Ava looks to improve the town's square

AVA, Mo. City and business leaders in Ava are at odds on how to improve their downtown area with money they don't even have yet.

"We're about as far apart today as you can get," said Mayor David Norman.

A meeting was called to see if business and city leaders can work out their differences over how to renovate the square in downtown Ava.

"We want compromise. We want to see things improve," said Jessica Young.

She owns a business on the square. She came up with a plan she thinks makes the area safe for people with disabilities and attract business.

Mayor David Norman wants more greenspace. He feels the business community is only focused on one thing.

"We've become more concerned with parking spaces than with people who have disabilities. It really is a disability grant," he said.

Both sides have come up with a rough plan on how to spend the $300,000 in grant funds should Ava receive it. Though they haven't been able to agree until Tuesday night when they tried to hash out their differences.

"They're going to be more open to listening to my ideas. Now that there's more people behind me to support me I think it will be able to go through," said Young.

"Nobody likes this discord on an issue that really we thought wasn't going to be that complicated," said Norman.

The city has until the second week of April to apply for the grant for improvements.

The city is planning on meeting with the business community to come up with a plan before their next council meeting at the end of the month.