A petition circulating in Cherokee is seeking a vote of the public before issuance of $400,000 in general obligation notes to go toward the Aquatic Center/Gillette Park project.
The Cherokee City Council had previously passed a motion to issue a bond for $400,000. Such a bond issuance can be done by a council decision but is subject to a challenge by a petition containing at least 60 signatures requiring the city to hold a bond vote.
The bond vote requires a 60 percent majority in order to pass.
The $400,000 of the proposed city bond toward the project is in addition to $100,000 the city has pledged as $20,000 a year for five years to come from the hotel/motel tax. The $400,000 additional contribution from the city is a condition of a $400,000 grant from the Iowa Values fund, so $800,000 of funding for the project could be dependent on the bond vote.
The fund raising committee reports having raised about $1.9 million in contributions toward the $3.6 million project before the $800,000 amount from the Iowa Values Fund and matching city contribution is figured in.
If the city is required to have a vote on the bond, the Cherokee County Auditor's Office must have the information, including ballot language and date of election no later the 32 days prior to the election.
The cost to the city associated with the election are estimated to cost between $2,500 and $5,000.
The bond, if passed, would be paid off in 10 years at a cost, including interest, of $493,587, calculated last month based on interest rates at that time.
The estimated debt service levy for that amount of bonding would be about 50 cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation. Taxable valuation is currently 48.458 percent of assessed valuation (market value) for residential property, 99.257 percent for commercial property and 100 percent for industrial property.