City Hires New Police Officer, Moves Forward with Improvement Projects

The Ava Board of Aldermen voted on several ordinances Tuesday evening, one of which was to negate a prior resolution that allowed the City to enter into an agreement with Ava R-I Schools for the purpose of hiring a resource officer.  Mayor David Norman advised council that Ava R-I administrator Jason Dial had made other arrangements for implementing the program and the City was choosing not to be involved.  

Council also approved revisions to the cremated remains ordinance, and added several clauses state the following: the scattering of cremains, will not be allowed in Ava Cemetery, and burial of cremains will be handled by the funeral home or City of Ava.  The revised ordinance specifies the depth of a cremains grave will be no less than 12 inches below ground level, and cremain sites will be marked with flat monuments set on a concrete pad that is approved by the City.  Each plot may only accommodate one set of remains. 

During closed session, Cody Johnson was hired as an officer to serve in the Ava Police Department. Johnson, an Ava resident who is experienced in law enforcement, comes to Ava from Ozark County. According to city officials, he will start immediately.   

The bid process for making repairs to the fire station building on Jefferson Street was discussed, and Mayor Norman stressed the need to repair water problems in the front and back area on the north side of the building.  Norman advised the water problems are on the north side of the structure and that is the area in need of repair.  Norman said several bids were received on the project, however, only one bid provided a cost on the whole project and that bid was submitted by Bloodhound Construction.   He noted additional bids submitted for consideration were on specific areas of the remodel, not for the whole remodel job.  A bid for $30,000 was received from Liberty Sheet Metal of Springfield, but the offering did not include demolition and other needed repairs.  For the doors and windows, bids were received from Mountain Grove Glass for $7800, and Builders Glass for $14,000.  A single bid on electrical upgrades was submitted by Whorton Electric of Mansfield, for $716.     

After a brief discussion, council opted to accept the bid from Bloodhound Construction for $48,000, as the cost amount included all materials, labor and every aspect of the remodel on the north side around the office section of the building.    

Repairs at the fire station building include installation of new windows and doors on the north side only, removing an air conditioning unit and natural gas pipe fixture, fixing gutters, installing French drains to circumvent water flow, and additional repairs and dirt work to prevent water from flowing into the building through the front and back walls of the office area.  The cost of the project will be expensed out of the fire department budget. 

For the project, provisions have also been made to relocate the Hiland Dairy truck transfer point to the old Rawlings factory building located at 504 Springfield Road, in Ava.  At the new site, the milk truck area will be located at the northeast corner of the building.  Norman said the City reached an agreement with Buddy Irby so the project at the fire station can be completed without having to make concessions for Irby’s milk truck and storage needs.  According to Norman, the agreement was amicably reached, and the City has agreed to install a security light and dumpster at the location.  

The City has recently made several small improvements to the Rawlings building by replacing two old metal doors with new 42-inch glass doors that lock from the outside, but also have panic bar exit capabilities from inside the building.    The changes were implemented to provide safe entry and exit venues for high school students who use the site for baseball practice.  

Norman advised the City was approved to receive three generators as requested through a SEMA/FEMA federal grant that will be administered through South Central Ozark Council of Governments (SCOCOG).  The Mayor said the generators will be used for emergency conditions and needs, and the units will be installed at City Hall, Ava Police Department, and wastewater treatment plant.  The cost of the generators totals $131,000-plus, with the City responsibility a match of 25 percent.  

Bloodhound Construction was also selected to construct and pour a monolithic slab, 100-ft. 3in. x 40-ft. 3 in., at the electric department building.  The bid received from Bloodhound offered the lowest cost, at $26,700. 

Council approved the August 17 Municipal Court Dockets as presented. 

Norman reported the recent city street paving project totaled around $160,000.  The city budgeted $130,000 for the project, but an additional $25,000 was added to finish the job properly.  

Administrative Director Peggy Porter reported city balances at the end of August totaled $2,288,230; however, project payments expended since then have lowered totals to $1.9 million.  

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

The next council session will reconvene on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.  Sessions are open to the public, and meeting video may be viewed on the Douglas County Herald website.