Manila sells old fire station
Manila City Council members reviewed and accepted the higher bid for the old fire station at a special called meeting held Monday, Aug. 31. All council members were present.
Manila Mayor Clifford Veach said the city had received two bids, $52,400 from Harold Stallings and $65,000 from Emerson Ambulance Service.
Councilman Leroy Douglas commented the higher bid was in line with his thoughts on the price.
Councilman Larry "Whiz" Davis said it was beyond the appraisal amount and he felt it shows Emerson's commitment to the city.
In the regular August meeting, the city council voted to go with Emerson Ambulance Service as primary service for Manila.
Kirk Beeson with Emerson Ambulance Service was present at the meeting and addressed the council.
"Thank you for the opportunity to serve the community," Beeson said. "I am here to answer any questions you may have and reassure you we are here to stay."
Beeson told the council plans have been mapped out to ensure an ambulance will be within minutes of Manila when the Manila unit has to be out of town.
"When the Manila ambulance leaves Manila, the Monette ambulance will be moved to the Leachville cut-off," Beeson said. "We have an agreement with Mississippi County to bring an ambulance to the Dell area when Manila's ambulance is out of town. We can't plan for every action but I can say we will do the best we can."
He said the city is working with the police department to get the ambulance calls direct. The direct telephone number will remain the same. They have plans to remodel the old fire station.
"If anyone has a problem, or your constituents come to you with a problem, you have to let us know," he said. "We can't fix it if we don't know about it. Mr. (Toby) Emerson takes care of the business. Emerson has not been in business for 75 years by not fixing the problems."
Beeson said he has worked for Emerson for 15 years.
The council reviewed a proposed contract with Emerson Ambulance Service.
"City Attorney Wayne Wagner and I have looked at it and we think it is a good contract," Mayor Veach said. "Mr. Emerson will be back next week and if the council acts on the contract we can move forward then. I don't think there is anything in the contract that can't be worked out."
Councilman Donnie Wager said he thought it is a good contract. Council voted unanimously to allow Mayor Veach to go forward with the contract.
"It is my understanding Pafford Ambulance Service left over the weekend," Mayor Veach said. "I sent a letter asking them to stay through Aug. 31 or give us a notice but I didn't get a notice."
Henry Ford, utilities superintendent, said several items including two heaters, a big air conditioner, a television and a refrigerator belonging to the city had been taken from the building used by Pafford.
"I don't believe Pafford would have taken them," Veach said. "We will be looking into it."
Mayor Veach recommended removing the $1 ambulance fee from the resident's water bills as of September.
The $1 fee was added to the water bill several years ago to help with a $2,000 a month compensation for the ambulance service. Medic One dropped the additional fee in 2008. Mayor Veach said the accumulated amount will be used to help with utilities or other needs for the ambulance service. The city has always provided utilities including telephone, gas, electricity, water, sewer and garbage pick up.
Veach said the city will continue paying the utilities. A review of the amounts for the last year's utilties for the building housing the ambulance service totaled an average of $259 a month.
"They (Emerson) will be in a larger building and I anticipate utilities to be more," Veach said.