Manila Council meets new clerk/treasurer

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Manila Mayor Clifford Veach introduced the newly hired clerk/treasurer, Rebecca Hartgrave, to members of the City Council at the July meeting on Monday evening, July 20. The council voted to hire Hartgrave during a special called meeting earlier in the month following the resignation of Susan Jackson.

Veach said he had scheduled computer software people to come in and work with Hartgrave for a few days to help familiarize her with the city's program. He also said he would be discussing upgrading the city's computer system.

Hartgrave will be joining the city staff at the end of the month.

Veach updated the council on the airport grants. Projects include the widening of the run-way, repairs to the large hangar and a fuel system.

The grant for the hangar renovation is 90/10 and an 80/20 for the fuel system.

"Both are good deals," Veach said.

The hangar will receive a new roof, insulation, and door repairs.

Veach reported on the park concession stand renovation.

"We added a few add-ons," Veach said. "It looks good and will be an asset to the park."

Attorney Wayne Wagner updated the council on the annexation progress reporting all of the signatures had been acquired from the north of town, south of town and west of city limits.

"Everyone has signed except one home on the north of town and it is on the back of a subdivision and will not affect the annexation," Wagner said. "Everyone signed along the Douglas subdivision except for one owner at the end of the area who wants to keep the area open for horses. We have the signatures for the lots west of town across from Towell Auto. Judge Steve McGuire will meet and we should be ready to accept the area into the city during the September meeting and it should all be done and ready for the 2010 census."

Wagner said voters annexed in the north of town will be in 21B and 22 in the south annexation. He said he had plans to file the annexation plans on Tuesday.

"I received a call from residents on Olympia East wanting to be annexed," Wagner said. "I told them to bring me the signatures and we would go from there."

Mayor Veach reported the city had not received any more payments from FEMA on the ice storm clean up.

"We got the first part but are still waiting for the rest," Veach said. "We have contractors still waiting on money. The state will not pay any until after FEMA payments are completed."

Veach was pleased to announce the city has been approved for the sewer expansion project off Johnson Street and Costner Road.

"We applied for a $160,000 grant with us putting in $30,000," Veach said. "I received a letter saying we had been denied but in the next sentence said we had been chosen to receive money from a special fund. I have been told it was a project picked by the Governor. We will start the project as soon as funds are available."

Veach said he had received a fax late in the day from Pafford Ambulance Service.

Veach had informed the council at a special called meeting, he had met with representatives from the ambulance service and there were some issues to be addressed. He had requested the ambulance service make a request in writing. Veach distributed copies of the fax to council members for them to review. He said he would get more information before they meet again and discuss it.

Council accepted Mayor Veach's recommendation on maintenance work on the city pumps.

"Henry (Henry Ford, water and sewer supervisor) talked to the people who do the work and received an estimate is $25,000 to $30,000 each," Veach said.

Veach recommended having one done this year and the other one next year.

Ford said he thought it is just wear on the pumps and propellers will need to be replaced and brace the shaft and column. One pump was put in service in 1998 and the other one on Floyd Street was rebuilt in 2001 at the cost of $18,000.

"We are not in trouble yet, it is just showing signs of wear," Ford said.

Council member Leroy Douglas made the motion to have one done this year and the next one next year.

"We have to make sure we keep the water flowing," Douglas said.

In other business:

*After reviewing plans, including the easements, the council voted unanimously to accept Farmer Addition 3 located behind Freds.

*Council woman Linda Donovan expressed her appreciation to Chief Jackie Hill for the work he is doing on keeping property cleaned up. She asked what the council can do to help with situations where the owner cannot be found or work goes undone. She mentioned one piece of property that had gone on for three years. Attorney Wagner said the way the ordinance is written now, the city can clean the property and put a lien on the property and maybe get money if the property ever sells. Wagner said he would look at other ordinances to see if there were other options.

*Veach said he had a request from a person wanting to have an appreciation day for music artists who had lived in the area.

"She was asking about Jerry Jay and having an appreciation day to have him back to Manila," Veach said. "I'd like to see it happen. We could feature artists and maybe a talent show for our young people."

Councilman Donnie Wagner said the Lions Club will be hosting the annual Chili Cook-Off the first weekend in October. He suggested possibility scheduling it during then with a show at the community center on Friday night and on stage during the chili cook-off.

*Wagner asked about the possibility of getting the council terms changed from two year to four year terms. Mayor Veach said it would take a special election. Councilman Douglas suggested checking on the cost of a special election.

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