Manila receives donation for ball park

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Matt Noble representing Farmers Bank & Trust in Manila presented a check to be used at the Manila baseball field. Pictured with Noble are council members Steven Milligan, Dale Murphy, Jason Baltimore, Wendell Poteet, Linda Donovan and Donnie Wagner. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Matt Noble presented a check to the Manila City Council at the Oct. 20 meeting on behalf of Farmers Bank & Trust totaling $15,000 toward investments to the Manila youth. The donation will provide a new scoreboard to the large baseball field at the Manila ballpark.

Noble informed the Council two additional checks of $5,000 will be awarded over the next two years for fencing and other needs around the facility. In addition to including Farmers Bank on the scoreboard and other signs, the Council passed the motion to rename the field Farmers Bank Field.

Mike and Jessica Warrenfells, unit commissioner and district committee member of the Boy Scouts of America, spoke to the Council about concerns for repairs to both the Cub Scout and Boy Scout huts in Manila. The Warrenfells stated that, not only are the buildings older and in need of maintenance, but they are also becoming too small for larger events and growing attendance of the groups. There are over 60 boys participating in the scouting program in Manila.

Warrenfells expressed his appreciation to the city for providing the buildings for Scout use.

Mayor Wayne Wagner said after speaking with contractor Woody Nunnally he was under the impression the building next to the old fire department, used by the Boy Scouts for meetings, would need too much repair. He suggested looking for a new site. However, work on the former Girl Scout hut, currently used by the Cub Scouts, could begin as soon as possible.

Warrenfells plans to meet with Nunnally and city employees, Joe Chipman and Henry Ford, to complete a list of needs and expenditures to present to the Council. The Council asked that a representative from the Scouts be chosen and present at future council meetings to give updates and progress as they move forward.

Mayor Wagner updated the Council on the food pantry. Work has been completed on the heating and air in the new food pantry at the new location on main street. Cleaning and minor changes have been made and the building will be open for deliveries on Nov. 7. Food will be ready to be distributed on Nov. 9.

A motion was approved to allow Mayor Wagner to spend up to $5,000 on a portable welder for the city shop. The city now has employees trained to weld, and the portable welder will be equipped for service.

Chief of Police James Skinner and Mayor Wagner are in the process of discussing plans and budgets for tasers and digital radios for the Police Department. Radios will also be provided to the Fire Department. An estimated $14,000 for radios per department will ensure that all personnel have a radio.

Woody Townsend with the Pilots Association shared favorable comments made by visiting pilots regarding the facilities and hospitality found while visiting the Manila Municipal Airport. Townsend also expressed additional appreciation toward Mississippi County Electric Co-op for involvement in lighting the windsock in early October.

The Council revisited discussions on building a new senior citizen building or renovating existing buildings. After speaking with involved seniors, Donnie Wagner listed a few locations and renovations requested for consideration. The Council was in agreement to move forward with the requests made by the senior citizens. Their first choice is a new building in the downtown area. Mayor Wagner informed the Council that he is in the process of starting meetings and discussions concerning possible property options for new construction.

The Council is working on ideas for the theme and naming the Grand Marshal of this year's Christmas parade scheduled for Dec. 5. Any suggestions may be directed to City Hall, 561-4437. The annual Manila Christmas music show to benefit The Butterfly House will be held at the Manila Airport Center the week following the Christmas Parade on Dec. 12.

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