The Sedalia City Council met Monday evening in City Hall where various city departments and local organizations continued to give strategic plans for the upcoming year. 

The Sedalia Fire Department, Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County, the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation and Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department all gave updates on how the last year has gone and plans for 2020. 

EDSPC Executive Director Jessica Craig explained the recent success Sedalia has been experiencing is due to continuous hard work over the years.

“As I travel around the state and around the nation people ask me, ‘What is going on in Sedalia? Tell me the recipe. Why things are so exciting and growing so much?’” she said. “I always say ‘How much time do you have? It’s about 30, 40 years in the making.’”

Accomplishments by the group in the last year include bringing TMS International and ExamOne/Quest Diagnostics to Sedalia. The organization responded to 17 requests for proposals for businesses seeking a new location and led 11 site visits for businesses seeking a new location. There were 1,350 jobs created and 980 jobs retained.

Priorities for 2020 include continuing to market Sedalia to a local, national and international audience, collaborating with local high schools and marketing to Pettis County residents who leave the county for work. Another goal is to continue developing the relationship with Whiteman Air Force Base to assist in the placement of retiring Air Force members in jobs in the Pettis County community. EDSPC also has three business announcements coming in the new year. 

Ward 3 Councilman Bob Cross asked for an update on the rail spur project at the Sedalia Rail Industrial Park and Craig replied the group and city were still working on it. 

“We continue to work, Brenda Ardrey (Public Works Director) and I, are partners in working on that,” she said. “We continue to work on the federal application process with the grant which was just over $10 million. We are making progress. We’re excited to put a shovel in the ground when the feds allow us to.”

Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation President John Simmons explained the foundation had a $110,000 budget and received $10,000 of that funding from the city. Simmons said the foundation would be requesting the same amount in the coming year. 

The foundation has hosted the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival 38 times since 1974 and 36 consecutive times since 1983, resulting in hundreds of performances and thousands of attendees. In the last year, the foundation sold 1,362 concert tickets which had an estimated local impact of 405 overnight stays in hotels, other money spent in the community, and resulted in an overall direct economic impact of $110,335. 

The 2020 festival will have a new theme, “Celebrating the Women of Ragtime.”

“We will be celebrating the women of ragtime and paying tribute to the influence women had on the ragtime era,” Simmons said. “Whether that was songs about women, women composers, or performers. Half of our performers will be women.”

Other goals for 2020 include creating a new venue, Treemonisha Tent, at Seventh Street and South Ohio Avenue and starting up Ragtime Kids. The national program seeks applications from students to receive a scholarship to come to the festival and spread the “ragtime word to new generations.” The 2020 Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival will be May 27-30, according to Simmons. 

Fire Chief Greg Harrell said the purpose of the strategic planning was to “set goals for planning, not unachievable dreams, but to set targets to improve the services we provide to the citizens of our community.” 

A goal from SFD’s 2019-20 strategic plan was to improve fire inspections and increase the number conducted, which the department met with the addition of a full-time fire inspector this summer. The department was also able to purchase an electronic fire extinguisher training simulator largely through donations. 

Department members spent 8,749 hours in training and had 12 personnel attend the Instructor 1 Class and became certified instructors. Seventeen completed the Fire Officer 1 Class and 15 completed technical/high angle rescue training. The department is in its 16th week of its fourth Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 Academy with 11 students set to graduate in late February or early March. Next year the department hopes to continue the program and qualify for student financial aid. The department also had a goal last year to pre-plan for emergencies at commercial properties in the city. All 878 pre-plans were completed in June. 

In the next year, the department would like to continue to increase the number of inspections and spend more time explaining to property owners why the codes are important. The department will also continue to provide free smoke detectors to residents. 

Another major goal is to improve the city’s ISO (Insurance Service Office) score, which is 3. The department continuously works to do this, but things like the city’s rapid expansion and the annexation of properties into the city have been deterrents to its efforts. The department will also be looking at what to do with its Central Fire Station in the coming years. Harrell said the department would continue to train to meet the needs of the community. 

“This is our city, our community, and we take great pride in providing the services we do to the public and want to be looked upon as a resource for our citizens,” he said.

Council also:

• Heard a presentation from Sedalia Parks and Recreation Director Amy Epple. She gave a strategic planning presentation similar to the one she gave during last week’s Park Board meeting. 

• Held a public comment period for draft wastewater contribution permits with WCA Central Missouri Landfill, Inter-State Studio and Publishing Co., Maxion Wheels-Sedalia LLC, Stanley Black and Decker Inc. and Sierra Bullets LLC/Starline Inc. The permits will allow these industries to continue discharging wastewater to the city’s wastewater system. 

• Held a public meeting for the fiscal year 2020-21 strategic plan and budget. 

• Accepted an agreement with State Fair Community College relating to funding approval of a community development block grant for construction of a new technical facility at SFCC. Ward 2 Councilman Andrew Dawson abstained. 

• Heard a financial update from City Administrator Kelvin Shaw. 

• Approved an ordinance for change order No. 3 from Septagon Construction Company Inc. for municipal building renovations for $4,501.92.

• Waived the requirements of Section 4-3(A) of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Sedalia and imposing other conditions relating to the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop at the Bootlegger’s Ball on Tuesday, Dec. 31 during the hours of 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. in front of The Venue in downtown Sedalia. 

• Approved an Adoption Partner Agreement between the Sedalia Animal Shelter and PetSmart Charities Inc. to help facilitate adoptions of dogs, cats or other pets. 

• Approved a quote from Blur Tree Technology LLC for a one-year renewal of firewall licensing and support and endpoint protection licensing for the city servers and desktop computers for $14,994.45.

• Approved a rate confirmation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City for vision insurance for city employees and their dependents. 

• Approved a sales tax reimbursement agreement with J.A. Lamy Manufacturing Co. for the construction of public infrastructure and authorizing Mayor Kehde to execute the agreement. 

• Approved an agreement with HDR Engineering Inc. for professional services relating to lift station design, abandonment of existing structures and sewer extensions for $287,310.

• Approved a terms sheet between the city, Sedalia Parks Recreation Department and Sedalia School District 200 relating to the Heckart Community Center for the addition of a competitive pool. 

• Amended Ordinance No. 10195 by approving an amended individual hangar space lease form for the Sedalia Regional Airport. 

• Approved a quote from Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. for a one-year extension of ESRI Software used by the Sedalia Water Department for licensing, support and maintenance of the GIS program for $1,719. 

• Approved a scope of services proposal from Wilson & Company Inc. for professional surveying services for waterline improvements and completion of design engineering of the 2018 water improvements project in various areas in the city for $10,200.

• Approved a records destruction request from the community development department. 

• Appointed Jeff Leeman to the Economic Development Board for a one-year term expiring December 2020. 

• Held a closed door session for legal advice, lease, sale or purchase of real estate and personnel matters. 

Ward 2 Councilwoman Bonita Nash and Ward 4 Councilman Charles Lowe were absent. 

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