Bob Lewis of the Gosnell Police Department and the Mississippi County Office of Emergency Services staff spoke to the Manila City Council at its regular meeting Monday, July 18, about the national incident management system, or NIMS, training.
Lewis, who is one of the county's NIMS trainers, told the council that NIMS came about by federal mandate and not complying with the training could affect federal monies agencies receive. He said anyone involved in working during an emergency or disaster, whether it is responding or policy making, has to be certified in NIMS as well as incident command system 100 and 200.
Lewis said NIMS came about after Sept. 11 when different emergency response agencies had trouble
communicating with each other because they each had their own codes and language.
"With this system you don't use codes, you use plain English," Lewis said. "That way everyone is talking the same language. It is a good principle, and it is a good system."
Lewis said everyone, including elected officials, has to be trained in NIMS by Oct. 1, and
cities will need to pass a resolution adopting the NIMS system. He said the city of Gosnell has already adopted NIMS, and the county is expected to adopt the system as well. Lewis told the council that in addition to adopting NIMS they would also have to adopt a mutual aid agreement with other agencies that would be helping the city of Manila if there were a disaster.
Lewis told the council that there are five people in the county trained to train others in NIMS but there is going to be another train-the-trainer session in August. He said Manila and any other city that would like to send people to get certified to instruct NIMS can attend that session.
Lewis reminded the council that the office of emergency services would provide the incident
command system training and NIMS training at the Manila Community Center. He said training will be offered every Tuesday and Thursday night through the first week of August at various locations in the county. Lewis said anyone can attend the free training sessions.
"We know we are not going to be able to train everyone right now," Lewis said. "But we will be
offering more training sessions, and if you need me to I would be happy to come do a special training session here in Manila."
Manila Mayor Clifford Veach said the council will be ready with a resolution to adopt NIMS at its next meeting in August. He also suggested the fire department and possibly the police department send a few people to the train-the-trainer sessions being held in August so that the city would have NIMS instructors.
For more information and a complete list of dates and times for NIMS training contact Mississippi County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator David Lendennie at 763-5110.
Cliff Birklund, owner of Little City Liquor in Manila, and a small group Manila citizens, were also
at the council meeting Monday night to talk about liquor licenses. Birklund said Manila already had two businesses with off-premises liquor licenses and three more with on-premises liquor licenses. He said another business in Manila is applying for a liquor license, which would make six in the town.
"I don't know how many this town needs," Birklund said.
Birklund said the new gas station owners in Manila are applying for a beer license and would sell the
product just a little over cost, which he says is unfair to the rest of the businesses in Manila.
Birklund asked each council member to write to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on behalf of the
citizens of Manila requesting the board turn down the liquor license application. The council said they would take the matter under advisement.
In other business the council accepted a bid of $16,300 by Oates Construction in Manila to replace the roof on the city's water treatment plant. The council also accepted Atlas Asphalt's bid for some of Manila's street-paving projects. The bid was $48 a ton for asphalt.
Veach told the council the paving for the Manila Municipal Airport taxiway extension project is set to begin this week.
Veach recommended the council appoint Manila citizen and former county appraiser Doug Smith to talk to citizens outside of Manila about the possibility of annexation.
"He knows about the taxes, and he will represent Manila well," Veach said. "He said he would be glad to do it."
Manila city attorney Wayne Wagner said he would actually prepare the petition for annexation and as he and Smith talk to people they will gather signatures.
The council unanimously agreed to let Smith talk to the people.
Veach announced that the city's three part-time employees will get the same 5 percent bonuses they got last year. He also announced the city has purchased certificates of deposit from First National Bank at 3.25 percent interest for six months.
The council talked about the need to replace or repair the air conditioning system at the Manila
Community Center. Manila Police Chief Jackie Hill also announced that Manila is in compliance with court costs and that property clean-up is going well.