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City Council Adopts Proposed Budget for 2012-13, Focuses On City Well

By Sue Curry Jones

The City of Ava opened their regular business meeting Tuesday evening with John Forrester, of Olsson Associates, updating council members about options for solving bacteria problems associated with the water tower tank south of Ava.

The water tank, which stands approximately 160 feet high, was originally filled and readied for use in April 2011; however, water samples from the site have not been potable since it’s inception.

Forrester noted the new well has helped stabilize and balance overall water pressure between the north and south sides of town by boosting fire protection capabilities through­out the city.  But, to-date, a clear, safe water sample has yet to be documented, and until an acceptable reading is attained, water from the site will not be released into the city’s system.

Since the well water is testing unsafe, Forester has plans to meet with geologist Peter Price, with the Department of Land Survey in Rolla, Mo.   Price has access to tools that may be beneficial in assessing the cause of the problem; he also has access to a video camera that could be placed in the tank or shaft area of the well system.

Forrester said the visible spot on the outside of the tank, along with repairs inside the tank, are covered under the 10-year warranty. Repairs on those areas will be completed soon, and tank landing areas will be cleaned as well.

Forrester admitted the source of the water problem is unknown and the circumstances continue to be an anomaly. However, treating the water on-site with an ultra-violet (UV) disinfection system may be an option, or disinfecting the water with a chlorination or bleach process system may also be considered.   At present, new regulations are being formulated and those requirements have not yet been released.

According to Forrester, a UV dis-infection system is a small unit that fits easily in the well house, for a cost of $40,000 – $50,000. Chlo­rination systems also cost $40,000 to $50,000, but would require a unit at each city well site for uniformity.

The bacterial levels in the water have consistently substantiated low rates of bacteria; the rate is too high to gain system approval.

Forrester said a 4-log reduction is needed for approval.

The log-reduction terminology is a way to express levels of decreased biological contamination in water by factors of 10 which are converted to percent reduction.  For example, a 1-log reduction is nine out of 10 and would be equivalent to a 90 percent reduction; a 2-log reduction is 99 out of 100 or 99 percent reduction, and a 3-log reduction is 999 out of 1000 or 99.9 percent reduction.  A 4-log reduction is 99.99 percent.

Forrester said if problems are found in the casing of the well, the contractor is responsible for making repairs; however, if difficulties are the result of drilling, the city is then culpable.

This project to upgrade the city’s water sources on the south started in January 2009 and not only provided for the installation and construction of the new water tower, but also included updating water lines and expanding capabilities on the south end of town.

The tower and new water lines were financed by several different venues:  the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), for $1,445,400; a loan from the Department of Natural Resources, for $1,445,400; and a rural water grant of $210,000.

Councilmen selected Hood Rich Architectural, Engineering and Land Planning services as the firm to design the restroom for the upper level of the city park.  The new facility will be positioned south of the present playground area.  The vote was 4-0, with motions from Burrely Loftin and David Norman.

Eight companies submitted bids for consideration on the project.

In closed, councilmen voted a wage increase for two employees at the City Water Park, citing Bradley Mills, an employee with five years of service, and Bridget Loftin, with 10 years.  Consideration was based on experience and years of service.  Burrely Loftin abstained on the issue and vote.

A resolution amending budget items for the fiscal year beginning July1, 2011, was passed. This action allows certain budget entries to reflect actual costs paid rather than the estimated amount allotted in the original budget approved by council.

Council also adopted the budget for 2012-13.  The budget summary information was given as follows:

Water/Sewer Plant Fund

Beginning balance        $3,977,290

Anticipated Revenue        946,500

Anticipated Expenses       999,851

Ending balance                     $3,923,939

Electric Fund

Beginning Balance       $3,016,874

Anticipated Revenue     6,391,000

Anticipated Expenses    6,676,266

Ending balance         $2,731,608

Sanitation Fund

Beginning Balance       $   326,198

Anticipated Revenue        420,000

Anticipated Expenses       415,036

Ending balance            331,162

Park Fund

Beginning Balance       $   414,843

Anticipated Revenue        472,000

Anticipated Expenses       603,778

Ending balance            283,065

General Fund

Beginning Balance       $   183,502

Anticipated Revenue     2,011.410

Anticipated Expenses

Gen’l Govt. $203,716

City Hall         68,675

Police Dept.  647,800

Mun. Court     63,800

Fire Dept.       44,550

Street Dept.  793,750

Maint. Dept. 188,200

Total              $2,010,491

Ending fund bal.       $   184,421



Budgeted Expenditures $10,705,152


Council approved the Municipal Court docket, and payment of bills. Councilmen also voted to purchase a John Deere Select Series X748 4-wheel drive tractor from Donald Farm and Lawn, Lebanon, Mo.  The low bid tendered by the Lebanon  company was $10,674.  The other bids submitted for consideration were higher  in cost.

Aldermen in attendance were Ric Engelhardt, Burrely Loftin, Billy Long and David Norman.

The aldermen will meet again on Tuesday July 10, at 5:00 p.m., in council chambers at City Hall.