Council Okays New Radio System for Police Department, Accepts Bid for Pool Maintenance

By Sue Curry Jones

The Ava Board of Aldermen accepted a bid from Vaughan Pool & Spas, of Osage Beach, Mo. for $64,387.14 to upgrade and improve the deep water sections of the Ava Water Park pool. According to information provided in the meeting, the City has $55,000 earmarked for the expense.

City Clerk Suzanne Welsh noted the maintenance work has been put off for two years, and since the kiddy area was redone this past season, it is timely to finish the remaining areas before spring and upcoming summer use, as repairs are badly needed.  Welsh advised the contract specifies a payment schedule which ties to the contractor’s work commitments on the project.  Initially, the city will pay $32,000 to begin the project, with a second payment due when the sand-blasting component is completed. An additional payment will follow when the job is finished.  The contract also specifies that if unforeseen cracks are found, those repairs will be fixed for an additional cost.

Motions accepting the bid were by aldermen Leon Harris and Keith Jones.  The vote was 3-0.

Due to the absence of Mayor David Norman Tuesday evening, council president Burrely Loftin facilitated the business session.  Aldermen Stan Lovan, Leon Harris and Keith Jones were also present for the session.

Bids for the city hall landscaping project were reviewed by the board; however, at the end of the discussion, the topic was tabled due to disparities in the bid process.  Two bids had been submitted for landscaping City Hall, but after a review of details, it was noted the bids were dissimilar in presentation and costs.  One bid included lighting, drainage, irrigation, planter repairs, and taxes; the other did not.

When the items noted above were removed from the bid process and bid costs matched and compared, the difference between the bids totaled approximately $8,000 – 9,000.  Due to the discrepancies, councilman Keith Jones stated he would prefer to wait before making a final decision.  He also noted he would like to see if local landscapers were interested in the project as well.  Councilman Stan Lovan noted summer is about over, so there is no need to rush.

With a 3-0 vote, council approved purchasing new digital radio systems for the Ava Police Department from Communications Associates Mobile, in Springfield, Mo.  The system will cost $12,863.

The new system is an upgrade from analog to digital technology, and includes new equipment for eight patrol cars, central dispatch, and seven hand-held units.  According to Police Chief Reggie Johnson, the new radios will handle analog as well as digital transmissions, and will also broaden the department’s capabilities and compatibility with other groups and law enforcement agencies.

The Ava Area Ambulance District is contributing $6,000 to assist with the purchase of the new system, as their dispatch calls operate in tandem with local law enforcement.

Per a request from the local Economic Development Committee, council approved an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Trans-portation Commission for signs designating Ava as a Missouri Community Betterment member.  The signs will be installed at four entry points as travelers approach the city limits on Highways 5 and 14.   According to Welsh, the cost of each sign, which was believed to be about $100 a piece, will be paid by the Economic Development Committee.

Other items noted in the meeting were the extension of the deadline for MoDOT’s aviation funding applica-tions, and the city’s intention to hold an auction and sell unused vehicles, trucks, police cars, and fuel tanks.  No date was given for the proposed sale.

A sidewalk improvement project on South Jefferson, one block off the square was cited as successful.  The work is being done by Bloodhound Construction, with the cost of repairs paid by the City of Ava.  The work, scheduled to be completed this week, runs in front of Images Salon, and the  Ava Family Theater.

City Council will meet again on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 5:00 p.m.   The sessions are open to the public.