The Central Business and Cultural District Board of Directors met Thursday evening where they discussed transitions that will be happening downtown and the upcoming bicycle races. 

A main topic of discussion regarded Sedalia Downtown Development Inc. City Administrator Kelvin Shaw said during the July 2 Sedalia City Council meeting that earlier in the year council decided to relocate the annual SDDI funding to a new full-time city staff position, which will do what the city contracted SDDI to do plus improvements citywide. 

During a previous board meeting, the CBCD board decided to take $20,000 out of its own budget and give it to SDDI to allow it to continue at least on a part-time basis for the following year. 

When the budget was taken to council July 2, the recommended budget from staff did not include that $20,000. Several board members spoke to their frustration on this, and the budget was tabled so more discussion could take place. 

Shaw and Mayor John Kehde were in attendance at Thursday’s meeting. Several CBCD board members spoke about their confusion and frustration and the lack of communication between the city, SDDI, and CBCD. The board, Shaw, and Kehde had extensive conversations about the topic with everyone presenting their side and understanding of what had happened. The board ultimately decided to request a meeting between the board, city council, and SDDI to discuss the issue further. 

“The statement that I keep hearing through all of this is that we all love downtown and we want to coordinate and make it the best. Maybe, we may have a lack of communication, but this is our heart,” said board member Rebecca Imhauser. 

“This is our investment, this is our retirement, and whatever it takes for us to work together and to not only care about downtown but care about each other as people to do this.”

The board then looked at several issues that will have to transition once a final decision is made. Since SDDI’s role in the future had not been decided yet, those issued had to be tabled for a later meeting. SDDI previously took care of the Amtrak depot, responsibilities that will now go to the city. SDDI also owns the Uptown Theater where the CBCD is planning on redoing the facade. There was also a discussion on whether they were going to transfer SDDI’s Design Committee to CBCD. 

Board member Ebby Norman gave an update on the upcoming the Sedalia Criterium bicycle races hosted downtown July 27. The Sedalia Area Farmers’ Market’s Taste of the Market event will be hosted that morning downtown and will feature a fundraising breakfast, free music, an open-air market and an artist market. They are coordinating how they will get the straw bales downtown for the event and moving the blockades. 

“As far as what is squared away for races, we are still, as usual looking for volunteers…I think everything is looking good though,” Norman said.

Imhauser brought up that she had two building owners who were interested in putting up Christmas lights in the 700 block of Ohio Avenue for the holidays. Community Development Director and CBCD board member John Simmons said he believed that it would be “an easy block to start with because everybody is in alignment.” Kehde said he had a meter on his building that was not being used that could be a potential option to help accomplish it. The board will look into the option further. 

They also discussed how to address weeds growing in the downtown area. Simmons said what works the best is to have people email him and he would then forward it to Public Works Director Brenda Ardrey, who would get people to take care of it. 

The board's next meeting will be Aug. 22. 

City Reporter

Emily Walton is the city reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering local government and various city departments.

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