The Sedalia City Council heard an annual update from Sedalia Downtown Development Inc., Administrator Meg Liston on Monday night in pre-council meeting action.

Liston touted the SDDI's accomplishments over the past year.

“I think most importantly is to see the renovation and completion of several downtown buildings and filling those buildings with new business. We're very excited about that,” Liston said.

She added that an estimated $2 Million worth of property is either vacant or under-utilized in the downtown Sedalia area.

“We feel like $2 Million of property transfers could impact the vacancy-occupancy rate for our downtown district,” she said.

In addition, there is a demand for downtown living.

“We have a lot of building owners who have found that there's a benefit to going ahead and rehabbing their second and third stories of their building. The apartments are in demand. I don't know of any that sit vacant for any length of time ... and the young people and professionals love the lifestyle of living on the second floor,” Liston noted. “We've got incredible opportunity.”

Several large-scale events such as the recent Thanksgiving lighting ceremony draw huge crowds to the downtown Sedalia area. Liston estimated the crowd on Nov. 24 at around 5,000. The Trick-or-Treat event on Oct. 28 drew an estimated 4,000 to downtown Sedalia for the two-hour event.

The stabilization of the historic Trust Building is almost complete, Liston told City Council members. Following a clean-up of the interior, the building will be that much closer to obtaining a tenant.

Liston listed eight new start-up businesses that have recently chosen to locate in downtown Sedalia, including Nostalgia Vintage Apparel, SERC Physical Therapy, Craft Beer Sellers, Ozark Coffee Company, Bridges of Missouri, Advantage Hiring Services, Scarlett Lens Photography, and Long lasting Impressions.

During the regular meeting, Council members:

*Approved an ordinance vacating four existing utility easements and a pedestrian walkway easement to E.W. Thompson, Inc., from the City at 2500 W. Broadway.

*Approved an ordinance accepting a utility easement from E.W. Thompson for property at 2500 W. Broadway for an anticipated retail relocation.

*Approved a change order from Preferred Properties in the amount of $19,907.25 for a sidewalk project on Engineer from Broadway to 16th Street. A total of $100,00 was originally budgeted for the project and the contract amount was $86,465. The change order increases the contract amount to $106,372.25. The $6,372.25 overage is available from another budget line item, it was noted. The Public Works staff recommended the change order to Council.

Five City employees were recognized for their longevity of service at the start of the regular meeting.

Monte Richardson, IT manager of the City's IT Department, was recognized by Sedalia Mayor Stephen J. Galliher for 30 years of service.

Officer John Cook was recognized by Sedalia Mayor Stephen J. Galliher for 20 years of service to the Sedalia Police Department.

Officer Larry Parham was recognized by Sedalia Mayor Stephen J. Galliher for 15 years of service to the Sedalia Police Department.

Not present but also recognized were Thomas Hockaday, equipment operator for the City's Street Dept., who was honored for 10 years of service.

Also not present was Stefanie Gentes, telecommunications officer, who was recognized for five years of service to the Sedalia Police Department.

One liquor license was renewed by Council. Kelly Wertz-Black, dba State Fair Spirits, 1419 S. Limit, for Packaged Liquor, Taste Testing and Sunday Sales, for $487.50.

Jo Lynn Turley was absent for Monday night's meeting due to leg surgery, Mayor Galliher said.

The Mayor also urged more citizens to sign up for the City's 36th annual Christmas Lighting Contest, sponsored by the City, the Mayor and Xi Beta Upsilon, chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. The deadline for entering is 12 noon Monday, Dec. 12, with the judging to take place on Tuesday, Dec. 13, beginning after 6:30 p.m.

Residents may enter by submitting an application to the Mayor’s Office, 200 S. Osage Avenue, Sedalia, Mo., 65301, or emailing the completed application to Applications are available online at or at the Mayor’s Office.

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