Sedalia City Council heard five presentations Monday night including annual reports, strategic planning and a financial update.

Tracy Walkup was the first presenter of the night. She said the CDC provided safety tips for OATS drivers and riders. One of the tips was “avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.”
“Avoid traveling when sick, and bring wipes and extra masks,” she said. “We are sanitizing our buses like never before,” adding that riders are required to wear a mask while on the bus.

“Personal responsibility is huge with us,” Walkup told the Council.

Walkup noted that a half dozen OATS drivers have already been quarantined due to COVID-19.

She added that what you do when you return home from a trip is more important that what you do beforehand.

The second presenter of the night was City Administrator Kelvin Shaw, who noted that the City of Sedalia was showing a $63,000 income increase (over three percent) above budget overall for the fiscal year, and a 5.6 percent increase in month over month from 2019.

Up next on the presenter's list was Sedalia Regional Airport Manager Derrick Dodson, who gave some facts and figures during his Powerpoint presentation.

Sedalia's airport sees between 8,000 and 11,000 operations anually, which averages to around 20 to 30 operations a day, he said.

Dodson said the runways are rated at 65,000 pounds, which is higher than most airports this size for our area.

More hangar space is needed at Sedalia Regional, Dodson noted, adding that a 65-by-65-foot box hangar is currently being designed for that purpose. There are at least eight or nine aircraft owners on the waiting list for hangar space, he said.

Fuel sales are the biggest money-maker for Sedalia Regional, Dodson told the Council, adding that typically the airport might sell between 30 and 70 pounds of fuel for a small, single-engine aircraft, to 200 pounds of jet fuel for a larger corporate-type jet aircraft. Dodson remembers the biggest sale involved 1100 pounds of fuel.

One important tool that was purchased shortly before the departure of former airport manager Eric Bowers was a Jet A Fuel truck. The airport also has a UTV used for snow removal at the hangars and ramps, as well as towing aircraft when needed.

On the wish list for Dodson is to buy a ground power source, offer annual inspections, as well as offer flight instruction at Sedalia Regional. Another goal is to be a full-service FBO airport.

Acccording to “SKYbrary,” the term Fixed Base Operator (FBO) is given to a commercial enterprise that has been granted the right by an airport authority to operate on that airport and provide aviation services, such as fuel, parking, hangar space and rental cars, to the General Aviation community.

On the three-year plan is to construct a parallel taxiway at Sedalia Regional, and also to make the airport more accessible to other City Departments.

Dodson said he would like to develop a drone program that could benefit Sedalia Police training, Sedalia Fire safety, and community development.

A drone could be used to visually inspect properties, motor vehicle accidents, fire scenes and protests in the Sedalia area, Dodson explained.

According to a 2012 MoDOT study, Sedalia Regional Airport has an annual economic impact of $3.63 million on the area. The airport is centrally located in Missouri and the US, and makes for a good fuel stop. Offering aircraft maintenance is also something Dodson wants to beef up as well.

A modern regional airport also attracts new businesses and manufacturing to the Sedalia area as well, Dodson pointed out.

Scott Neil was the fourth presenter Monday night. He is the Mid-Missouri Regional Manager for MC Power. He presented eight options to the City Council for future projects utilizing solar power and the savings that can be realized.

But the City must act within 90 days to take advantage of several Evergy rebates that are currently being offered, it was noted. Any projects that are approved will be paid for through next year's budget.

Neil estimated a six- to seven-month construction period for the solar projects.

The final presenters were Community Development Director John Simmons and Chief Building Official Devin Lake.

Simmons talked about how his department works closely with Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County, and the lack of available housing in the Sedalia area.

Lake talked about code enforcement. She said that a code supervisor position will be added Nov. 20. She also emphasized the need for professional-looking uniforms for her staff.

The ongoing presentations are leading up to a January strategic planning session by the Council, which sets priorities for the upcoming City of Sedalia budget.