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Ava Police Department Installs New Closed Circuit Cameras, Plans To Fill Job Vacancy

The Ava Board of Aldermen met at City Hall Tuesday evening for the regular monthly session of business. Councilmen present for the meeting were Burrely Loftin, Ric Engelhardt and Billy Long.  David Norman was absent.

In closed session, the board chose to hire Michele Stout of Ava, as a part-time clerical employee.  Stout will assist in the planning and development office.  Councilman Burrely Loftin abstained from the vote.

During the meeting, Kelly Beets, a representative from the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Manage­ment Association (MIRMA), pre­sented Ava Police Chief Reggie Johnson with a grant award in the amount of $1,090.80.  The money is to assist with the costs of installing new closed circuit TV security cameras in the police station.  The funds are from MIRMA’s risk grant program.  Johnson noted installation of the equipment was almost done.

Chief Johnson asked council for permission to hire a new full-time dispatcher for the police station.   Johnson said the employee who quit, left for another job opportunity.  After two weeks notice, they left the position Oct. 5.   Johnson said he was in the process of reviewing applicants and hoped to fill the slot soon.  Council okayed the search process via a 3-0 vote.  Motions to approve were made by Bill Long and Ric Engelhardt.

Janice Lorrain, Director of Devel­opment, received approval from councilmen to apply for a Safe Routes to School Grant being offered through MoDOT. Program funding, Lorrain said, totals around $4.2 million for qualified entities across the state.  If the City qualifies for the grant award, the program payout is 100 percent, no matching funds are required.  Motions to approve the grant application were given by Ric Engelhardt and Burrely Loftin.  The vote was 3-0.

Council also voted 3-0 to enter into an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MoDOT) and receive money earmarked for the sidewalk project now under construction on the north side of Route 14, on the north side of Ava. The additional funds will help with expenses.

The maximum amount the city will receive is ten percent of the total cost of the project, or up to $38,000.

According to the agreement, the money is coming from the Southeast District.

Councilman Bill Long reported the Emergency Management team recently met to update call-down lists related to an animal agricultural emergency.  Those attending the meeting were: Terry Toler, SEMA Troop G coordinator; Merrel Breyer, Agri-Security, Dept. of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health; Bryan Deimeke, Associate Consultant with SES, Inc. of Merriam, Kansas; and Danny Maggard, assistant director of the local emergency management agency.

The primary function of the meeting was to update and review plans, and verify the call list for catastrophic emergencies dealing with cattle.

Long said the group was also finalizing agreements with the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association and the local saddle club for use of their property sites in the case of a catastrophic event.  The locations would provide safe areas for the quarantine and/or treatment of animals inflicted with a disease.

Property owners also appeared before council Tuesday evening and provided visual proof of two residential sites that have become damaging to their neighborhood.

The couple showed photos of two properties that have been allowed to over grow with weeds, trash, garbage, and an abundance of animals, such as cats, rats and possums. And, due to the clutter and trash, both property sites attract mosquitoes. Council acknowledged the complaint.

However, city officials reported that both property sites were in the process of being cited, and actions will be filed against the owners. The proper procedures had already been initiated.

Council members approved the Municipal Court Docket for August, and authorized the payment of bills.   The board also voted to cancel the Tuesday, Oct. 23 meeting.  All three items were approved in a 3-0 vote.