An issue of who is responsible for the cost of eliminating multiple use water lines in Cherokee came up at the May 13th Cherokee City Council meeting.
Chad Carey, of 804 Spring Lake Drive, challenged a city policy after he was notified that he will be responsible for excavating a water line and capping it off at the main. He has received a cost estimate of $4,759 for the work.
Carey noted that the city ordinance that makes a property owner responsible for a water line defines such a line as serving the property owner. Carey said the water line previously served a now demolished building on his property as well as other properties and he has never used water from that line. Since he was never served by the water line, Carey believes he is not responsible for it under the city ordinance.
He was asked whether the line was functioning when he purchased the property and he said that it was. Council members maintained that the responsibility for the water line became Carey's at the time of the purchase, but it should not be his alone.
The water line at one time served four houses. Two of the lots have been consolidated so there are presently three owners of property once served by this line. None of the properties currently use this water line.
The council decided to invite the affected property owners to a future meeting before making a decision regarding the financial responsibility of property owners.
At previous meetings the council members have discussed the fact that there is an unknown number of locations in Cherokee where multiple properties share a water line in violation of city code. Some property owners may not even be aware of the situation that could have initially occurred long before they bought the property.
The council has established a policy of property owners taking financial responsibility to take care of the situation.
The council voted four to one to approve a request by Mark Napier, water department supervisor, to allow the hiring of temporary help to fill 40 hours a week during the summer. Napier said he didn't know whether it would be one 40-hour-a-week position or two 20-hour-a-week positions.
Napier said the funds are in the water department budget to pay for the position.
Greg Stieneke was the only council member to vote against the motion, preferring to keep the position at 20 hours a week.
Jeff Hayes, representing the planning and zoning commission, was present at the meeting to invite two council members to participate in the development of a comprehensive plan for the city. The last such plan was created in 1979.
Linda Burkhart and Greg Stieneke volunteered to participate in the process.
Mary Jo Ruppert, library director, requested that a third parking space be designated for handicap parking at the library on Maple Street. She noted that the two present handicap spaces are in almost constant use.
The council approved the recommendation.
The council approved specifications and going to bid for a street department dump truck. Jim Agnitsch, street department supervisor, told the council that the cost had been budgeted.
The council approved advertising a 1977 mower for sale.
The council approved a three-year bid for auditing services from Winther, Stave & Co. out of Spencer, at a cost of $9,900 the first year, $10,350 the second year and $10,900 the third year.
The total was the lowest bid of the three submitted.
The company is the one whose auditing services the city has been using. Deb Taylor, city clerk, said the company does an excellent job.