Scouts visit Manila City Council

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Manila Scouts from Pack 32, Troop 32 and Crew 32, attended the Manila City Council meeting Monday, April 18, presenting the city with an appreciation plaque.

Manila Pack 32, Troop 32 and Crew 32, presented Manila Council members with a plaque in appreciation for their support. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Berry McKaskle, assistant Cubmaster, on behalf of the young Scouts, expressed his appreciation to the city for the use of the building and their support.

"Without you, we could not have our program," McKaskle said. "We appreciate all of you for your support."

Council members thanked the Scouts who led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag starting the council meeting.

The Scouts were invited by Mayor Wayne Wagner to conduct a flag ceremony placing new flags at City Hall before the May Council meeting.

The Scouts are working on earning a citizenship belt loop. The Scouts offered to retire old flags for anyone in a flag retirement ceremony. They also are having a shoe collection for soles for souls. The den leader said they will collect shoes and boots of all types. Donations can be dropped off at the Scout Hut (next to the old fire station), or at city hall.

"We don't mind having the shoe collections dropped off here and we will deliver them to the Scout hut," Wagner said.

During the budget comparison, Mayor Wagner discussed rising fuel costs.

"We want to serve the people but we are going to keep an eye on it and not make any unnecessary runs with our police department and our city crew," Mayor Wagner said. "Chief Hill and Henry Ford (water superintendent) are both looking at ways to cut the usage. They are saying gasoline will go to $4 a gallon and diesel is already at $3.76."

The Virtual Justice Program, a new computer system to be used by court clerks and police chief, was discussed. The cost will be $3,000 and it is paid for by the $5 court cost fee. There will be no cost to the city of Manila. The council voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

Fire Chief Keith Bennett addressed the council about the work being done to lower the ISO rating for the citizens of Manila. He presented a list of items needed with an estimated cost of $53,053.

"I am working on getting the figure lowered," Chief Bennett said. "I am working on getting some things donated."

Bennett went on to talk about the savings it would give citizens on their insurance premiums going from a 6 to a 4 rating. It will decrease the average premiums by 13 to 20 percent.

"I strongly feel we can get down to a 4 with the new truck and new equipment," he said.

Council members agreed spending the money will save citizens more in the long run. They voted unanimously to approve the expenditures up to $53,053.

Mayor Wagner assured the council Chief Bennett is not out trying to spend money on items they do not need.

"The fire department is good to do fund raisers for the things they need," Wagner said.

In other business:

*Mayor Wagner updated the council on the purchase of a bucket truck from Centurytel informing them the purchase is underway. The council voted at last month's meeting to purchase the truck.

*Mayor Wagner said a bid opening will be held at 11 a.M. Wednesday, April 27, for lighting at the airport. It is an ongoing project started last fall. It is a 95/5 percent grant. There will also be another bid opening at 1 p.m. for redoing the hangar on the north end. Wagner said he would like the approval of the council to pursue 80/20 grant money for work on the hangar. Wagner explained the work will make the building more functional. The council voted unanimously to pursue funding for renovation of the hangar.

*Mayor Wagner informed the council and asked for approval to talk to the Berry family about the possible purchase of a building to be used as the city's maintenance shop and talking to contractors about constructing a new shop on the gin lot. The Council voted 6-0 to pursue the project.

*Mayor Wagner said he had been asked about the use of the community center for a day of CNA training classes at no charge. The council had no objections to the community center being used for the CNA classes.

*The council discussed the ongoing clean-up efforts of the city. Councilman Linda Donovan said people are noticing the work being done. They discussed the possibility of getting garbage containers for the residents of Manila.

*The council went into executive session to discuss personnel. Based on a discussion in executive session, the council gave approval to search for a new animal control officer.

*Councilman Murphy said he had received calls about the ball park. He said he was told a high school baseball game had to be postponed because the grass was not mowed and complaints of the trash. He said the cleanup should not be the job of the city workers.

Mayor Wagner said he received the same phone calls and they will follow up.

*Councilman Baltimore asked if the city could get a container for recycling plastic and cans. He said if the city could get a recycling bin, it would be a start.

*Regular Manila City Council meetings are held the third Monday night of each month starting at 6:30 p.m.

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