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City Okays Bids for Paving, Culvert Repair; Discusses Options for New City Hall

By Sue Curry Jones

The Ava Board of Aldermen met on Tuesday, August 26, with council president Burrely Loftin residing over the city’s bi-monthly meeting. Mayor Eddie Maggard was absent.

Councilmen stated the City of Ava must start saving money in an effort to plan for the construction of a new well. The alderman fully recognized the fact that in five or six years, the City of Ava may need to drill another site for drinking water use, and the Department of Natural Resources will not be willing to help on the project. So, it was noted during the session Tuesday evening, it was timely to start setting money aside for that purpose, and prepare for a project expense of $200,000 to $300,000.

In regards to the failed well site, councilmen also expressed their disappointment in the relationship and lack of assistance the City of Ava received from John Forrester of Olsson Associates, of Springfield. Alderman Burrely Loftin said he was disappointed with the firm and felt Forrester had not represented the city’s best interest. Alderman Keith Jones concurred, noting the “City of Ava ended up with a less than desirable product. Forrester was contracted as the city’s overseer on the project and it appears the City was not well represented.”

During open session, aldermen accepted a bid from Journagan Construction of Springfield for asphalt maintenance and overlay on several city streets. Areas specified in the resurfacing bid were given as:

• Washington Street from North Jefferson west to 6th Street,

• North Jefferson west to NW 2nd Street,

• NW 3rd Avenue from NW 6th Street west to Hwy. 5.

Journagan’s bid was $71.35 per ton, for a total cost of $76,701.25.

A bid received from APAC-Missouri, Springfield, Mo., had a unit price of $78.70 per ton, for a total of $78,700.

Council selected the lower bid from Journagan, and a savings of $1998.75. Aldermen David Norman and Bill Long made motions to accept the Journagan bid; the vote was 4-0. Marvin Stephens, superin­tendent of streets and sanitation, also reviewed the bids, and supported the lower offering from Journagan.

Council accepted a bid from Hughes Brothers Construction of Hartville, Mo., for repair work on the NE 5th Street culvert, near 11th Avenue. The Hughes Brothers bid totaled $22,750, with material costs listed as $9500 and labor $13,250.

This was the only bid received on the project, but since Hughes was compatible with estimated costs for fixing the problem, council accepted the bid.

Councilmen David Norman and Keith Jones made motions to accept, and council voted 4-0 in favor.

In other business, council briefly discussed options and plans for the new City Hall location, and moving into the vacated Town & Country Bank building on South Jefferson Street. Councilmen requested bids for transferring and re-wiring the location for phone services and computers. The board also asked Administrative Director Peggy Porter to contact Missouri Neon, and possibly Town & Country Bank, about using the sign structure that is presently on the property.  In the discussion, councilmen said they had walked through the facility last week and assessed the use of offices for city personnel. Loftin noted office designations and a layout had been given to Peggy Porter.

It was also agreed upon that the carpeting needs to be removed and several ceiling tiles replaced or repositioned. Council said most of the remodeling and upgrades would be handled and facilitated in-house.

Councilman David Norman said a recent visit to the City of Houston revealed the town was using LED lights for street and office building illumination. Norman advised that the City of Houston was also receiving extreme savings from the change. He said this is a good idea for Ava to consider, and gradually implement a changeover to LEDs. Norman said the initial outlay is higher, but monetary savings are quickly recouped with lower energy costs and the long-life of the bulbs.

During closed session, council reviewed details on a legal issue and discussed prospects for economic development in Ava. No votes were taken.

Administrative Director Peggy Porter provided a brief financial update on the city’s progress in the new fiscal year. Porter advised fund balances are running close, and city coffers “have more going out than coming in.”   However, she said the electric department, and the sanita­tion department, are operating “in the black. ”

Aldermen attending the meeting were Burrely Loftin, David Norman, Keith Jones, and Bill Long.

Council reconvenes on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 6:30 p.m.   Meetings are open to the public.