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Council Accepts Bid for Sidewalk Project, Adopts Internal Control Manual

By Sue Curry Jones

Ava Board of Aldermen approved two ordinances and one resolution during the Tuesday, Nov. 8 meeting, but an additional resolution adopting new rules for bench donations at the City Park was

tabled until the next session.  Mayor David Norman noted the newly established park bench rules were simple and not too complicated, but councilmen had not had time to review the document, so a vote on the policy was postponed.

Administrative Director Peggy Porter reported city funds remain constant at $1.7 million; but, fund balances are projected to pick up over the next few months, especially in the park fund.  She said sales tax totals were down $8,000, but those figures will increase as the holiday season is approaching.  She noted the City has had several large expenditures this quarter, and those expenses have been paid, so fund balances should be increasing.

In a 3-0 vote, council adopted a resolution to accept a bid from Hessling Construction, Inc., for an upcoming sidewalk improvement project which will run along portions of NW 5th Avenue, NW 7th Street and NW 3rd Avenue.  Hessling submitted the lowest bid, citing $129,447.65 for the project.  Three additional bid estimates were received from: A.T. Urban Development, $147,171; Bloodhound Construction, $204,095; and Hunter Chase & Associates, $139,894.

The sidewalk improvement pro-ject is being facilitated through grant funds, and according to Norman, the initial estimate cited costs totaling $175,000.  But, to the city’s advantage, all but one bid was well under the original cost projections.

The grant funding also requires a match amount of $35,000, and those monies have been provided by the Ava R-1 School district, and the local health department.  The health department committed $25,000 to the project, and Ava R-I, $10,000.

Motions to accept Hessling’s bid were from aldermen Keith Jones and Stan Lovan.  For the vote, Aldermen Jones, Lovan and Burrely Loftin were in favor; Alderman Leon Harris was absent.

Council also approved Ordinance No. 1005 which repealed Chapter 2 Section 4 of the Ava City Code and replaces that segment with a newly created document called the Internal Control Manual. According to Administrative Directive Peggy Porter, this change in protocol is recommended by the city’s auditing firm, but it is also a new standard advised for all municipalities.  Porter said the new manual serves as a management control system that details all city applications, proce-dures and processes, in writing.  The manual serves as a reference tool that focuses on policy effectiveness, overall efficiency, and compliance with applicable laws and current regulations.   The manual, which totals 19 pages, was adopted by council in a 3-0 vote.

The aldermen also voted 3-0 to hold a general municipal election on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, with the purpose to elect a mayor, and one aldermen from each ward.  In April, council seats presently held by Leon Harris and Burrely Loftin will be on the ballot, both offices serve a two-year term.

A resolution adopting a policy on park bench donations was tabled as council members needed more time to consider options.  In the proposed plan, the rules stipulate two types of benches are acceptable…a memorial bench made with wood on a cast aluminum frame with a small plaque identifying the name of the honoree; and/or a memorial bench of recycled vinyl, with a small name plaque. The policy states honorees qualifying for a memorial bench must be deceased one year prior to application; and, only individuals may be honored, no groups or organizations will be considered. All bench site locations will be approved by the city.  The city will install the bench, as well as provide normal maintenance and repair.  The donor is responsible for all costs and that includes the cost of the bench, plaque, installation, and a $500 fee for materials, processing, and on-going maintenance of the bench.

Mayor David Norman reported the city recently held a garage sale and sold several unused city items.  He deemed the sale a success as it   yielded $319, but noted it also piqued the interest of local folks who were interested in a set of fuel tanks and an automobile, that are no longer used.  Norman said the city dump truck, which was slated for disposal, would not be sold as previously discussed as the city now plans to use the vehicle.  He also advised the car would not be placed on the Internet auction site as previously discussed.

The municipal court docket was approved as presented; the vote was 3-0.

Council adjourned for the evening as a closed session was not needed. The mayor and council members will reconvene on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 5:00 p.m. at Ava City Hall.  Meetings are open to the public.