Manila City Council hears concerns over RV park

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Gene Dobbins addressed the Manila City Council during the November meeting expressing his personal objections to a proposed RV trailer park on property owned by Jackie Hill.

Hill addressed the council at the October meeting asking for a variance on his property on West Lake Street to create a RV park. The property is located next to a RV park owned by Dobbins.

Dobbins presented a letter from the Department of Health on the requirements for an RV park. He pointed out an RV park is for persons in transition and not for permanent residence. He said the state requires the plans in writing.

Council member Tony Hawkins asked Mr. Dobbins if he had to submit the information when he opened his park. He said Mr. Oates (local contractor) took care of it.

Dobbins said he is asking Hill to get written approval so not to violate the requirements. He also said the one camper on Hill's property is not a transient but the only residence the man has.

The city ordinance was discussed and Mayor Wayne Wagner said they would research the ordinance about requirements for a RV park.

After a discussion, Councilman Jason Baltimore said he would like to see the city ordinance and what variance was approved when the Dobbins RV Park was approved.

Mayor Wagner said they will need to know if Hill wants just a variance for a few spots or if he wants a full blown park.

Dobbins commented he is opposed to a variance.

"It is a way to skirt around the Department of Health," Dobbins said.

"We are not trying to skirt around anything," Mayor Wagner said. "The city has to approve a variance of the existing ordinance even with the approval from the state."

Hill commented he did not oppose Dobbins when he put the RV park next to his property several years ago.

Baltimore asked for the facts to be gathered and a special meeting called in the next week or so to review the request.

City Attorney Wes Wagner said he would research it and get with other cities that are putting in RV parks.

The council voted 5-0 to have Mayor Wagner and Attorney Wagner gather information.

Following an executive session, the council voted unanimously to give city employees Christmas bonuses the same as last year.

Mayor Wagner informed the council the city backhoe went out. The state bid, which is usually the most reasonable cost, is $82,000. It will take two to three months for delivery. He went on to say if there is a major problem a backhoe would have to be rented. He said a contract with Case could be set up that would allow a maximum charge on rental fees of $6,000 if a backhoe is needed. The council voted to order the backhoe. The old backhoe will be checked to see if it is worth repairing.

In other business:

*The council approved unanimously, on Mayor Wagner's recommendation, to add Dec. 26 as a holiday this year for the city employees.

*The council agreed to have Chief Jackie Hill and Mayor Wagner look at the old police cars to see if it would be to the city's advantage to take them to auction or use them for parts. Mayor Wagner said they will get the information and get back with the council after the first of the year.

*Mayor Wagner asked the council to consider how they wanted to handle past due water and sewer bills when residents move leaving a bill. One option is to write off the bills to clear the books. The other option is to take legal action to collect the payments. He said they would get a list of the amount of late bills to be presented at the next meeting.

*Mayor Wagner announced the city had received a $700 rebate check from Entergy. It has been placed in the General Fund.

*Mayor Wagner said Building 100 will be closed because of the cold weather. He explained the building is too hard to heat and cool and they will look for a building for the cheerleading practice and boot camp. Also, the baseball lights will be turned off during the winter.

*Councilman Donnie Wagner asked what the hold-up is on the street paving. Councilman Dale Murphy said the company made it worse by grinding up the street. Mayor Wagner said he had contacted the company who got the bid several times. Councilman Baltimore asked if they could put some chat on the street which might help until work is complete.

*Mayor Wagner recognized city council elects Wendell Poteet and Steven Milligan who attended the meeting. They will be sworn in the first of the year. Poteet said he thinks the council has done a good job and he has seen a lot of improvements.

"We are going to miss Tony but we are looking forward to working with you," Mayor Wagner said. "I am sure Tony will be glad to help you any way he can."

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