Monday night's City Council meeting began with a presentation by Chris Rippey concerning Oak Wilt disease within the City of Sedalia.

Rippey is a certified arborist who moved to Sedalia in April. He is a former arborist for the City of Seattle with 25 years of experience.

Rippey tested several trees along Broadway from Brown to Osage and as far west as Prospect, as well as a couple of trees at Liberty Park and one at the Pettis County Courthouse. In addition, he found diseased trees at Sedalia Country Club and in the 200 block of East Broadway.

Trees that exhibit the disease will need to be removed and some areas will need to be quarantined, Rippey said.

"I'm here and willing to help any way I can," Rippey told the Council.

He added that oak wilt can be spread from one tree to another if the roots of both trees are entangled.

Fourth Ward Councilman Steve Bloess, who described himself as a forester, noted that when it comes to oak wilt, "we may slow it, but we're not going to stop it ... I don't see how we can get ahold of it, when we own such a small percentage of the trees, plus those out in Pettis County, it's a broader problem," Bloess said. "We can't go on private property."

A  resolution was passed by Council requesting the Tree Board of Sedalia investigate the problem and make recommendations for a plan to control and eradicate the disease.

That was under Public Works. The second item under Public Works an annexation and utility services agreement by and between Roman And Svetlana Sorokopud at 2921 Oak Ridge South, located in south Walnut Hills.

The agreement will allow the couple to connect to the City's water distribution system.

Under Finance and Administration, Finance Director Jesica Pyle gave a financial update to Council.

Year-to-date sales tax numbers are up 3.9 percent, or $308,153, while use taxes are up 17.1 percent, or $109,842.

Franchise and cigarette taxes are up 4.7 percent, or $53,302, while transportation taxes year-to-date are up 2.5 percent, or $10,172.

Council approved a three-renewal of a contract with SHI Int., Corp., for NetMotion VPN software.

Agenda notes indicate that the company, which the City has done business with for 15 years, was bought out by Absolute Software and they demand a subscription-based model.

IT Director Monte Richardson has negotiated a three-year price guarantee to upgrade software, add more users and provide technical support.

The cost of that agreement would be $6,526.48 for the first year, and then $4,688.02 for the next two years.

The budget allows for $3400 to be spent annually for that service, or $10,200 over three years.

The price Absolute Software is asking for is $15,952.52.

Staff does not recommend a budget amendment, but rather they will “strive to come in under budget in other areas to offset this amount.”

Council approved a quote from Staples to replace desktop computers that have reached the end of their useful life. Staples was the low bidder at $18,750. This will replace about a fourth of the computers in use in the City of Sedalia.

This is in accordance with the City's replacement schedule to replace one-fourth of the computers every year.

And finally, under Finance and Administration, a resolution to obtain a detailed annual report showing all funds and expenditures by Bothwell Regional Health Center was approved by Council.

Under Community Development, two ordinances authorizing an alley lighting agreement with property owners at 209 and 211 South Ohio, was approved by Council.

According to agenda notes, a recently painted mural is complete, the pavement has been resurfaced and Council approved the naming of the alley “Freedom Alley” between, 209 and 211.

This is part of a strategic plan for alley reactivation to make more public spaces available in the downtown area.

The next part of the plan, it was noted, is to add security lighting to the alley, which connects to a City parking lot to the east.

The lights have already been purchased, and installation is the next step, using the building owners' electricity with their permission per an agreement.

Chris Rippey was appointed to the Sedalia Tree Board, completing Kim Graves' unexpired term. It runs through June of 2023.

Administrator Kelvin Shaw, who was absent from Monday night's meeting, was appointed to the Sedalia Area Tourism Commission.

Three liquor licenses were renewed Monday night, including:

*Erica Eisenmenger dba Ivory Grille, LLC, 317 South Ohio, for liquor by the drink, $450.

*Thomas J. Adrermann dba Best Western State Fair Motor Inn, 3120 South Limit, for liquor by the drink, $450

*Cathy Geotz dba Break Time #3167, 101 Rebar Road, for packaged liquor and Sunday Sales, $450

Third Ward Councilman Lucan Richardson's seat remains vacated.

Council then adjourned after a 40-minute meeting to closed-door session for legal advice, Real Estate and negotiated contracts.

Council meets again Oct. 3.

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