Manila council amends 2006 budget

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Town Crier News Staff

Manila City Council met for the last regular scheduled meeting of the year amending the 2006 budget, raising rates on rural water sales, and hearing updates on new police vehicle and work on airport lighting.

Mayor Clifford Veach called the meeting to order with all present except council member Gaylon Gammill. Attending were council members Dean Cherry, LeRoy Douglas, Dwight Booth, Linda Donovan, and Larry "Whiz" Davis. Newly elected council member Don E. Wagner observed at the meeting and was welcomed by the Mayor and council members.

Mayor Veach reviewed the yearly budget comparison reporting nine departments would need amending. He said the sewer department would need to be amended because the city made a larger payment than was budgeted.

"Some would be within the legal limits but I would rather go ahead and amend the figures to include all necessary changes," Mayor Veach said.

An ordinance was passed unanimously by city council to amend the 2006 budget expenditures in the Animal Control, Fire Department, Street Department, Sanitation Department, Parks & Recreation Department, Water Department, Airport Department, Firemen's Pension Fund, and Sewer Expansion Sales Tax Fund.

Mayor Veach updated the council on the progress of the new fire station.

"We have everything in they have asked for," Veach said. "We should hear from them in a month or so."

Veach reported the airport lighting work is underway.

"If the weather cooperates, it should be done within a month or less," Veach said.

Mayor Veach asked council members if they had any objections to a Dodge Charger instead of a Dodge Durango for the police department. The Council had approved ordering a Dodge Durango at the last meeting.

"I thought the officers wanted the Durango but I was mistaken," Veach said. "They wanted the Dodge Charger."

The council had no objections to the change.

Mayor Veach recommended raising rates to Buffalo Island Rural Water from $1.50 to $2 per 1,000 gallons as of Jan. 1. Veach said there has not been a raise in five years.

"The first raise was after 10 or 12 years," Veach said. "We raised the rates for residents in town and my feelings are we should not sell water less than what our people have to pay."

He also pointed out a clause in the contract with Buffalo Island Rural Water specifying a maximum amount of water to be sold at two million gallons a month.

"We have been exceeding it," Veach said.

Councilman Douglas said he thought the rate increase is in line.

Veach said it is stated in the contract any rate adjustments has to be shown as justified.

"We are certainly justified in charging $2," Veach said.

Councilman Booth asked if there could be a penalty placed on excess of maximum gallons instead of just cutting off the water.

Councilman Davis agreed the rate increase is fair.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the rate increase.

"Their (Buffalo Island Rural Water) services are appreciated," Veach said. "I used to live in the country."

"We may need to do a study and see if we need more reserve water," Douglas said.

Veach said he would talk to representatives of Buffalo Island Rural Water and get back with the council at the next meeting.

Veach reported the farm rent on the airport land was in and it had been a good year. Rent was a little over $125,000.

"We have CDs coming up the first of January and I don't see any reason not to reinvest interest and all," Veach said.

Mayor Veach requested an executive session to discuss personnel.

Council returned with no action taken.

Councilman Davis said he would like to thank the people of Manila.

"I have seen a lot more Christmas lights this year," Davis said.

"We had a great parade and I think Tony Bunch did a great job," Councilwoman Donovan said.

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