Aldermen Hold May 10 Meeting

By Sue Curry Jones

On Tuesday, in council session, Adminis­trative Director Peggy Porter advised the City of Ava made several large payments this month, concluding financial obligations on a number of projects. And, in spite of the outlays, balances remained steady at $1.8 million.

During closed session, the board of aldermen hired the proposed roster of pool staff members and lifeguards for the upcoming season at the Ava Water Park.  Addressing the issue, council’s vote of approval was completed in two separate steps, as Bridget Loftin was removed from the original list and voted upon separately –– as a relative, she was  a conflict of interest for councilmen Burrely Loftin and Keith Jones.

Motions to accept the list without Bridget’s name were by councilmen Burrely Loftin and Stan Lovan; the vote was 4-0.  Motions to hire Bridget Loftin were then given by councilmen Leon Harris and Stan Lovan, and with the Mayor’s vote, the tally was 3-0.  Jones and Loftin abstained.

On behalf of a city business, a representative addressed the board of aldermen to ask council and administrative officials to consider compromising on ordinance Sec. 94-163, 166, and 168, which cites the use of motorized bicycles, electric scooters or unli­censed vehicles on city sidewalks and streets is an illegal offense and subject to fines.

In the code of ordinance, the rule defines a “motorized bicycle” as any two-wheeled or three-wheeled device with an automatic transmis­sion/motor, and has the capability of driv­ing at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour.  The ordinance also bans use of skateboards, roller skates, coasters or similar devises on road­ways or sidewalks within the city limits of Ava.

The petitioner said the bicycle apparatus appeals to prospective customers as it provides affordable transportation and gas economy as the motor-powered device travels 60 miles on a ½-gallon tank.  He noted to-date the business has sold, and installed, nine motor-powered assisted bicycle de­vices, but recently a rider was stopped on a city street, and given a warning. Consequently, the business was asking council to reconsider and re-evaluate details in the ordinance.

In response, Mayor Norman said council would discuss the issue.

Updating on the status of projects, the Mayor reported the following:

  • all former city hall buildings have been listed as real estate for sale. Norman noted a contract is presently pending on one of the sites.
  • a proposal for upgrading the retaining wall on the south side of the ‘new’ City Hall was received this week. The bid was submitted by JD Gray Contracting for $10,930, and according to Norman, the improvement will be considered for a future project.

Also, Norman advised project estimates will be forth-coming from Huff Asphalt for the resealing and striping of the City Hall parking lot, as well as from Wickman Gardens, of Springfield, Mo., for landscaping.

  • the city contract agreement with France Fire Extinguisher, Inc. of West Plains, was canceled this week, and new service with Cintas Fire Protection is slated to begin on Sept. 1, 2016. Norman commented Cintas has a local resident as their area rep­resentative, and the City has approximately 68 to 80 fire extin­guishers that require servicing.
  • the new pump for the gasoline delivery system at the Ava airport has arrived, and even though an install date has not been determined, it will be completed soon.
  • the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting an Economic/ Community Development meeting on May 16. The meeting is set to begin at 10 a.m. and close around 4 p.m.

Mayor Norman advised the pool is ready for the summer season.  He noted five steel doors were treated for rust and repainted, with new 16”x34” plates installed at the base of each door.  Several privacy panels have been replaced in the men’s restroom, and all the pool toys are checked and ready for use.  Norman remarked that next year additional pool areas will require maintenance upgrades, but funds will dictate the level of improvements considered.

Councilmen present were Stan Lovan, Leon Harris, Burrely Loftin and Keith Jones.

The board of aldermen will meet again on Tuesday, May 24, at 5:00 p.m.  Meetings are open to the public.

Video of the meeting is available at:  www.douglascountyherald.com