Jail prisoner fee refused

Friday, June 21, 2002

The Manila City Council voted to refuse to pay a $35 per day per person county jail fee at its regular meeting Thursday.

The council voted unanimously, with very little discussion, to refuse to pay the fee.

City Attorney Wayne Wagner said there is a legal difference of opinion on whether the measure passed by the Mississippi County Quorum Court could be enforced. There is also a difference in legal opinions, he said, on whether the jail can refuse to accept prisoners from the municipalities if the fee is not paid.

The fee is being imposed only on those municipalities in the county which hold their own courts and investigate and try their own cases. The Leachville City Council voted earlier this month to refuse to pay the fee. Dell and Gosnell City Councils discussed the issue; neither have made a decision.

However, Dell Mayor Kenneth Jackson said the decision of the Dell Council will be to vote down the jail fee.

"We are just not in favor of it, period. It's unfair and unjust," Jackson said.

In other business, the Manila City Council addressed the following issues:

Councilmen voted to draw up an ordinance placing a $1 per meter per month on city water bills to fund a mosquito control program in the city.

Councilmen voted to begin the advertising process to hire an engineering firm to work with the Manila Pilot's Association in drawing up plans necessary to secure $450,000 in federal grant funding for Manila Airport projects from the Air 21 program.

Councilmen voted to allow sewer bills to be adjusted for residents filling swimming pools at their private residences.

Councilmen voted to approve the drawing of plans for a new sloped roof for city hall.

Councilmen voted to approve the letting of bids for street repairs to Farmer's subdivision, Future Street and a small road near the Manila School.

Mayor Melvin Browning was authorized to seek prices on the cost of refurbishing or replacing the city's Christmas lighting.

Code enforcement officer Fred Burks was asked to measure setbacks on a mobile home being set up near the Manila Post Office by Dan Gamble.

A special meeting was set for 4 p.m. June 24 to discuss city financial reports.

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