Manila Council OKs purchase

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Members of the Manila City Council worked through a long agenda including a discussion on clean-up activities, purchasing a bucket truck, hearing an update from the fire chief, and the introduction and first reading of an ordinance on the inspection of air conditioning and heating systems in the city.

Manila city council members inspect a bucket truck before voting to purchase. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Mayor Wayne Wagner called the meeting to order Monday evening, March 21, with all council members present. Council members are Tony Hawkins, Dale Murphy, Jason Baltimore, Donnie Wagner, Linda Donovan, and Larry Whiz Davis. Also present were the City Attorney Wes Wagner and Clerk Susie Parker.

Mayor Wagner distributed a clean-up list compiled by Police Chief Jackie Hill and Fred Burks.

"If you get phone calls on this, let us know," Mayor Wagner said. "We are going to start working with these people on a clean-up effort."

Mayor Wagner also wanted to encourage people not to put leaves and brush in ditches.

"We are working on keeping our drainage open and the leaves and brush stop up the drainage and cause problems," Wagner said.

He said leaves should be bagged and placed curbside. They will be picked up and brush should be placed in front (not in the ditches). Leaves and brush are not picked up by the garbage truck.

"I commend Henry and his crew," Councilman Tony Hawkins said. "They are doing a good job getting the brush."

The transfer station is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Following a discussion on the purchase of a 2001 Ford 350 bucket truck, council members took a break from the board room to look at the truck which was parked behind city hall. Mayor Wagner said the city can purchase the truck from Centurytel at a cost to the city of $4,000.

The council agreed it would be useful to the city and voted unanimously to purchase the truck.

Manila Fire Chief Keith Bennett addressed the council giving them an update on the department. He discussed the standards and guidelines on getting the ISO rating lowered from 6 to 4 which would save homeowners money on their insurance premiums. He said it takes records, training and equipment.

He also updated the council on the progress of the new fire truck and equipment. Chief Bennett requested permission to use funds the fire department have available for the mounting of rescue tools and hoses on the new truck at an additional cost of $8,758. He explained it will save time in rescue efforts.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the request.

In other business:

*Mayor Wagner told the council he is meeting with the Manila Industrial Committee to ask if they want to partner with the city on a website. Wagner said he and Council member Jason Baltimore will have a proposal ready by the next meeting.

*Mayor Wagner read a letter from Ray Benson with the Mississippi County Razorback club expressing their appreciation for the use of the Community Center for their successful banquet and meeting.

*Mayor Wagner said he had contacted people about grants available for a swimming pool. He will meet with them on Wednesday. He said he hoped to have people present by the next meeting. He said the city will need to meet with people and have ideas on what citizens want.

*The council discussed the need for street repair near the four-way stop on Olympia Street near the school.

"We have a problem there with draining and we are going to see if we need to tear out the street and build up the roadbed or keep paving higher and higher," Mayor Wagner said.

*Henry Ford, water and sewer superintendent said the new pumps for the Costner Subdivision are on order.

*The council had no objections for the CNA (certified nursing aide) training classes to be held at the airport center.

*The council voted unanimously to allow computer upgrades in the police department. The money is set aside for the programs and cannot be used for anything else. It will tie the city in with the county, state and national systems.

*An ordinance was read for the first reading by City Attorney Wagner. The ordinance deals with the inspection of air conditioning and heating systems. Mayor Wagner said it puts what the city has already been doing under an ordinance. He gave each council member a copy of the ordinance and encouraged them to take it home, study it, ask questions and it will be discussed at the next meeting.

*Following a short executive session, the board voted unanimously to give city treasurer Rebecca Hartgraves a $3,500 a year raise. She will be training to assist Brenda Watson as court clerk. Council members also voted unanimously to give Sgt. Delbert Carter with the police department a $1000 a year raise.

The city council meets in regular session at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month.

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