Sedalia bars and restaurants will be smoke-free starting Sept. 1 after the Sedalia City Council on Monday voted overwhelmingly to approve the much-debated Sedalia Clean Air Indoor Act.
In a 6-2 vote, with Ward 2 Councilwoman Wanda Monsees and Ward 3 Councilman Bob Cross dissenting, the council approved the Act which calls for all public buildings, city parks and playgrounds, licensed childcare facilities and entrances to buildings to be smoke-free. Private clubs will be exempt unless hosting a public event such as bingo.
There was some debate between members during the council pre-meeting and Cross made a motion the ordinance be put to a public vote with Ward 2 Councilwoman Becca La Strada seconding it.
“Let’s just do this. I’d like to see us vote on it tonight. I’m tired of messing around with this,” said Ward 1 Councilman Steve Galliher, who had been a vocal supporter of an across-the-board ban since council started discussing the ordinance two months ago.
Ward 4 Councilman Larry Stevenson, who in previous meetings argued that bars should not be included in the ban, said he, too, would like to see the issue settled.
“As much as I’d like to see it put to a (public) vote, I think it might end up with something I don’t want to see,” he said. “We have to decide.”
Monsees said while she agreed restaurants should be smoke-free, she was concerned about small bars closing and the economic impact it would have on businesses that do allow smoking. After hearing from members of the public — most of whom opposed the ban’s inclusion of bars — council voted during its regular meeting and passed the ordinance. Pettis County Health Department Administrator Jo Ann Martin, who is also a member of the Clean Air Committee that originally brought the ordinance to council, said she was glad to see the debate finally ended.
“The council has upheld the fine tradition of government protecting the health of its citizens,” Martin said. “We’ve has been working for the past five years on getting an ordinance like this passed so it’s wonderful to see those efforts paying off.”
Martin said the next step would be working with business owners to help make the transition as smooth as possible and there are plans in the works to speak to the Pettis County Commission about making the entire county smoke-free.
“I’m very happy this passed and I really and truly hope those people who have not frequented a business because of the smoke will now start spending their money in these bars and restaurants,” she said. “The council did a wonderful thing tonight.”
During the meeting council also:
• Approved the purchase of modified aggregate quick set street treatment from Donelson Construction; $236,363.04.
• Approved a bid to APAC-Missouri for mill and overlay work on various city streets; $184,900.
• Approved a bid to Braik Brothers Tree Care for yard waste grinding; $37,604.
• Approved a bid to Duke’s Root Control Inc. for root control issues near sewer lines; $15,678.
• Approved the purchase of mobile radio upgrades for the Sedalia Police Department which will provide communications between local, state and federal agencies; $25,200 paid through a Missouri Communications Assistance Program grant.
• Approved an ordinance repealing 15-minute parking restrictions in front of 122 S. Ohio Ave. and the corner of East Second Street and South Ohio Avenue.
• Approved a resolution allowing the SPD to apply for a U.S. Bureau of Justice grant.
• Approved an ordinance dealing with public utility and road easements for Menards Plaza Plat 2.