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Mayor Updates City Council on Projects–Recycling, Property Cleanup Still Listed

By Sue Curry Jones

The Ava Board of Aldermen met on Tuesday, March 22 for an update and review of several topics.  Those present for the meeting were Mayor David Norman, councilmen Stan Lovan, Leon Harris, Burrely Loftin and Keith Jones.  Also present were Administrative Director Peggy Porter, City Clerk Suzanne Welsh and City Attorney Larry Tyrrell.

Peggy Porter reported the City of Ava had recently earned a score of 98%, in the current MIRMA Loss Control Program Evaluation.  MIRMA, an acronym for Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Manage­ment Association, is the firm that provides the City with property, casualty and workers’ compensation insurance protection, and each year following the governmental audit process, the City of Ava is evaluated by the agency.

In past years, from 2013-2015, the City met 100% of the requirements, however, this year, due to failure to comply with MIRMA’s request to install a fence around the skate park area, the rating process fell short by several points.  Porter noted making a 98% is still an accomplishment and the City is proud of the rating.

Addressing other business issues, Mayor Norman provided an update on the following topics and projects:

– The pump for the fueling system at the municipal airport has failed and the item cannot be repaired.  Norman noted Airport Manager David Davidson has advised a new pump costs $4,000, and a used pump costs $3,000, but other options may be available and he will continue to pursue those venues.

In response, Councilman Burrely Loftin suggested contacting the gas vendor, Phillips 66 Aviation, to ask if they have a pump the City could use.  He noted it would benefit them to help out, as the system cannot be used otherwise, which will delay the purchase of gas from them.

– The grant application to improve sidewalks around the Ava Square has been submitted.  The money, if received, is earmarked for sidewalk improvements at the square, near the courthouse, and walkways down South Jefferson Street.

In addition, it was noted the other sidewalk project, which runs from the high school to the park continues to progress, as the easement process is nearly completed.

– The electric meter project is slated for completion by the end of summer. The money for upgrading the electric meters is being furnished under a grant opportunity provided by Missouri Public Energy Pool (MoPEP), and funds are being used to buy new and refurbished meters, along with new software.

In the meantime, the City is also researching ways to improve and upgrade the water meter system for commercial and residential customers.

– City officials are still pursuing residential cleanup efforts. Landowners with property site(s) in longstanding disrepair are being contacted to remedy the site or face building demolition.  Mayor Norman noted the process necessitates documenting facts such as the property owner is free from lienholders and/or mortgage commitments, and there have been no utilities for at least one year.

– Delta Roofing plans to have the new roof at the new City Hall site completed by Thursday, March 24.

– Kiddie pool improvements at the Ava Water Park are completed, and the remodeled area looks nice.

Norman noted entry doors to the restroom facilities, and mechanical room, need repairing at the bottom.  Options for remedying the problem is being assessed.

– The tire cleanup project is now complete, as all the tires left at a commercial location in town, as well as tires from the drop-off site, have been picked up for proper disposal.

Councilmen Burrely Loftin and Stan Lovan reported on a recent visit to the Ozark County recycling center.  For the fact-finding trip, Loftin and Lovan were accompanied by a group of area citizens interested in learning about the successful operation in Gainesville.  Loftin said the operation is funded through a partnership between the county and grant money.  He also noted that part of the center’s financial success is attributed to the fact the group uses a broker for selling the cardboard, and attaining the highest price for the product.

Loftin advised grant money is available for implementing a project in Douglas County, and according to the Ozark County commissioner who helped the Ava group tour the Gainesville facility, the center runs just a little short of breaking even.

During closed session, Melissa Moore was re-hired as swim team coach for the summer season at the Ava Water Park.

Council accepted the resignation of Lionel Daugherty who is retiring from his position of dispatcher at the Ava Police Department.  Council noted Daugherty has been an asset to the department and will be greatly missed.  In the comments, it was noted Lionel has been employed at the Ava PD for at least ten years.

Council will reconvene Tuesday, April 12, 5 p.m., at City Hall.  At the onset of the meeting, two newly-elected council members will take the oath of office.