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Gearing Up For Summer, Council Hires Water Park Managers, Brush Crew Employee

By Sue Curry Jones

The Ava Board of Aldermen met Tuesday evening for the first session in 2012, and in spite of the fact it’s cold outside, and warm temperatures are months away, councilmen voted to fill supervisory positions for the City Water Park and the upcoming season at the pool.  In preparation for the event, council hired Delaney Sweeney to serve as swimming pool manager and lifeguard instructor, and Lucas Tabor as swim team coach and assistant manager.

According to city personnel, it is important for these positions to be filled now so both employees can fulfill requirements and attend the Jeff Ellis & Associates aquatic safety and risk management classes to be held next month in West Plains.

Council also hired Joe Johnson, of Ava, to fill a temporary position as a brush-crew employee.  Under the agreement, Johnson is employed for a three-month term.

The council passed a resolution Tuesday evening authorizing Mayor Eddie Maggard to execute a six-month agreement with the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce.  Details of the contract were discussed at the Tuesday, Dec. 13 session of council, and contract details were approved during the meeting.

The agreement commits the City of Ava to support the Chamber for six-months with $13,800; and in return, the Chamber agrees to fulfill certain tasks on behalf of the City – responsibilities which include being an ambassador and liaison for the City of Ava, supporting the interests of local businesses, overseeing the distribution of promotional materials for economic development purposes, tourists, and providing volunteer support to productive endeavors.

The Chamber also has the responsibility to compile statistical data for the area.

The contract was accepted in a 4-0 vote.

Two parcels of land on SE 8th Avenue, and owned by Margie and Doug Ingram, was rezoned from Agricultural to R-2 two-family residential. The recommendation to amend the zoning was submitted by the Planning & Zoning Commission.   The vote was 4-0.

Council also voted 4-0 to replace Chapter 102 in the City Code Book, a chapter entitled, “Vegetation”. The recommendation to revise the chapter was presented by Janice Lorrain who explained the newly adopted ordinance was rewritten to comply with State of Missouri statutes.   Chapter 102 provides definitions and rules for dealing with residential lot maintenance, weed hazards and unruly vegetation, and land owners that allow their property to become unsightly and overgrown with weed obstructions.

The director of the Ava-Douglas County Emergency Management Agency, Bill Long, asked council to further assist the agency by contributing an additional $50 a month to help with agency expenses.  Long said the County has agreed to increase their contribution, and additional money from the City would be helpful in supplementing the needs of the agency.  Council members approved the adjustment with a 3-0 vote.  Councilman Long abstained.

During public comment portion of the meeting, a local resident inquired about possible increases in water rates due to the Department of Natural Resources provisions for dealing with water run-off, and if residents will be responsible for the costs and remedies, and what that percentage increase will be.

Administrative Director Peggy Porter, and Mayor Maggard, advised the water rate study is still a work in progress, and hasn’t been reviewed by council or city administrators.  Once the study is completed, the information will be presented to the aldermen for review.

Monthly bills were approved for payment.

Council members in attendance were Ric Engelhardt, Burrely Loftin, Judy Lovan and Billy Long.

The next council session is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 5:00 p.m. in council chambers at Ava City Hall.