Manila Council hears good report on 2003 audit

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Mayor Clifford Veach informed council members that the city had completed an exit conference for the 2003 audit and received no formal complaints.

"This is the first audit I've ever gone through where the auditors had no formal complaints," Veach said. "That must mean we are doing something right. I think we are on the right road."

According to Veach, almost all of the 2002 complaints have been corrected.

All council members were present at the Monday, May 17, meeting and worked through a long agenda addressing paving, a new subdivision ordinance, clean-up, and accepting a property donation.

Veach updated the council on the water project that should start in June.

Manila Chief of Police Jackie Hill reported on the ongoing property clean-up campaign.

"First of all, most of the people we have sent letters to are attempting to clean up," Hill said. "The weather has caused a hold up. I've talked to the judge and he is satisfied with the way I am handling it. All of the people that have appeared in front of the judge are working some every day."

Hill asked if there is an ordinance in place for condemning buildings that have been abandoned.

Mayor Veach said there is an ordinance in place and if property needs to be condemned, the process can be started.

"I see some major improvements," Veach said.

Veach also announced that the spring clean-up was going well. The city voted during April to use every Saturday in May for spring cleanup. Residents are allowed to take their unwanted items to the transfer station at no charge during the five Saturdays in May.

The Council also continued the discussion on guidelines for new subdivisions.

The council voted at last month's meeting not to approve any new subdivisions until an ordinance could be prepared.

City Attorney Wayne Wagner read the proposed ordinance creating guidelines for new developments.

Wagner explained that the only major change in the ordinance is placing the responsibility on the developer for buying all the supplies and meeting the specifications of water and sewer systems in the new developments. The city will have the responsibility of inspecting and accepting the work.

The developer also must request for new subdivision streets to be placed on the street paving list. The streets will be paved as the money is available.

The council suspended the rules and heard the ordinance a second and third time before unanimously passing the new ordinance.

The Council approved concrete work to be done in the parking area in front of the Depot Center.

Councilman Linda Donovan also asked if there was anything that could be done to alleviate the drainage problem behind the depot.

Mayor Veach said it would be looked at.

Mayor Veach said the city had been asked for a donation to the Senior Citizens program.

"As much as I would like to, we have to be careful where public funding is spent," Veach said.

Councilman Gaylon Gammill made a motion not to make a donation due to legal concerns. The motion passed unanimously.

Veach said the owner of the building located next to city hall had offered to deed the property to the city. The building is approximately 20 feet wide and the length of city hall.

The council agreed to accept the donation.

Veach informed the council that briefs had been filed on the appeal on the jail fee issue.

"The Municipal League has filed the briefs," Veach said. "The law needs to be cleared up. Our argument is we thought we had a tax package to take care of the jail."

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