Manila council continues discussions on sewer issues

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Manila Fire Chief Tracey Reinhart gave a yearly update at the Manila City Council meeting. Also pictured is Assistant Chief Glenn French. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner and city council members continued discussion on sewer repairs at the regular Jan. 18 meeting. The council met in a special meeting Jan. 4 with city engineer to discuss the major areas needing immediate repairs.

Residents, Bubba and Judy Shelton, addressed the council about problems with sewer and drainage at their home.

Mayor Wagner assured them the council is aware of the problem and their property is one of the areas on the priority list which includes Concord Street, behind the Miller residence, and Boston Street to the school.

Mr. Shelton said they have had problems for years starting when a pumping station was put in east of his house.

Following a discussion, Mayor Wagner said the council is concerned and they are working toward repairing the emergency areas first and then continuing to find the funding to go out with new lines throughout the town. He said the lines on Concord Street have to be repaired first.

"We have plans to correct your problem," Mayor Wagner said. "Hopefully we won't get another flood before we can get the work done."

Mayor Wagner said Liz Shaneyfelt made a generous offer of the Shaneyfelt office building for a senior center. He asked Aldermen Linda Donovan, Donnie Wagner and Wendell Poteet to look at the building as a possible sight.

Fire Chief Tracey Reinhart addressed the council expressing his appreciation to the city for their support. He said six new firefighters were added last year and they have five new members this year.

He estimated a need for turnout gear at a cost of $5,900 and a new hose reel replacement for Engine I at $3,000. Reinhart said the hoses on Engine I are used in fighting grass fires.

"We are presently back up to 25 firemen," Chief Reinhart said.

He said the department answered 126 calls last year from fires to first responder calls. Training classes are being scheduled.

"My goal is to lower the city's ISO rating to save money for our community," Reinhart said.

Following discussion Mayor Wagner recommended using ACT 833 money to purchase the turnout gear and looking into grant money for the reel for Engine I.

The council voted unanimously in favor of Mayor Wagner's recommendation.

Following an executive session, the board voted unanimously to rehire Jackie Hill (former police chief) part time with the police department and part time for the city.

The council approved the appointments of Tracey Reinhart, fire chief; James Skinner, police chief; Henry Ford, head of the water/sewer departments; Cathy Huddleston, city treasurer; Carla Brewer, court clerk; Wes Wagner, city attorney; and Shannon Langston, judge.

In other business:

--The council set a special meeting on Monday, Jan. 25, to review the budget and hear the state of the city address.

--Mayor Wagner updated the council on the work being done on the community center building. New windows on the south end have been installed and the dormer windows have been replaced.

--Mayor Wagner informed the council a NAPA parts store will be opening in Manila in March. It will be located in the former Dollar General building on Highway 18 bypass. The council voted unanimously in favor of the sale of the building.

--Mayor Wagner said they are looking into the possibility of getting funds to have a map drawn up of the entire sewer system which would be a help to solving problems that arise. Wagner said he would keep the council updated.

--Mayor Wagner asked the council if they had any suggestions on the renting of the community center. He said it is difficult to clean up and put up the senior citizens items for other activities. It was suggested he get the statistics on the rentals and give a report at the special budget meeting on Monday.

--Councilman Dale Murphy asked for the city to place enter and exit signs at the divided street going into the Subway parking lot.

--Chief of Police Skinner gave an update on the radio installation progress. He said they are waiting on a piece of equipment and once it arrives it should only take two days to have the new digital system installed.

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