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City Council Reappoints Housing Authority Commissioners, Hears Project Updates

By Sue Curry Jones
The Ava Board of Aldermen voted to re-appoint Dale Duckworth and Jim Thurman to the Ava Housing Authority Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. Both appointments are four-year terms which conclude July 2021. According to Housing Authority documentation, Thurman presently serves as chairman of the board.
The vote to reinstate Thurman and Duckworth was 3-0, as Stan Lovan, west ward alderman, was absent from the meeting. Councilmen Noel Dye, Burrely Loftin and Keith Jones were present.
Administrative Director Peggy Porter advises the city’s financial standing at the end of August was $1,793,731. Porter said several large expenses are scheduled for October, with payments due on the paving project on Henley Street in front of the Ava Post Office for $35,000, and airport runway costs of $89,000.
Mayor David Norman expressed a need for the City of Ava to revise the vacation policy section in the employee handbook. He noted the policy is unclear, and in past years the policy has cost the city money, as employees have been paid for pro-rated vacation days they did not earn.
Norman said the present policy provides for employees to earn one week of vacation, after one year on the job, and vacation days are accrued, but the policy does not say how the days accrue.
Councilman Noel Dye read a section from the handbook, noting policy details are vague and open to interpretation. Council agreed. It was also discussed that the vacation days should accrue on a monthly basis.
Norman said the policy will be revised and placed on the agenda of the next meeting.
The Mayor said the South Central Ozark Council of Governments (SCOCOG) recently filed an appli-cation with the Federal Emergency Management Agerncy (FEMA) to acquire generators for the City of Ava, with the City paying $3500-$3700 per generator. The request was for three generators, however, Norman said there was no guarantee Ava would receive one.
The city has two generators, but Norman said the use of additional generators could be vital during an emergency when power is needed at the police department, city hall and the water treatment plant.
The new playground equipment was installed in cement last week but the site is not ready for use, Norman advised. On Monday, the area around the new equipment will be leveled with rock, a mesh foundation, and mulch. At present, the site remains roped off as the equipment may not be ready for use until next month.
Norman reported paperwork for demolishing four houses in town is nearing completion, with two of the sites finalized, and the other two locations waiting for signatures. He noted the houses are scheduled to be torn down in October.
The City is in the process of correcting sewer line problems on Washington Avenue, 1-1/2 blocks east of the Square. Norman said city crewmen are installing a new line to the sewer main located at the intersection of North Spring Street and Washington. The new line will service the Douglas County Museum, Ava Art Guild building, and two residential locations. The work is set for completion this week.
The August 18 Municipal Court docket was approved as presented.
City officials and aldermen will reconvene Tuesday, Sept. 26, 5:00 p.m. Meetings are held in the City Hall board room and sessions are open to the public.
Meeting video may be viewed on the Douglas County Herald website.

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