Manila resident plans to build crematorium
Susan Byrd Robertson addressed Manila City council members presenting plans for a building to house a crematorium. The building will be placed on the back acre of her parent's property on Wildy Road. The building will match the house.
"There are no restrictions in that area," she said. "We want to make sure we have the blessings of the city council."
She said she has researched the state requirements and is licensed. She assured the council there will not be any traffic and it will not be an eyesore. Robertson said she had talked to the neighbor closest to where the building will be located and he had no objections.
Mayor Wayne Wagner said there will be a need to rezone the back acre as commercial.
Councilmen asked about employment there.
"Right now, it will be family operated," she said. "Cremation is getting more prevalent due to the cost."
"I don't think there is a problem," Mayor Wagner said. "I will call the municipal league to make sure there is nothing we overlook for her protection and our protection."
Councilman Tony Hawkins made the motion to approve the project upon contingence there are no state violations. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Wagner asked the council to let the office know if they are planning on attending the January Municipal League educational meeting in Rogers.
Mayor Wagner announced the health insurance premiums are going down from $44 to $404 per employee per month.
Plans for the Christmas parade were discussed. More activities are being planned. Bleachers and a bandstand will be set up across from the Southern Bancorp. Mayor Wagner said Joe Chipman will help with Christmas music. Councilman Hawkins will organize drawings for gift certificates. Tickets will be given away and winners will have to be present to win. He said the Manila Senior Citizens will be this year's grand marshals.
"We are going to try to move the line-up of the parade up this year so there will not be any gaps in the parade," he said.
The council voted to approve the recommendation of Fire Chief Keith Bennett for a new fireman, Leonard Campbell.
Following a short executive session the board voted to give Christmas bonuses in the amount of $900 for full time employees; $300 for part-time employees; $50 for each fireman; and $1,100 for department heads.
The council voted to allow the police officers to sell back vacation days as long as it does not exceed one pay period.
"In most cases it could be up to 10 days," Mayor Wagner said.