Monday night's City Council meeting began with recognition of Sedalia Parks & Recreation Director Amy Epple for her five years of service.

“We've had a terrific vision, things have just materialized that we cannot believe,” Mayor Kehde commented.

Epple originally began working as a recreation supervisor for Parks & Rec in 2008. She continued for six years until her husband was deployed overseas. She later worked for Warrensburg Parks & Rec, then returned to Sedalia when former Parks Director Mark Hewitt retired. Epple has served as director since July 31, 2017.

“It was a very shrewd move of the Park Board to hire you, wasn't it?” Kehde told Epple.

“Well I love what I do, so I'm very fortunate that I get the opportunity to do that. And I have a rock star staff,” Epple responded.

Epple noted that Christmas decorations at Liberty Park will be up by Nov. 15.

Under Public Safety, Dannelle Lauder then presented the Council with facts and figures about the new Pettis County Joint Communications and the accompanying budget.

Lauder noted that she staffs Joint Communications with three dispatchers 24/7 and has two supervisors who split the duties of the day-to-day operations.

“As an agency, we are processing more than 10,000 calls a month,” Lauder told the Council.

When asked by the Mayor about taking a tour of Joint Communications, Lauder responded that “unfortunately, because of the type information that we have readily available, the majority of our physical space is restricted. We would have to do computer checks on every single person coming in,” Lauder said. Names would have to be submitted beforehand, and run the necessary inquiries if there was a small tour group, she added.

Joint Communications was in full operation Aug. 15.

Annual funding for Joint Communications comes from Sedalia ($300,000), Pettis County ($200,000), and PACD ($150,000).

Council then approved bids for the purchase of self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA), fill station and a compressor system for the Sedalia Fire Department from Feld Fire Equipment in the amount of $260,013.36.

"This will cover both in service and reserve engines as well," Fire Chief Matt Irwin commented.

According to agenda notes, certification on the devices currently in use, are set to expire next year. The City has applied for grants to help cover the cost of new equipment for the previous two years.

A grant for $110,545 was successfully obtained this year. The budget approved by Council anticipated total expenditures of $300,000, with $270,000 of grant funding. Despite the fact that the grant funding of $110,545 falls well short of $270,000, staff recommends the City proceed with the project.

The City issued a request for proposals and received eight responses from six companies. Feld Fire Equipment was recommended for their proposal of $260,013.36, which includes a five-year warranty.

Under Public Works, Director Brenda Ardrey gave a presentation focusing on future plans for the Street, Sanitation and Solid Waste Disposal, and Right-Of-Way Maintenance Departments.

Ardrey said she is having trouble retaining employees, and is currently 17 people short. CDL Licensed drivers are needed.

Ongoing department head presentations will culminate in a strategic planning session on Jan. 8 where the Council will review all requests and come up with an overall plan for the City of Sedalia, and rank them in order of priority.

Budget work sessions will follow in February and March, and end with a budget adoption the last Council meeting in March.

Also under Public Works, it was noted that the contractor working at 3rd and Warren has reached completion of their portion of the City's water main replacement project. The final adjustment for this contractor was an increase of $14,355.20, plus liquidated damages for being 19 days past due resulted in a decrease of $3,800. Staff recommended approval of a change order and Council agreed.

Also under Public Works, Council approved a proposal to design the next two storm water management improvement projects at a cost of $120,000.

Staff said that the project located at 9th, Hancock, 12th and Montgomery will likely not occur this year, even though $665,125 in funding was approved. The funds will now be used to finish engineering on this project, as well as the next one.

Under Finance and Administration, Council called for an election April 5 that will determine a new mayor, and a new Council member in each of the four wards.

Also under Finance, Shannon Ramey-Trull, human resources director, provided Council with direction on the City's compensation package when it comes to health insurance policies.

Two liquor license renewals were approved by Council, including:

*Jenna House dba State Fair Eagle Stop, 1515 Thompson Blvd., for packaged liquor and Sunday sales, $450

*Justin Reith dba Woods Express #570, 703 E. Broadway, for packaged liquor and Sunday sales, $450

Council then adjourned to closed-door session for legal advice, Real Estate and personnel matters.

In the top photo: Sedalia Mayor John Kehde presents Parks & Rec Director Amy Epple with a certificate honoring her five years of service to the City of Sedalia at the start of Monday night's City Council meeting.

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