The Cherokee City Council has approved a bare bones list of street repairs for the upcoming fiscal year. The lack of funds for more extensive street work has some council members questioning the diversion of funds from street work to such goals as paying down bond debt.
Based on recommendations by Jim Agnitsch, street supervisor, the council approved the following asphalt projects to be performed by Blacktop Service Co.
Elm Street -- 10,000 sq. ft, $14,030.
Cedar Street -- Second Street to across bridge, $2,475.
Maple Street -- Second Street to pavement, east of pavement to Reddington - $14,115.
Elm and Fifth Street -- 2,800 sq. ft. - $3,620.
Pilot Avenue -- 23,250 sq. ft. - $27,450.
The total for the projects is $61,690.
The council approved salary increases for department heads and pay increases for hourly employees not covered by collective bargaining units. The hourly employees will get a 48 cents per hour increase and the salaried employees will get a similar amount based on a 40-hour work week.
Before passing the raises as recommended by the salary committee, Linda Burkhart, council member, questioned why the library director was making so much less than other department heads. The lowest amount was approved for the recreation director, a position filled last year.
Burkhart suggested that in the future, the council consider establishing a base that is the same for department heads and have adjustments based on experience and training. She indicated that it would not be practical to make such changes for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Pam Pierce, mayor, said that the council might want to consider salary policy changes prior to determining the next budget.
The salaries and hourly pay approved included:
Police chief - $50,063.43 per year.
Water superintendent and sewer superintendent - $45,320.37 per year.
City clerk/treasurer, park superintendent and street
Superintendent - $44,820.37 per year.
Library director - $37,554.70 per year.
Recreation director - $28,977.60 per year.
Adult librarian - $16.55 per hour.
Park and cemetery worker - $16.05 per hour.
Children's librarian - $15.40 per hour.
Police secretary - $14.57 per hour.
In the interest of consistency, the council rejected a request to adjust the sewer portion of the sewer and water bill for the Cherokee County Fair Board.
The request was presented by Russell Grashoff of the fair board.
A pipe break in early April wasn't detected until May because the sandy soil at the fairgrounds absorbs the water rather than having the water appear at the surface.
Grashoff was not requesting any reduction of the water portion of the bill just the sewer portion, which is based on water usage. He noted that the water did not go into the sewer system.
Mick Mallory, council member, said that the he is not 100 percent behind the policy to charge the sewer part of a leak that does not go into the sewer system, but the council has no choice but to reject such requests based on what the council has been doing over the last year.
Greg Stieneke, board member, announced his resignation from the safety committee, effective immediately.
The council approved the appointment of Ed Burkhalter and Bill Jentz to the Cherokee Library Board as new members. Brenda Perrin and John Chalstrom were reappointed to the board.