Manila Council members voted to accept an agreement with Mississippi County to pay jail fees for housing of municipal prisoners at the Monday, Sept. 20, meeting.
Manila Mayor Clifford Veach informed the council that if Manila accepts the same agreement as the city of Blytheville, Manila would owe an estimated $2,895. This would pay the charges through June. The agreement is to pay $15 a day for the housing of municipal prisoners from Nov. 2003 to Dec. 31, 2005, with the contract to be renegotiated in September of each year.
"I don't have any choice but to recommend we accept this agreement," Veach said. "I'm not saying I agree with it. When you have two sides and both think they are right, it can make for quite an argument."
The council agreed unanimously to enter into the agreement with the county to pay $15 a day jail fees.
Manila Chief of Police Jackie Hill said that there were no bad feelings among the city and county officers.
"We have a good working relationship. We are still going to work together and help each other when where we are needed," Hill said.
Donna Bray, candidate for Mississippi County Circuit Court addressed the council briefly introducing herself saying she has 19 years of experience working as a deputy clerk for nine years and a chief deputy clerk for the last 10 years.
Mayor Veach updated the council on the status of the airport grant.
"We're all signed and sealed," Veach said. "The documentation has been sent to FAA. As soon as everything is approved, we will have a pre-construction meeting and then the work will begin."
Mayor Veach also commented on the water improvement project.
"I've seen improvement. We are getting good water quality. I think Mr. Ford (water superintendent) and his people are to be commended," Veach said. "We are going to have a first class water system to go with our first class sewer system."
In other business:
*Council agreed to have the roof and trim replaced at the Girl Scout building at a cost of $2,109.
*A discussion was held on retirement services for city employees. Everyone agreed to have representatives of the systems to come to a meeting so the council can make an intelligent decision.
*Mayor Veach informed the council that the 2003 audit had been approved.
*Veach told the council that Federal Warehouse in Manila has a 68,000 square foot expansion underway.
"They are good people and have been easy to work with," Veach said.
*The budget was reviewed to date. Mayor Veach commented that everything was on target. He said the swimming pool fund was steadily growing and has a balance of $71,036.
*Councilman Tony Hawkins discussed putting slag on approximately 150x250' parking area at the ball park.
"Parking is limited and this would make it better. It will take approximately 40-50 loads. It won't affect the ball fields."
*Councilman Gaylon Gammill asked about the cemetery.
"I have had a citizen ask me about equipment being used that is too large and causing damage," Gammill said.
Mayor Veach said those questions should be referred to members of the cemetery board.
*Mayor Veach called for an executive session to discuss possible disciplinary action against some employees. The session lasted approximately 15 minutes and no action was taken.