Manila council amends budget

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Manila City Council approved budget amendments, a retirement plan for city employees, and Christmas bonuses at the December meeting held Monday evening, Dec 20. All council members were present.

Mayor Clifford Veach told the council members that six departments needed to be amended.

"We are 90-92 percent through the year and the general fund is a little short, the animal control, fire and street departments are in good shape, but the police and sanitation departments are over budget."

He explained the reason for the sanitation department over budget is due partly because of repairs to the truck that had to have a new transmission.

He went on to say that parks and recreation are in good shape, the water and sewer departments would need amending, the airport and swimming pool are in good shape. He said the police and fire insurance are a little over mainly because of some transfers and wrong posting.

He also said one reason for the amendments was bonuses given that were not budgeted.

City Attorney Wayne Wagner read Ordinance 2004-09 to amend the 2004 budget. Amended police budget was $274,000; sanitation $137,000; water $305,000; sewer $265,084; LOPFI $32,000; and Act 833 $11,000.

A motion was made to read the ordinance a second and third time by title only.

The council unanimously (6-0) approved the amendments.

Following a short discussion, the council unanimously approved the ordinance to obtain a retirement investment plan for full time city employees.

Mayor Veach said before the meeting closed, he wanted to recognize Councilman Tony Hawkins for his four years of public service to the city of Manila.

"I appreciate every public servant," Veach said. "This is something to be proud of and I appreciate you."

"I know this is my last meeting, but there are still some things on my mind that I would appreciate the council taking a closer look at next year," Hawkins said. "We talked about the seven or eight houses on Lake Street that are not on city sewer. I know we got busy with the big sewer project, but I would appreciate the council looking at this project again. I would also like the council to look at the project at the park we have been talking about.

"I've enjoyed serving on the council and I will miss it. If the city ever needs me, I'm only a phone call away."

In other business:

*Mayor Veach updated the council on the airport project saying it has not started but should begin next month.

*Veach spoke briefly on the health insurance that will be going up $75.50 per person. He said the city has to look at ways to get that down.

"There are several options and I'm in the middle of several of them," Veach said. "I will let you know when I know something. We are locked in. I've talked to several companies and they will not insure fire fighters. I was told by one company that they did know of anyone that does."

*The council approved Christmas bonuses in the same amount as last year for full time and part time employees.

"We may be a little late because of the way the meeting fell," Veach said. "The checks should be ready tomorrow."

*Veach informed the council that the Municipal League meeting will be held Jan. 12-14 in Little Rock. He said a reception and tour of the Clinton Library will be held.

*Veach also said that he had talked to Justice of the Peace Michael White and the swearing in ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 1 at city hall.

*Councilman Dean Cherry said he had about six telephone calls about the community center not being opened in the morning for walkers. Veach said it was a matter of getting someone to open it each morning. He asked Chief Jackie Hill if an officer could open it. Hill said they could if they were not answering a call.

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