By Ken Ross, managing editor
During a special session last week, the Cherokee City Council gave final approval for the 2003 Main Street street, sidewalk and utilities project, clearing the way to send assessments for sidewalk work to property owners.
Property owners, mostly business owners, assessed for the work have been sent bills, with the amount differing based on the amount of street frontage the property has.
The average bill to property owners for the work is estimated at between $2,500 to $3,000 but a couple of properties are billed at more than $7,000.
The special meeting was called in order to meet deadline requirements prior to filing all unpaid assessments with the county treasurer on May 1. The assessed property owners must be given a 30 day period prior to May 1 in order to pay the assessment interest free.
After the interest free period, the property owners are charged interest at an annual rate of 9 percent. Letters sent to property owners noted that interest on assessments not paid within 30 days would be charged through Dec. 1, even if paid before that date.
If the deadline for accepting the project wasn't met, the city would have to wait until May 1, 2006, to file unpaid assessments with the county treasurer.
Dwight Varce, council member, made a motion that the council members not be paid for the special meeting since the matter of final acceptance should have been taken care of at the regular meeting on March 22.
Council members are paid $40 for each meeting they attend.
Ron Strickland, city administrator, said that the need for a special meeting was the result of a coordination problem.
Deb Taylor, city clerk/treasurer said she had asked the administrator monthly whether the project was ready for acceptance and conveyed the need for accepting the project within a certain timeline.
Strickland said that there have been several issues they have been dealing with prior to the acceptance of the project and still planned to meet with the streetlight people.
Varce's motion died for lack of a second.