Common council approves pay increases
By Jane Myhra
The Manawa Common Council approved a 3 percent water rate increase at its November meeting.
The increase, as recommended by the Improvements and Services Committee, requires approval from the Public Services Commission but does not require a public hearing.
The new water rates will begin in 2017.
The council also improved a 1.5 wage increase and performance bonuses for city employees.
“There is a lot of hard work by city employees to keep us within budget,” said Mayor John Smith. “They have gone many years with (no increase), so this is our way to express our appreciation.”
The Finance and Personnel Committee reported that the search continues for a director of public works.
Mary Eck reported that the Manawa Fire and Ambulance Board gave preliminary approval for the purchase of a new all-terrain vehicle. The proposed vehicle will be financed through donations and fundraising, and it will replace the gator.
“As a former EMT, I can tell you that (the gator) saved me so many times when going out into fields or across ice,” Mike Miller said.
Police Chief James Gorman inquired about the status of the parking ordinance updates.
The council members noted that the city already has an ordinance stating that no commercial vehicles can park in residential districts. Clarification is still needed concerning ordinance enforcement on the state highway.
Gorman announced that the Manawa Police Department will begin issuing parking tickets to commercial vehicles parked in residential districts.
Gorman reported that the MPD has been working on cleaning up certain residences and they have cracked down on recent vandalism at Lindsay Park.
“Our office has cleared all the vandalism cases we have received since spring,” he said. “Numerous juveniles have been referred to the district attorney for park vandalism.”
Gorman also reported that the MPD did not receive a federal grant for a school liaison officer. He will re-apply for the grant in 2017.
Fire Chief Rob Rosenau reported that the Manawa Rural Fire Department participated in trick or treating in October by handing out smoke alarm batteries, checking smoke alarms and helping with traffic control.
“Next year we will get more trucks out to help kids cross streets during trick or treating,” he said.