Manila Council amends 2015 budget

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner and Cathy Huddleston, bookkeeper/treasurer, review the budget with city council members at the special called meeting. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

City budget was the main topic of a special called Manila City Council meeting Monday, Jan. 25.

Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner and city treasurer/bookkeeper Cathy Huddleston presented the 2015 budget summary which included beginning balance, income, expenses and ending bank balance for all departments.

The Council approved Ordinance 2016-01, an ordinance to amend the 2015 budget to accurately state the exact expenditures for the year.

Mayor Wagner said there is no way to know exactly what expenditures will be. He said the 2016 budget has a five percent increase over last year.

Huddleston will meet with the council quarterly and review the budget and make appropriate adjustments throughout the year.

"Then in January of 2017 the adjustments will not be as drastic," Mayor Wagner said. "The numbers from last year compared to this year are close."

Huddleston said she is also working on adding more line entries in the different departments so it will be easy to know where the expenditures are going. Mayor Wagner said the city has a good system but it is lumped all together. The line items will help.

Huddleston said the budget has not changed in two years and there have been added expenses such as salaries, swimming pool, etc.

Huddleston reviewed the adjustments answering questions from the council about the differences.

Earlier in the meeting the council voted to hire Hargin Co. to repair the sewer on Concord Street at a cost of $20,600. The company is in the area working along Highway 18. Henry Ford, Manila water/sewer superintendent, said the job should take about two days if all goes well. The water and sewer will have to be separated by 10 feet. The cost does not include repaving the street. Wagner said that will be done when weather permits.

Huddleston used the sewer repair as an example of unbudgeted projects that have to be done causing the need to amend the budget at the end of the year.

"If we get any money from FEMA for the sewer it will reimburse what we have to spend," Mayor Wagner said. "There is no way to know yet if we will receive any help, but this is something we have to do. If we don't get help, we are going to have to tighten our belts and get the work done."

The Council also accepted the 2016 budget.

Bobby Walton, a local builder, addressed the council about building an apartment complex at 404 Dixie Street. Walton said he had talked to the closest neighbors and they did not have any objections. He said most of the other houses in the area are rentals.

Walton said he would meet all of the city ordinances. There will be a privacy fence around the brick apartment complex with paved parking.

"It will look nice," Walton said.

"We talked about discouraging apartments but if the neighbors are okay with it, I don't have a problem with it," Councilman Wendell Poteet said.

The council decided to address the proposed apartments on Dixie Street at the February meeting giving neighbors the chance to let them know, in case there are any objections.

Mayor Wagner announced early voting will be held in Manila starting Feb. 22, Monday through Saturday, before the primary election on March 1.

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