Manila Council hears fire department report

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Manila Fire Chief Keith Bennett and Assistant Chief Woody Nunnally addressed the Manila City Council at the Dec. 19 meeting giving a report for the 2011 year.

Chief Bennett said the fire department had 119 runs with 80 fire calls as of Dec. 14.

He presented the council with a study showing manpower available at different times of the day. Some of the volunteer firefighters work out of town and some work swing shifts. The report had the number of training sessions and meetings attended by each firefighter.

Councilman Jason Baltimore asked what a reasonable average is for attendance.

Chief Bennett said 50 percent for fires and 50 percent for training and meetings.

"We know we have a better fire department than some of the percentages show," Mayor Wayne Wagner said.

Bennett said they will work with them and he asked the council to allow them to work with it in-house.

Manila City Council reviewed the budget with Mayor Wagner asking the council to approve the employees selling back vacation days in 2010.

"We have it in the minutes for 2011 but the auditor could not find it in the 2010 minutes," Wagner said. "There is no problem with it, we just need to have it approved."

Mayor Wagner said insurance rates may go up an estimated $88 per month per employee.

"They are looking at ways to spread it over time," he said. "We will know after January."

Wagner said he had a request to compare employee bonuses to raises.

"I think it will come out about the same over a year," he said. "Some may want to keep bonuses and some may want raises."

Wagner said once the comparison is complete he may recommend employees choosing between bonuses and raises.

Mayor Wagner said the building Dennis Farmer gave to the city is coming down. The city crew has been working inside. The building has to be moved by Jan. 22. The metal and insulation will be in storage until it is decided where to rebuild the building.

The City Council discussed possible swimming pool sights. Mayor Wagner said, "Jimmy White had a great idea for a new park in 1996 and I still think he was on the right track."

The council discussed two possible sights, one behind Southworth and one on Lake Street near the golf course.

The councilman agreed if one or both becomes available, they will make the appropriate decision and then work together going forward on the project.

In other business:

*Mayor Wagner commented the city website is looking better. Council members Donovan and Baltimore have been working on it.

*Mayor Wagner said the auditor would meet with him and the city treasurer for an exit meeting and then an audit report would be received.

*The council discussed getting a big screen television for the Community Center. Mayor Wager said they would look into grants available to help with the cost.

*The council had no objection to swapping holidays for the city employees from President's Day to Good Friday. Wagner said this is something the employees want.

*The council went into executive session to discuss personnel matters with one of the city inspectors in attendance. Following the executive session, no action was taken by the council.

*Mayor Wagner said Henry Ford had found a place to order garbage cans for $60 in lots of 100. The council and mayor agreed to order 100 and allow citizens who want to purchase the garbage cans the opportunity to pay $60 cash or $5 a month on their water bill for one year. Anyone wanting to reserve a garbage should call city hall.

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