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City Council Adopts New Sewer Rates, Moves Forward With Energy Program

Mayor David Norman convened the Tuesday, Feb. 10 session of Ava City Council with aldermen Stan Lovan, Burrely Loftin and Keith Jones in attendance. Alderman Bill Long was absent.

During the meeting councilmen made several voting decisions, as well as opened bids submitted from companies vying for the opportunity to partner with the City of Ava in the Energy Loan Program. The grant allows the City to switch from the present high wattage street lighting system to LEDs that offer economic benefits for using less electricity, and fewer bulbs, as the LEDs last approximately 25 years.

Through the loan program, the City of Ava receives a grant amount of $90,000, and repays the sum with the savings gained from installing more efficient lights and fixtures.  Vendor bids reviewed by council Tuesday evening represented the material costs for replacing the lamp heads on street light fixtures on North and South Jefferson, and around the Ava Square. Seven bids were received, however, four of the bids were submitted by WESCO International, Inc., Sioux City, Iowa.

WESCO’s four submissions consisted of two bids offering five-year warranties, and two bids with 10-year warranties, the product lines were noted as Cree, Inc. and Cooper brand, with costs ranging from $58,750 to $67,000. A product bid from Borealis was on the high side, with a cost factor of $96,015, and Kriz-Davis Co. Wholesale Electrical Supply of Joplin, Mo. offered two bids of $64,375 and $64,750 on Howard LEDs and Cooper brand, respectively.

Council selected Kriz-Davis as the supplier, choosing the Howard LED product, with the 10-year warranty. Councilman Burrely Loftin made the motion to accept the Kriz-Davis bid, and Keith Jones seconded. The vote was 3-0.

The Howard LED product line was the lamp fixture requested by city employees, who will switch out and install the new fixtures.

During the previous meeting held Jan. 27, councilmen agreed to adjust the city’s base rate for sewer charges and on Tuesday evening, the board voted to adopt a new rate schedule. The new rates will appear on the March 2015 bill, and incorporate a 10% increase for 2015, with a 10% increase each year through 2019.

The new rate schedule for all classes of sewer users was listed by minimum charge first 1000 gallons, noting in March 2015, the rate will increase to $19.12; in 2016, to $21.03; in 2017, $23.13; in 2018, $25.44; and 2019, $27.98.

The resolution to change the rate was adopted with two readings of the bill and two sets of motions by councilmen Loftin and Jones, and Jones and Lovan. Both votes were unanimous.

Council also adopted two separate resolutions endorsing the sidewalk improvement plan agreement with MoDOT. The resolutions addressed the funding agreement for the upcoming project, and authorized the mayor to sign the contract. The project is slated to provide upgraded pavement for walkways situated west of the high school, near Life Church, and continuing to the upper level of the Ava City Park.

The adoption of a new sign ordinance, which was listed on the agenda for consideration, was by-passed by council members as no motions were forthcoming on the issue.

Other decisions reached through voting action were:

– council voted 3-0 to increase the monthly donation to the local food harvest, from $50 to $100. Motions were by Loftin and Lovan.

– voted 3-0 to accept a bid from Jani-King Commercial Cleaning service to strip and re-wax the main floor of the Senior Center. The proposed bid was $1800, and funds are in the budget for the expense.

– council selected Ava Building Supply as the supplier for a double-door project at the Rawlings site. The bid received from Ava Building was $313.07, and Cooper Lumber was close with $320.70.

– council voted 3-0 to reconfirm and honor the airport agreement previously established with David Davidson. Motions were by Loftin and Lovan.

– council voted 3-0 to reallocate funds from sanitation savings, and electrical savings, for the renovation of the proposed city hall building on South Jefferson. $250,000 was earmarked for the project. Motions were by Loftin and Jones.

Mayor Norman reported the Ava airport tree removal project was re-studied by council and aldermen had concluded the brushy area near the runway should be dozed and burned. After the site is cleaned out, it will be seeded for grass. Norman said the City has a $2400 credit with Jerry Pitts, and that balance could be applied to the dozing costs, which are estimated to be near $6,000.

Norman noted the airport area in question is about four-acres, and the site is oddly shaped.

Anthony Carmichael, a committee member representing Summerfest, asked council and city officials for continued support for the event. Carmichael stated Summerfest was originally set up under the umbrella of the local Chamber of Commerce, and the event has been successful. Today, however, with agreement and support from the Ava Chamber, the Summerfest is autonomous and has established their own non-profit status, moving out from under the Chamber’s umbrella. Making the commitment to comply with certain obligations, such as a hold harmless agreement and proof of insurance, Carmichael received approval.

During closed session, council accepted resignations from Kurt McGee, building inspector and code enforcer, and fire chief Keith Moore. The board also approved raises for two water park co-managers and trainers, the director of the summer softball program, and implemented a raise for an office worker, who has taken on added responsibilities and duties.

Council reconvenes on Tuesday, February 24, 5:00 p.m., at City Hall. Meetings are open to the public.