State Fair Marijuana Display

The Sedalia City Council had a productive meeting Monday night with multiple ordinances approved while postponing the city’s medical marijuana ordinance vote. 

After much debate, the Sedalia Planning and Zoning Commission approved its ordinance on medical marijuana earlier this month. The commission decided to stick to the state’s recommended limits which 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. 

Council discussed the commission’s recommendation but ultimately decided to table the issue until the next meeting. Ward 3 Councilmen Charles Lowe and Bob Cross and Ward 4 Councilwoman Megan Page all said they wanted to go with the commission’s recommendation. Ward 1 Councilman and Planning and Zoning Commission member Jeff Leeman agreed, citing the opinions he heard during the commission’s public hearing on the subject.

“I’m going to come back to utilizing what we heard in planning and zoning from the citizens…” he said. “This is a tough decision for me because I really believe that there are two sides to this, but the way it came out of Planning and Zoning, we listened to the people, the citizens that came forward to speak to us and that’s how we arrived at the 1,000 foot all the way around.”

Ward 1 Councilman Tom Oldham and Ward 2 Councilman Andrew Dawson said they preferred the plan of 1,000 feet from schools and 300 feet from daycares and places of worship. Both cited how medical marijuana had passed by roughly 70 percent in both their wards and that they wanted to have them in visible areas. 

“It’s opened up enough to where you would have these places in town where we can control them, we can keep an eye on them,” Dawson said of a 300-foot limit. “Darkness does not drive out darkness, only light can do that. That’s the thing if they’re going to do that I want them seen. I want don’t want them buried out in the county.” 

The council discussed whether they should table the issue since it was an important issue and council members Bonita Nash and Tollie Rowe were absent. 

“I would feel more comfortable with a full council,” Page said. 

The council also amended Ordinance No. 9940 relating to creating a new classification and job description for the position of Planner/Downtown Specialist for the Community Development Department. 

According to the ordinance, the position is “responsible for coordinating downtown economic development activity utilizing historic preservation as the foundation, developing neighborhood revitalization strategies for the city’s historic neighborhoods, and active retail recruitment and city-wide development with the Community Development Director.”

The city has already hired someone to fill the position due to someone applying who fit the requirements of the job description. Their first day on the job was Monday. 

The council also approved adding the expense of informational brochures to the city’s 2019-20 fiscal year for the Aug. 6 special election. Sedalia voters will be asked to consider a one-eighth cent sales tax increase, which would be one cent for every $8 spent by a citizen. Voters will also vote on whether to remove the June 30, 2026, sunset provision on existing capital improvement sales taxes. These will help pay for and maintain the Sedalia Community Center. 

The Parks and Recreation Department has been working with Callis and Associates to come up with educational materials to present to the public. The cost of the brochures will be $14,935. Council also approved a contract with SFS Architecture for the design of the community center for $16,000. Page abstained from voting. 

The council heard a financial update from City Administrator Kelvin Shaw. He said the sales tax collections were up 7.7% year-to-date compared to a budgeted 2.2%. Use tax was up 67.2% although Shaw cautioned it would go down as construction started to slow down. 

Council also:

• Heard a report on the Central Fire Station Feasibility Study by FGM Architect from Sedalia Fire Chief Greg Harrell. 

• Passed an ordinance approving and updating a Federal Emergency Management Agency Document for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the State of Missouri’s Public Assistance Grant Certifications Form in order to obtain Federal and State Assistance from said agencies. 

• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the Missouri Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety and the Sedalia Fire Department to establish terms and conditions under which the division will loan training equipment to eligible agencies.

• Approved a records destruction request for SFD. 

• Approved an ordinance accepting a land license agreement between Sedalia, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Sedalia Heritage Foundation Inc. for the proposed location of a short bay window near the Katy Depot. 

• Approved an ordinance accepting an agreement with PageFreezer Software Inc. for automated social media archiving at $2,100 a year. 

• Amended the budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year regarding Aug. 6 emergency repairs to the HVAC System and the city garage at $6,800. 

• Accepted an agreement for staffing services with IMKO Workforce Solutions. 

• Granted a rezoning application by Elizabeth Holem for 1006 N. Osage Ave. for a change from C-3 Commercial to M-1 Light Industrial.

• Granted a special use permit to Rea Funeral and Cremation Services LLC and E.W. Thompson Inc. to construct a human cremation facility at 3510 W. 16th St. Page abstained. 

• Amended section 7.15(C) controlled substance and alcohol testing policy acceptability of the city’s personnel regulations manual by adding title Planner/Downtown Specialist in the Community Development Department to employee positions designated as safety sensitive. 

• Accepted a lease agreement between the Sedalia Regional Airport and Mid-Mo Ag Air LLC. 

• Approved the purchase of a 2020 International Dump Truck with Snow Plow and Salt Spreader from Navistar Inc. for $147,165. 

• Accepted an amended water purchase contract 2 between the city and Public Water Supply District No. 1 of Pettis, Johnson, and Saline counties. 

• Awarded a bid for SkyMark 5000 gallon Jet Refeuler International 7300 to SkyMark Refeuler in the amount of $205,900 for the Sedalia Regional Airport. 

• Approved an agreement for engineering services with Ponzer-Youngquist, P.A., Inc., consulting engineers and land surveyors for the completion of design services for Phase 3 of the 2010 Water Main Improvements. 

• Established a loading/unloading zone in front of 1613 E. Sixth St. 

• Accepted an agreement between the city and Hansen’s Tree Service for the Yard Waste Grinding 12 Project for $32,750. 

Ward 2 Councilwoman Bonita Nash and Ward 4 Councilman Tolbert Rowe were absent. 

City Reporter

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

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