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Council Hears Proposal For Disc Golf Course At Park

By Sue Curry Jones

The Ava Board of Aldermen met Tuesday evening for a session of city administration – which included the discussion of issues, payment of monthly bills, and approval of the municipal court docket for July 20.

First on the agenda, Park Director Sherry Wallace provided council with an update on a recent meeting of the Ava park board.  Wallace noted the six-member panel received a request from community member Nick Helm who is interested in building a disc golf course within the park site.  Helm asked the board to consider the project as a positive attraction that would bring disc golfers to Ava and to the park for play.  He also provided a proposed layout of the course design during the park board’s Tuesday, Aug. 21 session.

Helm views the sport as an inex­pensive healthy activity that will enhance park use; however, he also deems the activity as a competitive game that will stimulate economic ac­tivity with tournaments, leagues and special events.

Currently, Helm travels to Nixa and Ozark to practice and compete in the sport.  And, because of the limited venues for the sport, he foresees players from surrounding areas frequenting Ava’s proposed site, and spending time in the area at local restaurants and businesses.

Park director Sherry Wallace said the cost for creating the 18-kiosk course is estimated to be $7500. Wallace noted the park board is considering contributing $2,000 in support of the venture; however, concerns were also expressed noting the course must not interfere or overlap into recreational areas or activities, such as the walking trail loops or play areas.

At present, Helm is offering locals the opportunity to sponsor a site for $500 and receive a custom business ad at the tee site and an additional sponsorship notation at the course starting point.  The offer would be similar to the tee box signage at Ava Country Club.

In conclusion, council members concluded they would like to view a demonstration of the sport, as well as have the opportunity to study the proposed site map and designations for each hole of the course.

Helm’s business venture is called Bear Hollow Disc Golf, and a map of the proposed 18-basket course can be found on Facebook under the business name.

If council agrees to the request, and the disc course completed, city administrators  acknowledged it was understood the course would belong to the city.

Director of Development Janice Lorrain reported the planning and zoning commission had approved a home business request from Brandy Horwath, 604 NE 7th Street, for an internet home business.  Lorrain also noted a conditional use permit was approved for the Century 21 building located on the west side of Hwy. 5 and east of Cooper Lumber parking lot.  Dr. Michael Peters, owner of the Animal Clinic of Ava, tendered the request for the zoning allowance.

An ordinance to modify speed limit restrictions on Industrial Park Road and NW 3rd Street were voted on and approved by council.  The change added Industrial Park Rd. to the list of city streets, and reduced the speed limit on NW 3rd Street to 20 mph.  Motions to amend the city ordinance were offered by Burrely Loftin and Ric Engelhardt.  The vote was 4-0.

Council also listened to alderman David Norman, who explained a last minute request to add five items to the evening agenda. The topics were proposed for future considera­tion, and consisted of the following:

– street maintenance and future plans for resurfacing areas of town;

–  status on the third phase of the city electrical upgrades;

– paving the road adjacent to and north of the Food Harvest building, for a cost of $7700;

– city ordinance restricting sales of over-the-counter Sudafed; and

– options for passing a sales tax initiative to support an independent 911 emergency call center facility.

Responding to the 911 call center recommendation, Councilman Bill Long noted a 911 emergency call center facility had been proposed in 2001, and at that time, the idea was met with strong opposition.

In response to paving the private roadway next to the food harvest, several councilmen mentioned the unpaved pathway would not meet right-of-way restrictions and city guidelines.  Mayor Eddie Maggard concurred in agreement, stating the road was already dangerously close to the food harvest building, and trying to improve the surface of the road would create additional space constraints, as well as interfere with sewer line connections and electrical pole positions.

No decisions were forthcoming on the issues.

Aldermen in attendance for the session were Burrely Loftin, Ric Engelhardt, Bill Long and David Norman.

The city council reconvenes on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.