Mosquito control topic at Manila Council meeting

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mosquito control, trash can ordinance, swimming pool, and employee bonuses were among the topics at the Manila City Council meeting held July 15.

Councilman Tony Hawkins introduced Tim Nelson, supervisor of Vector Disease Control International.

Nelson said Vector Disease Control has had great success in mosquito control.

"You can't eradicate the mosquito but we can reduce the problem by 80 to 90 percent," he said.

He described the steps in controlling mosquitoes including surveillance; identifying the types of mosquitoes; testing mosquitoes; use of larvicide; air craft spray; and truck spray.

He explained their trucks are equipped with GPS systems allowing them to know exactly where they have sprayed, how much, etc.

"Our company wants to be part of the communities we serve," he said. "We also offer individual spraying with our contracts for spraying around houses for residents having outside parties or community events."

Nelson invited the council to talk to Blytheville council and mayor. They have had a 10 year contract with Blytheville. He talked about the reduction in mosquito numbers since they started.

Council asked about the bottom line cost. Nelson estimated $55,000 a year. They discussed prorating for this year since it is late in the year.

The council asked him to get a proposal together with the cost for the council to review for the remainder of this year and start of next year.

Mayor Wayne Wagner asked the council members to review the budget.

"The only problem area is the water/sewer department," Mayor Wagner said. "We are at the bottom in the state of our rates and everything else is going up. Down the road we will need a truck and if we have a sewer line break we would have major problems. Give this some serious thought."

Mayor Wagner talked about a city-wide farmers market. He suggested providing a place where people could bring their produce and flea market items on Saturday mornings for the public to shop.

The council approved a trash can ordinance effective Aug. 1 making trash can usage mandatory for city trash pick-up for residents. Also, the trash will need to be in plastic sacks and placed in the cans. Trash cans may be purchased through the city at a cost of $60 cash or a $5 charge for one year on water bills. Residents can also purchase cans equivalent to the ones provided by the city from a store of their choice.

Councilman Dale Murphy said he thought names or addresses on the trash cans would be a good idea. The cans do have serial numbers registered at city hall.

"Most residents have voluntarily purchased the cans already," Mayor Wagner said. "I don't see a big problem with this."

The council discussed a mobile home ordinance.

"We have a mobile home ordinance in effect that prohibits rental unless located in mobile home parks," Mayor Wagner said. "We also have a moratorium on mobile homes coming into the city."

In addition to mobile homes, the moratorium also is in effect for apartments or duplexes.

Mayor Wagner suggested the council look at zoning property R1. People would have to come to city hall before building or placing a mobile home in the city limits. The council would be able to consider variances. Again, Mayor Wagner pointed out anyone wanting to place a mobile home or build needs to come to city hall with plans.

The council discussed a recent placement of a mobile home for rental.

"Chief Hill checked at the court house today and the property is in the city limits," Mayor Wagner said. "We have no problem with the person with the mobile home. I think he was unaware the property was in the city limits. We will talk to him and see what can be done."

Mayor Wagner said representatives from Olympus and the health department plan on doing a walk through at the swimming pool on Monday, July 22. He encouraged city council members to join them.

"We have had some calls about people swimming in the pool," Councilman Hawkins said. "These are part-time workers at the park. Can we let the people know the pool company recommended keeping the bottom swept and the water churned so the sand will not settle on the bottom?"

"We have never tried to hide anything about the pool," Mayor Wagner said. "People are welcome to call us with any questions."

They discussed placing mats or painting the floors of the pool house until tile can be purchased. Wagner said they are not able to get the slip resistant tile in, but hopefully it can be found this winter and installed.

The council had voted to put tile in the pool house.

"We are going to have a beautiful facility there," Mayor Wagner said.

Ritter is going to place internet and cable at the pool and kids will be able to use their computers, etc.

The council also discussed placing wireless cameras around the pool, park and future walking trail for security reasons.

All of the council, along with Chief of Police Jackie Hill, agreed security cameras are a good idea.

The council approved a 100 percent FAA grant at the airport to resurface the runway. The grant has been approved for the project.

A letter was read from Liz Shaneyfelt thanking the council and city for the reception and renaming of the street in her honor.

The council went into executive session to discuss personnel.

The council voted to hire Janet Davidson full time adding to her part-time duties effective July 15.

The council also voted to allow Police Officer Brian Crites to go part time providing he gives up insurance and vacation time.

Chief Hill said Officer Harper is also requesting part-time for Aug. 15.

On the recommendation of Chief Hill, the council voted to hire Jennifer Ephlin as part-time officer with the police department.

Chief Hill and Mayor Wagner suggested the city look into moving Manila Court to Blytheville on a temporary basis. He said they will have a recommendation for the council after the details are worked out.

"We don't want to finalize anything until we know if it will work," Mayor Wagner said.

The Council unanimously approved bonuses for full time employees at $1,500; $500 to $750 for part-time employees; and department heads $1,700.

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