ANC bus expanding services to Manila

Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Willie D. Williams, Success Navigator, Arkansas Northeastern College, talks to Manila city officials.

Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner and council members welcomed Arkansas Northeastern College representatives to the June 25 meeting.

Willie D. Williams, success navigator, and Michael Smith, work coordinator, with the Workforce Orientation and Retaining Keys program addressed the council about the upcoming opportunities and the expansion of the bus route that will be coming to Manila to pick up students needing a ride to and from ANC. He said the bus service has been successful in other towns in Mississippi County.

Williams discussed the career opportunities through the program, courses offered, assistance available and the addition of the bus.

Smith talked about the program working with youth offering opportunities sharing several success stories through the WORK program.

“If you know anyone who could benefit from the program I would be glad to meet with them and discuss the program,” Smith said.

Mayor Wagner discussed with the council and read Resolution 2018-01, a resolution to seek grant assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration and Arkansas Department of Aeronautics in the amount of $394,672 for master plan updates at the Manila Municipal Airport. The FAA grant is 90 percent federally funded and 10 percent owner funded, in which the 10 percent may be reimbursable from the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics.

Mayor Wagner explained the resolution to show the support of the city is necessary for the work to continue. This will be at no cost to the city.

The council voted unanimously to pass the resolution.

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

The council also approved allowing Mayor Wagner to apply for possible grants available for the park/pool.

“The water park/pool is doing very well,” Mayor Wagner said. “It is $32,000 ahead of last year at the same time.”

He went on to say several days the pool has had over 300 in attendance.

“We have something for the younger children and older children,” he said. “There is a need for an area for middle school aged kids,” Mayor Wagner said.

The council voted to allow him to check into grants for an expansion of the pool with a area for kids which would also expand the capacity.

“This would give them a place they could play water volley ball and just have more room for their age group,” he said.

He said he will have more information and maybe a speaker at the next council meeting.

Council also agreed to allow Wagner to look into any grants available to develop the old Town Bay for a youth fishing area with a walking trail.

The council then voted unanimously to pay $1,360 for repair for a forestry truck to be given to the Manila Fire Department. The Army Kenworth six-wheel drive truck will be converted into a tanker truck replacing one of the two Milligan Ridge tanker trucks.

Fire Chief Tracey Reinhart explained the department had applied for the truck a year ago and just received word one is available. Repair work has been done on the truck and if the city will agree to reimburse the $1,360 for repairs, the fire department will take care of transferring the tank and painting the truck. He said the truck has to be picked up by July 1 and it has to be insured before they can drive it to Manila. The council agreed to pay the repairs and insurance.

Chris Cheadle with Moving Manila Forward (MMF) addressed the council briefly about any design guidelines city officials has or would like to see in the downtown area. Cheadle said MMF is now incorporated as a non-profit organization and is working on IRS filings.

“We want to know what you would like to see in the downtown area,” he said.

They discussed the popularity in other towns of residential apartments on the upper floors of commercial buildings.

Mayor Wagner asked Cheadle to get a study together and meet with the council at the July meeting.

“The apartments above commercial buildings seems to be popular in other towns,” Councilman Baltimore said. “It might help contractors consider building in downtown.”

Mayor Wagner said most consider the downtown area from Gary's Food Mart to the Methodist Church and main street runs from Farmers Market to Herman Davis Park.

Following an executive session, the council voted to give all employees a bonus. Full time employees will receive $1,000 and part-time employees amounts will be calculated on hours worked.

Council voted to give three employees, Jeremy Gibson, Jason McDaniel and Jason Ford, an increase in pay from $8.50 an hour to $9 an hour.

It was also agreed to provide a cell phone for the dog catcher.

“There is no way to get in touch with him after he goes home at 3:30 p.m.,” Mayor Wagner said. “If he has a phone residents will be able to contact him when there is a problem.”

The council gave a five-foot waiver to builder Josh Chipman on a house he is building. It was explained the city has a sewer line across the property and the waiver will allow him room to not build over the sewer line.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, July 23.

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