Manila Mayor Clifford Veach and city council members reviewed the 2008 budget to date at the regular May meeting Monday evening, May 19.
"Things are going along pretty good," Mayor Veach said.
Veach reported work on the new fire station has started.
He asked for an approval on a small change in plans for the fire station. The new fire station will be located on Olympia Street.
"It was discovered we ended up with a two inch water fill line and we need a three inch line," Veach said. "It was cost an extra $3,300."
The council had no objections to the change and voted unanimously to go with the three inch line.
Veach said the horse arena project is still on hold as he is waiting to get more information. He spoke to several representatives about available funds for a youth center.
"It will probably be 2009 before money is available," Veach said. "It will be next August before we could get any money, but it is worth waiting on if we have a chance to get half or more of the project funded. There may also be funds available through the ADEC. I've checked on everything from a skating rink, bowling lanes, games and other activities. I welcome all ideas. I can see all kinds of possibilities for an area youth center."
Veach told the council the Ordinance Codification books have been completed and are in.
"They did a good job," Veach said. "We need to have it looked at closely and make sure everything is in order before we accept it."
Mayor Veach asked the council to be considering what to do with the ambulance subsidy funds. President of Medic-One, the ambulance service in Manila, announced last month they would no longer have to have the subsidy funding.
"The $1 charge on water bills was first set aside for mosquito control but right after it was passed, it was changed to help subsidize the ambulance service," Veach said. "It comes up to about $1,400 to $1,500 a month. I will put the funding in a separate account until we decide what to do with it."
The council agreed to hire Dan Gamble as electrical inspector.
"I have talked to Dan Gamble and I have talked to people in Little Rock on requirements on certification," Veach said. "It takes 12 hours of classes and a refresher class each year. There will not be another class until September. He can start working with the state inspectors and learning what we need immediately."
Gamble is a master electrician in heating and air.
Gamble said the only expense to the city until he gets certified will be literature, forms or books.
Veach said Byron Hitchcock is interested in getting his property, consisting of four lots, annexed into the city.
"He needs to get the street up above water," Veach said. "We do need another entrance and exit out of the Brewer Subdivision. I will have more information on the project later."
In other business:
*Veach said the Saturday May clean-up is going well with steady traffic. The clean-up will continue through the Saturdays in May.
*Chief Hill updated the council on clean-up efforts on properties in town.
*Veach said the city has a new phone system, a separate fax line, and now has caller identification. The city was paying rental fees of $116.50 a month for the previous system. The contract expired last August. Veach said the new system will save $360 a year.
"I'm satisfied with the service at this point," he said.
*He announced the health benefit rates will go up $40.50 a month starting July 1.
*Veach recommended the appointment of Geraldine Cherry to a five year term on the Housing Authority Commission. The council, with the exception of Dean Cherry who abstained, voted in favor of Veach's recommendation.