Manila Council fills position

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Following a short executive session at the regular May Manila City Council meeting held Monday, May 17, councilmen voted unanimously to hire Tommy Towles as animal control officer.

Mayor Clifford Veach informed the council animal control officer Steve Bowman had decided to step down from the position.

"He (Mr. Bowman) said he would be glad to help any way he can," Veach said.

The council also voted to accept Justin Hill and Kenny Rowan as members of the Manila Fire Department. Fire Chief Keith Bennett recommended them to the Mayor and Council for consideration.

Mayor Veach informed the council of the sewer grant project bids opened.

"We received seven bids ranging from $97,965 to 184,273," Mayor Veach said. "The engineer recommended we accept the low bid from R&R Contracting in Caldwell."

Veach said it came in under budget. The city has committed to pick up $30,000 of the total cost.

"We will have a preconstruction conference soon and will get started on the project," Veach said.

A resolution was passed for the public works headquarters project.

"Plans should be drawn up in the near future," Veach said. "Henry (Henry Ford, water superintendent) went by to review the plans but the engineers had not started."

Veach and the council reviewed a flood damage ordinance, which is required by FEMA for all municipalities. Mayor Veach said it must be passed by June 18.

The council voted to read the ordinance in is entirety for the first time. After councilman Linda Donovan completed reading the ordinance, the council voted to suspend the rules and place the ordinance on second and third reading by title only. The ordinance was approved unanimously.

Mayor Veach had been contacted by a Blytheville attorney representing the owners of property at 208 Susan Street. Veach said the city did not know who to contact and the property had been cleaned up twice this year and in 2006 and 2007.

"The attorney told me all we would need to do is send him a bill for the clean up and he would take care of it," Mayor Veach said. "I sent him a bill for $760. It was $460 for 2006 and 2007 and $300 for this year. I haven't heard from him yet. It is good we now have a contact person."

Mayor Veach picked up paperwork for grant applications to help pay for a new fire truck. Veach said the truck should be ordered this year.

Mayor Veach also informed the council he had received notice that the health insurance will not be going up this year.

"That is good news," he said.

In other business:

*Several council members expressed their appreciation on receiving a copy of the fire report.

"We know they do a good job but we don't realize how much they do," Councilman Donovan said.

*Donovan announced there will be a public meeting at noon Thursday at the Manila Depot Center to discuss the city's Preserve American Community Application.

*The council had no objections to Mayor Veach getting bids for street paving.

*The council agreed to allow the Cub Scouts to use the Airport Center on June 4.

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