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The Ava City Council was presented with two petitions from area residents at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
The first petition was from residents of the Rainbow Ridge neighborhood, and asked that the council consider placing some deterrents to fast-moving traffic in that area.
The petition was presented by Lane Lakey, who lives in Rainbow Ridge and also is on the city’s planning & zoning and economic development boards.
“Our concern is the traffic that’s coming down 5 (Highway) and turning on those streets before you get to the stoplight at 5 and 14 highways and using those streets and the outer street next to that field (NW 13th Street) as another entrance into Wal-mart,” Lakey said.
Lakey said he’s lived in that neighborhood for seven or eight years, and before the new Wal-mart was built people could safely walk around the neighborhood.
“We’ve given that up, you don’t even try (to walk),” he said. “There’s no sidewalks in that area and it’s really unsafe. You have to be very cautious.”
Lakey had a petition from Rainbow Ridge residents asking that the city consider adding east-west stop signs on NW Ninth Avenue and NW Fourth Avenue and some sort of speed deterrent on NW 13th Street.
“That stretch from Y Highway to Wal-mart is a straight shot with no stop signs,” Lakey said.
Other suggestions included speed bumps and more speed limit signs.
Police Chief Reggie Johnson noted that the speed limit in that neighborhood is 25 miles-per-hour, as is the speed limit on all city streets unless posted otherwise.
Mayor Leon Harris asked Johnson to post more police officers in that area to stop speeders and the council voted to put east-west stop signs to try to slow the traffic.
Next, Larry Morrison presented a petition of 92 names of seniors requesting that the city re-open the old Rawlings building for walking.
Morrison said the group only requests that they be allowed to walk during inclement weather when it isn’t safe for them to use the walking track at the city park.
Morrison said he believed there was less liability for the city having seniors walk inside as opposed to outside on the track, where they have a greater chance of slipping and falling.
Harris said the city’s insurance (which is through the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association) had said that they could not allow walking in that building, but a definite reason why was not given.
Harris added that one concern is the police department’s MULES system, which must be kept secured.
Morrison said that other groups use the building, and he thinks the senior group would be less of a liability than other groups that use the building. He added that the seniors would be willing to use safety cones to outline where they are allowed to walk and where they are not, along with signing a “hold harmless” paper.
He also mentioned that the MOCH Wellness Center’s rates are too high for many seniors on a fixed income.
Administrator Peggy Porter said that she has been communicating with MOCH to try to get a rate for people who only wanted to use the center’s walking track.
The council then approved an ordinance calling for a general municipal election to be held on Tuesday, April 5, 2011.
A mayor and two aldermen – one from the east ward and one form the west ward – will be elected on that day.
Mayor Leon Harris, Alderman Billy Long and Alderman Burrely Loftin’s seats will all be up for re-election.
The council approved the new employee handbooks, as well.
Porter said the major change was that the city went to direct deposit for payroll.
Janice Lorrain, director of planning & development, reported that she attended the Missouri Rural Water Association Conference on Nov. 4-5 at Lake of the Ozarks.
The council then approved the court docket for September and the accounts payable.
During the closed portion of the meeting, the city voted to hire Roger Davis to a temporary position replacing water lines.
Council members present were Judy Lovan, Billy Long, Burrely Loftin and Ric Engelhardt
The next regular council meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. in City Hall.