Manila council denies variance request

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Manila City Council voted against two variance requests for apartment complexes at the Monday, Oct. 23, meeting. A third request was tabled until the next meeting.

Robert Tate with Tate Construction addressed the council at the September meeting requesting variances to build apartment complexes on Boston Street, Olympia Extended and off Lake Street.

Several residents were present to express their concerns about more apartments in the neighborhood. They all agreed they would not mind a single family dwelling be placed on the lots but did have objections to more apartments.

Council member Jason Baltimore made a motion, which passed unanimously, to deny the request for apartments on Boston Street.

The council then voted not to allow the variance for apartments to be built on Olympia Street Extended.

The council tabled the vote on the variance request for apartments off Lake Street. Board members asked Mayor Wayne Wagner to have the contractor submit floor plans before a decision is made.

Councilman Steven Milligan asked if the city would be required to put in a paved street if more apartments were built off the Lake Street location.

Mayor Wagner said if a street is dedicated to the city, it will be put on the paving list but the builders have to build up the base before it will be paved by the city.

Mayor Wagner gave an update on the senior citizen building under construction.

“Insulation is in and they will start with sheet rock this week and connecting the two buildings,” Mayor Wagner informed the council. “The new project manager is Ernie Malloy. We are planning a ribbon cutting in December.”

Woody Townsend with the Manila Pilot's Association gave a report informing the council of the work underway. He said the north half of the taxiway will be paved with 90 percent federal funds and 10 percent state funds. Delta Asphalt of Paragould will be doing the work. He also said work on the main hangar continues. He said the new aircraft maintenance person will be here full time in January and will be part-time as needed through November and December.

The council voted unanimously to purchase computer/software update for the Police Department up to $7,500.

Chief of Police James Skinner gave the cost estimates for the equipment which included off site backup.

"If something happened and this building was destroyed, we will still have our data," Chief Skinner said. "The system is also NIBRS compatable. We have not updated in 17 years."

Mayor Wagner updated the council on the sewer system improvements. He said FEMA will pay 75 percent of the cost up to $300,000 to replace sewer lines. Kline Construction will be doing the work and the deadline is Feb. 6.

"We will at least have partial new sewer lines by then," Wagner said.

Mayor Wagner said FEMA has been good to work with Manila. The city has been reimbursed 75 percent for the work that had to be done on the sewer lines due to flooding.

Mayor Wagner went on to discuss possible upcoming needs to upgrade the water treatment plant.

"Mr. Ford (Henry Ford, water superintendent) had a company do some repair work," Mayor Wagner said. "It will hold for a while but in the spring we will need to look for any grant money available to upgrade the water treatment plant. I think we have it fixed for now, but it will need improvements in the near future."

The Christmas Parade date has been set for 6 p.m. Dec. 2.

Following an executive session, the council voted to hire C.J. Medley as part time police officer at $10 an hour. Mayor Wagner said he has the training and is certified.

The council voted to pay a $25 cell phone stipend for the fire chief.

New ordinances for the city code enforcement, bonuses, LOPFI (police retirement), and a report from FEMA will be discussed at the next meeting to be held at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27.

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