Manila Council works through brief agenda

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Manila City Council had no objections to Mayor Wayne Wagner looking into a USDA loan or a bank loan to purchase a Ditch Witch.

Mayor Wagner said the equipment is needed to help survive the sewer system problems the city is experiencing. He said the city of Leachville has been very gracious in allowing Manila to use their vacuum truck.

“Talking with Henry (Henry Ford, Manila water/sewer superintendent) and the workers, they all say there is a real need for a vacuum truck,” Mayor Wagner said.

Ford has found a new unit, one year old, for $67,000. Wagner said it is a 2018 and the 2019 models are about to come out. The equipment will clean out sand in the sewer system and can be used to clean out culverts as well.

There were no objections expressed for Mayor Wagner to check into a loan and get some quotes for the equipment.

Mayor Wagner said the senior center building is getting close to completion. Workers are getting ready to put up protective walls and cover the floors with a material to make it less slippery.

Mayor Wagner said they are looking at a concession stand to serve the pool area and the park. He said he would have more information on it later.

Chief of Police James Skinner informed the council the city has been having trouble with ATVs and golf carts on the streets.

They have received complaints of ATV riders tearing up crops in fields and Chief Skinner said they have had several incidents. Damage is being done to property and riders are running from the officers.

“We have to stop it before we end up with a child killed,” Chief Skinner said.

Riding ATVs, side by sides, and golf carts on city streets is against Arkansas law.

“It is not legal at all,” Skinner said. “The city has no ordinance allowing riding on city streets anywhere. We don't want anyone to get hurt.”

Mayor Wagner then discussed the possibility of the city moving the Head Start building located in front the new high school to city property near the fire station.

He said the building has to be moved quickly. The building can be moved and leased. Wagner said there is a need for a daycare/head start.

Code Enforcement Officer Tracey Reinhart said it is a good, solid building.

The council voted to spend up to $15,000 to have the building moved from the school.

Reinhart, who also serves as Manila Fire Chief, said he would have a list of new members to release at the June meeting.

“Most of the new firefighters are experienced,” he said. "We have a good group of firemen. We are down to 21 and need about four more to get the numbers back up. We appreciate all the city does for us and we try to do our part.”

Council members mentioned a need for a new rescue truck in the future.

Mayor Wagner said he had meet with Moving Manila Forward group and had discussed forming an advisory group to establish basic guidelines with minimum standards for building on main street between the Herman Davis Monument and Farmers Market.

“The city council will still have the final say,” he said. “Once we get all of the information and the guidelines established it will go smoother. We all want to be proud of our main street.

Several council members said they have been receiving a lot of complaints about dogs running loose in town. There is a leash law and it should be enforced.

The council voted to hire Jerry Vassar part time as a backhoe driver during the summer.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, June 25.

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