Manila Mayor Wagner speaks at Lions Club meeting

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Manila Lions welcomed Mayor Wayne Wagner, guest speaker, at the Wednesday, Sept. 13, meeting. Wagner displayed swimming pool/water park designs.

Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner speaks to the Manila Lions on the proposed swimming pool/water park project.

"I need your help getting the word out about the swimming pool/water park," Wagner said.

There will be a special election in October for a one cent sales tax to be used for the purchase of bonds to fund a $2.5 million pool/water park.

"I went to a meeting this week and Osceola is getting about 300 new jobs," Wagner said. "That means people will be looking for a place to live. People will drive to work but they look for a place to live with good churches, schools and recreational activities. We have good churches and our school can compete with any of them. We have to make our community stand out. Manila will not get an automobile factory."

Wagner said they are still looking into getting St. Bernards Medical Clinic in Manila.

"We have people out there who will be willing to come back and work in Manila," he said.

He pointed out the pool design has something for all ages. There will be an indoor therapeutic pool, water slides, diving area, children's pool, and ample space for Red Cross swimming lessons.

"Not too many towns our size can boast of a golf course, airport, community center, and a water park," he said.

The sales tax election will be held Oct. 11. If it passes construction can begin April 1. Wagner went on to explain the tax cannot be used for anything other than paying for the swimming pool. Once it is paid for the tax will be removed.

Wagner said the airport hangars are being renovated. Material being removed is being used to close in Building 100 to be used for a youth activity center.

He also praised Councilman Linda Donovan for her work in getting senior activities at the Manila Airport. He said they are looking at letting senior citizens get the concession from activities such as wrestling matches or concerts held at the Community Center.

"We are looking at building a new terminal building at the airport with a conference room," Wagner said.

Lion Danny Robbins also endorsed the swimming pool project.

"My heart is into this because it is for our kids," he said. "I recently heard a comment that said Manila Industries has done a wonderful job for decades but the industry climate has changed through the years. Companies are looking at areas with interstates, river and rail access. We have to come up with strategies and promote Manila as a great place to live. This is an investment in our future."

Lion Frank Kirby also commented the project will benefit the entire community because property value will increase.

Marcus and Kim Rice addressed the Lions Club about an upcoming pageant planned for Oct. 1. The pageant will be held the evening of the Big Lake Chili Cook-off. They requested permission to name the pageant the Big Lake Chili Cook-off Pageant.

The couple moved their family to Manila and said they fell in love with the community. They discussed their plans for the pageant.

Lion President Thomas Jaco said they will discuss the name of the pageant and get back with them.

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