Manila expands fire district

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mayor Wayne Wagner informed council members at the June 26 meeting Manila Fire Department and Etowah Fire Department have reached an agreement.

“Basically, Manila will take in this side of the river and Etowah will take in the other side,” Mayor Wagner said. “We will all continue to help each other when needed.”

Manila will be adding the Milligan Ridge area.

The council voted unanimously to approve the new fire district.

All council members, Donnie Wagner, Steven Milligan, Dale Murphy, William Barnhart, Jason Baltimore and Wendell Poteet, were present.

Billie Misner addressed the council about cleaning Benton Street, the street she lives on. The street has a natural curve and it accumulates a lot of dirt, Misner said. She said she has kept it clean for years but now needs help.

Mayor Wagner said the city is looking for a bristle to fit on front of the backhoe.

“We can bring the front loader and bucket,” Mayor Wagner said.

He asked Ms. Misner if she would like to talk to the council about her mother's drainage problem?

“She lives on Amber Lane and when it rains, water accumulates,” Misner said. “Her house is like an island. There is no place for the water to go.”

Mayor Wagner said the problem is there is no drainage.

“She is land locked,” he said. “The first houses were built on flat ground, other houses built their property up." He said one option might be having everyone dig a ditch and put in culverts.

“We have looked at going under the driveways but I am not sure if that would be enough to do any good,” he said. “We know your mom has a serious problem and we are looking for a solution.”

Councilman Baltimore said the city needs to look at passing an ordinance with drainage plan requirements for all new construction.

Mayor Wagner thanked Misner for doing a great job keeping the new airport terminal building clean.

“I enjoy doing it,” she said. “It is a focal point for Manila. It is a nice building.”

Mayor Wagner, city attorney Wes Wagner, and the council discussed annexation.

Mayor Wagner said there is a lot of work involved and to get the population counted in the 2010 census, it would need to be done by February 2018.

Mayor Wagner suggested looking into the possibility of moving the city limits to the Big Lake Bridge to the east and Wildy Road to Buffalo Ditch, to Tucker's Station on Highway 77 and Poplar Corner to the north.

“We need to talk to the residents and see if the people want to be in the city limits,” Mayor Wagner said.

City Attorney Wagner suggested due to the time lines, it would be good to start before Christmas.

Councilman Baltimore said he thinks if residents are getting city water, trash pick-up or sewer they need to be in the city.

Mayor Wagner said he had met with FEMA about sewer work including Concord, behind the post office, and several other places. He said they are going to try Fiberglas lining.

“Hopefully, the work will be done by Thanksgiving,” he said. “A lot of good things are going on in Manila. We will have the ground breaking for the senior citizen building on July 12, and construction will begin on July 14.”

Other announcements:

*The Mississippi County mayors will meet in Manila on July 11.

*The Council voted to add Carla Brewer on the bank signature card. Mayor Wagner said the auditors said it was best to have three signatures.

*The Council voted to exchange the city's grapple for a new one under the same conditions. Mayor Wagner said it is a year early but the city has the opportunity to get a new one now with no down payment.

*Mayor Wagner informed the council city engineer David Hopkins is taking a job for the city of Little Rock. He said he will meet with his partners on July 14 and discuss a replacement.

“He will be hard to replace,” Mayor Wagner said. “He knows our city and our airport well. We will miss him.”

*Mayor Wagner said the airport truck has been passed to the police department. They are in the process of finding a used vehicle for the airport.

*Following an executive session, the council voted unanimously to give city employees a $1,000 bonus and supervisors a $1,200 bonuse. Also Brian Cherry was approved for a 50 cent an hour raise to get in compliance with the minimum wage law.

*The council approved taking bids for several streets including areas with new construction by Bobby Walton, Woody Nunnally, Jared Stutts, Terry Brewer, Jr. Wise, and Roy Benton Street and Country Club Street. If there is enough funding the city will add a short street to the transfer station. Mayor Wagner said they will know if all of the work can be done when the bids are opened July 24.

*The council talked about finding someone to give Red Cross swimming lessons at the Manila pool. The council agreed for Mayor Wagner and park manager Darrell Birmingham to try to find someone and work out the details.

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