City, Cherokee Policeman's Association OK labor contract
The hiring of a new Bacon Aquatics Center manager and City Recreation director, agreement on a labor contract with the Cherokee Policeman's Association, and establishing the date for the Public Hearing on the proposed 2007-2008 fiscal budget highlighted the Feb. 13th Cherokee City Council meeting.
The Council approved the selection of Dan Rollison as City Recreation director and manager of the Bacon Aquatics Center, now under construction in Gillette Park on West Bluff Street. The park is also undergoing total renovation to make the Aquatics Center/Gillette Park complex a beautiful destination area for total recreational pursuits.
Rollison, one of 10 applicants for the job, lives in Cherokee and is employed at Tyson Deli. He has a background in recreation and has run the City's youth soccer programs the past few years. Rollison's starting annual salary will be $28,000. He and current part-time secretary/receptionist Connie Ladwig will operate the City's Recreation Department. Ladwig works half days at the Community Center with the Parks & Recreation Department, and half days at City Hall with similar duties.
Linda Peterson, longtime Parks & Recreation Department secretary, is retiring at the end of this month. Her duties will be shared by Rollison and Ladwig.
After several weeks of closed session negotiations with the Cherokee Policeman's Association, the Council Tuesday night approved a 47-cents per hour wage increase, a proposal that was accepted by the CPA. The pay hike is effective July 1, 2007. There are no other changes in the one-year contract.
The Council also settled on the proposed 2007-2008 budget and set the Public Hearing at its regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday, March 13. The budget needs approved and filed with the Cherokee County Auditor by Thursday, March 15.
The Council also received a check for $8,000 from Alliant Energy for its "Branching Out" program which will provide trees for the Gillette Park renovation project.
in a related matter, the Council heard an update on the Bacon Aquatics Center/Gillette Park project from Committee co-chair J.C. Cook. The Cherokee attorney said the committee is now in the process of establishing policies, fees, and staffing for the Bacon Aquatics Center, and that children's playground equipment is now being ordered.
The Council also approved the plans and specifications, estimate of cost, and contract form for the proposed Gillette Park Trail Project. The City will receive a $78,000 Department of Transportation grant for the Trail Project, which would cover about 80-percent of the entire project cost.
The plan goes to DOT letting Tuesday, February 20, with a late-start date of March 15 and completion to be in 30 working days.
In other action, the Council reviewed a proposed adult entertainment ordinance and will forward comments to the City Planning & Zoning Commission. The P&Z Commission has been working on the ordinance for several months and will discuss the matter further before making its recommendation to the Council at the February 27 meeting. The P&Z Commission has been studying a similar ordinance in Sioux Center, and has modeled its ordinance after Sioux Center's.
The Council also authorized extending a 28-E Agreement with the Cherokee Aviation Authority. That amendment was passed in 2004 and concerns the way the CAA splits annual property tax revenues used to support the airport and aviation, and for operations and maintenance, and its capitol reserves fund. The Agreement, between the City, County, and CAA, was extended to year 2019.
It was also determined that the City will begin randomly testing loads of private septage hauled into city sewer lines as a safeguard for the sewer plant operations. Mainly, the loads are domestic waste from area septic tanks hauled by Lundell Construction and School Construction to the City sewer plant.
The Council also reappointed Dave Deedrick as Housing Authority Commissioner and, in closed session, approved a March 10 Abandonment Hearing for a vacant house at 312 W. Locust St. that has sat empty for several years.