The Cherokee City Council, on a 4 to 1 vote, will submit a request that the state study and give a recommendation on the possibility of raising the speed limit on South Second Street from 35 to 45 m.p.h.
Bill Troth, council member, said that the speed limit is too slow on the stretch of four-lane road and there are no residential driveways where people back out of. He added that the city is routing trucks that way.
"Just because it always has been that way doesn't mean it can't be changed to meet today's needs," Troth said.
Dwight Varce said that he is concerned about increasing the speed limit to 45 m.p.h. coming into a stop sign, meaning the traffic will be going 55 to 60 m.p.h.
Steve Schuck, police chief, acknowledged that police officers will not issue a ticket unless a driver is going about 10 or more m.p.h. over the posted limit. Drivers go more than 35 m.p.h. on the road now and will go more than 45 m.p.h. on the road if the speed limit is increased.
Council members agreed that the stop light at Lake Street stayed on yellow for a very short time before turning green.
Ron Johnson added that there is limited visibility coming from the park onto Second Street.
Since Second Street is part of Highway 59, a change in speed limit requires approval by the state.
The council approved a motion to have the state study the matter, with Varce giving the only no vote on that motion.
A proposal to put a stop sign on Spruce Street at the intersection with Park Avenue was on the agenda Tuesday but died for lack of a motion.
The request had been presented to the council by residents of the neighborhood and no action was taken on the matter at that time.
At the Tuesday meeting, Ron Strickland, city administrator, noted that state code requires a reason for putting a stop sign from among a list of specified reasons, none of which apply to the situation on Spruce Street.
The state code specifically states that a stop sign cannot be put up only to reduce speed on the street, as seems to be the objective of those trying to get the stop sign put up.
The city received its annual audit. Arvin Druvenga, CPA, of Winther, Stave and Co., a Spencer accounting firm, summarized the audit for the council.
The audit is available for public inspection at the Cherokee City Hall.
An item in the audit that generated some questions was the use of interest income in the debt service account and utility accounts for general fund purposes. Druvenga explained that the interest income from the funds held temporarily in these accounts have to be used for the account's designated purpose.
Two representatives of Alliant Energy were present at the city council meeting to present a proposal for a 25-year franchise with the natural gas supplier. They said that the long-term agreement was wanted in order for Alliant Energy to make long-term infrastructure decisions.
The franchise agreement would not be an exclusive agreement as is the case with the electric franchise. Customers could buy natural gas from another source if any becomes available.
It was explained that some cities are now requiring a franchise fee to generate revenue. The fee is passed along to the consumer and added to the bill.
It was asked whether there could be some guarantee that Alliant Energy would maintain a local presence in the community. This request will be passed along.
Ken Walters asked the representatives why Alliant Energy does not allow any local contractor to bid on pipe replacement jobs when those jobs are contracted out. He was told that the matter will be looked into.
Walters added that he does not favor a franchise fee for natural gas.
The city continues to have problems with the wastewater treatment plant that it operates for Tyson Foods. Something is killing the bacteria in the anaerobic digesting lagoons. The bacteria is needed to break down wastewater material.