Manila Council agrees to utility change order
In an effort to not delay work of the widening of the highway along the Manila 18 Bypass, Manila Council members voted unanimously to an alternative plan near Gamble's Home Furnishings at the Monday, April 25, meeting.
At a special called meeting in March, the council voted to start legal proceedings to acquire the right of way to move sewer lines across the Gamble property. Dan Gamble attended the next meeting and informed the council he would not give the city permission to go across the property.
Mayor Wayne Wagner told the council Gamble was the only property owner along the highway project that had not given a written or verbal agreement for the new lines to go across their properties.
Mayor Wagner said he, Henry Ford (Manila water and sewer superintendent), city engineer, city attorney, representatives of the highway department, and contractors met to look at what could be done.
"They have been great to work with us," Mayor Wagner said.
They came up with a change order using steel casing for the pipes and placing the casing under the street and sidewalk.
"The cost will go up and it will cost the taxpayers of Manila an additional $42,254," Mayor Wagner said. "The highway department may help us with an additional loan of $21,127 by holding more of our street turnback money."
The highway department loaned the city almost $1 million to fund the work (moving the sewer and water lines) the city is responsible for along the Highway 18 bypass. It will be repaid by holding half the turnback money until paid in full.
Wagner went on to explain the city will only have half the funds for street work until the debt is repaid.
"If you decide to go this route, the work can be done before we can get through a three month law suit," Mayor Wagner told the council.
"If it gets the work done I will make that motion to go with the alternative plan," Councilwoman Linda Donovan said.
The council voted unanimously to move forward with the new plan at the additional cost.
Council members present included Donovan, Wendell Poteet, Steven Milligan, Jason Baltimore and Donnie Wagner. Councilman Dale Murphy was absent.
Mayor Wagner expressed his appreciation to everyone who worked with them.
Mayor Wagner said the intersection will be congested for awhile and there will be a need for a detour.
Council went on to discuss street paving plans.
Mayor Wagner said money permitting, bids will be taken on paving a street in Chipman Subdivision, a street at Teal Point, Concord and Olympia streets where there were sewer cave in repairs, and Wise Subdivision north of town.
City workers are working on repairing pot holes in the city streets.
Woody Townsend, member of the Pilots Association, updated the council on the airport progress. He said all of the hangars are filled with a waiting list. He said the new executive hangar is completed.
"We are growing and getting a lot of new aircraft based at the airport," Townsend said.
Following an executive session, the council voted to allow the city treasurer/bookkeeper Cathy Huddleston to reduce her hours and pay. City employee Carla Brewer will train to help with the work in Huddleston's office. With the change, there will be extra work on Susie Baker, water clerk, and Brewer. The council voted unanimously to give both a raise for taking on the extra responsibilties.
The council also approved an hourly increase in pay for Joe Chipman in the water and street department.
Mayor Wagner said Don Nunnally with the fire department had asked about the city considering adding a mass text system to the cell phones. The estimated cost is $145 a year. After a discussion, the council agreed it was not necessary to wait until the next meeting to make the decision if it is something that would be beneficial to the fire department and the citizens of Manila. They voted unanimously to approve the request.
In other business:
*Council voted to purchase a used truck for $8,500 from Greg Stallings. The 2008 Chevrolet with a lift has low mileage and will be used in the water department.
*Council agreed to allow Harold Stallings to purchase/trade the vacant lot near his home for $2,500 with the price being used on the truck cost.
*Councilman Baltimore asked about police vehicles. Mayor Wagner said the city needs one more vehicle.
*Council voted to offer Darrell Birmingham the park and pool director's job.
*The next regular meeting will be at 5 p.m. Monday, May 23. Representatives will be at the meeting to discuss sewer/water rates for operations maintenance. Mayor Wagner encouraged citizens to attend and offer feedback.