Manila Council works through lengthy agenda

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All council members, Linda Donovan, Larry "Whiz" Davis, Donnie Wagner, Dale Murphy, Tony Hawkins and Jason Baltimore, were present for the Monday, July 16, meeting. Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner called the meeting to order with a lengthy agenda to work through.

Residents of the North View Estates, William and John Kazyak, addressed the council about getting cable television services extended to the area.

"There is cable to the Big Lake Country Club and we are just across from that," John said.

Mayor Wagner said he has been in touch with the cable services representatives and is looking into what it will take to get the services extended.

"There are several households there," Mayor Wagner said. "We will try to set something up with a representative from the cable company and the residents. We are also looking at when the contract will be up for renewal."

Mayor Wagner said bid advertising for the swimming pool project will go out immediately and bids will be opened Aug. 16. There will be a special meeting on Aug. 17 to accept a bid.

"Work can start the following Monday," Wagner said. "Work will begin on the first day of school and when school is out, the pool will be ready for swimming."

The council passed a resolution for a grant to help fund a walking trail circling the baseball fields. Mayor Wagner explained the resolution had to be approved so the city can go forward with an 80/20 grant application from the Arkansas Highway Department.

Mayor Wagner updated the council members on a proposed new baseball field which will be connected to the old pool bath house.

"We will need to act on this in August and be ready to start work in October so it will be completed for next year's season if you decide you want to go forward with the new field," Mayor Wagner said. "It will be 155 feet with the center 175 feet. It will be a nice addition to the fields."

In other business:

*The council discussed street work on Olympia Street, 100 feet west of the four way stop sign and going due east to where the street splits. Mayor Wagner said the work would need to be done before school starts. The board voted to allow Mayor Wagner to see about getting the road work done immediately.

*Mayor Wagner said he had received complaints of fish ponds grown up on the north side of Olympia Street past the school. He asked Chief Jackie Hill and Fred Burks to talk to the owner about the complaints.

*The council voted to allow the city to destroy old documents with two city council members present through the proper procedure.

*Mayor Wagner said he had talked to Energy about having buried lines for the new pool and any new lights. He said they want to have the least amount of overhead lines possible. He is looking into any grants available to help with any new underground line projects. He said the city would be responsible to pay to bury existing overhead lines.

*They board discussed adding new flooring to a portion of the sports complex, Building 100, to allow for cheerleading/gymnastics. The area of about 40x40' would be used for this purpose. They also talked about a need for a roof and insulation at the building.

*The Council voted unanimously to give employee mid-year bonuses. Employees who decided to take part of their bonuses as raises will have their bonuses adjusted accordingly.

*Mayor Wagner said the city had been asked to set aside a few acres for fund-raisers for the youth association. The area will be used for activities such as truck pulls, demolition derbies, and 5-k runs/walks to benefit the area youth. He encouraged the council members to look around for an area to serve the purpose and they could discuss it at the next meeting.

*The council discussed placing security lights and cameras around the park. Following a discussion the council agreed to enforce the city's 11 p.m. curfew already in place at the city park, also. If there is an organized activity going on (such as a ball tournament that goes over 11 p.m.), the curfew will be extended 30 minutes after the event ends. He said signs will be posted around the park area letting people know there is a curfew.

*Mayor Wagner said he is looking into the possibility of refurbishing the water well at the old swimming pool to be used for irrigation and the new pool. He said it was a good well when the pool closed and hopefully it can be used again.

*Mayor Wagner said it is time to start thinking of the 2012 Christmas parade and making plans. It will be held the first Saturday in December. He said the city is also looking at adding more decorations along Highway 18 bypass.

*Mayor Wagner said he and Henry Ford, water superintendent, have contacted M.H. Walker about a bid for adding a trash tipper on the other truck to help the sanitation workers. The tipper automatically dumps the cans. Mayor Wagner expressed his appreciation to the citizens who have purchased the trash cans making work easier on the workers. He announced there are still trash cans available at a cost of $60. Manila residents can purchase them from city hall paying one payment or have $5 a month added to their water bill for 12 months.

*Mayor Wagner asked the council to consider if they want to become more restrictive on apartments and mobile homes.

*The software for the handheld water meter reading system has almost crashed. The city is down to one hand-held reader. Mayor Wagner said it will cost approximately $4,000 for new software. Councilman Baltimore asked when updating the software to look at the possibility of adding the capability to pay bills on line.

*Chief Hill asked about providing new bullet proof vests for the officers. He said the vests the officers have are old and need to be updated. He said he is looking at cost and will present it to the council.

*Mayor Wagner said the City of Manila owns Big Lake Golf Course but as it is now, it is not in the city limits. For jurisdiction purposes Chief Hill needs to know if the city officers or the county needs to be called if there is a problem with damage or vandalism.

*Councilman Hawkins asked about trees needing to be cut at the golf course. Mayor Wagner said after the last tournament would be a good time.

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