On Tuesday, May 25th, the Ava Board of Aldermen convened for a business session at 5 p.m.
City Treasurer Peggy Porter said the budget for the upcoming fiscal year would be available for review on Monday, June 7th. The budget totals up to $12,043,416, which City Treasurer Peggy Porter said was “fairly high, but it anticipates getting some grants that we’d have to pay portions of.”
Chamber of Commerce Agreement
The City of Ava’s agreement with the Ava Chamber of Commerce was up for renewal. In recent years the City has provided $30,000 in yearly operating funds for the Chamber.
Alderman Keith Jones said he had gotten some “noise” from his constituents who were unhappy with the arrangement. He had researched and found that most Chambers were not city-funded, and the ones that were weren’t funded to the extent of Ava’s (based on the size of the city). Jones said “the way we should support local business as a city is through infrastructure – electric, sewer, water, streets. We could pave city streets with this money instead.”
Jones noted that the Chamber had grown in recent years, and was bringing in $18,000 in annual membership funds in addition to what the city had been providing.
Jones went on to question Chamber budget items such as $2,000 in Christmas bonuses.
Jones said he intended to vote no on renewing the agreement because he “couldn’t come up with a good answer for people questioning it.”
The Aldermen then voted 4-0 to table the renewal of the agreement until a future date.
The Aldermen voted 4-0 to renew the lease agreement between the City and the Douglas County Fair Association.
Community Center Agreement
The Aldermen voted 4-0 to renew the lease agreement between the City and the Douglas County Council on Aging with a lease rate of $500/month.
Black Oak Landfill Contract
The Aldermen voted 4-0 to approve a contract between the City and Black Oak Sanitary Landfill with an adjustment to the current fee of $36.02 to $37.28 – an increase of 3.5%. Mayor Loftin said this represented a smaller increase that he had negotiated based on a two-year agreement and with the city pre-paying each month.
The Aldermen voted 4-0 to rezone both 704 and 706 Ash Street locations from single family R-1 to two family residential R-2.
The Aldermen voted 4-0 to approve a payment of $177,254 to MIRMA for insurance for the City. MIRMA provides workmans comp, general liability, etc and not heathcare for city employees.
Mayor Loftin said there would be a meeting between city officials and MoDOT officials at the roundabout on the north side of town on Thursday at 11:00 A.M. Loftin said he feels the roundabout is “a hazard” and is working through Senator Eslinger’s office to try and move the re-working of the it higher on the MODOT priority list.
Loftin reminded residents that the trash service is limited to 140 gallons per residence per week.
County Road 506
Mayor Loftin said the county was moving forward on acquiring the necessary cement culverts to repair the bridge on County Road 506. He said the culverts were coming in at $16,000, and there would still be the costs of placing them. During a previous meeting the Aldermen had voted to split the cost of this project 50/50 with the county.
Loftin reported attending City and County police-sponsored K9 training being held in the former Rawlings Building. He said crews had installed a maze using black curtains and they could reconfigure the setup as needed. He said officers are training for an expected uptick in the amount of drugs traveling through the area on secondary roads rather than primary highways.
Mayor Loftin noted that crews were re-working the SE corner of the square to improve the drainage during heavy rains.
City Police Chief
Loftin said the retirement party for retiring Police Chief Reggie Johnson would be on Friday at 11:00 AM at City Hall, and Officer David Overcast would be sworn in as Police Chief later that day.
There was no closed session.
Councilmen present were Billy Stewart, Noel Dye, Keith Jones, and Stan Lovan.
Video from the Ava Board of Aldermen meeting will be posted to the Douglas County Herald’s website at douglascountyherald.com.
City officials and aldermen will reconvene on June 8th at 5 p.m. at City Hall. Meetings are open to the public.