Manila Council works through long agenda
Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner and city council members met with engineer David Hopkins Monday, April 27, to discuss the problem and solutions in getting the wastewater plant up to par. Hopkins said there is a problem at the wastewater plant and city officials will need to show they are making progress on the solution. It will be an expensive project but it will have to be done, Hopkins said. He also said it is unlikely a grant will be available. More than likely, the city will need to borrow the funding for the project.
The council asked several questions about time frame, cost, etc.
Hopkins said part of the problem is shallow ponds and the need for a more effective aeration system.
"This is a problem the present mayor and council have inherited," Hopkins said. "Henry (Henry Ford, utilities superintendent) does everything he can but there has to be improvements. The wastewater plant is tested twice a month."
Hopkins said he would have more information after a study is completed.
The council also discussed the replacement of some of the oldest sewer lines that have begun to deteriorate with age. The problem lines are located in the school area.
The council all agreed it is time these lines are replaced and asked Hopkins to look at the best solution in getting the lines replaced and working for the residents in the area.
The council said they realize these projects are a must and the most critical part is how they will be funded.
Local builder Junior Wise addressed the council asking for a variance on the corner of Parker and Dewey Sreets to build apartments. The apartments will replace several mobile homes on the site.
The council asked about paved parking with two parking spots for each apartment so the residents do not have to park on the streets.
Wise said there will be paved, two vehicle parking for each residence.
The council voted unanimously to allow the variance. Council members present were Linda Donovan, Donnie Wagner, Dale Murphy, Jason Baltimore, Wendell Poteet and Steven Milligan.
Holly Dixon also addressed the council for a variance for a 30'x24' shop building on her property.
Mayor Wagner said he had a note from the neighbor whose property line is closer than 15 feet saying he had no problem with the location of the shop.
The council voted unanimouly to allow the variance.
Mayor Wagner said former Dell mayor Kenny Jackson is writing grants for the city and each department head was asked to give him a priority list.
Councilman Baltimore asked Police Chief Jackie Hill if they wanted tazers.
"We would like to have tazers and they are on the list," he said.
Tazers cost $500 to $800 each. Hill said the top priority is a vehicle.
"I would like to see the department get a new vehicle each year," Chief Hill said. "If we could get one a year we would be getting rid of a six year old vehicle each year."
The swimming pool/water park will be open for the three day Memorial Day weekend and then close until school is out. Mayor Wagner said it has been rented for 17 nights and that is a good start. Admission to the pool this year is $5 each from ages 3 to 65. Mayor Wagner suggested a ladies' day out, maybe two morning a week from 10 a.m. until noon. The regular hours are 1-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. for private parties.
Councilman Baltimore said the therapeutic pool needs to be open more to the public.
May Clean-up Month:
The month of May will be the annual clean-up month. Items can be put cubside Monday through Thursday to be picked up. Paint cans, batteries and tires will not be picked up. Mayor Wagner said the city crew will not separate those items. If those items are on the pile it will not be picked up.
Ford said the crew is still having trouble with people putting their limbs under high line wires. Mayor Wagner said if the residents will call city hall and give a location of where the debris is, the city crew will get it as quickly as they can. People who want to take their own items to the local transfer station can do so on Saturdays at no charge through the month of May. They can call city hall and if possible someone will meet them at the transfer station, off Olympia behind the new fire station, through the week.
In other business:
*A resident addressed the council about patrolling the parking lot at the pool. He said two or three men were making a race track out of the parking lot and he had to call the police.
"I don't mind the kids there playing, listening to their music, but I don't want to see anyone killed," he said. "After I called, an officer came and put a stop to it. I don't want to stop the kids from activities but you may want to have the police patrol the area more."
A discussion was held on closing the park at 10 a.m. or 15 minutes after the last activity, but it was decided to try more patrol and warnings first.
"It is a shame that a few will ruin it for all," Mayor Wagner said.
*Greg Smith with the pilot's association reported on the progress at the airport. The construction on a new hangar has begun and expected finish date is Aug. 1. He said a safety night lite had been installed on the fuel island for visiting pilots.
*Councilman Poteet said he had complaints about the debris left with the houses torn down. Mayor Wagner said it has been wet and crews have not been able to get in without the equipment getting stuck. They are working on getting the debris moved.
*The Council voted to raise the rental at the Airport Center from $150 to $250 and the deposit from $25 to $50.
*The council voted to accept Medical Drive into the city. It is the street where Casey Wells is building an optometry office.
*The council ageed to take sealed bids on the 485 Case and John Deere compact tractor.
*Wooden benches and a wooden enclosure to go around trash cans for the park were viewed. Mayor Wagner said they were built by local people. He said it would be nice to have a couple benches along the walking trail. The trash container enclosure would keep the cans from blowing over. Wagner suggested they try one to see if people will use it.
*Mayor Wagner said are working on getting the monuments in the park. He said they are working on frames and getting the concrete in place. Over 60 have been purchased.
*Mayor Wagner submitted a list for streets to be paved this summer including the new street at the airport; Chipman Street near the school; Wise Street north of town; and Medical Drive. He suggested the councilmen submit any suggestions for the list and if the funding is available the city can do more.
*Mayor Wagner announced the revenue bonds for the sewer expansion to Costner Subdivision were paid off March 2.
*Mayor informed the council that code enforcement officer Fred Burks retired.
*Councilman Wagner said he would like to see the meetings stay on the third Monday and not rescheduled. "If everyone can't be here, we can always call a special meeting but I think we should keep it the same every month."