Annexation, street paving, the purchase of a new garbage truck and the construction of a new fire station were among the topics discussed at the Manila city council meeting on Monday night. All council members, Gaylon Gammill, Dean Cherry, Dwight Booth, Larry "Whiz" Davis, Linda Donovan and Leroy Douglas, were present.
Mayor Clifford Veach updated council members on the work being done on the proposed annexation project.
"A lot of work has been done since the last meeting," Veach said. "Doug Smith is working hard getting signatures on a petition for annexation. We had a couple of areas that did not work out. The people that live next to the county road (next to Bill Crowell's home) do not want in the city limits. We can stop on the line. We could force it, but I don't think that is the way to handle it. Wayne Wagner (city attorney) and I have looked at it and we decided the best thing to do is stop on the straight line."
Veach said Wagner is working on getting in touch with some out of the area land owners.
Wagner said the annexation will go to the west line of the Jolliff Subdivision. All the residents in Jolliff Subdivision want to be annexed into the city. The north side of the annexation will cut off at the east line at the Ashabranner home place; crossing over to the south side of Highway 18 and to the row of pine trees.
"It will be all straight lines," Wagner said.
Veach said he hopes to have the petition ready for the council to vote on at next month's meeting but it may take longer to get the maps drawn and everything together.
Veach said they are also looking at going east on Highway 18 to Oates Construction to the county road, going down Highway 18 where Police Chief Hill lives.
Veach said he had been in contact with Mike George with Atlas Asphalt Company. He reported paving could begin next week or it could be toward the end of October.
"I think he (George) is going to be good to work with," Veach said. "There are a lot of little places he is aware of. If you (council members) find any places that need attention, let me know."
Council members had no objection to Mayor Veach preparing a bid advertisement for a new garbage truck. Veach gave a rough ballpark figure of $85,000 to $90,000 for a unit.
"We have $116,000 in the sanitation department," Veach said. "Henry (Ford, water and sewer superintendent) has approached me more than once on work needing to be done at the transfer station. I'll have him get a cost estimate."
Mayor Veach also mentioned the possibility of a new fire station.
"We have had this one a while and we have outgrown it," Veach said.
Possible sites were discussed. Veach said he would look into any grant money available through Rural Development.
"I think it is a doable thing when you look at the project," Veach said.
No action was taken. Veach asked the council members to think about it as a future project.
In other business:
*Council members heard a request from David Hutton, 304 Duncan Cove, for a variance to build a shop. Hutton said he had talked to his neighbor and gotten their approval. The council agreed unanimously to grant a variance if his neighbor had no problems with it.
*Mayor Veach and council reviewed the budget.
"We are two-thirds of the way home," Veach said. "It looks like we are doing pretty well. We have a few bumps. We have paid a lot on the water project and we will get reimbursed for that. I don't see any real problems."
*Following a discussion on a sidewalk grant, the council agreed not to accept the grant.
"I sent a memo explaining what it will cost the city," Veach said. "It will cost the city $40,000. I'm not ready to recommend going forward with the project."
Councilman Gaylon Gammill said he remembered looking at the project in 2001 and it was the matching money that stopped the project then.
"We were not as sound then as now," Gammill said.
Councilman Davis said he thought it was too much money for the benefit and made the motion to turn down the grant.
*Veach reported the free day at the transfer station was a success.
*Councilman Donovan asked about the status of the building on Baltimore Street that is being torn down. Veach said he talked to the owner last week and he wants the city to haul off the brick and concrete.
"We have to give him a price," Veach said. "I appreciate the people of Manila being patient while we are working on it."
*Veach said he had a woman call him about putting a skateboard park in town.
"It is a national company," Veach said. "They have them all over. It would not take much property. We should know more about it at the next meeting. She said she would send us a package.
*Councilman Booth asked about street numbers on Chipman Lane. Mayor Veach said they would work on that.
*"We should start thinking about additional storm sirens," Booth said.
Veach said David Lendennie, Mississippi County emergency officer, discouraged the sirens and encouraged everyone to buy weather radios.
"He said sirens are not made for people inside and they are not working right."
Councilman Douglas said he had been outside at his house and could not hear the siren. He said he thought the city needed more sirens around town.
Veach said the quotes the company proposed for two new sirens at different locations are still close to the same.