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City Adopts New Floodplain, Adjusts 2016-17 Budget

By Sue Curry Jones

Amending the 2016-17 fiscal year budget was an important agenda item for city council members Tuesday evening.  The board of aldermen also adopted new floodplain standards, as the revised plan was recommended by the state.

Each year adjustments are made to the prior year’s proposed budget numbers, this is done to align pro-posed revenues and expenses with the actual figures.  Adjustments made Tuesday evening were to the 2016-17 expenditure side, with modifications to the electric fund, sanitation fund, park fund, street and maintenance departments, and the general fund.

Changes were as follows: electric fund with budgeted expenditures of $6,580,666, was increased $300,000.  The sanitation fund with proposed expenses of $532,140, had overages totaling $40,000. The park fund with proposed disbursements of $564,698, was amended to include an additional $50,000, and the street department added $102,000 to proposed costs of $557,740.  Maintenance was $22,500 over the budgeted $365,400, and the general fund of $2,113,524, was over by $124,500.

The revisions were approved with a unanimous vote.

An updated version of the city’s flood plan was adopted by council in two separate readings.  According to Mayor David Norman the city of Ava has several business sites situated in a flood area, but the problem is also a concern to the City, as the lower park area falls into that category as well.  Norman said three businesses on the south side of Highway 5, near Fox Meadows, are in the floodplain and the land across the highway just below the hotel.  The floodplain continues on to the lower park area.

Norman said these new floodplain standards put the city in compliance.  Components address issues such as the definition of land sites to which rules apply, the provisions and procedures which must be followed, and variances.  Norman said a representative with the floodplain management program had recently visited City Hall and the consultation was helpful.  He said they now have a better understanding of the process, and how to complete the registration forms.

Council also voted to allow the mayor to renew an annual lease agreement with the Douglas County Fair Association.  The current agree-ment, which expires Friday, June 30, stipulates the Fair Association must provide insurance to protect both parties from liability lawsuits.  The city rents the property for a total sum of $150, and Dwight Dammon, president of the Douglas County Fair Association, will sign for the board.

A contract agreement with the Senior Agency on Aging, for use of the community building, was post-poned until after the agency meets in July.

Norman said he had recently attended a Transportation Advisory Committee meeting, which included several MoDOT officials and the assistant director of the South Central Ozark Council of Governments (SCOCOG), and one of the topics discussed was a provision that all city sidewalks must be compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by 2020.

Norman expressed concern that this timeframe only gives three years to attain compliance.  He noted the MoDOT five-year plan shows road improvements to east Hwy. 14 and other locations in town, which may mean that MoDOT has ownership of those sidewalk areas. Norman noted this issue is important since the city must be in compliance with federal guidelines, which includes ADA services as stipulated.

During the meeting, SCOCOG also advised traffic counts will be re-assessed this summer, and the group will spend about 2-3 weeks in Ava.

The mayor said the airport project is set for construction July 5, so the site will likely close prior to that date.  He said the construction company has scheduled 29 days for the project, and hopefully, weather conditions will remain favorable during the time period.

The City finalized a recycling agreement with Jeff Searcy of J & L Recycling, with Searcy agreeing to buy the equipment and officially operate the center at his business location.  Norman said the deal was deemed acceptable to all parties, including the county, and transfer will begin on July 1.

Councilmen present were Noel Dye, Stan Lovan, Burrely Loftin, and Keith Jones.

A closed session meeting was not convened.

Council will meet again July 11, at 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.  Sessions are open to the public.

Meeting video may be viewed on the Douglas County Herald website.