Park Board discusses community center

By Nicole Cooke - [email protected]

By Nicole Cooke

[email protected]

Sedalia citizens will soon hear a full report on new plans for a Sedalia Community Center — they just need to be patient for a few more weeks.

Parks and Recreation Director Mark Hewett had a brief discussion with the Park Board during its meeting Thursday night about community center plans. Hewett said he has been meeting with the architect firm as well as Sedalia Finance Director Kelvin Shaw to put together a presentation for the Sedalia City Council, tentatively scheduled for a May 9 work session.

During that presentation, Hewett will be asking council to approve ballot language asking citizens for a one-eighth-cent sales tax for the construction and maintenance of a community center.

“The council has to approve the ballot language and they have to put the issue on the ballot,” Hewett told the Democrat after the meeting. “… We’re going to present what we have to date that we feel confident with. Kelvin will go over the financing portion.”

Hewett said he’s been looking at every detail in the plan so far to make sure the proposed community center will fit within the city’s budget, going even as far as getting rid of sky lights and unneeded cosmetic features to lower the cost. The architects are also redrawing some spaces to stay within budget. Hewett said he met Thursday with Shaw to see if a community center is financially feasible for the city, and he said he left the meeting feeling “positive.”

“We have to make sure the long-term sustainability of this building is paramount in our minds,” Hewett said. “No. 1 thing, we want this to pay for itself and that we can maintain this facility in its first-class state for as long as its here.”

The board also discussed a possible sliding scale to allow low-income families to utilize the facility, but nothing has been finalized at this point.

The new turf field at Liberty Park Stadium has already had its first case of sunflower seeds left behind after a baseball game. A visiting team littered the area with sunflower seeds, even though signs are posted banning them due to the damage it causes artificial turf. This led to a discussion Thursday about starting a cleanup fee.

The Park Board approved issuing a $500 fee to the home/host team if the field is not left in a clean manner after each game or tournament. Also, the board approved not allowing rental of the field by additional teams other than the currently approved teams until policies and rental fees can be put in place for Liberty Park Stadium.

The Park Board also approved the purchase of a new Jeep Cherokee from Bryant Motors for $19,995 for Park Security. This is the first new vehicle the Parks and Recreation Department has purchased.

Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.

Sedalia Democrat

Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.

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