Sedalia City Council begins FY17 budget talks

By Nicole Cooke - [email protected]

By Nicole Cooke

[email protected]

The Sedalia City Council had a full night of presentations Tuesday night as they began budget talks for Fiscal Year 2017.

Council heard a presentation from City Administrator Gary Edwards during the pre-council meeting regarding the Calendar Year 2015 operational review, going over city service statistics from the past year and reminding council of the goals they created during the January strategic goal-setting meeting.

Finance Director Kelvin Shaw then gave the FY17 budget preview. During his portion of the presentation, Edwards noted that when council approves the budget, it’s much more than a bunch of numbers — it’s an important policy-making document.

Shaw told council that local taxes make up about 66 percent of total revenue for the City of Sedalia, with the largest portion — 45 percent — coming from sales taxes. Twenty-five percent comes from service charges.

He said national projections for “real” Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indicate the “moderate climb should continue,” while the State of Missouri and Pettis County are projecting a 3 percent growth rate for sales tax revenue. With that in mind, Shaw said the city is projecting between 1 and 2 percent sales tax growth for FY17, compared to the current 2 percent growth.

“We have climbed out of the hole we were in with the recession, but we are just growing at the 0.8 percent growth, and right now at 2 percent growth, so we can look at moderate growth but I think the boom years are done, at least for the foreseeable future,” Shaw said.

Shaw also talked about the city policy of keeping the general fund between 25 and 50 percent of general fund revenues. Recent years have seen the fund near the 50 percent mark, and the FY17 draft budget proposes to stay near that level.

Council will have a budget work session Monday, a public hearing March 7, and council will consider approving the budget March 21.

The council meeting began with a public hearing for the Galaxy West Community Improvement District (CID), which is located behind the Galaxy Theater near U.S. Highway 50 and West Main Street and in front of the EconoLodge near Highway 50 and Winchester Road. A CID requires businesses in the defined area to pay an additional tax to fund projects within the district’s boundaries — in this case, the newly created Tax Increment Finance district.

City economic development consultant Joe Lauber told council the CID will be governed by a five-person board of directors, with one of them being a city representative. The CID petition included three property owners — MoDOT, Priti Bhakta and Star Acquisitions Inc. Because there are no registered voters residing in the proposed CID, the CID sales tax will be approved through an election process at a later date with those three property owners.

The CID will have an eligible reimbursement of $311,712, which will help pay back the TIF that was approved in November.

“The way this CID is set up is to terminate on the earlier of the reimbursement of all the CID reimbursable costs, or 30 years. So we will not have the sales tax out there perpetually, but it is there to help aid in the paying down of the TIF costs that were assessed,” Lauber explained. “… All of the sales tax revenues the CID generates can help to pay down those reimbursables sooner.

“… By creating the CID, we actually relieve some of the burden on some of the taxing jurisdictions because in the end, the CID has helped to pay, where it didn’t exist before.”

According to the meeting agenda, the public hearing is the first of two steps to establish the proposed district. No public comments were presented during the hearing, so council will proceed with the establishment of the district at a future meeting, most likely March 7.

During the meeting council also:

• Approved Change Order No. 1 from Sterling Excavation & Erection LLC for $243,502.50 for the Sedalia Wastewater Improvements North Relief Sewer Project.

• Approved an ordinance approving an agreement with Pictometry International Corporation for the updating of aerial imagery associated with the city’s GIS project. The total cost to the city is $273,750, which includes three separate updates beginning in 2017 and continues to 2019 and 2021.

• Approved a resolution approving and accepting a third addendum to the lease and operations agreement with Sierra Bullets.

• Approved the purchase of four firewall licenses for the Municipal Building, Sedalia Regional Airport and Streets/Water Pollution Control departments from Rhinoville IT in Riverside for $20,888.

• Approved a quote for security information and event management from AlienVault in San Mateo, California, for $5,436 for licensing and maintenance for two years.

• Approved an ordinance approving and accepting a master services agreement with JMA Information Technology Inc. relating to the purchase of hardware and professional services for the city’s phone system.

• Approved a records destruction request from the Finance Department.

• Approved a records destruction request from the Personnel Department.

Councilman Jim Cunningham was absent.

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

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

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