The Cherokee City Council is expected to decide details of a bond during a special meeting on Feb. 19, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The special meeting is also being held to wrap up details regarding the budget for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.
Discussion so far has indicated that the city will be bonding for about $400,000 (plus interest) for community center improvements. The estimated debt service levy for a 10-year-bond on $400,000 in principal is about 45 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation. Currently the interest rate on bonds is considered fairly low.
The council will also consider adding another $250,000 onto the bond issue or perhaps bonding separately for that amount. The matter is being researched as of this writing regarding whether the two can be combined, since a fire department equipment van is considered an essential corporate purpose and community center improvement is not.
For items that are not essential corporate purposes, the council may approve by their own authority what is called a reverse referendum bond for an amount of up to $700,000 in principle (before interest is added). However, a vote of the residents of the city may be required through a petition.
Whether or not the two bond amounts can be combined, the amount for the fire department equipment van cannot be challenged through a petition requiring a vote of citizens.
The improvements planned for the community center include roof replacement, heating and air-conditioning replacement, electric work and window replacement.
In conjunction with the bonded projects, the city is expected to go forward with lighting and sound improvements in the main room where performances and community events occur. This part of the project, estimated at about $70,000, is being underwritten by the Raymond and Florence Erlandson Foundation.
The equipment van will haul turnout gear and other fire department gear so the volunteer firefighters can go directly to the scene of a fire or other emergency without first going to the station.