2020, up 68 from the previous year. And that does not count non-emergency calls, he stressed.

Due to COVID, there were no school presentations in 2020, which accounts for the lack of about 10,000 to 11,000 contacts with area residents that are normally seen.
New disinfection procedures have been implemented by the SFD due to COVID, Harrell explained. And there are no public plans at this time for 2012. Also no public tours of the Fire Headquarters, and the classrooms that are normally utilized dozens of times throughout the year are sitting dormant.

Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) used by the SFD every day are nearing the end of their useful life and will need to be replaced.

Renovations at the SFD's Hancock location are ongoing to keep the old facility in service for another five to seven years.

The next apparatus that will need to be replaced is a 2007 Engine (E-2), Chief Harrell said. And the cost of that will most likely hover somewhere around $600,000.

Plan reviews, fire inspections and pre-incident planning (323) took up the rest of the SFD's time in 2020.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

Sedalia Parks & Recreation Director Amy Epple gave a thorough presentation and slide show about the City's seven parks and other aspects of her staff's daily activities to Council.

Liberty Park covers 32 acres and is the oldest park in Sedalia, acquired in 1890.

Hubbard Park at 23 acres was donated to the City in 1921.

Housel Park at five acres was purchased in 1942.

Vermont Park at seven acres was purchased in 1951.

Centennial Park at 39 acres was acquired in 1960.

Katy Park at 18 acres was purchased in 1974.

Clover Dell Park is 173 acres and is the most recent to be added to Sedalia's park system.

Sedalia Parks & Rec offered 200 programs in 2020, with 20 special events.

The presentations were the last in a series from department heads over the last few months that lead up to an annual Strategic Planning Session by Council, which sets priorities for the upcoming City of Sedalia budget. The Planning Session is set to start Saturday morning at 8:30 and last the majority of the day.

The public is invited to attend virtually online at  https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/578973061

Council approved a $48,457.23 change order from Phillips Hardy, Inc., for the Rail Spur Project to remove unsuitable soils from Saline at each of the turnouts on sections A and D.

With City Administrator Kelvin Shaw in quarantine, the look of the Council was drastically different Monday night, with Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Dawson in charge of the meeting. Community Development Director John Simmons was sitting in Shaw's normal seat, and keeping a close eye and ear on the online stream of the proceedings on GoToMeeting.

Only three Councilman attended in person (Tom Oldham, Bob Cross and Dawson) with Rhiannon Foster, Lucas Richardson, Jeff Leeman and Steve Bloess choosing to attend virtually.

Ward 2 Councilwoman Tina Boggess, as well as Sedalia Mayor John Kehde, were absent from Monday night's meeting, which lasted a little over an hour.

Council adjourned to a closed-door session following the public meeting.

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