The Sedalia City Council tackled several topics Monday night, in the areas of finance, public works, public safety and community development.

All Council members were present for the nearly 90-minute meeting, with the exception of Fourth Ward Councilwoman Rhiannon Foster, who attended virtually via GoToMeeting, as did City Counselor Anne Gardner.

Under Finance, Council passed an ordinance levying and providing for the collection of property taxes, following a brief public hearing in which no comments were received. This was done in accordance with state statute, including the Hancock Amendment, which uses the Consumer Price Index to calculate and limit the maximum amount of taxes that can be collected.

Finance Director Dawn Jennings then gave a financial update, in which she said that sales tax revenues are surprisingly good, up 5.2 percent. And that is a positive trend, commented Mayor John Kehde. City Administrator Kelvin Shaw noted that the use tax (construction) is up and “keeps climbing,” riding a good economic tide.

Two ordinances were passed relating to sidewalk projects that were previously held back. The move effectively transferred $102,317.90 in funds from chip & seal projects to sidewalk projects, which allows for demolition and repair of certain areas in the City, including sidewalk, curb and gutters. The agreement is with S & A Equipment & Builders, LLC. The bid came in at $552,317.90. Moving the funds brings the allocation for sidewalk repair to $302,317.90. The remainder ($250,000) will be funded from the Sedalia Water Department's water main replacement project. The intent is to get as much done before winter arrives, then finish up in the spring, if necessary.

Council approved renewal of a property insurance package through Cincinnati Insurance, through Insurance and Benefits Group. Shaw noted that the City is attempting to increase the limits on flood and earthquake payouts, which is currently $5 million. He said that if either catastrophe occurs in Sedalia, it will cost way more than $5 million to repair the damage.

Under Public Works, Council approved a $32,948 change order from Hettinger Excavating, LLC for a water main replacement project for some unidentified and unanticipated issues. This brings the total amount for the project to $2,481,585 and will close out the contract. A memo from Public Works Project Manger Jerry Stone detailed the issues for Council members.

Council approved a resolution pertaining to pre-treatment of industrial wastewater, per Department of Natural Resources permitting requirements.

Council approved the installation of a no-parking sign on the east side of Quincy at Broadway for a half block, effectively eliminating three parking spaces. The issue was a very narrow roadway when cars were parked on both sides of the street, with traffic passing each other, not to mention the difficulty of moving the City's large fire trucks through the area responding to emergency calls. The Council followed the recommendation of the Citizen's Traffic Advisory Committee, which voted 6-0 in favor of the no-parking sign.

Under Public Safety, Council considered a resolution to allow Sedalia firefighters to join Social Security for retirement benefits. All City employees are covered by Social Security, except firefighters, Shaw noted. The Social Security Administration will then calculate the effect that would have. The process has to be held open for 150 days before a vote is taken.

Council repealed existing code pertaining to head gear requirements for motorcycle riders and passengers, mirroring a recent change in state legislation on July 14. The new law states that local governments cannot regulate motorcycle head gear. The repeal takes effect Aug. 28.

Under Community Development, Council agreed to a $75,000 fee for professional services from PGAV to develop and a comprehensive plan for the City's vision pertaining to zoning restrictions. A plan was last adopted in 2008 and update in 2014. Nine proposals were received, two finalists rose to the top, and PGAV Planners, LLC, (St. Louis) was selected as the best proposal by the City's Comprehensive Plan Selection Committee, headed by Kevin Wade.

A special use permit request submitted by Matt Otten to build a storage facility on property at 2135 E. 7th was ultimately denied after much discussion Monday night. The Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended by a 6-0 vote to deny the request. The proposed special use is not one of the accepted uses allowed in R-1, according to Section 64-124 of the City Code.

A special use permit was granted to William Carter for a car detailing business at his home at 1805 West Fourth. Neighbors were consulted and no objections were raised, it was noted. P & Z recommended approving the permit.

A rezoning request from C & E Excavating was approved by Council for property at 104, 111 and 203 East Ham. The property was R-1 (residential) and is now M-1 (light industrial). The business recently purchased additional land and is expanding.

Two new liquor licenses and two renewals were approved Monday night, also. One of the new ones involves a new owner for Coach's, located at 303 South Lamine, Chancey Sherman, dba Chancey's R, was granted a license for Liquor by the Drink and Sunday Sales for $750.

The other new license went to Kristy Long dba Wildlife Ridge Winery, 34751 Miller Rd., Smithton, for a Temporary Event  for the Picadilly Gala to be held  Sept. 24, at The Venue, $15.

Renewals included Jodi Klimiuk dba Buffalo Wild Wings, 4401 Wisconsin Ave., Liquor by the Drink and Sunday Sales, $750; and Tiffany Holland dba Rush Hour #9, 1320 S Limit, Packaged Liquor & Sunday Sales, $450

The walls of the Council Chambers were noticeably decorated with stretched-canvas blow-ups of vintage post cards featuring scenes from historical Sedalia. The colorful addition provides a welcome change from the bare brick walls and compliments the portraits of Sedalia mayors from years past that line the back walls. It also has a side benefit of making the Chambers a bit quieter, making it easier to hear various speakers during Council meetings.

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