After months of work and discussion by city staff, the Planning and Zoning Committee, and council, the Sedalia City Council has approved the city’s medical marijuana ordinance. 

After tabling the issue at its last meeting, city council unanimously approved the city’s medical marijuana ordinance Monday night, deciding to stick to the state’s recommended limits. These limits state medical marijuana facilities must be separated into two locations and facilities, one for manufacturing and another for dispensing. 

Facilities may not be within 1,000 feet of any elementary or secondary school, child daycare center, church, or other building regularly used as a place of religious worship. 

City Administrator Kelvin Shaw addressed how that 1,000 feet would be measured. The original ordinance was written to measure from property line to property line. The ordinance now states it will be based on a walkable path.

“It mirrors what the state is telling us. It is 1,000-foot distance measured as distance from the building wall of the facility to the property line of the restrictive agency as walking distance,” Shaw explained. 

The city also put forward an ordinance to amend the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 regarding the Central Business and Cultural District. Shaw said when the city was going through its budgeting process in February the CBCD board had not been ready to make recommendations for its budget. The city adopted a suggested CBCD budget and recently received the board’s recommendations. 

Shaw said there were three main differences: CBCD recommended $10,000 instead of the city’s suggested $1,000 for Christmas decorations and $25,000 more than the initial budget for the downtown facade program. 

The final difference was regarding Sedalia Downtown Development Inc. The city previously decided it would reallocate the funding annually given to SDDI, which led to concern from the CBCD board about how SDDI would continue its work. During a recent meeting, the CBCD board decided to take $20,000 out of its own budget and giving it to SDDI to allow it to continue at least on a part-time basis for the following year.

The proposed budget presented to council Monday night included the $10,000 and $25,000 changes but did not include the $20,000 for SDDI. Shaw said during deliberations 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. 

Previously SDDI received $30,000 from the city’s general fund and $22,500 from CBCD. 

Several CBCD board members spoke to their frustration on the topic and attributed much of the issue to a lack of communication between the board, SDDI, and council.

“We’re more looking towards the momentum,” CBCD Board Member Laurie Ward said. “The downtown has made tremendous strides. Everybody should be really proud of that. Everybody should have the same goals. I must tell you guys one of the biggest persons who has done all of the work on that is Meg Liston…

“Our idea on the $20,000 and SDDI was to help with this transition so that we don’t lose the momentum downtown...We understand that you guys want to hire someone to do some of the things that Meg has done. I get that, those are your choices. She knows all the contacts, she’s got all of these things going on and she can follow through with all of those things. It was just to bridge the gap.”

CBCD board members also brought up the downtown facade project for the Uptown Theater. Since SDDI owns the building, they questioned how the work would be done if SDDI and Liston no longer had city funding. 

CBCD board members said they felt there should have been discussion about the council’s decision not to approve their proposed $20,000. 

“There is so much discussion that still needs to happen with this issue. A lot of unanswered questions,” said CBCD Board Member Michelle Swords. 

“CBCD knows that we need to communicate better with council on what we do. I think that’s a great idea,” Ward said. 

Shaw said the city did not want SDDI, which is a nonprofit, to go away. 

“I don’t think that anybody is saying that SDDI needs to go away. That was never the intention,” he said. “The intention was, as we discussed in February, was that we were going to reallocate the funding to a different direction. It’s not a ‘we want to replace SDDI’ or ‘we want SDDI to go away,’” he said. 

Council members all agreed there needs to be further discussion and decided to table the ordinance.

Council also:

• Accepted a quote between the city and Comcate for the design and implementation of a community development and citizen portal for code enforcement and building inspections for $29,459 for software application and $7,500 for professional design services. 

• Accepted a merchant application between the Sedalia Water Department and Central Bank of Sedalia for access of online bill pay services from water department accounts. 

• Accepted a payment gateway merchant service agreement doing business as the Sedalia Water Department and authorize.Net LLC relating to online bill pay services from water department accounts. 

• Awarded a bid for Phase 4 Municipal Building Improvements to Septagon Construction Company Inc. for $410,500. 

• Accepted an agreement with Advanced Pet Care for veterinary services for the Sedalia Animal Shelter. 

• Accepted an agreement with the Spay & Neuter Clinic LLC for veterinary services for the Sedalia Animal Shelter. 

• Amended the fiscal year 2019-20 budget regarding animal shelter kennel fronts. 

• Approved Change Order No. 2 from Smi-Co Contracting Group LLC for $1,533 for Water Treatment Plant Chemical Feed Changes 2018. 

• Accepted contracts for mutual fire service assistance between the Sedalia Fire Department and Pettis County Missouri Fire Protection District, City of Marshall Missouri Fire Department, Johnson County Missouri Fire Protection District and the City of Warrensburg Fire Department.

• Presented a service award to Sedalia Fire Department Driver/Engineer Nathan Deuschle and Sedalia Police Department Officers Samuel Williams and Mark Cherry, all for five years of service. 

• Presented retirement awards to Sedalia Fire Department employee Michael Jackson after 41 years and nine months of service and to Sedalia Police Department Officer Edwin Crampton after nine years and one month of service.

City Reporter

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

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