(Sedalia Democrat (MO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 17--During its meeting today the Sedalia City Council will vote on whether to approve an ordinance that would create an Animal Advisory Control Board to look at the city's ongoing problems with the Sedalia Animal Shelter.
The shelter is city-owned but operations are under the control of the Mid-Missouri Human Society and a local board of directors. The board has previously asked council for increased funding but City Administrator Gary Edwards said rather than just increase the shelter's budget, city staff are looking at a more comprehensive future plan.
"Currently the Animal Shelter board is facing an unfair challenge," Edwards said. "It's very difficult as far as finances go, they've made that case to us and they're right. But we need to look a little more long-term at the problems and what the city can feasibly do to help them."
One of the key issues is the shelter's capacity, which is nearly always full.
"It's gotten to the point that our even our animal control officers can't take animals there because it's full and that's a problem," Edwards said. "We need a larger facility, that's pretty clear."
While rumors of a shelter being built in Crown Hill Cemetery are "completely not true" the city does have some areas to build a new facility.
"We're looking at several sites," Edwards said. "The challenge is the site has to be in an isolated area with no homes around it. We do own property near the cemetery but to say something will be built on cemetery land isn't true."
Funding for the new shelter would be paid for "through a grant approach."
"We believe we've found a way to fund the new shelter without impacting the city's budget," Edwards said. "It's still tentative, nothing is final yet, but (the Animal Advisory Board) is going to work pretty aggressively to get some of these issues solved."
The advisory board would work with shelter staff and board members, Edwards stressed.
"They have done an excellent job with the shelter but this (financial) burden that's on them is unfair," he said. "(The creation of the Animal Advisory Control Board) is the first step in the direction of the city carrying more responsibility for the shelter."
During the meeting council will also vote to:
-- Approve its Fiscal Year 2015 budget.
-- Approve the next phase of the city's $30 million sewer project that will see approximately $12 million in construction sewer improvements for relief sewers and equalization basins.
-- Approve an ordinance accepting city maintenance, sanitary and storm water sewer improvements for the Cambridge Village subdivision.
-- Approve a re-zoning application from Norma Poindexter to change property at 416, 418 and 420 W. Henry St. from single family residential to apartment housing district. Plans call for a development of a hospice at the location.
-- Approve a change order for the sidewalk project on Grand Avenue from West 16th Street to Broadway Boulevard; $500 increase.
-- Approve an ordinance authorizing an agreement between the city and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for a Transportation Enhancement grant of $284,280. The funds will be used for the next phase of the downtown streetscape project.
-- Approve several ordinances related to increased funding to the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation, Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County and Whiteman Area Leadership Council as part of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget.
-- Approve agreements between the city and Care Connection Services and the Boys and Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri.
The Sedalia City Council will start its pre-meeting at 6 p.m. in the mayor's conference room with the regular meeting immediately following at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Municipal Building, 200 S. Osage Ave. For more information call 827-3000.
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