The Sedalia City Council, in their regular session Monday night, rejected a $57,500 contract with Viking Painting, LLC, to apply the City's logo and tagline on Sedalia's water towers.

An ordinance was on the agenda as part of items up for discussion during the Public Works portion of the nearly two-and-a-half-hour meeting.

The project originally came to Council Aug. 21 from the Sedalia Lions Club, requesting that the City provide matching funds of $40,000, if the Club could raise $40,000 through donations from various local clubs, organizations, foundations and individuals.

The $80,000 was the quote it would cost to place two logos on the City's west water tower only, located just off West 16th Street (behind the new Rea's Funeral Home).

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

At that time, Council adopted a resolution and budget amendment to support the effort.

In the meantime, The Sedalia Lions Club raised $40,700 for the cause.

Staff then solicited bids for the applications of the Sedalia logo and the tagline “Let's Cross Paths.” The low bid was $23,000, well below the estimate.

After reviewing with the campaign leaders, it was decided to go for three logos on the west tower and two on the downtown tower.

The vendor quoted a price tag of $57,500 to do that, in which case only $16,800 would be needed to complete the now five-logo project.

The low bidder, as it turns out, regularly does tower work and has successfully performed work for the City of Sedalia in the past, it was noted.

All systems go for five water tower logos, it would seem, going into Monday night's meeting.

However, when it came time to vote, two Council members said yes, the other five (Councilman Marshall was absent) said no. The ordinance failed.

Council members Hiller, Foster, Robinson, Bloess and Boggess voted no, while Council members Oldham and Cross voted yes.

Mayor Pro Tem Tina Boggess said that she had been approached by several constituents to oppose the project, indicating that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

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“It's very disappointing, especially when the City Council last year approved going into this project with the Lions Club,” commented Councilman Tom Oldham after the meeting.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

“You know, you drive through any city, any town and you look at the water tower, and you know who they are, and what they're about. And that's exactly what we could have displayed here,” he said, adding that “there's nostalgia that comes with a water tower, how many memories from years past of meeting up at the water tower, their first kiss, or even vandalizing the water tower. So there's so much more that goes into it than just storing water.”

Oldham went on to say that the water towers could be used as a marketing tool for the community.

Others said that the money could be used elsewhere to improve infrastructure, sidewalks and city streets, or to mow more lawns.

“But you could mow every lawn, pave every street and fix every sidewalk, but if you don't have anybody coming into your town, it does you no good,” Oldham said, adding that he hopes the City can do more with the Lions Club in the future.

Under Miscellaneous, Oldham directed staff to return the money collected for the project, back to the donors.

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