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Sewer, Water Rates To Rise; Ava Pool Opens Saturday

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:

Minimum charge

for first 1,000 gallons    Unit Charge

$14.89                       $3.75

$16.08                       $4.05

$17.38                       $4.37

$18.77                       $4.72

$20.26                       $5.10

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.