Manila looks to the future

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Building Communities is the name of the program Manila recently participated in. The program is serving 12 counties and is part of the renew East Arkansas. The East Arkansas Planning and Development District launched the project last year through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Manila citizens attended a public meeting to discuss development opportunities.

Jennifer Watkins with Building Communities and project manager Brian Thompson spent two days meeting in Manila with community leaders and the public in a strategic planning initiative to help communities plan growth and improve the quality of life.

"We will compile the information from all 12 counties and see what the communities want and see what can be done," Watkins said.

Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner expressed his appreciation to the volunteers who participated in the meetings offering good input for the future of Manila.

They all agreed first impressions play a big part on people making a decision on where to move.

The group discussed the importance of code enforcement, communication, volunteerism, beautification, recycling, how to promote the positive points of the community and attract businesses.

"Manila has a lot to offer and we can build on what we have," Mayor Wagner said.

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