(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Matheny expressed her appreciation to the city for its support. She announced that a Relay for Life softball tournament will be held at the Manila ballpark on Friday and Saturday. Other upcoming fundraising events include an auto and motorcycle show on Aug. 28 at the Leachville City Park and a non-talent comedy review, Let the Good Times Roll, on Saturday at the Melody Theater in Leachville.
Following the budget review, Mayor Clifford Veach informed the council that he had looked back in the records and found a draft of an ordinance in 2001 regulating building fees. The minutes show that the council did agree to use the proposed building fee rates (raising the existing fee of $5) until January of the following year. Veach pointed out that no actions had been taken.
"We need an ordinance on the books regulating this," Veach said.
Veach recommended that the building fees be set at $100 for residential construction, $50 for residential add-ons, 10 cents a foot for commercial property up to 5,000 square feet, and for commercial property over 5,000 feet $500 and three cents a square foot.
"We are not here to penalize builders but we do need to recover our expenses," Veach said.
Councilman Dean Cherry said he thought it was a fair rate and made a motion to read the ordinance the first time. The council voted twice to suspend the rules and place the ordinance on second and third reading. The ordinance was passed unanimously with the new rates going into effect immediately.
Veach said he would get a copy of the new ordinance to the building inspector.
Mayor Veach said he is still gathering information on the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS). He said it takes five years to get vested. The contribution from the city for employees is 11.09 percent. The city is looking at acquiring retirement for 13 employees.
"It has it blessings and its minuses," Veach said.
Veach said he would continue to gather more information.
Councilman Tony Hawkins said he had talked to people (employees) and has not found anyone interested in it (retirement).
"It is not a cure all, but it is something for them," Veach said.
Before the council votes yes or no on the plan, Veach said he would like a couple of council members to go with him and meet with the employees about the retirement plan and get their feedback.
Councilman Dwight Booth said it is something that the city would be providing for the employees at no cost to them.
Hawkins said maybe if they (employees) see the figures, it might change their minds.
Veach informed the council that the city had been offered a FAA grant for the taxiway extension. The grant offer must be accepted by Aug. 25.
The council voted unanimously to pass a resolution accepting the grant offer.
The council voted unanimously to accept the low bids for the airport work. Phase one (dirt work) was awarded to Precision Grading with a bid of $189,504.50. Phase two (paving) of the project was awarded to Cameron Construction in the amount of $137,655.50.
Veach commented that the water improvement project is on schedule. The council members agreed on "Home of the Lions" with paw prints to be painted on the city water tower.
Veach reminded the council that Denso will hold an application day at the Manila Airport Center from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.
"I've talked to the Manila Industries about catering refreshments for the day," Veach said.
Veach pointed out that new jobs in the area are good for all of the towns.
"Manila is ready for growth. We have a new sewer system and a new water system. We also have building lots available. We have a lot to offer," Veach said.
The Manila City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the meeting room at Manila City Hall.