Sherry Bunch Pratt, Manila Christmas parade chairman, gave Mayor Wayne Wagner and council members an update on the event at the Monday, Oct. 15, city council meeting.
The parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1. This year's theme is patriotic and veterans will be honored. Grand marshals will be two area veterans, A.R. Slayton and Wesley Crouse. Pratt also discussed decorating plans and line-up.
Mayor Wagner thanked Pratt and other committee members for volunteering.
"The council and I appreciate your work," he said. "We will have one more meeting before the parade."
Councilman Linda Donovan offered her appreciation to Wendell Poteet for allowing them to decorate the fence on the by-pass extending the decorations along the by-pass as well as the main street area.
Mayor Wagner said he had been in touch with the engineers about the swimming pool construction and it is ready to begin.
"I do want to say the council and I have nothing to do with the hiring subs," Mayor Wagner said. "There are rumors we are dragging our feet but we have turned it over to the construction company. We made it clear we would like them to hire locals if possible but it is their call. We don't have any say in who is hired. Our door is open at city hall. Anyone can come in and ask questions and we will do our best to answer. We have no authority on who gets hired."
Councilman Dale Murphy said they had confidence in the company and they know what they are doing.
"The Council has worked hard working on this pool since the mid 1990s to get it done," Mayor Wagner said.
Mayor Wagner informed the council an out-of-state company has expressed interest in locating in Manila and would offer six to 10 jobs.
"They have been in touch with Cliff Chitwood with Great River Economic Development, Inc.," Mayor Wagner said. "New jobs in Manila are always welcome."
At the end of the meeting Mayor Wagner addressed the letter council members had received from Chris Gamble.
"In the letter he accused me of using the city tractor," Mayor Wagner said.
He asked all of the councilmen if they had ever seen him on a city tractor. They all said no.
"I want the public to know my door is open," Mayor Wagner said. "They can come here and discuss the water bills or the tractor. It would be a better way to do it than calling the media. Better than hurting my family. I love this place. I am busy trying to get things done.
I have two water meters to my house and shop."
"This city council and I have worked hard," Mayor Wagner said. "I'm not going to address unnamed sources. I'm not trying to hide anything. I've worked hard
In other business:
*The Council passed a resolution reinstating the same millage at 4.6 for maintenance and operation and .4 for firemen pension for a total of 5.0 mills. Mayor Wagner pointed out it is not an increase, it has been the same for the last 12 years.
*Mayor Wagner said a committee for park beautification has been formed and they are looking at landscaping for the new park area. Trees purchased and dedicated to family members or pets is one way to help with the project. Larry Miller has joined the landscaping committee. They are looking at getting a grant for a walking trail that will go around the swimming pool area all the way to the senior citizen area.
*The airport land cotton has been picked and it was reported a good year making three bales an acre.
*The council voted to start on making the tee-ball field a regular size field giving the park four fields. Mayor Wagner there is $12,000 in the budget. The negative side is two trees will have be taken down and part of the walking track will have to be used. Wagner will meet with a representative of Entergy about the cost of lighting. He also said a practice area will be available near the new swimming pool and one near Building 100.
*The council agreed to reduce a water bill for a resident on fixed income who had a leak. Her water bill is normally $45 and due to the leak it was $316. The council voted unanimously to reduce the bill.
The next scheduled city council meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19.