Sedalia City Council met Tuesday night after observing MLK Day on Monday, during which all City offices were closed.

The first item on the agenda was to honor the service of John Rice, who retired after working for the City of Sedalia for 46 years and two weeks, first as a Sedalia Police Officer, then serving in the IT Department starting in 2011.

Jeffrey McKinney retired after serving 10 years, 9 ½ months in the Street Department. He was not present Tuesday night.

A presentation from City Finance Director Dawn Jennings noted that the City is on track with collections, with use taxes up significantly by 6.5 percent. Franchise tax collections are up 12 percent, while transportation tax collections are down. However, property tax is up 17 percent over 2019, Jennings said.

Council approved a one-year extension of a contract with the Missouri Department of Corrections for a supervised work release inmate program for seasonal labor by non-violent offenders. According to City Administrator Kelvin Shaw, the inmates are paid $7.50 per day.

Much of the purpose of the program is to make a successful transition back into society from a life of incarceration. “From the City perspective for the taxpayer's benefit it proves a lower cost for this season labor, such as mowing and weed eating at the cemetery,” Shaw noted.

The inmates come from the Tipton Correctional Center. The contract runs May 1 through April 30.

Council approved an ordinance for Wilson and Company, Inc., to provide “a scope of services” for engineering and design of stormwater drainage improvements in an area on South Park, north of Broadway Boulevard.

The cost of the agreement is $30,000.

The project is pursuant to a master plan developed a couple of years ago for stormwater improvements. The City allocates funding for these projects through the budgeting process, and allows for the City to do as much as is feasible annually.

Council also approved a change order from Phillips Hardy, Inc., for the Rail Spur project at a cost of $41,953.06.

The cost involves the removal of 9,000 cubic yards of unsuitable material with suitable backfill material hauled to a site near the Washington Street Viaduct.

The change order (the seventh) brings the total amount of the excavation work on the Rail Spur project to $3,015,357.75.

Community Development Director John Simmons gave a brief presentation leading up to an ordinance amending City Code pertaining to existing garages near alleyways.

Current code was an impediment to fixing garage structures as they deteriorated, Simmons explained, due to setback requirements.

In many cases, tearing down and rebuilding and relocating a garage in a backyard is not practical or simply impossible, Simmons said, due to the cost of demolition and excavation, with a new foundation and new floor and setback requirements.

Many residents are forced to keep working with their existing structure, when it would be better to refurbish or rebuild.

Planning and Zoning recently recommended approval of the change in City Code to allow a garage to be rebuilt in the same location.

Dana Kelchner with Callis Advertising Agency gave a slideshow presentation concerning a “branding tagline,” specifically “Let's Cross Paths.”

Kelchner noted that the proposed tagline “has legs” and is creative, growing and inviting.

The last order of business for Council was to approve five five liquor license renewals.

*Justin Reith dba Woods Supermarket, Inc., 1400 South Limit, Suite #3, packaged liquor, Sunday sales and taste testing, $487.50

*Melissa Rath dba Tiger Eagle Stop, 3415 E. Broadway, packaged liquor and Sunday sales, $600

*Melissa Rath dba State Fair Eagle Stop, 1515 Thompson Blvd., packaged liquor and Sunday sales, $600

*Christina Cook, dba Fitter's 5th Street Pub, 500 South Ohio, liquor by the drink and Sunday sales, $750

*Lovell Curry dba Wolfe's Den, 115 West Main, liquor by the drink and Sunday sales, $750

Council members Lucas Richardson and Rhiannon Foster participated in Tuesday night's half-hour meeting online via GoToMeeting.