As soon as the signs are erected in the near future, there will be no parking on the east side of Webster Street, the Cherokee City Council decided on a 4-1 vote on Sept. 23rd, with Council member Mick Mallory voting "no."
Parking will still be allowed on the west side of Webster Street, according to the Council's approval of a new ordinance prohibiting parking on the east side of the congested thoroughfare.
The controversial issue that divided a neighborhood has been stewing with no resolution from past years and previous meetings, and had become a hot button for many residents on Webster and Magnetic Streets. With heavy daily traffic from the Early Childhood Learning Center and Bright Beginnings Day Care facility, both housed in the former Webster School building on North Roosevelt Street, Webster Street being just 20 feet wide also adds to the problem.
The Council had reviewed the situation in April 2005 regarding parking on Webster Street between Magnetic and Sumner Streets. At that time, an ordinance was adopted to eliminate parking on Webster Street for safety reasons. However, after further discussion, in May 2005 the Council voted to rescind the ordinance and allow parking, but a new ordinance to correct the action was not adopted, therefore keeping the ordinance prohibiting parking there in effect.
At its August 12 meeting this year, the Council approved abiding by the existing ordinance prohibiting parking on Webster Street from Magnetic to Sumner, and the city installed several no parking signs.
After lengthy discussion at the August 26 meeting and input from the residents involved and City Street Department chief Jim Agnitsch, the Council approved first reading of a new ordinance that would allow parking on the west side of Webster Street, and call for the city to paint the curb approaches yellow (no parking) at the southwest corner of Webster and Magnetic.
Tuesday night, the Council approved the second reading and waived the third reading of the ordinance, making the measure into law.
The Council also approved the second reading and waived the third reading of a companion ordinance establishing a stop sign on Webster Street for southbound traffic to stop at Magnetic Avenue. That ordinance allows for 10 feet of the curbing to be painted (no parking) yellow, back from the stop sign. However, at a previous meeting, the Council arbitrarily established a 25-foot long section of curbing to be painted yellow. Tuesday, the Council decided to have Street Superintendent Jim Agnitsch investigate if 25 feet is enough, and to report back to the Council, which can then approve a motion at its next meeting for the proper length of a yellow curb zone Agnitsch and Police Chief Steve Schuck would recommend for maximum safety.
Council members Linda Burkhart, Jim Peck, Bob leach, and Greg Stieneke voted for the approval of the ordinances in question, and Mallory voted "no" each time.
In other action, the Council approved the reappointment of David Boothby to the Board of Adjustment for a term ending 9-15-08. The vote was 4-1, with Mallory voting "no."
The Council also approved a contract with Fox Engineering for the proposed wastewater treatment plant Ultraviolet Disinfection Project, a first-phase approval of the final design at a cost of $27,000. The overall engineer's estimated cost of the wastewater treatment plant project is $400,000.
With the seventh annual Fall Family Fest scheduled this Saturday at the historic, renovated Cherokee IC RR Depot, event spokesman Jim Adamson asked the Council's permission to close South Fourth Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day from West Maple to West Elm for safety concerns due to the pedestrian traffic that will be involved in the popular event. That request was approved on a 5-0 vote.
The Council also approved the application for a tax abatement at 205 E. Indian St. for a new greenhouse constructed by Rhoadside Blooming House. The commercial tax abatement will be phased in over a 10-year period.
The Council also authorized the city's advance purchase of road salt for the 2008-09 season, on the recommendation of interim City Manager Don Eikmeier. "The costs (for salt) are volatile. We need to move forward on this," cautioned Eikmeier.
Eikmeier also advised the Council that he in in the process of meeting personally with Cherokee business, industry, and civic leaders to gather helpful input on their opinion of City Hall and the various city departments.
"There's been good, positive, supportive comments so far," noted Eikmeier, who is serving in the interim capacity until the city locates a permanent, full-time City Manager.