The Sedalia City Council heard the Sedalia-Pettis County Economic Development annual report during Monday’s meeting, and Director Linda Christle shared plenty of positive things that happened over the last year.
The report covers Nov. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2015, and includes highlights of SPCED’s year along with demographics, an audit report and an update on Pettis County labor and the Enhanced Enterprise Zones.
During the last year, 8760 Group announced it would build in the Thompson Meadows Industrial Park, Jake’s Wood Works announced a 9,000-square-foot expansion, Stribling Packaging expanded and Pettis County achieved Work Ready Community status.
Forty-nine companies are in the three Enhanced Enterprise Zones in Pettis County, with a combined investment of more than $290 million, as of June 30.
“Many of (the companies) have said if they didn’t have (the EEZ) they either maybe would’ve located elsewhere, would not have located at all or would not have expanded as much as they did,” Christle said.
Christle also spoke about the 2015 Pettis County labor availability analysis, which is completed every three years. She noted the now-owners of Waterloo Industries asked her about the labor basin for Pettis — which includes 10 counties in central Missouri — before purchasing the company, and that those figures helped with the sale.
The labor basin’s population is 257,880 and 30 percent of that figure — 78,595 — is considered the available labor pool, comprised of residents who indicate they are looking for employment or are interested in changing their jobs. An estimated 7,943 are looking for work.
Christle pointed out that unemployment is on the decline in Pettis County, with 19,412 people employed in January and 20,335 employed in September, an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent.
She also tracks retail growth as well as industrial, and said Pettis County has a high rating.
“At 1.0, you are considered by the State of Missouri that you are getting exactly what you should be getting with your number of citizens in retail sales. We are at about 1.18,” she said. “There is not a county around us that is 1.0, so we are getting the benefit of having the retail here, the growth here and having people come here.”
Finance Director Kelvin Shaw presented the monthly finance report, and told council sales tax was down again in Sedalia compared to 2014.
“For the month we were down 12.8 percent year over year for collections in the month of November,” he said. “We’re still up year-to-date at 1.1 percent, but we had budgeted 4 percent so we’re now under budget for our sales tax.”
Council approved the new appointment of Brody Kempton to the Bothwell Regional Health Center Board of Trustees, completing the term of Calvin Glen Nelson expiring June 2016. Kempton is a Sedalia lawyer, who also serves on the Pettis County Health Center board.
“(The PCHC board has) really informed me a lot about the issues in health care today that are of concern and important to address,” Kempton told the Democrat after he was sworn in. “Certainly anybody who turns on any of the major news networks these days knows that with the new federal laws affecting health care and the Affordable Care Act, health care is front and center and an important issue that needs to be addressed, and I look forward to positioning Bothwell through the board as one of the best health care providers in this area in Missouri.”
During the meeting council also:
• Approved an ordinance approving and accepting Amendment No. 2 to Exhibit M to the master agreement for professional services with Olsson Associates for engineering services. According to information in the meeting packet, the increase is necessary, according to city staff, to cover EQ-1 construction observation, staking and testing.
• Approved Change Order No. 4 from Spray Com Utilities Inc. for the Collection System Rehabilitation Phase 1A project, Bid Package No. 2 for $78,010 plus a time extension of 30 calendar days. According to the packet, this change is needed due to multiple failures found in the sewer mains as they were being inspected, and they must be repaired before the sewer mains can be lined.
• Approved a proposal and ordinance approving and accepting an agreement with Foley Equipment Co. for a maintenance plan for emergency generators located within various city departments.
• Approved an ordinance amending the budget for Fiscal Year 2015-16 regarding the Liberty Stadium turf project. The Parks Department needs to transfer $311,085 from its reserve to the General Fund to pay for this project.
• Approved an ordinance accepting for city maintenance the extension of Pelham Drive located in the Thompson Meadows Industrial Park.
• Approved a bid for $14,000 from B&P Excavating for the demolition of a structure at 612 S. Kentucky Ave.
• Approved a quote from Bryant Motor Co. for the purchase of a 2016 1500 Tradesman/Express Regular Cab 4×4 for the Vehicle Maintenance Department through the MoDOT Cooperative Procurement program.
• Approved an ordinance approving and accepting an agreement with the Missouri Department of Conservation for a $10,000 Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant. This grant will be used for a tree inventory of some of the city’s right-of-way trees.
• Approved a records destruction request from the Personnel Department.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.