Click play below to listen to KMZU’s Ashley Johnson interview Sedalia City Administrator Gary Edwards about the annual Strategic Planning Session:

Gary Edwards

A number of issues where discussed during this annual gathering, all of which were in regards to the 2015-2016 budget. Edwards was quoted as saying, “We had an overview of where we stood with the budget at this point, the finance director Calvin Shaw gave that presentation.  We also talked about issues such as the planned new animal shelter and we updated the council on the downtown safety inspections of the buildings.  Also, the rental inspection issue, that has been discussed for some time.”

With all the above already discussed, there was still much more that was brought to this meeting.  “The council agreed to look at the possibility,” said Edwards, “Of bringing to the voters a use tax on a ballot sometime during 2015.  That’s something that, if the city does not approve it, we stand to lose the out-of-state sales tax that we get for automobile purchases.”

While losing a use tax is a big deal, the city of Sedalia can be thankful for economic growth.  “I can point out that sales tax revenues are substantially above what our projection was,” Edwards explained, ” We were projecting a 1% increase by the end of the fiscal year, but we are at 8% increase over last year as of this date.  We are beginning to recapture and recover because of an improving economy.”

Another very big issue up for discussion had to do with the boys in blue.  “One of the big issues is the council agreed to begin looking into financing operations or possibilities or options for a new police station,” stated Edwards,  “The Police Chief pointed out that they are in desperate need of a new police station.  That need was amplified recently when we agreed to combine with the county ambulance service, dispatch offices that is.”

Law enforcement officers were the center of a few conversations during the session.  “The police pension was discussed,” Edwards expressed some concern, “That’s a budgetary issue, of course, as all of these issues are.  The need to address the unfunded liability dealing with the police pension plan.  That would be at a little over $100,000 more that would come from the budget for a multiple year period to address that unfunded liability to begin getting rid of that.”

Everything from above will find it’s final standing point with the members in just a couple of months.  “All of this again is tied to the budget,” said Edwards, “And we are in the budget process right now.  The council will act on the budget final approval during the second meeting in March.”