Monday's City Council meeting led off with a 54-minute discussion of the proposed 2023 fiscal year budget by City Administrator Kelvin Shaw.

In the general fund, priorities were ranked from 1 through 13. The top nine were funded under the proposal, plus #12, which was a niche columbarium at Crown Hill Cemetery.

The top 13 included:

1. Fire Pension Transition to LAGERS (250K)
2. Dangerous Buildings Demolition Funding Level (100K)
3. 353 Neighborhood Revitalization Seed Money (200K)
4. Police Recruitment Incentives (30K)
5. Non-Lethal Weapons and Wrap Extension (20K)
6. Blight Study to Expand the 353 Area (25K)
7. Add one fire staff vehicle (35K)
8. Retail recruitment consulting (60K)
9. SPD's drone program expansion (15K)
10. Continue the City's brand identity messaging (150K) NOT funded
11. Medical UTV (20K) NOT funded
12. Cemetery Niche Columbarium (20K)
13. City Health Department (90K) NOT funded

Both items in Transportation (Sedalia Regional Airport) are delayed due to grant funding.

*Construct parallel taxiway to the airport's main runway (grant match of 400K)
*Reconstruct airport runway 5/23 with a grant match of 110K

Under Capital Improvements, there were 25 projects ranked. Only five were fully funded, including sidewalk & curb (500K + 500K matching grant), Thompson Boulevard from 10th to 16th (490K), Sidewalk on Highway 65 from 7th to Liberty Park Boulevard (225K), Fire station design #3 (500K), 32nd & Limit lane additions (1.3M), and Highway 50 & Winchester lane additions (350K).

Alternative funding was proposed for Two fire squad vehicles (400K), Stormwater project (1M), Alley reactivation (500K), State Fair upgrade to ProEnergy Drive and roundabout.

Also funded under the proposed budget:

Step pay increase, 5.7% COLA, Finance Dept. adds a position, SFD adds OT for more instances of fire calls and training and department meetings, SPD's special operations overtime funding, Missouri Municipal League Conference, MML Legislative Conference, Clean title work, Pioneer Trails dues, SFD “E-Draulic Hurst” tools, Fire vehicle stabilization struts, updated furniture for SFD, Police Sergeant West Point Model training, Police investigations and homicide training, Crowd control barricades, E-ticketing, promotions and events, and “Mainstreet Conference” for Community Development, Re-hanging Christmas lights, National Register nomination for Victorian Towers district, E-Ticketing for Animal Control, TN&R Program for feral cats program, and fleet maintenance replace & upgrade lift.

A rate increase hearing is scheduled for March 21 concerning a 2% increase in water rates, a 10% increase in sewer rates and a $1.50 increase in Sanitation (garbage pickup) rates.

A budget work session was held by Council on the last day of February. Another one may be scheduled for March 14, if needed.

Adoption of the 2023 budget is expected to occur March 21. A March 31 deadline is looming to pass the budget, Shaw noted.

Under Finance, Council also approved an amendment to an agreement with Sensus concerning upgrading a system that electronically monitors and reports water meter status to the utility billing software.

Under Public Safety, Council approved two grant applications by Sedalia Police to help run enhanced enforcement efforts (special operations) aimed at reducing hazardous traffic conditions.

One is for hazardous moving violations ($25,380) and the other is for DWI saturation enforcement ($5,650).

Another grant involves the purchase of eight body cams at a cost of $12,196. The grant is from the US Department of Justice.

Council approved the purchase of a UTV from Crown Power & Equipment at a cost of $21,587.79 for use by the SPD.

The grant was located by Community Development Director John Simmons. The deadline for submission was Feb. 22, so staff went ahead and submitted the application, recommending that Council approve it at its March 7 meeting.

Simmons noted that there may be up to a six-month wait for approval.

The Mayor appointed Blake Fulton to replace Stephanie Harris on the Galaxy West Community Improvement District. Sheryl Giambalvo and Robert de la Funete were re-appointed. All three will serve four-year terms ending May 26, 2026.

Kristy Long dba Wildlife Ridge Winery, Smithton, was granted a new ($15 special event) liquor license for a Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce event at The Venue for March 24.

Jennifer Edwards dba End Zone Sports Bar & Grill, 3129 W. Broadway, was granted a new ($15 special event) liquor license for the Sedalia Lions Club Pub Crawl, scheduled for March 19 in downtown Sedalia.

Erica Eisenmenger dba Ivory Grille LLC, 317 South Ohio, was granted a renewal for a sidewalk liquor license, $50.

Fourth Ward Councilman Steve Bloess participated in Monday night's 70-minute meeting online.

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