Manila Council greets new developers
Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner introduced Mallory and Carla Nimocks of Forrest City at the Monday, Aug. 28, council meeting. Wagner informed the council the Nimocks have purchased property in Manila with plans to develop a business.
“We are glad to have them here and I will let him explain his development plans,” Mayor Wagner said.
Mallory Nimocks said they have 10 convenience stores including ones at Crawfordsville, near West Memphis, and south of Jonesboro.
Mr. Nimocks said they had purchased property at the corner of Highway 18 and Fleeman Street about four months ago. Dirt work is underway and plans are to build a 4,100 square foot building which will face the new Highway 18.
He went on to say it will have five multi-product fuel dispensers in the front and offer diesel. Two foods will be offered, possibility a Baskin Robbins and a hot box chicken.
Mr. Nimocks said there is enough space for another business and he is looking into possibilities.
“We are excited to be here,” he said. “We have 140 employees in the 10 stores. We take pride in our team. We pay above minimum wage, offer health insurance paying 75 percent of the cost, offer 401K to everyone in the company. We are looking at 15-17 local workers.”
Mayor Wagner said the community appreciates the job creation and the sales tax the business will bring to support Manila's youth and senior citizen activities.
Councilman Dale Murphy asked about hours of operation.
Nimocks said they open at 4 a.m. and closing depends on the night sales. Some stores stay open until midnight every night and others close at 10 p.m. through the week and midnight on Friday and Saturday.
“We open to the early commuters and sportsmen with breakfast,” Nimocks said. “We pride ourselves as being part of the communities we are in. I am sure you are proud of what you have been doing. We drove around and saw the community center, park, pool and new school.”
The council made decisions on two variance requests from last month's meeting.
Michael Oldham has purchased property across from the school (next to the elementary parking lot.) He had requested a variance to add a small, single dwelling rent house which would be located on the lot with the existing house.
“We did get some calls,” Mayor Wagner said. “We would rather work with you on another location.”
He went on to say they are looking at passing an ordinance to make the area R1 Residential.”
Councilman Jason Baltimore said they have all been guilty in the past to approve variances to get rid of some old houses.
“You (Mr. Oldham) have done a great job with the property,” Mayor Wagner said.
Councilman Steven Milligan commented, "It has nothing to do with you."
“I was told an extra lot came with the house,” Oldham said.
Oldham redrew his request.
The council then reviewed a request for a variance from Burch and Co. on 904 Amber Lane.
Councilman Milligan said it is a bad idea to put a house of that size on the lot. He said it will not match up to Ms. Jackie's property.
Several residents from the area were there to let their concerns be known on the issue.
The council voted unanimously to not approve the variance.
The council voted to approve the building permit requests from Burch and Co. on other properties including 100 Bullard, 910 Amber Lane, 901 Taylor Street, 106 Libby Street, and 905 Libby Street. No variances were needed for the construction.
Manila Fire Chief Tracey Reinhart addressed the council about a need the department has for a rescue truck.
He went on to say the fire department is called out on less fires and more accidents.
“We realize everything we ask for costs a lot of money if it is a truck or suits,” he said. “Right now our number one priority is a new rescue truck.”
The present truck is a 1994 model.
“We are willing to help raise matching funds for any grant we might can get,” Chief Reinhart said. “I want you to understand the importance of a new truck. We answered 241 calls last year with 187 rescues involved.”
Reinhart said being a businessman, he understands sometimes the money is just not there but he went on to ask the council to commit to making a new truck a priority.
He estimated a cost at $189,000 for an equipped truck.
“The city has done a good job of taking care of us,” Reinhart said.
He said personal equipment is good and the department has three pumpers. Reinhart said the firefighters work as hard as anyone.
“We have the manpower but we need the equipment,” Reinhart said.
Mayor Wagner said it would also be a step in improving the fire rating which will save homeowners money on their insurance premiums.
Four new firemen, Danny Archer, Chris Booker, Anthony Diffee and Carlos Wood, were approved. Chief Reinhart then recommended the reinstatement of Vince Bollinger to the department. The council voted unanimously to reinstate Bollinger.
Woody Townsend gave an update on the airport. He said the maintenance man is coming the first of October and will be doing annuals. He talked about the improvements on the hangar and the need for an area to store parts and tools. They are looking into LED lighting.
Townsend said as a community project they are looking at a movie night. The movie will be projected on the side of a hangar. Once the weather cools and the mosquitoes are not so bad, it will be scheduled.
The council discussed annexation.
Councilmen Baltimore and Milligan commented they felt if the people are on city services they need to be in the city limits.
Mayor Wagner said they can start the process by talking to the residents on how their services can improve and how it will help the city.
The council went into executive session but took no action before the meeting adjourned.