Manila Council votes to decrease new utility rates
Council members voted unanimously at the Feb. 27 meeting to revise/adjust the recent increase in utilities to a lower amount. The revised rates for the first thousand gallons of water will be $10; first thousand for sewer will be $12; sanitation will be $15 for a minimum bill of $37. The council made changes from the original increase to leave the water at $2 for every thousand gallons after the first thousand; and $2 for sewer for every thousand after the first thousand.
Mayor Wayne Wagner said for those who had paid their water bill this month, the adjustments would be made on their next bill and for those not paid the adjustments would be made as they are collected.
"It is less than the original increase," Mayor Wagner said.
Mayor Wagner went on to say if the increase does not meet the requirements to qualify the city for USDA loans or grants if needed, the council could make future adjustments.
Councilmen present included Donnie Wagner, William Barnhart, Wendell Poteet and Dale Murphy. Jason Baltimore and Steven Milligan were absent.
The council voted to purchase a utility truck to be used in the water department. The 2002 F350 dually cost $4,370 is equipped with a welder/torch.
Councilman Poteet said if Henry Ford, water and sewer superintendent) said he likes it and needs it, he would be in favor of the purchase.
Mayor Wagner said the next vehicle purchase the council would look into would be a police vehicle.
Mayor Wagner asked the council to consider swapping Good Friday holiday for July 3. He said July 4 is on Tuesday this year and with the swap, the employees would have a four day weekend. Workers would have to catch up on the trash pick-up but it can be worked out.
The council had no objections to the swap and voted unanimously in favor of the change.
Charges and times for the transfer station were finalized. Starting March 1, the hours will be Tuesday and Thursday noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. until noon. The charges will be $10 for a pickup truck or $20 for a large trailer.
"Prices may be determined by the attendance according to the size of the load," Ford said. "If anyone needs to unload at the transfer station at other times, they can call city hall and someone will meet them there. There will be a minimum $20 charge."
Mayor Wagner commended Manila Chief of Police James Skinner and Manila officers for their work.
"They are working hard to keep drugs out of town," Mayor Wagner said.
"We are moving forward," Chief Skinner said.
He said officers had recently conducted a parole search which netted two arrests.
"The total crime is below average," Skinner said.
Councilman Wagner asked Chief Skinner if he foresees any problems with the marijuana law.
"I don't see any problems, it is for medical use only," Chief Skinner said.
City Attorney Wes Wagner said it is for medical use only and like other medications, persons must have a prescription. He went on to say it is illegal to drive while impaired with all medications.
In other business:
*Mayor Wagner announced a new business located in Manila, Elite Senior Care, which will have a grand opening/ribbon cutting at noon Thursay, March 9. The council and city staff are invited. The business is located in the former Wagner Clinic on Highway 18 bypass.
*There will be an agri meeting on irrigation at the Airport Community Center on March 7. The senior citizens will be at the depot center on that day.
*There will be a fund raiser held at the Airport Community Center on May 6 for the Butterfly House.
*Mayor Wagner said the opening baseball games will be on Friday at the Manila ballpark and he encouraged the council members to go by and see the work on the concession stand and the park.
*Mayor Wagner said the city will offer pool passes at a discount price for local students in the summer youth program.
*The maintenance shop for the park/pool has been completed.
*The next regular city council meeting will be on Monday, March 27.