Manila Council approves employee bonuses

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Town Crier News Staff

Manila City Council members worked through a short agenda Monday night approving city employee year end bonuses, voting to order a police vehicle, and reviewing the 2007 proposed budget.

Mayor Clifford Veach recommended employee year end bonuses of $500 for full time employees and $300 for part-time employees.

"We have 14 full time employees and three part-time employees," he said. "Last year we gave $300 and $150. We've had a good year financially and they (employees) are the reason."

Councilman Dwight Booth's made a motion to give full time employees $500 and part-time $300, second by Councilman Gaylon Gammill passed unanimously.

Mayor Veach requested the council approve the expenditure for a new police vehicle.

"There is a 90 day delivery time frame and I would like to see it ordered before the first of the year," Veach said. 'It is in the proposed budget."

Veach said the Dodge Durango lists for under $19,000 with the Chevrolet Impala a little cheaper, a Dodge Charger about the same as the Durango and a Crown Victoria a little more.

The council approved the order unanimously.

Veach gave a budget comparison to date.

"We are 83 percent through the year," Veach said. "We have collected 91 percent of money and spent 78 percent in the General Fund. The Street Department has collected 81 percent and spent 59 percent with Sanitation 88 percent collected and 89 percent spent. In the Parks and Recreation department 81 percent of the money has been collected with 96 percent spent. The Water fund has collected 95 percent spending 93 percent. Repairs have been a big item in the water department. In the Sewer Department we have collected 85 percent of the funds spending 73 percent. The Airport has collected 72 percent of the funds spending 96 percent.

"The airport collected better than $50,000 in November from the cotton crop. I have heard it is a record year for some of the land. There is still a little in the fields."

Veach said they will look at the needed amendments next month.

Veach said the street paving project had been completed with the cost going a little over the estimated $50,000. The total was $58,000.

"They did an excellent job this year," Veach said. "It was all new which makes it even better. We will have some money for next year."

Veach updated the council on the new fire station grant project.

"There is one item we are still working on," Veach said. "We have complied with everything the Untied States Department of Agriculture has requested. We are working on getting the proposed location surveyed."

Veach presented a 2007 proposed budget.

"By law I have to furnish you with a proposed budget in November," Veach said. "I want you to accept it for what it is -- a proposed budget. We will have the final one in January."

He asked the council to look over the budget and be ready to discuss it in December.

Veach said the boll weevil spraying ended a little earlier this year and the city has settled up.

"The same people would like to go ahead and sign a contract for next year like the one this year," Veach said. "I have no problem with it. They have been the best we have worked with. They lived up to everything they said they would do. We don't have to sign until April or May. Whiz (Councilman Larry Davis) has worked with them and said he did not have any problems."

The council approved allowing the city to enter into a contract with Don Folden Flying Service for the 2006 boll weevil spraying season.

In other business:

*Veach informed the council members he had received a letter stating the auditors had filed (approved) the water/sewer 2005 audit.

*Veach announced Barry Baker, longtime Manila volunteer firefighter, will be retiring at the end of November. Veach commended Baker for his service to the fire department.

"He (Baker) is the kind of guy who will be there if you need him," Veach said.

*Veach announced the annual Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 2.

"I have selected Carroll and June Towell as Grand Marshal," Veach said. "Mr. Towell recently retired from the fire department and they have always been there making contributions to the fire department and the community. We need to pay tribute to the people who have helped make Manila a good place to live."

*Veach informed the council that the city is under a court summons over a garnishment agreement with a former employee from March 2005.

"We did respond to the order but for some reason, they say we did not. We have our records," Veach said. "Attorney Wayne Wagner feels it will be solved once it goes to court."

*Councilman Booth commended Manila Animal Control Officer who recently helped a family find their lost dog.

"He does a good job," Veach said. "We have a good arrangement. He works in Manila and Leachville. I hope we can continue with the arrangement."

*Mr. and Mrs. Jim Henry asked the council if they had "come up with anything" on the mobile home moved in on the lot behind his daughter's home. Councilman Dean Cherry said he had been told the papers were getting straightened out it will be turned and surveyed. Mayor Veach suggested they talk to Fred Burks, code enforcement officer.

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