The Sedalia City Council met Monday evening for a special council meeting to approve spending and agreements for improvements at the Municipal Building and the final phase of downtown streetscape. 

Funding for the final phase of streetscape was approved by council in the 2019-20 budget earlier this year. When the city put the project out for bid, however, the bids received were far higher than expected. The city then put it out for bid a second time with similar results. 

“The streetscape bids came in significantly over budget,” Mayor John Kehde said. “With that, Kelvin and I had a discussion that it’s imperative that we go on with this project. We need to approve the funding of it and we have an idea of a funding source.” 

City Administrator Kelvin Shaw explained the city did not have a lot of options for contractors due to contractors being so busy. 

“We talked to several of the folks who we thought might be interested in this and could do the job. Basically, we are kind of a victim of our own success,” Shaw said. “The economy is going so well right now, all the contractors are so busy, they’re not really interested in this project.”

Shaw explained city staff is more comfortable with the bid KAT resubmitted the second time, partly due to the company subcontracting with Septagon Construction Co. Septagon worked on previous phases of streetscape and had done a good job. 

Shaw said the bid is around double the engineer’s estimate for the project. The city budgeted around $900,000 and the proposed bid was around $500,000 more.

“The question becomes, ‘OK, what do we do with that?” Shaw said. 

One option is to delay the project until next year to see if the bids would be lower, which Shaw said was kind of a “roll of the dice” since they could come in higher. Another option is to scrap the project altogether and not do the last phase, an option Shaw recommended against. 

The final option is to go with the bid received this year. Shaw said the city has the money to do this but he is not entirely sure where they would end up taking the funds from. 

The most likely option to make up the difference, according to Shaw, was the Midtown TIF that is budgeted for $750,000. The city also has grant funds called STP funds that must be encumbered by Sept. 30. The city is also waiting to collect money on closing some brick walking paths that cross the railroad tracks. 

“Either way, our recommendation is that we go ahead and go forward with this. Use the TIF money as much as we can with those other funding sources,” Shaw said. 

The city’s goal for a start date is Aug. 15 with completion sometime this fall, Shaw said.

“That’s really why we put it on this agenda without having all of the answers that we really wanted,” he said. “Is that the appropriate funds will get going and get it done hopefully this year.” 

Several council members asked for clarification on where the money would come from. Ward 3 Councilman Charles Lowe asked, “But it can be done?” to which Shaw replied, “yes.”

Shaw clarified that city staff believes most of the money will come from the Midtown TIF since they thought they could get more than the budgeted $750,000 from it but did not know for sure yet. 

Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Leeman said he understood it as if they were able “overrun” the Midtown TIF beyond the budgeted amount then it was probably going to come from that, which Shaw said was correct. 

“Yes, it will just come in over time and we’ll have to essentially loan the TIF more money and then collect it over time. That's where I really think it’s going to come from, but Plan B will work. I mean we have other funds that we can pull from,” Shaw said. 

Council approved the following ordinances related to the project:

• Awarded bids related to Downtown Streetscape Phase IV to KAT Excavation Inc. for $1,425,905 and Triple C Underground LLC for $148,301. 

• Approved an agreement with KAT Excavation Inc. for Downtown Streetscape Phase IV.

• Approved an agreement with Triple C Underground LLC for water main relocations for the Downtown Streetscape Phase IV Project.

• Amended the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 regarding Streetscape Phase IV. 

Council also approved an agreement between the city and Septagon Construction Co. Inc. for Municipal Building Phase IV Improvements. 

Council then went into a closed session for legal advice, lease, sale or purchase of real estate, and personnel matters. 

First Ward Councilman Thomas Oldham, Second Ward Councilman Andrew Dawson, and Fourth Ward Councilwoman Megan Page were absent. 

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