Manila council hears clean-up status

Monday, March 23, 2009

Manila Mayor Clifford Veach updated council members on the city-wide debris clean-up at the regular monthly meeting held Monday, March 16. The January ice storm left tons of limbs and trees down throughout the area. For several weeks Mayor Veach met with FEMA representatives working through a bid process for the clean-up work.

Manila Council members Linda Donovan and Larry "Whiz" Davis look over plans to improve the concession stand at the ball park. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Veach said as of Friday, the contractors have covered all of the streets in town and started their second pass through on Monday morning. The tree trimming crew has covered approximately 70 percent of the town. The tree trimmers are taking down hanging limbs along the right of ways.

Veach once again stressed residents need to place debris near the streets so the clean-up crew can pick it up. The contractors cannot go onto private property.

"We had a representative from FEMA here on Friday," Veach said. "We gave them the information on what has been done as of Thursday. So far clean-up expenses have totaled between $90,000 to $100,000. There should be less debris to pick up the second time around. We estimated the trees needing trimming at 700 but we have already gone over that. Clean-up could run $150,000 or better. I'm not going to make any more guesses. It is not just our town, other towns have more debris than expected. As it stands right now, the city will pay for 12-1/2 percent of the total cost."

Veach asked council members if they have had any complaints on the clean-up.

Councilman Leroy Douglas said he had a few complaints but when he checked, the debris was placed under wires or trees.

Again Veach encouraged everyone to get debris out by the streets.

"Some towns have established a cut off date," Veach said. "I don't know if it is necessary for us yet but I'll keep you all posted as we go along."

Veach suggested setting the annual city-wide clean-up in conjunction with the county clean-up.

"I received a letter from Judge Steve McGuire informing us the county clean-up will start April 25," Veach said. "We need to coordinate with them. We get half off on the landfill dumping fees during this time."

Following a discussion, the council voted unanimously to set five Saturdays, beginning April 25 for the clean-up. Saturdays will include April 25, May 2, 9, 16, and 23. There will be no charge at the transfer station for dumping for city residents on the five Saturdays.

Ford said items that cannot be accepted include tires, batteries, chemicals, paints, and roofing shingles.

Council members looked over preliminary plans for improvements for the concession stand at the Manila ballpark. Veach said it would be good for the park.

"It is a project we need to do and we have the money to do it," Veach said. "I'm not asking for a decision tonight. Drive out to the park and see what you think."

Improvements include bricking the existing building, moving the storage area from the east end to the west end, pouring concrete on three sides, and adding a metal roof.

In other business:

*Mayor Veach and council members reviewed the budget.

*Mayor Veach announced the water improvement project debt for $300,000 has been paid in full. He said the one fourth cent sales tax voted on by the citizens to fund the project will stop on July 1.

*Councilman Larry Davis said the old pumping station building at the park needs attention. Councilman Douglas said all of the electrical boxes will need to be taken into consideration.

*City Attorney Wayne Wagner said he is still working on the annexation.

"We need to get it completed this year so it will count on next year's census," Wagner said.

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

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