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City Council Holds Feb. 9 Meeting

By Sue Curry Jones

The Ava Board of Aldermen convened Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 5:00 p.m. for a regular business meeting.  Councilmen present were Stan Lovan, Leon Harris, Burrely Loftin and Keith Jones.

Administrative Director Peggy Porter reported January month-end balances had decreased as expected, noting two large payments were due in January 2016.  Loan payments included the final payment on the Rawlings building, and a payment on the loan agreement for the pur­chase of the new city hall facility on South Jefferson.  Porter said fund balances at the end of January 2016 had decreased to 1,761,826.

Councilman Keith Jones asked if the payroll reserve fund had been started as recommended in the 2014 audit letter.  Jones said a similar recommendation did not appear in the 2015 audit, but he was curious if a payroll reserve account was being implemented. Porter explained the reserve fund has not been set up, but can be with council approval and vote.  Porter advised monies set aside in a reserve account could only be used for that purpose; however, the figures can be recalculated, and presented to council for review.

During executive session, council acted upon Ava Police Chief Reggie Johnson’s requests to promote two city police officers to a higher rank. Johnson endorsed the advancement of Corporal Tim Stuart to sergeant, and Officer David Overcast to corporal.  Both promotions were ap­proved with unanimous votes, and include an increase in pay.

Mayor David Norman reaffirmed several items discussed during the last meeting, noting final stages of the airport dozing project and tree trimming, the recent Sho-Me power scheduled maintenance outage, the closing of the recycling center, and the card reader project at the airport. Norman said inquiries have been received concerning the future use of the ‘old’ utility office on Second Street.  He noted the office is almost ready to be placed on the market for sale.

Norman advised the next sidewalk project, which travels from the high school west to the city park, is slated to begin mid-August.  Bids will be solicited and announced in July. The sidewalk upgrade is part of the Safe Routes to School initiative, which is a collaborative partnership between the City, Missouri Department of Transporta­tion, health department and Ava pub­lic schools.

Also, Norman advised the city would undertake a sewer project to correct an overflow issue on the south side of Washington Avenue, one block east of the Ava Square. The building in need of repair is directly across the street from the Douglas County Herald.

During the meeting, councilmen revised a deadline date on the City’s Airport Aid Agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transporta­tion Commission. Council extended the grant time period to Dec. 30, 2016.  According to City Clerk Suzanne Welsh, the city wants to extend the option for using the grant, as MoDOT has recommended the City of Ava extend the length of the airport runway and these funds could be used to purchase additional acreage.  Aldermen approved the grant extension in two separate readings, with motions by aldermen Loftin and Lovan, and aldermen Jones and Loftin.  Both votes were unanimous.

The council will reconvene on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 5:00 p.m. at the new City Hall location on South Jefferson.  Meetings are open to the public.

Video of the meeting may be viewed at http://bit.ly/2102016avacc