The Sedalia Parks and Rec Board gave their approval for a new Downtown Park project in Sedalia at Thursday night's meeting, and bid farewell to retiring Director Mark Hewett.

The project has been mulled-over for several years until the City of Sedalia could obtain the land needed for the park. Earlier this year, that city got some of the needed land from Gary Huddleston, who had owned three buildings in the 200 block of South Ohio Avenue. Those buildings have been torn down over the last few years.

The site for the new park is currently an empty lot, across from Wilken Music on S. Ohio Ave.

John Simmons, the Sedalia Community Development Director, and Meg Liston with the Sedalia Downtown Development Inc. presented the idea to the Park Board.

The Sedalia Park Board approved an initial start-up cost, not to exceed $100,000 for the new project.

Simmons said the initial funding from the board would help with planning and creating a 'green space.'

Future ideas for the park, include a pavilion and public restrooms. Simmons and Liston would also like to see the area include a public performance space and a possible venue for a farmer's market.

Liston noted there are approximately 500 people within walking distance of the park, in the downtown area.

Additional funding for the project is still needed. Liston said they were still looking at future funding options, such as state grants. There was no completion-date discussed at Thursday night's meeting.

Towards the end of the session, the board said goodbye to retiring Parks and Rec Director, Mark Hewett.

Hewett thanked the board and the City of Sedalia for their hard work, adding that he 'may still come to some of these meetings.'

Ryan Skaith
Ryan Skaith - Sedalia Downtown Park Project on S. Ohio Ave
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