Manila City Council denies waiver request

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Kennedy Woodall speaks to the Manila City Council on behalf of the Manila High School senior class. Also pictured is Councilman Dale Murphy. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Manila resident Jimmy Brooks had requested, at the August Manila City Council meeting, a waiver to place a camper mobile home on property he owns on Haywood Street. He asked council members to grant a temporary waiver to allow a man to live in the camper purchased by Brooks. Brooks went on to explain he will allow the gentleman to live there with a rent to own opportunity. He estimated it would take two years for the man to pay for the trailer and then he would move it off of Brooks property. Water and sewer is already on the property and Brooks said he was trying to help the man who lives on a fixed income. He assured the council he would take care of the upkeep of the property. Brooks has other rental properties in the same area.

No action was taken at the August meeting. Mr. Brooks was asked to bring letters from neighbors stating they had no objection to the placement of the camper.

Brooks presented letters from all of the neighbors living around the property, some owners and some renters.

Members of the Manila Boy Scout Troop visited the Manila City Council meeting thanking the council for repairs to the Scout Hut's air conditioning system.

Mayor Wagner, Councilman Dale Murphy and others commented they had received some calls from people in the neighborhood stating objections to the waiver.

Mayor Wagner explained there is an ordinance against mobile homes being placed on lots for rental.

"I am asking for a part-time waiver," Brooks said. "As soon as the camper is paid for, he will move it. I am trying to help him. He can't afford the high rent."

Councilman Jason Baltimore said he understands Mr. Brooks is trying to do a good deed but was worried about repurcussions from granting a waiver for a rental mobile home.

"The call I got said if you do it for him, I want to put one in my yard and rent it out," Councilman Steven Milligan said.

Brooks said he is trying to help the man and he wanted to do it the legal way.

"It is not a violation to have a camper in the yard," Mayor Wagner said.

He said the police officers try to make sure campers are not hooked up and being lived in.

Council voted to not allow the waiver with all voting yes except Councilman Donnie Wagner who abstained.

The council voted to lease a John Deere lawn mower to be used at the Herman Davis Monument, park, pool area and airport. Most parts and all maintenance is covered in the lease. If the mower goes down, they will bring another one while it is being repaired. At the end of three years the city can purchase the mowere for $1,025 or turn it in for a new one. The lease agreement is similar to the grapple truck lease.

The Council voted to continue the lease on a new grapple truck.

The grapple truck used by the city for the last three years will be swapped for a new one. The council then voted to pass Ordinance 2016-03 to finance lease through 1st Security Bank of Searcy.

Kennedy Woodall, representing the Manila High School senior class, addressed the council about using the airport center to hold a Halloween party/dance as a class fund raiser. She said they want to open it to people from the ninth grade to the age of 22 from Manila and the surrounding towns.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to the class to help seniors with expenses with graduation items and senior trips.

She went on to say parents will be present and Chief of Police James Skinner said he would be there. Also, Councilman Dale Murphy said he would also oversee the event.

Mayor Wagner said the parents in charge would need to meet with Chief Skinner and go over the guidelines.

Council members had no objections to the senior class using the Airport Center.

The event will be held from 8 p.m. until midnight Saturday, Oct. 22.

"You can take this message back to the senior class," Mayor Wagner said. "If the city can do anything to help the seniors have a great, safe year, let us know."

Mayor Wagner informed the council that four Manila firefighters have received certification. They are Ashley Baugher, Alex Mason, Hunter Holt and Jeremy Bennett.

City treasurer Cathy Huddleston said she had received the okay from auditors to move two reserve accounts, water and sewer, to the regular water and sewer accounts. She said there has been no activity in the reserve accounts since 2001. The water reserve account has $4,359.27. The sewer reserve account has $4,815.88. Council voted unanimously to allow her to move the account.

Mayor Wagner announced if anyone has any shrubs or trees they would like to get rid of they can donate them to the park and the city employees will take them up and replant them.

In other business:

*Woody Townsend with the Pilots Association gave an update on the airport activities.

*Mayor Wagner recognized the Boy Scouts attending the meeting. They thanked the council for the repair of the air conditioner at the Scout Hut.

*Mayor Wagner announced Brenda Watson will be retiring and moving from Manila to be near her family. She has worked at city hall for 40 years.

*The chili cook-off date is Saturday, Oct. 8.

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