City to take over animal shelter

It was officially announced during Monday’s special Sedalia City Council meeting that the City of Sedalia will take over operations of the Sedalia Animal Shelter beginning July 1.

Sedalia Police Department Chief John DeGonia told council during the meeting that the city will handle operations at the current shelter beginning next week, and once the ground dries out from the last few weeks of rain, construction will begin on the new shelter on New York Avenue.

He also introduced the new shelter manager, Andrea Martin, who has been working for the past few weeks to learn about best practices for Sedalia’s shelter. DeGonia said Martin has been “extremely busy” and she has “some good ideas. We’re going to change some things up.”

“I’ve been to several animal shelters, I spent two weeks in Lee’s Summit, they’ve got a great program up there, I went to Columbia, Boonville, Marshall, Warrensburg,” Martin told the Democrat. “I’ve been spending some time at our shelter. I spent some time at Thompson Hills Animal Clinic and watched some vet procedures there. I’ve been to one animal cruelty investigations class in Springfield.”

Martin worked at Bothwell Regional Health Center for the last decade, and graduated from Northeastern State University in 2004 with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. She noted she gets some of her experience with animals from growing up on a farm in Oklahoma.

Construction on the new shelter was slated to begin in fall 2014 after an October groundbreaking, but it was delayed after environmental hazards were found at the original site. A new site was selected a few months ago by Sue Heckart, who is funding the project. A new construction start date hasn’t been selected, but work is expected to begin soon.

City Administrator Gary Edwards told council Finance Director Kelvin Shaw, animal shelter staff and himself had a meeting Monday “to begin working on a budget for the animal shelter. It’s going along well, we got some good information.”

Martin said she is looking forward to making some changes to help improve the shelter for the community.

“I’m super excited about (taking over operations),” Martin said. “I see so much opportunity within this community for positive changes, both for the animals and the community itself.”

During the special meeting council approved the following shelter-related items:

• Approved bids for veterinary services for the Sedalia Animal Shelter.

• Approved an ordinance approving and accepting an agreement with The Spay & Neuter Clinic LLC for veterinary services at the Sedalia Animal Shelter.

• Approved an ordinance approving and accepting an agreement with Thompson Hills Animal Clinic for veterinary services at the Sedalia Animal Shelter.

• Approved an ordinance adding Section 8-181 to the City Fee Schedule establishing feline and canine adoption fees at the Sedalia Animal Shelter.

During the meeting, council also approved an ordinance authorizing a non-exclusive public bus shelter casement to Sedalia Bus Shelter LLC for property located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and South Moniteau Avenue.

According to information in the meeting packet, SBS has entered into an agreement with the Community Transportation Partnership to provide riders with bus shelter structures. The information, which comes from SBS representative and local entrepreneur Jorge Guevara, states SBS will develop approximately 15 sites over the next five years, and three sites have been targeted to be developed in 2015, starting with Moniteau and U.S. 50.

Each structure will be a “solid concrete slab to which a metal structure (bus shelter) with roof and three sides, along with a bike rack, bench and light will be anchored to.”

Council members JoLynn Turley and Jim Cunningham were absent.

Sedalia Democrat
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