Manila City Council hears update on Jobs Act

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Manila Wayne Wagner introduced State Senator Dave Wallace at the regular April 23 city council meeting. Sen. Wallace spoke briefly about the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“Wayne (Mayor Wagner), Wes (Wagner, city attorney), and Tommy (Dr. Tommy Wagner) have worked with me on this,” Sen. Wallace said. “Creating opportunity zones in Arkansas has been part of the Jobs Act.”

Senator Wallace said there are over 8,500 economic opportunity zones nationally and Arkansas will be getting 85 with two in Mississippi County.

Mayor Wagner said thanks to Gov. Hutchinson and Sen. Wallace the Manila area is included in one of the zones. Companies and businesses will be offered tax incentives to locate in the opportunity zones.

“We have worked long and hard on this," Sen. Wallace said. "Governor Asa Hutchinson made all this possible for Arkansas to be included. I think it will be good for Manila and the other communities in the opportunity zones.”

“We don't know what it will do, but it will not hurt us,” Mayor Wagner said. “We can get things done when we all work together.”

Mayor Wagner said he will be working with Clif Chitwood with Mississippi County Economic Development.

Being in the opportunity zone can be an advantage and will be a good recruiting tool for these zones City Attorney Wes Wagner said.

The city council voted unanimously to approve the construction of apartments at Olympia Cove. Builder Robert Tate had originally requested approval for apartments on the corner of Dewey and Parker Streets but the council rejected the location. Tate then submitted the apartment plans to be built on Olympia Cove, near other apartments he owns. Mayor Wagner and the council said they had received no objections.

Council members present included Jason Baltimore, Donnie Wagner, Steven Milligan, Dale Murphy and William Barnhart. Wendell Poteet was absent.

Mayor Wagner said Code Enforcement Officer Tracey Reinhart and Tate had been reviewing the location on Dewey and Parker Streets for the addition of two small houses.

“We should have the details and plans to review at the next meeting,” Mayor Wagner said.

Pool director Darrell Birmingham gave a report on party bookings for the pool. The pool/water park can be rented for private parties in the mornings and the evenings.

Mayor Wagner said they are looking at giving a $25 reduction in rental fee if cake or pizza or other food for the party is purchased in Manila. This is a way to encourage shopping at home and it will help the businesses.

“It may work or it may not, we will see,” Mayor Wagner said.

Birmingham also said the water was turned on and there are no leaks. He is getting information on replacing one damaged umbrella. He said it would be a good idea to start budgeting for next year to add pavilions.

In other business:

*Mayor Wagner expressed his appreciation to Tracey Reinhart, fire department, police department, city employees, Moving Manila Forward and all others who helped in the weekend activities. “Manila had a lot of activities over the weekend with a '60s reunion at the airport center, a ball tournament at the park, and the Blazin' BBQ Festival downtown.”

*Mayor Wagner announced Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, will be the city's clean up week.

*Councilman Wagner said the next update meeting for the senior center will be May 2.

*Police Chief James Skinner said Officer Landon Crumpton has completed the academy and is back to work.

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