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City Continues to Focus On Improvements

By Sue Curry Jones

On Tuesday, Aug. 23, city council approved a resolution allowing the mayor to execute a contract.  Council also approved rezoning a residence, as requested by the property owner.  During closed, however, litigation and personnel issues were discussed, but according to City Clerk Suzanne Welsh, no voting action occurred.

An ordinance to amend a zoning map designation for property located at 301 NW 4th Street, in Ava, was approved in a 3-0 vote. The change was requested by property owner Julie Casey, who had petitioned for a change from B-2 Central Business to B-3 General Business.  The request was approved in two readings, with motions by Burrely Loftin and Keith Jones, and Keith Jones and Stan Lovan, respectively.  The vote was 3-0 on each reading, as Councilman Leon Harris was absent.

A resolution authorizing Mayor David Norman to contract with Zach Uhing for demolition and construc-tion of a new retaining wall on the south side of the City Hall parking lot was approved in a 3-0 vote.  The contract stipulates Uhing will replace the wall which measures 176 feet long and 3 feet tall, and the new barrier will be constructed of Caesar II blocks with a cap on top of the wall structure.  Uhing was the lowest bidder on the project, with a total cost of $10,037.  Motions to approve were by Stan Lovan and Burrely Loftin; the vote was 3-0.

Ava Police Chief Reggie Johnson reported he was researching options for upgrading the police department radio system.  Johnson had contacted three different vendors, and received a sales quote from Communications Associates Mobile Communications in Springfield, Mo. for $12,863.

Johnson’s intent is to upgrade the present system from analog to digital, a task that includes eight patrol cars, the dispatch desk and seven handheld units.  He noted upgrading to digital will continue to allow analog trans-missions, but more importantly, it will broaden the police department’s communication capabilities to be more compatible with other agencies.

Johnson advised the Ava Area Ambulance District is contributing $6,863 to assist with the cost, as their dispatch calls operate in tandem with both city and county agencies.  Prior to making a final decision, the City is advertising for bids on the project.

Mayor David Norman reported the planning and zoning commission recently held a meeting with all but one of the newly appointed members in attendance.  Commissioner Ann Leonard was absent due to prior job commitments at the school.  Norman said Jack Hamer was elected to serve as chair of the commission, and Lane Lakey will continue as secretary.

Norman said representatives from Douglas County attended the South Central Ozark Council of Govern-ments (SCOGOG) meeting last Tuesday, and several projects for our region of Douglas, Ozark and Wright counties were discussed.   Norman explained meeting attendees vote on the projects to establish the order of importance, and during this session, ‘Tecumseh Road’ was placed first on the list, with the installation of a stoplight at the intersection of High-way 5 and Y in Ava, third.  Other projects discussed, but omitted from the proposed list, were guard rails for Dogwood Hill, and the installation of highway shoulders for the City of Hartville.

Norman said the installation of a stoplight in Ava was probably the least expensive item on the project list.

Four new trash cans for the City Park have been ordered, and will likely be used around the pool area.  Norman noted the trash bins at the park are in sorry condition and all of them need to be replaced, but new receptacles are costly so the task will be done in allotments rather than all at once.

Norman also advised the bathroom facility in the upper park area is in decent condition; but, the lower level bathroom is not suitable for use. He said the facility has taken its fair share of abuse and harsh treatment with vandalism, insufficient upkeep, and age.  He noted the lower facility is not compliant with the disabilities act, and recommended councilmen revisit the site as improvements are needed.

This fall, the adult side of the City Water Park will be refurbished. Once the pool is drained for the season the surface will be sandblasted, patched, repainted, and new lane markers in-stalled.  Norman noted this is the last section of the pool to be overhauled, as the kiddie pool area, toys, grates and bathrooms were all rebuilt and painted prior to this season.

Norman said a local resident had brought to his attention that signage for the Ava Airport is lacking and the City of Ava could do a better job of designating the site location.  After driving the area, Norman agreed that some of the signs appear inadequate, and/or need to be repositioned or relocated.  However, the changes will take time as they must meet highway department approval.

Other items mentioned by Norman included the likelihood of a blocked condensation drain on the north wall of the Community Center, and the Center’s impending need to have the floors waxed and polished.

With motions by Jones and Loftin, the Ava Municipal Court docket was accepted as presented.  The vote was 3-0.

Councilmen will meet again on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 5:00 at City Hall. Meetings are open to the public.