Sedalia City Council discusses capital improvement plan

By Nicole Cooke - [email protected]

The City of Sedalia is working on planning ahead with the creation of a five-year capital improvement plan, which was presented to the Sedalia City Council during its work session Monday.

Finance Director Kelvin Shaw has worked with city department heads over the last several weeks to create a five-year plan to help the city be prepared for large projects staff knows are coming down the line. The plan is a working document so it can and will be updated each year depending on changing needs or council’s priorities.

“We want to end up with these projects laid out and be able to say ‘yes we can realistically accomplish this plan, we can realistically divide up the funds we expect to come in, and accomplish all of these tasks,’” Shaw explained. “Does that mean that one will cost more than what we’ve got on here, one will cost less? Absolutely. In two years from now, another project crops up that we find more important, then we’ll change it.

“But my experience and my feeling is that if you have a plan, if you have the puzzle put together so to speak, and one of the pieces changes, it’s a lot easier to re-put the puzzle together and make changes than it is to start over from scratch every time.”

The plan is divided by department and includes the project’s estimated total cost, which fiscal year it is expected to be included in, and the funding source, if that is known right now.

City Administrator Gary Edwards asked, as an example, about the sidewalk improvement projects included in the plan. Those line items don’t have a projected budget year, but have an estimated cost.

“These are pretty hefty price-tags now, but I guess now what we’re saying is we know what the funding is, we’re setting it off to the side but making ourselves aware the need is there and what that price-tag is as of this moment,” Edwards said.

Shaw replied yes, that priorities can be moved around based on council decisions and city need, but the projects and estimated costs are included to remind council and staff that if something else comes up that they want to spend capital improvement money on, something already on the list will have to be taken off or moved to a later fiscal year.

“The community center, we have no idea (on the exact cost or time frame), but again wanted to put it in as a placeholder to remind us that that’s something we want to get to, we want to reach for,” Shaw said as another example.

The plan includes numerous projects for each department. Some of the larger projects include rehabilitating the current Sedalia Police Department area of the Municipal Building once the new SPD station is completed, which is also included, in Fiscal Year 2018. An estimated $260,000 is slated for Fiscal Year 2019, which includes updates to council chambers and renovating the current SPD front desk to be used for municipal court.

Several projects are included for the Sedalia Regional Airport, such as a new 10-unit T-hangar building and various renovations to runways and taxiway ramps. For the Sedalia Fire Department, a two-phase update is included for the Central Fire Station to make the facility more energy efficient and to include bathrooms for two genders.

The Street Department has included several sidewalk and street improvements/replacements. Each individual sidewalk and street project has its own estimated cost, but an additional line item “various sidewalk replacements” has an estimated cost of almost $24 million, which Public Works Director Brenda Ardrey said is the cost to repair every city sidewalk. $100,000 is expected to be included in each year’s sidewalk budget.

Shaw pointed out that having a capital improvement plan will hopefully help improve the city’s credit rating. He previously reported that the rating agency told the city this year that not having a plan hurt the city’s credit rating.

Council will approve the plan as part of the city budget at a later meeting and it will be a large part of council’s annual strategic goal-setting meeting in January.

All members were present.

By Nicole Cooke

[email protected]

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

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

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