Manila Council discusses fire department grant

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Rep. Dave Wallace discussed a grant for the fire department. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Rep. Dave Wallace spoke briefly to the Manila City Council prior to the Monday, July 18, meeting about a $10,000 grant for the fire department.

Mayor Wayne Wagner said City Attorney Wes Wagner and Rep. Wallace have been working on the grant and Rep. Wallace could answer any questions the council members may have.

The funds are non-matching and can be used for any need the fire department has including equipment, turnout gear, etc.

Rep. Wallace commended the city officials for staying informed on available grants.

"We are appreciative of all grants we can get," Mayor Wagner said.

Wagner went on to offer a list of items Fire Chief Tracey Reinhart had compiled as priority needs for the department. The list totaled $10,649.

"We have to itemize what the money will be used for," Mayor Wagner said.

The regular meeting was called to order with all council members present except Steven Milligan.

The council discussed the proposed senior citizen building. Mayor Wagner said the architect would be in town next week. Wagner may be out of town and he asked Council members Linda Donovan and Donnie Wagner, and any other council members who could, to meet with the architect.

Councilman Wagner said they had been talking about a new senior center for about a year and it is time to get it going.

Mayor Wagner said he hopes the bids will come in within the budget so work can begin.

The council discussed, but no action was taken, on final plans for the design of an entrance gate on Lake Street which will connect the park and the water park. The gates will accomodate pedestrians but not vehicles.

Mayor Wagner encouraged the council members to come by with any suggestions.

Mayor Wagner said one of the firefighters, Glenn French, has moved out of town and Chief Reinhart has recommended Brian Clark to fill the position.

"Brian Clark has recently moved to Manila and is experienced," Mayor Wagner said.

The council voted unanimously in favor of Clark to join the fire department.

Following a short executive session, the council voted unanimously to hire Bill Huddleston to work 24 hours every two weeks supervising city clean-up.

City treasurer Cathy Huddleston prepared hand-out sheets for council members to review the water, sewer and sanitation departments.

"All of these departments stand on their own merits," Mayor Wagner said.

He asked the council to review the figures and they would discuss it at the next meeting which is scheduled for 5 p.m. Aug. 15.

"The largest loss is in the sewer department," Mayor Wagner said. "The break on Concord Street cost $30,000 to repair."

Mayor Wagner commended Henry Ford (utility superintendent) and his crew for keeping the cost down as well as they can.

"We have more sewer problems when the weather is bad," Wagner said.

Year to date losses for each of the three departments are $37,000 sewer; $27,000 water; and $10,000 sanitation.

Councilman Wendell Poteet asked about looking at a small increase in the water/sewer now and then reviewing it again in January.

Manila has an average of 1,409 water customers.

Treasurer Huddleston spoke to a USDA representative about what it would take for the city to be eligible for sewer grants and she was told the minimum would need to be $52 for water and sewer per customer. Presently, the city has a minimum of $27 on water and sewer per month.

Mayor Wagner said bids would be opened on Tuesday for street paving.

"Hopefully, the paving can begin in a week or so before school starts," he said.

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