Manila Council talks annexation

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Manila Council members Wendell Poteet and Jason Baltimore look over city map before discussing annexation. Also pictured are City Attorney Wes Wagner (left) and Henry Ford, water/sewer superintendent. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Annexation was one of the topics discussed at the Manila Sept. 25 city council meeting.

Mayor Wayne Wagner distributed maps showing where the present city limits are located.

“It is time for us to get started on it,” Mayor Wagner said. “We need to have everything ready by February of 2018 to get it all in for the next 2020 census.”

Mayor Wagner asked the council what directions and how far they would like to see the city limits annexed. Suggestions included all areas inside the new four-lane highway, south on Highway 77 past Tuckers Shop, to Buffalo Ditch toward Leachville, and other areas.

Mayor Wagner encourages homeowners living near Manila to call city hall and he or city council members will be glad to talk to anyone about the advantages for residents of the city.

There will be a booth set up at the chili cook-off on Oct. 7 giving anyone interested the opportunity to ask questions and talk to city officials about annexation.

“If we annex areas on gravel roads, who will be responsible paving?” a council member asked.

Mayor Wagner said the city would be as the funds become available. Wagner asked the council to talk to residents and let him or Wes Wagner, city attorney, know of anyone living outside of the city limits who wants to be considered for annexation.

Robert Tate addressed the council with plans to build apartments at several locations in Manila. Tate said he was familiar with the city's ordinance and came to the council requesting a variance to build apartments.

Tate has purchased several properties formerly owned by Junior Wise. Tate said he has plans to remove an older house at 120 Lake Street and replace it with a single dwelling house which will not need a variance. Behind that area on Kimberly Drive he wants to add maybe two triplexes. Other areas he wants to add apartments to include the corner of Dixie and Boston on the empty lot behind the apartments he owns, and Olympia Cove past the school. He also said he plans to finish the apartments started on the corner of Dewey/Parker Streets.

Tate said he gets calls weekly from people wanting to move to Manila. He said most of them want apartments.

“I am not looking to put up apartments all over town,” he said. “I am just looking to develop the land next to apartments already in place.”

Mayor Wagner explained to Tate the process of asking for a variance before the city council, having it run in the local newspaper allowing any neighbors to have time to express any objections, and give the council members time to become familiar with the project area before any decision is made.

Tate said he would work with the city officials and said he would bring in plans if needed.

Mr. and Mrs. Eric Kroll addressed the council about replacing a single mobile home with a double-wide.

Mr. Kroll said they wanted to replace an older mobile home at 503 Lake Street with a new double-wide. He presented the plans.

Councilman Jason Baltimore said the council has been more lenient when a mobile home is being replaced by a mobile home.

The council agreed they had no objection to the Krolls replacing the single wide home with a double-wide as long as it met all of the guidelines and advised him to get with Henry Ford (water and sewer superintendent) with any plans before it is moved in.

When asked if they had talked to the neighbors on both sides of their property, they said one neighbor is family and had no objection, but they have not talked to the neighbor on the other side.

Mayor Wagner encouraged them to talk to the neighbors and let Ford know what they said.

Mayor Wagner said there is a company interested in purchasing the old water tower.

“I don't want to waste their time to come if you are not interested in selling it,” Mayor Wagner said.

Councilman Donnie Wagner said it would need to be a good offer.

Council asked Mr. Ford if the water tank could be used in an emergency. He said it would take longer to get it on line than to make any repairs.

No action was taken.

Cathy Huddleston, city bookkeeper, talked to the council about adding machine pay for customers who want to pay their water bills by debit or credit.

“So many people use debit or credit cards for all of their business,” she said. “The company will charge a $150 set up fee and it will cost $199 a year. People will be able to go online and pay their water bill and print out a history of their water bill.”

Huddleston said it will cut out half the bills the city sends out. She also said it is compatible with the present system.

It would give customers a choice. They can still pay their bill by bank draft, in the office or on line.

The council voted unanimously to add the new system to the water department.

The council went into executive session.

Mayor Wagner recommended hiring Brianna Pannells at city hall for 24 hours a week at $9 an hour. The motion was made and approved unanimously.

Mayor Wagner commended the overall staff.

“We have a great group of workers from the police department, fire department, city staff, Henry's crew, and the council,” Mayor Wagner said.

In other business:

*The lunch hour for city hall was moved to noon until 1 p.m.

*Mayor Wagner updated the council on the senior citizen building construction. He said they started the footing Monday to connect the two buildings. They plan to start on the metal roof on Wednesday. Mayor Wagner said they are being told it is still on schedule.

*The council approved a resolution to stay at the present 5.0 mill tax for state and county.

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