(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
"We hope to close the purchase by the end of the month," Robertson said. "I oversee several gins. I know in talking to Mayor Clifford Veach that the community had hoped to get an industry that would employ large numbers and I can understand that. We won't employ a great number of people, probably 10 to 12 on a permanent basis. I hope the community will accept us and not hold it against us. All we did was buy the property and we are coming to town. We will be good citizens, and I will be moving my office here. We will have a manager located here, as well as employees that will be hired from this area. We will also be cleaning up the property and make you proud of it," he said. "We may have some office space to share with the city for a nominal fee."
Robertson asked the council to pass a resolution that would allow the company to apply under the Advantage Arkansas program to have their sales tax reimbursed because of the $400,000 in improvements they will be making to the facility.
Councilman Gaylon Gammill asked Robertson when would they be hiring people and getting started.
"Just as quick as we can get a manager in. We are going to store cotton this fall," Robertson said.
Mayor Veach said the property is all private owned and belonged to Federal Mogul. They (North Delta Cotton) seem like a good, stable company.
The council discussed the resolution and Councilman Gammill made a motion to table the resolution until the sale is final if it would not interfere with the company's deadlines.
Veach said the sale should be completed by the next meeting or if needed, a special meeting could be called before. The motion passed unanimous.
City Attorney Wayne Wagner read an order of annexation entered May 16 and a resolution to annex property owned by Sandusky Developments into the city limits. The property will be part of Ward 21 B. Council voted unanimously to approve the annexation resolution.
Mayor Veach informed the council that the city missed the deadline to order a police vehicle on the 2003 state bid contract. The Council voted at last month's meeting to purchase an extended cab Silverado pick-up truck for the police department through state bid process at an estimated cost of $19,000.
"We were not aware that we had such a short time on the 2003 contracts. The 2004 contracts will be available in October," Mayor Veach said. "Chief Jackie Hill has gone out to various dealers and has quotes. I'm going to recommend we wait until October and not spend more money than we have to," Veach said.
Hill had a price on a 2003 Dodge Ram, Quad Cab $21,840.
"I need a vehicle. I wouldn't care if it was a Pinto right now," Chief Hill said.
Hill explained that one of the police vehicles is back at Tucker's needing more repairs.
Following more discussion, the council voted 4-2 to put off buying a vehicle until October.
Councilman Larry "Whiz" Davis said he could not vote to buy any city vehicle out of state bids and also, he could not recommend buying a pick-up truck as a police vehicle.
The city discussed mosquito control and trying a new repellent called Mosquito Barrier.
Mayor Veach said he had talked to several other cities that are using this product and have been satisfied.
The chemical will cost approximately $3,000 and the applicator $2,500. Labor costs could run approximately $2,000. spraying should start the first of July and continue until October.
More information will be available at the next meeting.
In other business:
*The Council voted unanimously to raise police officers salary by $1,500 a year once the officer completes the Police Academy training.
*Mayor Veach informed the council that the municipal league health insurance will be going up $20 per person the first of July.
*Mayor Veach also told the council that there will be a public meeting in Manila in December or January on the proposed Centurytel rate increase.
*Mayor Veach announced that the state 10 year old baseball tournament will be held in Manila July 10-12.