The Sedalia City Council met Monday evening in Municipal Hall where various city departments gave their strategic plans for the upcoming year. 

Sedalia Animal Services, Sedalia Police Department and Community Development Department all gave updates on how the last year has gone, improvements to be made, and plans for the future. 

Sedalia Animal Shelter Manager Randi Battson presented on the city’s animal services. Battson reported from January to Dec. 2 the shelter adopted out 448 pets, transferred out 26, returned 156 to their owners and euthanized 40. Battson also reported several 2019 goals had been met including getting animal control better equipment, upgrading dog kennels, installing flush systems and expanding the volunteer program. 

“This (volunteer program) has grown by leaps and bounds this year,” Battson said. “It’s made it so much easier at the shelter. Our pets are so much happier getting out of their kennels and having way more interaction with people. It’s made them more adoptable.”

Goals for the next year include servicing more animals through the shelter by moving them through more quickly, continuing shelter improvements, building on the volunteer program, and trapping, neutering and releasing (TNR) 1,000 cats in the next year and challenging a local rescue to do the same. So far 1,400 cats have been done, with calculations pointing to approximately 2,000 left. A five-year goal would be to bring on a full-time veterinarian to the clinic, according to Battson.  

The next presentation came from Sedalia Police Chief Matt Wirt on the SPD strategic plan. Wirt explained how the department provided police services, community engagement, dispatch services, and training. In the last year, the police services have handled 29,838 incidents, conducted 10 search warrants, worked at checking abandoned buildings, and increased building checks. The department’s task force has been involved in 24 federal investigations. 

Another focus of the department has been community service through special events, community involvement, community engagement, and social media. A video from a police vehicle dash cam showing a meteor which was posted on Facebook already has 109,000 views, according to Wirt. The department also wants to work on establishing relationships with the community. 

“I care a lot about this because we’ve had success and a lot of good feedback from folks,” Wirt said. “We’re seeing more and more people wanting to help us. Even when individual crimes occur, I love seeing that. I’ve seen where we have crossed boundaries within the past. I hope that’s because we’ve improved community engagement.” 

The department dispatch services serve police, fire, emergency medical services and eventually the joint commission and handle “tens of thousands of calls each year.”

One challenging area for the department, according to Wirt, is the recruitment and retention of officers. Wirt said he believes the department will eventually have to look at financial incentives to address this. 

“We don’t want to lower any of our standards,” Wirt said. “I take a lot of pride in our department and the kind of people that we hire. We look for hardworking, honest people that take responsibility and also take ownership in this community and want to be a part of that.” 

Wirt will be requesting funds to continue funding the newly formed CRU team, which has handled 334 incidents and made 41 arrests since its formation. Another goal is to increase the department’s mental health initiative including being involved in mental health conversations in the community, finish training remaining SPD officers in crisis intervention training, and provide community training classes. The police firearm range also needs improvements and SPD individuals will need to be sent to commander school in the future. 

The last strategic plan of the night came from Community Development Director John Simmons whose department includes code enforcement, the building department, facilities management, business development, and neighborhood revitalization. Year-to-date the department has issued 973 permits and building inspectors have conducted 973 various types of inspections. There have also been 578 trash violations, 219 areas mowed by the city, 26 dangerous buildings, and 15 abatements, according to Simmons. 

Goals for the department’s future include working with economic development officials, helping economic variety in the city, municipal building improvements, Streetscape completion, further business development, and cutting red tape for development prospects. Future needs of the department include an additional neighborhood services vehicle, a need for responsive and timely abatement, ongoing inspector training, city branding, a demolition budget, interdepartmental cooperation, and an accurate 2020 census. 

Council also: 

• Awarded service awards to Fire Captain William Friedly for 20 years of service, Water Department Filtration Plant Operator II Joseph Miller for 10 years of service, and Community Development Chief Building Official Thomas Mayes for five years of service. 

• Awarded retirement awards to Sanitation Department employee Ronald Stark for 32 years and two months of service and Community Development employee Timothy J. Curry for 11 years and six months of service. 

• Approved a records destruction request from the personnel department. 

• Approved a Gold Service agreement with ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation for annual testing and maintenance of the Municipal Building and Police Headquarters elevators for $514 per month in the amount of $6,618 per year. 

• Waived the requirements of Section 4-3(A) of the Code of Ordinances of the city and imposed other conditions relating to the Sedalia Lions Club’s Pub Crawl from noon to 7 p.m. March 14 in downtown Sedalia. 

• Accepted change order No. 2 from Septagon Construction Co. Inc. for Municipal Building renovations for $10,905.18. City Administrator Kelvin Shaw explained some renovation plans needed to be changed after crews had started doing the work and ran into unexpected things. 

• Accepted a quote from Can Equipment Sales LLC for the purchase of technical rescue equipment for the Sedalia Fire Department at $18,330.64. 

• Amended Chapter 24 (Fire Prevention and Protection), Article II (Fire Prevention Code) by amending Section 24-25, adding and adopting Chapter 39 of the 2018 International Fire Code, Section 5307 of the 2015 International Fire Code and Section 5307 of the 2018 International Fire Code into the Code of Ordinances of the city as SEctions 24-26(12), 24-40 and 24-41. 

• Accepted an agreement with Motorola Solutions Inc. and Commenco LLS for portable radios and infrastructure equipment for the SFD at $220,594.39. 

• Amended the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 regarding SFD radios. 

• Approved a new liquor license and renewed two. 

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

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