By Sue Curry Jones
This week, as the street renaming project gets underway, and numbered street signs are being swapped-out for customized names, Mayor David Norman reported to council Tuesday evening that the regional post office in Kansas City has deemed some of the new address names as incorrect for mailing purposes. Norman noted his discussion with Kansas City transpired just prior to council meeting, and he did not fully grasp the issue at hand, as the info was unclear. He stated more information will be forthcoming on Friday, when a representative from the Kansas City office will detail problem areas where addresses fail to meet standard requirements.
During closed session, the board voted approval to Ava Police Chief Reggie Johnson’s recommendations to promote Corporal David Overcast to the rank of sergeant. Overcast’s promotion, which is effective July 1, received a unanimous vote. Motions to adopt the recommendation were made by councilmen Stan Lovan and Keith Jones.
The city hall landscaping project, which has been on the agenda since last May, was finally settled in a 4-0 vote Tuesday afternoon. Out of the three bids received, Zach Uhing was selected as the contractor to fulfill the job. In the discussion, Norman stated his personal preference was for Spirit of Nature Landscaping of Mansfield asking $20,645 to do the job. He noted the Wickman Garden bid was too high, at $34,571.91.
Councilman Keith Jones said he would prefer to use a local company, as he favored Uhing’s bid which was also the lowest. Jones also noted Uhing did a solid job repairing the retaining wall on the south side of the city hall parking lot. Councilman Lovan concurred.
Motions to use Uhing for the pro-ject were by councilmen Jones and Lovan, and both agreed to serve on a landscape committee and oversee the project.
Council approved hiring Water Park pool personnel for the summer season, as the facility is scheduled to open Saturday. However, Norman reported it was recently discovered the pool pump was not working, and the equipment was presently in Springfield for a new seal kit and motor. He said the repair company is scheduled to call city hall May 24 with an update on the status of the equipment. As more information is received, Norman stated the city will make a decision whether to open without the pump and acknowledge the pool may be used for five days only, or postpone opening day.
Norman said he would confer with councilmen once the company gives an evaluation of the condition of the pump.
The city’s ISO rating, which was discussed in a prior business meeting, was revisited on Tuesday with new information putting the rating in a different perspective. Councilman Keith Jones said the ISO (Insurance Service Office) is a for profit organ-ization that provides statistics about the risk factors in defined areas and the ISO rating is delineated accord-ingly. The company collects the data and then sells it back to insurance agents or their umbrella companies. Some insurance companies subscribe to the service, and others do not use the service, as they tap into company figures and the annual loss basis per zip code area.
In the discussion, Jones advised that the City of Seymour recently improved their ISO rating, moving from a 7 to a 5, and the upgrade was accomplished through extensive training and giving extra attention to details, such as maintaining hydrant pressure. To complete the task, the City of Seymour did not buy a new fire truck.
Jones said he also checked with a local insurance agent and was able to attain a better idea of how the rating improvement impacts homeowners and their insurance premiums. Using the Seymour rating improvement as an example, when the ISO rating improved, moving from 7 to 5, the cost of insurance comparison showed a decrease by only $8.00.
Councilman Noel Dye suggested the city consider contacting a repre-sentative of ISO to discuss the rating process and gain knowledge as to what factors are actually important to the process. He noted the city would have a clear picture of what needs to be done.
Mayor Norman said he planned to call the Seymour Fire Chief to attain more information on the issue.
Administrative Director Peggy Porter reported city finances remain constant nearing $1.9 million. She advised the 2018 budget hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 12, at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall. Porter said 2018 budget numbers include cost factors associated with the airport improvement project, therefore the new budget is showing expenditures of $11,885,141. Porter disclosed that $885,141 from the expenditure column will be covered by the grant money.
Norman advised Verizon is still considering use of the water tower as a site for their equipment. However, no decisions have been made by the company. He also reported the City has been contacted by a company that is interested in building a solar farm just north of Ava. Norman said the name of the company is Mana Solar and the firm is possibly going to purchase 20 acres outside the city limits.
According to Norman, the solar farm would by-pass Ava’s system, but would sell to the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA), Ava’s supplier. Norman noted the farm offers no financial gain to the City of Ava.
Councilmen also approved the April 21 municipal court docket as presented.
Aldermen attending the meeting were Noel Dye, Stan Lovan, Burrely Loftin, and Keith Jones.
The board of aldermen and city officials will reconvene for another business meeting on Tuesday, June 13, 5:00 p.m. at City Hall. Meetings are open to the public.
Meeting video may be viewed on the Douglas County Herald website.