By Sue Curry Jones
Ordinances to increase sewer and water rates were passed by council Tuesday evening. However, the much-needed increase was adopted at a significantly lower rate than the proposed rate recommended by the firm who had analyzed and assessed the city’s system earlier this year.
In April, Carl Brown, owner of Carl Brown Consulting, LLC, of Jefferson City, had advised the City of Ava they needed to raise sewer rates by 60 percent, and water rates by 2½ percent – substantial rate increases that would have placed a hardship on many residents.
Conversely, the sewer ordinance adopted by council Tuesday evening will impose increases over a five-year period, and as in past years, assessments will be calculated on actual use and consumption during Oct. 15 – Jan. 15. But, the first year the rate increase is only 17 percent, instead of the 60 percent jump previously recommended. Under the ordinance, subsequent rate increases will drop to 8 percent for four years, (based on 5,000 gallon usage).
The rate increase schedule for all classes of sewer users is as follows:
for first 1,000 gallons Unit Charge
The water service rate increase was a minimal charge, with an 8¢ increase per year, for four years, or a sum total of 32¢ over a four-year period. The rate schedule for water service is as follows:
Minimum bill (includes usage allowance of 1,000 gallons)
$11.00 FY 2013
$11.08 FY 2014
$11.16 FY 2015
$11.24 FY 2016
$11.32 FY 2017
The unit charge, after the first 1,000 gallons, is the following:
$1.80 FY 2013
$1.81 FY 2014
$1.82 FY 2015
$1.83 FY 2016
$1.84 FY 2017
Both ordinances were passed with a 4-0 vote, and take effect immediately.
An ordinance to rezone 806 NW 12th Avenue from B-2 central business to B-3 general business was approved by council members. The property is on the northwest side of town, and owned by Dennis Souder.
Michael Wake, an employee with MoDOT in Willow Springs, informed city officials and council members of MoDOT’s plans to improve the pedestrian walkways on the Ava Square. Wake provided a mock-up diagram, which outlined well-defined and highly visible crosswalk areas with appropriate signage. An actual start date for the improvements was not provided, as signage for the project has not been completed.
Judy Shields, Director of the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce, gave a quarterly report on recent activities in the chamber office. She noted memberships total 170 businesses and individuals. Shields also said Nina Carter has been employed as a part-time assistant in the office.
The next event for the Chamber is the citywide yard sale June 7-9.
During executive session, council approved the pool staff for the Ava Municipal Pool and Water Park.
Lifeguards employed, along with years of service, were given as follows:
Bray, Zachary 2nd year
Burress, Jessica 3rd year
Dean, Jesse 1st year
Garrett, Jorie 3rd year
Heath, James 1st year
Horn, Bethany 3rd year
Lakey, Payton 1st year
Lansdown, Abigail 1st year
Leonard, Zachary 3rd year
Philpott, Kevin 1st year
Porter ,Cole 1st year
Smalley, Jeffrey 2nd year
Smith ,Vicki 1st year
Snelson, ReAunna 1st year
Sterling, Emily 3rd year
Stone, Alvin 1st year
Swofford, Rachel 1st year
Williams, Haley 3rd year
Willis, Chase 1st year
Non-certified employees engaged for the summer are Morgan Towell, front desk, new; Makayla Rance, concessions, 1-year; Bradley Mills, concessions, 5-years; and Bridget Loftin, front desk, 10 years.
The Ava Water Park opens this weekend on Saturday, May 26.
Aldermen present were Burrely Loftin, Ric Engelhardt and Billy Long. David Norman was absent.
The next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 12, 5 p.m. at Ava City Hall in council chambers.