City Receives Grant for ADA Improvements to Ava Square

Mayor David Norman announced on Tuesday the City of Ava was awarded a Community Development Block Grant for the purpose of making the Ava Square compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.  The grant amount awarded for the project is $466,129, with the City of Ava responsible for providing in-kind contributions totaling $38,155.  The total package of improvements will cost $504,284.  

The project description as noted in the grant approval document states, “project will replace sidewalks between Jefferson Street, SE 2nd Avenue, Washington Avenue, SE 2nd Street and those areas immediately adjacent.  Improvements at all street corners will also include ramp upgrades and additional work to improve accessibility.”  

Funding approval also noted grant funds were broken down as follows:  sidewalks, $382,062; engineering design, $32,905; construction inspection, $24,678; and administration, $26,482.  In addition, the City of Ava will lend support and employee contributions totaling $38,155.  

Mayor Norman noted the project is likely to begin this summer, and initially, that will mean additional survey work of the square.  

During council meeting, Norman expressed gratitude to Andy Novinger with Anderson Engineering, Jessica Paulk with SCOCOG, several local organizations, and Ava square business owners, for their part in bringing the grant into fruition.  

The grant money will be used to repair square sidewalks, the gazebo sidewalk area, and sidewalks leading to City Hall.  The improvements will entail making all of these areas handicap accessible. 

During closed session, council approved hiring Kelli Williams as swim team coach for the summer program.  Williams has served in the position for three years.  In addition, Chase Willis, an 8-year veteran at the Ava Pool, and Brad Evans, ball program director, were  rehired.  Councilmen also approved an increase for pool staff wages. 

Treasurer Peggy Porter reported the City’s indebtedness balance as of December 2018 was $2,669,800.  She noted present cash balances remain consistent at $2.2 million. 

With unanimous votes, council adopted and approved the following three ordinances as presented:  

Ordinance No. 1046 stipulates the transfer of the Ava City Municipal Court proceedings to the Douglas County Circuit Court Associate Division, where cases will now be facilitated by Associate Circuit Judge Elizabeth Bock.  Shannon Bryant Gamble who currently serves as Municipal Court Judge has tendered her resignation as she recently accepted a position as legal counsel with the Attorney General’s office.  Gamble’s last day to administrate municipal court is March 15.  The associated circuit court division will assume responsibility for City of Ava cases in April. 

Ordinance No. 1047 authorized the City to enter into an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to establish wayfinding signs in town.  The signage, which was discussed in the last council meeting, will pinpoint specific points of interest and help direct traffic to specific locations such as City Hall, County Courthouse, Ava Cemetery, and more. 

Ordinance No. 1048 allows the City to adopt an updated safety and loss prevention policy entitled the American Public Power Association Safety Manual. 

In a unanimous vote, council approved the appointment of Brian Thompson of Ava to the planning and zoning commission.  Thompson is filling the seat vacated by Lane Lakey who no longer lives within city limits.  Thompson’s appointment expires in 2020. 

Councilmen approved the appointment of Courtney Ayers to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission.  Ayers is assuming a position that recently became open due to the resignation of Alison Hernandez who is leaving the area.  Additional members of the park advisory board are Brad Evans and Terry Lee. 

Council agreed to document in writing a verbal contract the City of Ava made with Wilma Klineline many years ago.  Approximately 15 years ago, Klineline allowed the City of Ava to run city water pipelines through her property to provide residents on Girdner Road access to water.  At that time, the City agreed that at any time Klineline chose to hook on to the city water system, that privilege would be allowed.  Norman said this verbal agreement has never been recorded for future reference, and it needs to be cited in writing.  The Klineline property is now owned by Marvin Stephens. 

Norman advised several incidents with vicious dogs running loose in town have been reported to the City of Ava, with several reports of local runners being attacked or nipped.  The Mayor said pet owners have been fined and reprimanded, but within weeks after an incident, the dogs are once again on the street, released and running loose.  Norman said the City is presently reviewing vicious dog ordinances, as well as noise ordinances, and recommendations will be made to the planning and zoning commission very soon.  Once the wording of a  ‘problem dog ordinance’ is agreed upon and approved by planning and zoning, the bill will be presented to council for approval.  Norman noted several city ordinances require euthanization of vicious dogs, while some cities require an owner to place the dog outside city limits.  

Bids submitted for the unused 2005 Ford Crown Victoria police vehicle were opened, and Shirley Emerson, who offered $605 for the automobile, received the award.  Two additional bids were submitted from JB Motors offering $601, and John Perkins, $406.  

Councilmen present were Keith Jones, Stan Lovan, Burrely Loftin, and Noel Dye. Meeting video may be viewed on the Douglas County Herald website.

The next council session is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.