After reading a story about Sedalia City Council voting down the water tower logo project Monday night, local businessman Russell Childers decided to step up and donate the remainder of the cost ($16,800) to make the project a reality.

Childers notified KSIS Radio of his decision just before 7:30 Thursday morning.

Childers said he read a story on KSIS Radio Tuesday morning and another story, which was an editorial by Director of Content Rob Creighton on Wednesday, before deciding it was the right thing to do through his RAC-JAC company.

He contacted John Meehan with the Sedalia Lions Club to notify him of the good news. The Lions Club raised $40,000 to pay for roughly half of the cost. The City had agreed several months ago to pay the other $40,000 of the $80,000 project.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

In the meantime, Viking Painting, LLC, (LaVista, Neb.,) offered to place three logos (and taglines) on the west water tower, located just off West 16th Street at 1401 Water Tower Road, and two more on the City's downtown Watertower on East Main Street.

Viking Painting was the lowest of five bidders. All were located out of state, except for one, and they came in second.

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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.

KSIS contacted Lions Club member John Meehan, who helped spearheaded the project, on Thursday morning.

“Just as a community member, I saw the value of part of the finishing product of marketing our great Sedalia community throughout the state,” Meehan said.

The Lions Club approached Council last fall with the idea of placing the City's logo on the west water tower. An estimate of $80,000 was obtained and the idea was that the Lions Club would raise $40,000 and the City would match those funds. Council members agreed.

The Lions Club then did a tremendous amount of work, Meehan said, “and got donations from individuals, from companies, service clubs, manufacturing plants, people who are very proud of our community and wanted to place the name of Sedalia on our water tower. And then the bids came in for the project, and were significantly less than what the original proposal was, so more logos became available at that time,” Meehan recalled.

“So now, at the last City Council meeting, apparently City Council didn't see the value in this, and decided to change their mind,” Meehan told KSIS.

The vote Monday night was five no, two yes and one absent.

But now, Meehan said, he is thrilled that Russell and Julie Childers have stepped up to the plate “and saw the value of this project, and are willing to kick in the remaining amount of money that is necessary to put Sedalia on the water tower.”

Maybe a lack of communitcation was to blame, Meehan suggested, but at any rate, “I would like to see us come together, make this project happen, finish it and move on, because we have a great community here,” he said.

KSIS also asked Mayor Dawson to comment:

"Last August, the Sedalia City Council committed to matching funds with the Lions Club to adorn our west water tower with three community logos. This initiative symbolizes our collective pride and the unique identity of our beloved city. On May 6, during the recent city council meeting, the council reversed its decision on these funds, which was both surprising and disheartening.

However, the spirit of our community is resilient and remarkably generous, as demonstrated by the outstanding commitment of Mr. Russell Childers, who has graciously donated an additional $16,800 to fully fund this project through donations. It is a testament to the exceptional character of the people who call Sedalia home—they not only cherish this city but are also willing to support it with profound acts of kindness.

I am immensely grateful to Mr. Childers for his dedication and for turning what seemed a setback into a monumental testament of community support. His act of generosity reaffirms that despite any challenges, Sedalia remains the best city in Missouri. I am honored to serve such an engaged and caring community, and I am committed to seeing this project through to completion and will use every power afforded my office to see that happen.

Thank you, Mr. Childers, from the bottom of my heart. Your contribution ensures that our community’s pride will be visibly celebrated and will stand as a beacon of our collective aspirations and unity," commented Sedalia Mayor Andrew Dawson on Thursday morning.

First Ward Councilman Tom Oldham, who voted to fund the project Monday night, also commented to KSIS:

"We are blessed to have a community filled with members of the Lion’s Club, Optimist Club, and Kiwanis Club.

"We have industries and businesses who understand the importance of community pride and we have families like the Mehans, Flutys, and Boatrights, as well as so many more, who give so much to our community.

"For the Childers family to come in and fill the gap means a lot! Thank you, Childers family for stepping up to the plate when a promise was broken!

"We need to be proud of our community and our history and ready to showcase it! We are fortunate to be in the heart of not only Missouri, but America, and when people drive through our town they can look up and see who we are and what we are about.

"And we can tell them “Let’s Cross Paths!" Oldham said,


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