Manila senior citizens address Manila Council

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Anna Bell Mitchell addressed Manila city Council.

A group of Manila senior citizens addressed the city council at the Oct. 22 meeting. Spokesman for the group, Anna Bell Mitchell, said she was representing over 30 senior citizens with a request to keep the therapeutic pool open year round.

“First I want to express our gratitude to Mayor Wagner and the council for all you do for us,” she said. “The therapeutic pool is very beneficial to us. It improves health, balance, strength. Water exercises are very beneficial to our health. This is a formal request to keep it open. We understand there is no heat and we want to know what kind of plan you have to install heat and the estimated cost and what we can do to help. Again, we want to thank you for wonderful building.”

Mayor Wayne Wagner expressed his appreciation for their “working together” attitude.

He said there has been misinformation.

“We have heat in the therapeutic pool room,” he said. “One problem is there is a leak. We can remedy that problem by adding water when needed. In the spring we plan to get Memphis Pool here to see if we can find and fix the leak. The problem we are having is the design of the building. The water lines are in the attic and when the wind is out of the north and the temperatures drop to freezing, they have to be turned off to keep from freezing.”

Darrell Birmingham, park/pool director, said the heat pump froze the first year.

“Every member of this council will say yes they want to keep it open for you,” Mayor Wagner said.

Mayor Wagner said they are looking into ways to remedy the problem but until the problem is solved, the pool will have to be closed during the extreme cold weather. Wagner assured them it would be open when possible.

One of the seniors commented a rumor was the therapeutic pool would have to be closed.

Councilman Jason Baltimore said the council meant for the pool to be open year round.

“This is not a problem we don’t want to solve,” Mayor Wagner said.

Mayor Wagner also thanked the group for coming to the council to discuss the issue.

“The best way to get answers is to come to the meetings with your questions,” Mayor Wagner said.

It was also asked if the temperature in the room could be turned up in the winter. Seniors agreed the water is warm enough but when they get out the room is too cold.

Birmingham said the thermostat is factory set and the temperature will only go three degrees higher or lower.

Councilman Baltimore suggested calling RGB to reprogram the system.

Councilman Steven Milligan said he had never heard any comment from any council member about closing the therapeutic pool.

“The original design of the building was intended for the pool to stay open year round,” Councilman Baltimore said.

“The city is blessed to have our seniors,” Mayor Wagner said.

Laura Vandiver thanked Mayor Wagner and the council.

“We now understand the problem,” she said.

The council approved a temporary waiver request from Homer Key who asked to place a camper trailer in the driveway under the carport of his mother’s home on Olympia Street. His mother has some health problems.

In other business:

*The council declared an emergency with the sewer problems and approved the purchase of a Ditchwitch to help clean out sewer lines.

*The council approved the purchase of a control panel from Sunbelt in the amount of $5,746. Fire Chief Tracey Reinhart said the control panel will put the ladder truck into service. The newly acquired tanker truck has been painted at a cost of $1,200 and will be in service at the end of next week.

*The council passed a millage rate resolution of the present 5.0 mills. Cities are required to approve the millage resolution each year.

*Mayor Wagner gave the cost to be part of the Municipal League legal defense. He said there is a lawsuit filed against the police department. "The Municipal League will provide legal representations for our officer/officers," Wagner said. The cost is $6,900 and membership through 2019 is $23,434.

*City treasurer Cathy Huddleston said the employee health insurance will only go up a couple of dollars in January. She and Mayor Wagner will meet with employees and go over the benefits.

*Following an executive session, the council voted to hire Jason McDaniel as full time and raising his pay from $9.50 to $10 an hour. McDaniel reads meters and installs water meters.

*Council voted unanimously to hire Cody Humble part time at $9 an hour with the sanitation department.

*Council voted unanimously to give all full time employees a $1,500 Christmas bonus and part-time employee bonuses will be pro-rated. Mayor Wagner and the fire chief will meet and decide on how to include the volunteer firefighters.

*Mayor Wagner said he and Jason Baltimore will check on the hams and turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He and Councilman Wendell Poteet will check on the storage building at the park.

*The council meets at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month.

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