Manila Council agrees to order more weather radios

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Manila Mayor Clifford Veach informed city council members the city had received the balance of the 200 hand-held weather radios and 100 larger, dual purpose weather radios. Veach displayed both models at the regular February meeting on Monday evening.

"We've sold about 100 of the handheld models and the others will go on sale tomorrow," Veach said. "If the council has no objections, I will order another 100 of the larger radios."

Council members had no objection to ordering the additional dual purpose radios.

Council members looked into the weather radios and outside weather alarms earlier in the year in an effort to alert citizens of possible storms. The council agreed to purchase the weather radios and allow Manila residents to buy the radios at half of the city's cost. Because the city purchased in large quantities, they received a good price on the weather radios. Total price for the hand held radio is $14.95 and total price for the dual purpose weather radio is $16.01. The cost includes tax and batteries.

Mayor Veach said he had not heard any criticism on the weather radios.

Manila residents with a water meter may purchase one radio per meter at the front office of city hall during working hours.

(Over 60 of the dual purpose radios were sold Tuesday through Thursday, and over 100 of the hand-held radios have been purchased.)

Mayor Veach updated the council on the new garbage truck and progress on annexation.

"We expect delivery in about two to three weeks," Mayor Veach said. "It will be a great thing for the city to get that going.

"Wayne (Wayne Wagner, city attorney) has been handling the annexation. I think he only likes ones signature."

Mayor Veach said he has been busy working on a grant for a new fire station.

"There is a lot of information needed for application," Veach said. "We will need to get our application in within a month or so. Fire Chief Jerry Hitchcock and I have been working on it. We are moving forward with this. I have heard indirectly that there may be a party interested in the old building."

Police Chief Jackie Hill gave a city clean-up report saying the weather has slowed down the work.

"I have talked to a few residents and am working with them," Hill said.

Veach said it is time for the city to get tougher on clean-up.

Councilman Gaylon Gammill said he had been approached by a citizen about tearing down an older house and moving in a mobile home on the lot.

Mayor Veach said he would need to research the ordinance with the guidelines concerning mobile homes.

Chief Hill said he thought if the house is torn down a mobile home could be moved in if the owner lives in it, but not for rental property.

No action was taken.

Mayor Veach gave the State of the City report saying the city is in good financial condition.

"We are slowly improving in an area or two," Veach said. "We got hit with a few major repairs last year but I'm well pleased with the finances of the city.

"We started and finished a $1.3 million sewer expansion project a $300,000 water improvement project, received a $250,000 grant for the airport. Hopefully, we will have a grant for a new fire station."

Veach said several new vehicles had been purchased, park improvements have been made, and the city received access to the head start building.

"The building will be a plus for us in years to come," Veach said. We started the weather radio program, and had a lot of clean-up last year. We had a good year last year and are expect to have another one this year."

In other business:

*Mayor Veach talked about the spring Carnival scheduled to be in town April 26-29. Last year the city turned the city's proceeds from carnival over to the Buffalo Island Relay for Life and plan to do so again this year.

*Veach said he had a five-year contract with the Head Start for the building and if the council had no objections he would sign the contract. Veach said it looked like a good agreement for them and the city. Council members expressed no objection to the contract.

*Veach reported he had received notice that the city's state audit had been approved and filed.

*Veach said Tony Peterson, pro golfer in the Blytheville area, had visited him about making a donation to the First Tee. The First Tee is a program that gives kids the opportunity to participate in golf at no charge.

"Like the Relay for Life, it is a good project," Veach said. "It is illegal for the city to make donations."

Veach said he would look into the possibility of the city purchasing advertisement from the First Tee Program like it has done with the Relay for Life. He said he would look into it and have more information on it at the next meeting.

*Veach said he is working with Chief Hill on a new employee in the police department.

"It is in the preliminary stages," Veach said. "I will keep you informed."

The Manila City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Monday night of each month.

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