Manila Council approves variance
Gene Dobbins addressed the Manila City Council at the January meeting Monday, Jan. 19, requesting a variance on properties near his RV Park located on West Lake Street.
Dobbins asked about utility charges on trash pick-up rates if the property is approved for a variance. He wanted to know if there is one water meter with two RV hookups if the charge would be a residential rate times two which would be $16 or one commercial rate which would be $35.
Mayor Wayne Wagner said, "If you pay all of the utilities it could be commercial but if the residents pay it would be residential. It depends on how you choose to set up. As long as the citizens of Manila get paid for all of the usage there should not be a problem."
Mayor Wagner suggested Dobbins meet with Henry Ford, director of public works, to establish if the charges will fall under commercial or residential status.
Dobbins requested variances on three lots to allow two RV hook-ups on each instead of one:
*803 West Lake Street, corner of Highway 77-18B, near the former laundromat building.
*915 West Lake Street, immediately east of the RV Park.
*613 Beauchamp (south side of Dobbins' home and the south side of Jackie Hill's lot).
The council voted unanimously to allow the variance for two RVs, not mobile homes, at the 915 location; and two RVs, not mobile homes, on the 613 Beauchamp.
All council members, Linda Donovan, Donnie Wagner, Dale Murphy, Jason Baltimore and new members, Wendell Poteet and Steven Milligan, were present.
The council tabled the request for the 803 West Lake Street. Councilman Donnie Wagner said he would like to hear from the neighbors before acting on this property.
Dobbins said he would get back on the agenda for next month.
Mayor Wagner told him it would be the March meeting before he could again request the variance on 803 West Lake Street allowing time for public response.
Mayor Wagner gave the state of the city address saying the city it is good shape.
"With your support we will start with the renovation of main street," he said. "We have ideas we have all been working on."
He talked about the park projects. He said work will begin on the Highway 18 Bypass this summer and utilities will be moved.
"I know it will be a hard time for our citizens and our businesses out there but it is something that has to be done and we don't have control of it."
Mayor Wagner recognized two members of the Manila Pilots Association who were in attendance at the meeting. Mayor Wagner said the airport is in good shape. The Razorback meeting will be held at the Community Center in March with visitors flying into the airport.
"The airport has a positive affect on the city," Mayor Wagner said.
A grant for a new senior center building has been approved.
Following an executive session, the council voted 6-0 to reappoint Police Chief Jackie Hill and Henry Ford as Director of Public Works. Tracey Reinhart was appointed Fire Chief.
The council voted to rehire Shannon Langston as judge and Wes Wagner as city attorney.
The council reappointed Rebecca Hartgraves as city treasurer.
In other business:
*Donna Jackson was appointed to serve on the Housing Authority committee.
*Woody Townsend with the pilots association talked briefly about the new windsock placed on the north end of the airport.
*Councilman Dale Murphy asked about the drawings for the gates to the park. Mayor Wagner said suggestions have been made for a big M-arch across the entrance with flags and Lions on each side.
*Rebecca and I will meet with the state representatives and will proceed at the next meeting to discuss water and sewer rate increases.
*The council approved the proposed 2015 budget. Mayor Wagner said they are not asking for increases over last year. He said there will be a special meeting to amend the 2014 budget.
*The council approved hiring Don Skaggs, city employee.
*Councilman Jason Baltimore said the council needs to consider preparing a job description/salary rate for the different positions.
Correction: A variance on the Jackie Hill property for four RV hook-ups, approved at the December Manila City Council meeting, was incorrectly referred to as a RV Park in the Town Crier. It was not approved and will not be a RV Park.