The Cherokee City Council approved specifications for going to bid on the Aquatic Center and Gillette Park projects. Neal Kuehl of Kuehl and Payer and John Cook, co-chair of the fund raising committee, went over the drawings with the council at the Tuesday meeting.
Separate bids will be made for the swimming pool, bathhouse, site drainage and great lawn. Several items will be bid as alternates, giving the council the flexibility to deal with unknown costs and providing the fund raising committee an opportunity to target efforts to raise funds for specific structures or equipment,
"These are exciting times but after visiting with students at Roosevelt School yesterday I have to say none of you are as excited as those folks," Cook told the council.
Cook passed along the feeling of the committee suggesting the name Bacon Aquatic Center, honoring the late George Bacon, whose bequest to the city got the project started. "If it wasn't for George's bequest, we wouldn't have been able to proceed the way we have," Cook said.
Kuehl said that there were adjustments made in the plans up to the last minute.
"This is one of the most involved committees I've ever dealt with," Kuehl said.
In response to a question regarding the possible need for bonding to pay expenses prior to receiving all the funds from multi-year pledges, Cook said that the committee is working on interim financing objectives and there will hopefully be minimum bonding needed.
The bids will be opened on May 25 at 3 p.m. at the city hall. The council will meet in special session on May 30 at 7 p.m. to take action on the bids.
The council accepted the low bid for a police vehicle. The low bid was submitted by Rasmussen Ford for a 2006 four-wheel drive Explorer. The bid was $20,472 minus $7,500 for trade in of a 2003 Ford Explorer for a net cost of $12,972.
Police Chief Steve Schuck was asked what his preference was among the bids, he said he had no problem accepting the vehicle that was the low bid, since that was the type of vehicle being replaced.
Only bids for four-wheel drive vehicles were solicited and a citizen asked how often the police department needed a four-wheel drive vehicle. Schuck said that when the city has had a Crown Vic, the trade-in after three years was no more than $2,000. Also, the Crown Vic got no better mileage than a four-wheel drive vehicle, according to Schuck. He said the cost of operating a four-wheel drive vehicle is less than a regular patrol car.
The council approved a lease agreement with Phil Stowater and Ryan Stowater who will farm property owned by the city.
The council accepted the low bid of $20,392 for hydrant replacement from UECO. The three bids submitted were all close with only $222 separating the high and low bids.
DuWayne Rupp told the council that several people had talked to him about the concerns they had about allowing open burning in the city. He asked the council whether he should bring these people to a council meeting. Rupp was told that he could meet privately with a council member to discuss possible changes in the city code regarding burning of yard waste.
The council received a recommendation from the Iowa Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit from 35 to 40 mph on Highway 59 in the south part of town. The recommendation was the result of a speed study conducted at the request of the late Bill Troth.
Three council members, Dwight Varce, Ron Johnson and Bob Leach all expressed safety concerns about raising the speed limit and indicated they would prefer to leave the limit like it is. Steve Schuck was asked his opinion on the matter and he expressed the opinion that the speed limit should be left as it is.
There was no motion on the matter.