City OKs Sedalia airport name change

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Oct. 19--The City Council on Monday approved changing the name of Sedalia Memorial Airport and awarded a bid for three police vehicles, delaying the purchase of a fourth patrol car as the police department moves to a different model in coming years.

Council members approved an ordinance that authorizes changing the name of Sedalia Memorial Airport to Sedalia Regional Airport.

The city's Airport Board requested the change as part of updating its 20-year master plan to reflect Sedalia's designation as one of 27 regional airports in Missouri.

Airport Director John Evans said the regional status distinguishes the airport as having the longest runway and handling the most aircraft traffic within a 50-mile radius. He believed changing the name would help market the airport to cross-country travelers.

"If we're regional, it's more marketable to be able to say Sedalia Regional Airport instead of Sedalia Memorial Airport, which sounds a little bit like a cemetery," Evans said.

Evans said the airport was given its current name to honor past city leaders when it was moved from Dresden in the early 1950s.

The Missouri Department of Transportation's aviation division and Federal Aviation Administration must approve the new name before it can be adopted. Evans expected the change would be completed within two months.

The City Council also awarded a bid to buy three patrol vehicles for the Sedalia Police Department. Rick Ball Ford submitted the only bid for three Ford Crown Victorias at a price of $22,888 each, for a total cost of $68,664.

Although the city budgeted $111,640 this year to purchase four patrol vehicles, the police department only bid for three cars because this is the last year Ford will produce the Crown Victoria, said Sedalia Police Cmdr. John Rice.

"We looked at the fleet, and we were able to make the decision to go with three cars this year and see if we can get some of that money rolled into the budget for next year," Rice said.

Rice said the equipment the department uses in patrol cars is designed for Crown Victorias, and police expect adjusting it for the new model next year will cost between $2,500 and $3,000 per vehicle.

"Based on four cars, we could have a budget expense of $12,000 in addition to whatever the car is," Rice said.

In addition to the patrol vehicles, the City Council approved a sole source quote to purchase 30 in-car video microphones for the police department at $7,825 from Digital Safety Technologies.

Service support for the department's current microphones has been discontinued, so the company offered to sell the replacement model at a discount price for a limited period.

Sedalia police now have 16 microphones for the in-car video systems. Rice said acquiring 30 will allow one to be issued to each patrol officer, with three remaining to replace those that break or need maintenance.

The money to purchase the microphones will come from the Internal Revenue Service seizure fund.

In other business, council members passed a pair of ordinances related to agreements with Pettis County on the downtown streetscape project, along with another permitting a private library in a residential neighborhood.

The city accepted an easement from the county to maintain the sidewalks around the courthouse and added the installation of an underground conduit between the courthouse and the Public Safety Building at 319 S. Lamine Ave. to the streetscape project. The county agreed to pay for all costs associated with the conduit.

Council members also approved a special-use permit for Margaret and Jerry Harlan, who plan to open a private library and study center, called the Rose M. Nolen Library for the Study of African-American Life in Missouri, at 109 Lima Alley.

The city's Planning and Zoning Commission this month unanimously approved the special-use permit to open the private library in a residential neighborhood. The Harlans plan to open the library in the spring.

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