The Cherokee City Council and Mayor Pam Pierce are seeking donations to help pay for one of three new city warning sirens, it was decided at the Council meeting on Nov. 10th.
The meeting was moved from its original Tuesday meeting date due to Veterans Day Tuesday.
The Council also authorized seeking bids for the sirens. The new sirens cost an estimated $17,000 to $20,000 each, but two of them will be installed and operational at no cost to the city. One siren has been paid for from funds from the late Ray and Florence Erlandson Trust, and the other will be replaced by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) after it was damaged in a storm in June of this year.
In other business, the Council approved the first presentation of an ordinance increasing garbage rates by $2 per month, and also approved first presentation of an ordinance pertaining to Violation of Regulations.
The Violation of Regulations ordinance pertains to "Any person who willfully fails or refuses to comply with any lawful order of a peace officer or direction of a fire department officer during a fire, or who fails to abide by the applicable provisions of the Iowa statutory laws relating to motor vehicles and the statutory law of the road is in violation of this section."
The Council also approved acceptance of a bid of $4,000 for the old Fire Department van - a 1985 GMC - by Terry Meyerdirk of Cherokee. The van has been replaced by a larger, more modern equipment/personnel truck.
The Council also received a rebate check from Aliiant Energy for $3,273.41 for the Bacon Aquatic Center's swimmming pool heaters.
Approval to authorize the local Horse Arena Committee to erect a 4x8 sign in the greenspace area on the east side of U.S. Highway 59 north of the Little Sioux River Bridge was tabled until the Council has the opportunity to see the design and make-up of the sign.
In final action, the Council continued discussion of the appropriateness of transferring its Community Center liquor license to The Gathering Place for the annual Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival each January.
At last month's meeting, Councilmember Linda Burkhart questioned the practice of transferring the city's liquor license to a for-profit business. It was unknown at that time if the Gathering Place's liquor proceeds went to the Jazz Festival organizers and the Cherokee Arts Council, or to The Gathering Place.
Steve Thomas, one of the owners of The Gathering Place, told the Council that the liquor license was initially transferred a few years ago to The Gathering Place to give the Jazz Festival a smoke-free environment. Businesses hosting bands during the Jazz Festival also pay a fee to the Jazz & Blues Festival Committee for that privilege.
Considering that Iowa passed its statewide smoking ban legislation in July, the Council decided to OK its prior approval of the transfer of the license for the 2009 Jazz & Blues Festival, but will revisit the matter before the 2010 Jazz & Blues Festival.