Manila Mayor Clifford Veach announced at the regular council meeting held Monday, March 15, he had appointed a new fire chief, Keith Bennett.
"The firemen will start meeting every Thursday night," Mayor Veach said.
"They will be having a dinner at the fire station on Thursday, March 25, and all city officials are invited."
Mayor Veach asked the council's opinion on tearing down the old swimming pool building at the city park.
"It is an old building and it would take a lot of money to fix it up," Veach said. "I'm sure the park commission can think of a good use for the area."
The council expressed no objections to tearing down the building.
Council members present were Larry "Whiz" Davis, Linda Donovan, Donnie Wagner, Geraldine Cherry, and Joni Isabell. LeRoy Douglas was absent.
Following the approval of the minutes and review of the budget to date, Mayor Veach updated the council on pending grants. He said as far as he could tell, everything was in order for the grants for the city utility building project.
He said they are also waiting on the sewer grant project. The city received word they have the grant and Veach said they are waiting on the contract.
"We applied for a grant to help with a new heating and air conditioning system at the Airport Center," Mayor Veach said. "The total project is $45,000 and we asked for a $35,000 grant with our part being $10,000. We received $10,000. We have one and a half years to spend it."
Later in the meeting Veach asked for approval of the council to apply for an Arkansas Energy Office grant to help with the heating and air conditioning project. The council voted unanimously to allow Mayor Veach to proceed with the grant application.
"We have $10,000 and maybe we will qualify for another grant," he said.
Veach said he had been contacted by Ronnie Kennett informing him that Boe Adams had decided to charge land renters 20 percent for cotton this year instead of the usual 25 percent.
"He asked if we would consider 20 percent for the airport property," Mayor Veach said.
"I told him I would bring it up to the council."
"We always hate to take less money but Mr. Adams has done a lot for the airport ground," Councilman Davis said. "He has put water on it and the wells now belong to the city."
The council voted unanimously to charge 20 percent for the cotton crop this year.
Councilman Davis commended Coach Bill Taylor and the Manila high school basketball boys for winning second in the state.
"I think they did a fantastic job," Davis said.
City Attorney Wayne Wagner said he had completed the work for two more homes to be annexed into the city.
Police Chief Jackie Hill announced there will be a mock wreck at the Manila High School on Friday, April 2, on the south side of the bus shed. The rain date will be the following Monday.
The Manila council meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Monday night of each month at city hall.