Ava City Council: Mayor to Handle COVID-19 Related Utility Non-payments On Case-by-Case Basis

by Michael Boyink / mike@douglascountyherald.com

On Tuesday, March 24th, the Ava Board of Aldermen convened for a business session at 5 p.m.

Coronavirus Update

Loftin said the city was following both the CDC and Governor’s recommendations for handling the coronavirus. City employees were instructed to keep group sizes down, reduce cross-department activities, maintain social distancing, good personal hygiene, etc.

Loftin did seek input from the aldermen on handling utility customer situations where customers were unable to pay their utility bills due to job loss or layoffs from the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a 4-0 vote, the aldermen granted the mayor the authority to handle situations on a case-by-case basis at his discretion. 

Residents are encouraged to make contact with City Hall before becoming delinquent on bills.

City Finances

City Treasurer Peggy Porter reported that the city’s finances were “doing well” with $2.5M across its accounts. 

Meter Update

City Treasurer Peggy Porter gave an update on the city’s long-term plan to replace electric and water meters with smarter units that allow easier and targeted control. She said the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays in equipment availability but the city is at least a year away from any concrete action on the project.

City Clerk 

City Clerk Suzanne Welsh reported that she had recently earned her Certified Municipal Clerk certificate from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.

Ordinance 1061

In a 4-0 vote, the aldermen approved Ordinance 1061 which raises the legal minimum age for purchasing tobacco and related  products to 21 years old.

Ordinance 2062

In a 4-0 vote, the aldermen approved Ordinance 1062, which creates a contractual agreement between the City of Ava and MoDOT to install noise ordinance signs at the city limits on roads entering Ava.

Truck Purchase

In a 4-0 vote, the Aldermen approved the purchase of a 2019 Chevrolet 3/4 ton truck for $29,000. The truck has 8400 miles and a salvage title.

SCOTAC Meeting

Mayor Lofin recently attended The South Central Ozarks Transportation Advisory Committee (SCOTAC), which is part of the South Central Ozarks Council of Governments (SCOCOG). SCOTAC creates an annual list of prioritized projects which it provides to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). 

Loftin reported that two local projects looked favorable for receiving support going forward – reworking the roundabout on the north side of Ava, and the installation of rumble strips from A to Gainesville.

Generator Closeout

Loftin reported that the City had received $93,442.00 from FEMA for the recent generator project. The City expects an additional $4500 from FEMA as the project finalizes.

Water Tower Attachments

Mayor Loftin said he was researching the ownership of various antennas on the city water towers. Some are abandoned and need to be removed, and contracts need to be established for the remaining in-use antennas.

NE Sewer Project

Loftin reported that the recent sewer update in the NE part of town was a success, based on how it reacted to recent heavy rains.

Municipal Elections

Loftin affirmed that the upcoming election in Ava and Douglas County had been delayed until June 2nd.

City Hall Payment Area Windows

Loftin said he’d been researching adding security to the payment area of the City Hall lobby by installing glass partitions. He was still getting quotes for the work.

WWTP Pump

Mayor Loftin reported that the city was seeking repair or replace options for a 15HP pump at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Closed Session

Attendance

Councilmen present were Billy Stewart, Noel Dye, Keith Jones, and Stan Lovan.

Video

Video from the Ava Board of Aldermen meeting will be posted to the Douglas County Herald’s website at douglascountyherald.com.

Next Meeting

City officials and aldermen plan to wait a month and reconvene on May  28th, 2020, unless a need  requires a meeting on May 14th.  Meetings are generally open to the public, however during this time the public is encouraged to attend only if necessary, and watch the video recordings for general city information.