Roger Frisbie, treasurer for the Cherokee Fire Department, presented a $10,000 check at the Tuesday Cherokee City Council meeting to Deb Taylor, city clerk, as support from the Cherokee Rural Fire Department for the CFD.
In response to budget difficulties in the city of Cherokee, the rural fire department has provided the extra support on top of an increase in the fee paid for responses by the CFD to rural fires from $200 to $250 per response. The rural fire department also purchases equipment or shares in the purchase of some of the equipment at the Cherokee fire station.
Some of the rural fire department members were present at the Tuesday meeting, including Glenn Cave, president. Cave noted that the rural fire department was formed in 1949 when a group of farmers banded together to provide fire protection.
He said that the CFD is called to rural fires on average of 31 times a year.
The council approved the bid of $126,423.50 from Haselhoff Construction for an Indian Street paving project. The bid was the lowest one presented, but was over the $121,796 engineer's estimate.
The late start date is May 15 and there are 15 working days allowed for the project, which does not include weekends or rainy days.
The council voted 4 to 1 to approve the second reading of a 25-year natural gas franchise for Interstate Power & Light (part of Alliant Energy). Dwight Varce was the only council member to vote no. There is one more reading to go before final approval.
Regarding the possibility of giving away lots to get more development in the Doherty addition, a possibility raised at a previous meeting, Dwight Varce said it would not be appropriate for those who had already paid for lots.
Varce said that more needs to be done to promote the addition.
Bob Leach, council member, said he had heard from a owner of a property in the addition who has paid for a lot and made improvements and is concerned about the fairness of giving away lots.
Doug Woods, council member, said there needs to be something done to get building going in the addition, He said that reducing the price of lots would be like what happens when a store has a sale, somebody pays full price and the next day its available for half price.
Woods noted that there are covenants in place that restrict the kind of structures built on the property. Giving away the property or reducing the price would not change the requirements for the property owner.
Marty Zauhar, audience member, said that people need to be made aware of the opportunity of getting an inexpensive lot and the tax advantage from the city's tax abatement on the first $75,000 of valuation on new construction.
The council approved an agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation for maintenance and repair of primary roads. It was noted that the DOT will be tearing out abandoned railroad lines, including the line that crosses Highway 59 near Fareway, and the line that crosses Highway 3 near the gravel pit.