Manila City Council discussed swimming pool, hired employees, purchased vehicles, and discussed making the park smoke free at the Monday, March 19, meeting.
All council members, Linda Donovan, Larry "Whiz Davis, Donnie Wagner, Dale Murphy, Jason Baltimore, and Tony Hawkins, were present.
Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner distributed sketches of the proposed swimming pool featuring slides, diving board area, room for swimming laps, children's pool with ample seating for parents, parking area, concession area, and much more.
"We wanted to make sure we have room for Red Cross swimming lessons," Mayor Wagner said. "We can add more covered tables later, and I requested space around the pool for trees and a play area on the east side."
The inside therapeutic pool will be located at the south end of the Community Center. There will be a 24 foot breezeway connecting the community center to the therapeutic pool building.
Both pools will be completely handicapped accessible.
Visitor Earl Jackson asked the council if they had made expansion plans for the mechanical parts of the pool.
Mayor Wagner said the motors are oversized and will be able to accommodate growth.
"If you see anything you want changed, let me know and I will pass it on to the architects," Wagner said.
Elroy Brown with the Mississippi County Coalition for smoke free addressed the council at the February meeting asking the council to consider making the city park smoke free.
The council discussed the pros and cons of making the park smoke free and creating a smoking area outside of the park.
Councilman Hawkins asked if there had been problems at the park with smoking.
"If we are not having problems, why change anything," Hawkins said.
Councilman Wagner said citizens who have talked to him do not want to be told what they can do outside.
"Will going tobacco free open up grant opportunities for the park," Councilman Baltimore asked.
Police Chief Jackie Hill said he has asked smokers at the park to move away from the children and people have been very respectful.
Mayor Wagner said he would work possibilities. To answer Baltimore's question, he said not think being smoke free might affect future grants.
Council took no action at this time.
Mayor Wagner informed the council he had talked to employees on raises versus bonuses. Members of the Police Department and Henry Ford, water superintendent, want the council to consider giving them raises and the majority of other employees want to continue with the bonus system.
"This should not be a problem," Mayor Wagner said. "It will amount to the same cost. Raises and any additional costs will be deducted from the Christmas bonus checks."
Mayor Wagner recommended the changes and the council unanimously approved a $1,200 raise per year for full time police officers and Mr. Ford, with the amount of the raises being deducted from their Christmas bonus.
Council members went into a short executive session to discuss personnel. Mayor Wagner said city worker Larry Carpenter had resigned to take another position.
The council voted 6-0 to hire Kenneth Tune at $8 an hour. He will be on probation for the remainder of the year.
The council then authorized Henry Ford to hire Michael Key and Julian Langstan on a part-time basis as needed at $8 an hour.
The council approved the purchase of a four-door pick-up truck for the police department through the state bid process at a cost of $17,730. A police vehicle was approved in the 2012 budget. The council also approved acquiring a new truck through the state bid for a maintenance vehicle to double as a vehicle to be used at the airport.
*Mayor Wagner informed the council that due to changes in state amateur wrestling guidelines, Chief Hill will be in charge of all wrestling matches held in Manila.
*A meeting was set for Thursday morning to pass an ordinance approving bond sale for the swimming pool.
*The board approved making David Pasley full time employee eligible for insurance since he has been with the city for a year.
*Mayor Wagner said he had been addressed about a city-wide Easter egg hunt sponsored by Westside Church.
"I told them the city would assist them," Wagner said.
*The council voted unanimously to purchase $500 in advertising for the Buffalo Island Relay for Life.
The next regular city council meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 16.