The Cherokee City Council approved a $1 per month increase in the rate for trash pickup for residential customers.
At the Tuesday meeting. Bob Lundell, owner of Sanitary Services, which contracts with the city for trash pickup, requested an increase in the rate charged to the city from $7.85 to $8.85 per address.
The city adds a 35 cent charge for administration, so the bill charged per household is expected to increase from $8.20 to $9.20, pending the passage of an ordinance at a future meeting.
The last increase in rates was on Jan. 1, 2001.
Dwight Varce, council member, said that Sanitary Services is doing a good job picking up twice a week.
Lundell was asked how recycling is going.
"It could be better," he said. He said most people do not recycle.
Trash pickup has been designated for the first pickup of the week, while pickup of recyclable items has been designated for the second pickup of the week.
Lundell said that most of the volume of items picked up would qualify for recycling. Containers don't need washed out nor do the labels need removed but they cannot be mixed in with food items, floor sweepings or other non-recyclable material.
Ron Strickland, city administrator, said that the DNR has mandadated that the city must reduce the volume of material put in the landfill.
One way to clearly identify recyclable material is to put it in blue bags available for free at city hall and sanitary services. These bags are specifically designated for recyclables.
Lundell noted that the smaller towns are doing a better job of recyclng than Cherokee is.
The meeting became a bit heated when Norman Rupp asked the council members what they were going to do about a petition to remove Ron Strickland as city administrator, presented at the meeting on Aug. 9.
Rupp was told that the matter would be discussed at an organizational meeting at a later date. Rupp was asked why he wanted to see Strickland removed.
Rupp said that Strickland used extremely poor judgment in buying material for a personal project fropm an out of town business. He said that Dennis Henrich, the mayor, was remiss in handing authority over the police department to the city administrator.
Henrich said that he is out of town sometimes and now that responibility over the police department is shared by the mayor and city administrator.
Rupp criticized the severance pay clause in Strickland's contract.
"I don't have a tail end where I have to pay six months," Rupp said, speaking of his own business.
He criticized Strickland's contract being renegotiated after he started.
"I worked without a contract when I started," Strickland said.
"There's an election coming up," Bill Troth, city council member, said, "You're welcome to take out papers."
"That's a snide comment, Bill," Rupp responded.
Marty Zauhar, council member, said that it takes a lot of knowledge to be a city manager and many people don't realize what the job involves.
Marilyn Leinbaugh asked the council why Cherokee allows open burning of yard wastes when other cities do not. She said that the smoke creates a health issue and denies her the use of her porch in the summer. She said burning is done all summer.
Troth noted that burning is not allowed in the summer and she should report it.
Dwight Varce and Marty Zahaur were in agreement with the banning of burning yard waste.
However, they were the only council members to vote against a motion at a previous meeting to allow burning of yard waste between Nov. 1 and April 1. The vote at that meeting was to set the dates as a matter of regular policy trather than an annually approved time, so the matter will not come up again unless a council member decides to raise the matter.
Varce brought up the issue of weeds growing around some vacant downtown properties and said the situation is unaccetable.
Norman Rupp, who spoke earlier in the meeting, criticized Dwight Varce's efforts to have properties cleaned up under the public nuisance ordinance.
"I think you're a snitch, going around eyeballing this and that," Rupp said.
The council approved a request to have three new doors put on the community center to make it handicapped accessible as a polling place. Each door will cost $5,600 but a grant will pay $7,500 of the total cost of the three doors.
Strickland noted that the doors were slated for replacement anyway, so the grant money was simply a benefit to the city.
The council approved a special sign permit for Bags and Baubles on Main Street.