Among the topics of the Manila City Council meeting on April 16 was the possible rerouting of Lake Street to connect the city park with the pool/water park.
Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner and council members discussed closing a portion of Lake Street running between the city park and water park creating a new street around the area. This would allow for the city park to be joined with the new water park giving the children a safe area to come and go between the playground/ball fields to the water park/pool. He said he had spoken to some of the residents living east of the park and they said they would not have a problem with the change.
Mayor Wagner said he would like to get some feedback from the citizens of Manila. If the parks were connected the closed street area would make a good place for youth to skate board or ride bicycles, he said. There could be underground drainage and it would make for one big park.
Mayor Wagner said the engineer would be in Manila on Tuesday morning and he would discuss the possibility with him.
Councilman Donnie Wagner said work needs to be done for handicapped parking at the city park. He suggested gravel and making sure it is used by people with handicaps.
Manila Chief of Police Jackie Hill said his department is keeping an eye on the problem.
"We have no problems with some of our older fans who can't walk far using the area, but we will enforce the area to be used for handicapped parking only," Chief Hill said.
Councilman Wagner suggested giving a warning for the first offense until the word is out.
"We will address the problem, along with drivers driving too fast," Mayor Wagner said. "We have too many little ones out there and we have talked to the teenager drivers about slowing down. Also, if we find out who is writing on the playground equipment, they will pay for painting. We had a break-in in Building 100 and Chief Hill and Captain James Skinner had it solved and taken care of."
The council discussed putting gravel in the handicapped parking area and holding off on paving until it is decided where the area will be located permanently.
Mayor Wagner said a local contractor is looking at the old bath house to see if the roof and foundation can be left and turned into a pavilion.
Wagner also announced the city will be receiving a small grant from the state and it can be used to help with landscaping at the park. Council members were in agreement a long term plan in the placement of trees will be needed.
"We will need a layout," Councilman Wagner said. "We don't want to plant trees and find out in 10 years they have to come down."
During the old business reports, Mayor Wagner said a police vehicle and maintenance vehicle have been ordered at a little over $17,000 each through the state bid process. The pick-up trucks are similar to what the Chief of Police is driving. They should be delivered by the May meeting.
Mayor Wagner said the ball teams are in full swing at the park and he had heard good reports.
"One of the visiting ball teams helped clean up after the game commenting on how good the park looked," Mayor Wagner said. "We will have the high school softball tournament here in a few days. We have 200 to 300 kids trying to use the batting cage in Building 100."
In other business:
*Mayor Wagner shared a letter from Mississippi County Judge Randy Carney expressing his appreciation for the mayors' luncheon hosted at the Manila Depot.
*Big Lake Country Club has applied for a private club license. Mayor Wagner said there will be a hearing in May. Councilmen can choose to send a letter in support or opposition or send no response. After a discussion on what a private club license consists of and the changes from its current status, the council agreed to have someone on the country club board meet with them and explain their position. Mayor Wagner said it will allow them to answer any questions.
*Mayor Wagner commended members of the Manila Police Department and Manila Fire Department who assisted in the search for the young boy who disappeared in the Hardy area. They went on their on their own time to offer their help. The city received a letter from the Judge in Fulton County expressing his gratitude for Manila's assistance.
"I wish it could have had a better outcome but I am proud of our officers and firemen," Mayor Wagner said.
*Mayor Wagner reported on the Homecoming Show featuring Jerry Jaye and Kenny Seratt expressing his appreciation for them retuning to their hometown.
*The junior and senior prom will be held at the Community Center Friday night, April 20. The senior citizens will meet at the depot for the day so the students can finish decorating.
*Mayor Wagner announced the Mississippi County Razorback Club will be meeting at the Community Center on May 7.
*Mayor Wagner said Scott Adams is planning a truck pull fund raiser in June to help with a new field for the youth association.
"We appreciate anything for our youth," Mayor Wagner said.
*A new Grasshopper with a diesel engine has been purchased for the airport and a tank will be placed near the jet fuel tank. Also a push mower with a bag has been purchased to be used at the park for the in-field.
*Council went into a short executive session to discuss personnel but no action was taken.