Three Sedalia Parks & Rec Lifeguards Recognized for Saving a Life at the Heckart
Monday night's first meeting in May began with two annexation petitions, one in which land is owned by the State of Missouri's Department of Agriculture through the State Fair Commission, and one in which land is owned by E.W. Thompson, Inc.
No comments were received for either annexation.
The annexations were followed by Life Save Awards presented to three Sedalia Parks & Rec lifeguards as a result of an incident involving a near-drowning of a male teen at the Heckart Center Pool.
An incident happened on March 25 in which the lifeguards are credited with saving a near-drowning victim.
Fire Chief Matt Irwin asked all the lifeguards at Monday night's meeting to stand and be recognized.
Then three were called to the front to receive their certificates of recognition from Sedalia Parks & Rec Director Amy Epple, including Jacob Cordig, 16, a Sacred Heart sophomore; Natali Newkirk, 16, a Smith-Cotton sophomore; and Emily Lesmeister, a Green Ridge grad, and Bothwell Regional Health Center employee.
Chief Irwin explained that for a number of years now, lifeguards train with SFD and PCAD personnel.
"I am extremely grateful that the members here tonight were able to recognize and event, react quickly, and give life-saving care," he said.
In his discussions with SFD firefighters who responded to the scene, it was the consensus that it wasn't the firefighters who saved that young man's life, but rather the lifeguards who were on scene.
The three were also recognized at the last Parks & Rec Board meeting at the Heckart on April 13.
Sedalia Police Officer Larry Parham was honored for his service to the City upon his retirement after 21 years and five months of employment. Parham began his new career with the Pettis County Sheriff's Office on Monday.
Parham credited his wife for her support over the past 21 years.
"One of the people who get overlooked are the spouses.Twenty-one years of doing this, I couldn't do what I do, without my wife. She's the person that, when I come home, I can put my head in her lap, and she can rub my head when I'm cussing and mad," Parham said. " So I think she should be recognized, also."
Larry gave his wife a nice bracelet from Reed and Sons Jewelers.
Police Chief Matt Wirt noted that he met Larry 20 years ago while both were participating at Parks & Rec in a baton class.
"It was at that moment that I realized Larry was a solid guy, a good guy and hard-working, and loved the profession. Some of his highlights, I think, are his work with the STING Unit, and the hundreds and hundreds of search warrants he's been on, and all the investigations he's done. He is also our expert in gangs, everything from graffiti and signs. He did a lot of that in the prison when he worked there, I'm really going to miss that, because he's my go-to guy, and I'm fairly certain he'll still probably answer his phone if I give him a call," Chief Wirt said.
"Everybody in town knows Larry, from the good guys to the bad guys, he is a very well-recognized person within our department, and will all miss that," Wirt said.
Under Public Works, Council approved the purchase of a used Day Cab Freightliner semi-truck with a low-boy trailer for the Street Department at a cost of $27,000. The intended use of the truck will be for transporting paving equipment, between job sites, it was noted in the agenda. It will also be used to haul much larger loads of construction material. A "wet kit" is included, which has to do with hydraulics and corresponding hoses.
Council then approved an $8,198.13 change order to allow for the added cost of filling in two voids that were located under the sidewalk at Main and Kentucky during the City's sidewalk replacement project, as well as "replacing a wall supporting a sidewalk."
A total of $35,000 was approved in the most recent budget to purchase a used crew cab pickup to replace an old truck used in Crown Hill Cemetery operations that is not feasible to repair.
In the meantime, Police Chief Mat Wirt reached out to his contacts developed through Missouri Surplus Property and located a truck, a 2019 Ford F-150 "Responder" 4x4 for $30,000. Council approved the purchase.
Council approved a renewal of an agreement with the City's electricity provider (Evergy) to obtain a discounted rate for the Water Department, in exchange for agreeing to switch over to generator power in peak-demand situations, referred to as a "business demand response agreement."
Under Public Safety, Council approved the low bid from Feld Fire Equipment for a system that uses lower water pressure for hoses and nozzles for the Sedalia Fire Department. The new system was proposed by Sedalia Fire Chief Matt Irwin.
$50,000 was budgeted for the system and low the bid by Feld came in at $49,126. Two of the four bids received were deemed “unresponsive” to the request for proposal.
Council then approved a renewal of an agreement with Whiteman Air Force Base for mutual aid.
Sedalia Fire has been successful in the past in obtaining grants through the Regional Homeland Security Oversight Committees. Staff is now seeking authorization to apply for another grant for the purchase of more dual-band radios capable of communicating with other agencies.
In his strategic plan, Sedalia Police Chief Matt Wirt requested a “portable command and control trailer” to be used as a staging area in emergencies. Last year, a truck to pull that trailer was purchased and assigned to Chief Wirt. To pay for the staging trailer, it was recommended that asset forfeiture funds be used. Council approved a budget amendment to make it happen.
The trailer is $23,500, while the generator is $2,619. The process involved one resolution and two ordinances.
Under Community Development, Council approved adding a section to City Code that would suspend the open container law for the annual Scott Joplin Festival, rather than adopting an ordinance every year to accomplish the same thing. The move comes as the new Pavilion at 2nd and Ohio is expected to be heavily used during the music festival.
And the final regular agenda item Monday night noted that the contract for the sale of property surrounding Spring Fork Lake expired and is now null and void. Maintaining public access to the lake was of utmost importance to City leaders. At the same time, a major reason for considering the contract was that “the ongoing costs to maintain the dam and the lake are no longer appropriate charges against the Water Department Enterprise Fund offset by water usage fees.”
Discussion was led by Mayor Pro Tem Rhiannon Foster, who said the lake "is a wonderful asset to our City."
Mayor Dawson disagreed, saying it is a liability.
Third Ward Councilman Bob Cross was in favor of continuing to put Spring Fork Lake up for sale, adding that the spillway needs major repairs.
Third Ward Councilman Bob Hiller suggested we keep it, but explore all avenues.
First Ward Councilman Tom Oldham said he wants to get Spring Fork "off our books" and suggested the City get Epple to become involved if Sedalia Parks & Rec takes over the operation of the lake.
Fourth Ward Councilman Steve Bloess noted that there is "significant value" in the trees on the property, adding that timber sales could bring in up to $30,00 annually to the City. A forestry management plan may be in order, he noted.
City Administrator Kelvin Shaw said that there is overgrown vegetation at Spring Fork, and the Missouri Department of Conservation already partners with Sedalia, overseeing mowing, fishing and stocking the lake, as well as monitoring the annual algae blooms and lily pads that pop up in the water every year.
Staff is requesting public input to decide what to do (long-term) with Spring Fork Lake, as well as proper funding sources to keep up with maintenance costs. There are over 300 acres surrounding the lake, which is around 120 acres. The City no longer gets its water from Spring Fork.
Public input will be received Monday, June 5 at the start of the regular Council meeting.
Six liquor license renewals were approved Monday night:
*Daniela Reyes dba Taqueria El Costenco, LLC, 810 W. 16th, for packaged beer, beer and win and Sunday sales, $397.50
*Cathy Geotz dba Break Time #3079, 2801 W. Broadway, for Sunday Sales, $300
*Cathy Geotz dba Break Time #3084, 318 W. Broadway, for Sunday Sales, $300
*Cathy Geotz dba Break Time #3083, 808 E. Broadway, for Sunday Sales, $300
*Jeremy Klein dba Cork-N-Bottle, 3806 E. Broadway, for packaged liquor and Sunday Sales, $450
*Jeremy Klein dba The Korner Lounge, 1604 South Ohio, for liquor by the drink and Sunday Sales, $750
After Good and Welfare, Council adjourned to closed-door session.
First Ward Councilman Jack Robinson was absent Monday night.