$410,706 Waste Water Treatment project a go
Cherokee's City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved first reading of an ordinance that would increase the City's cable franchise user fee for residents, and also authorized Fox Engineering to proceed with the proposed $410,706 Ultraviolet Light Project at the Cherokee Waste Water Treatment Plant.
As detailed in a Page 1 story in Thursday's Chronicle Times, the Council also heard from two representatives of the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors Tuesday regarding a proposed new County Jail facility that would exclude the Cherokee Police Department. Currently, the Sheriff's and Police departments share the Law Enforcement Center in Cherokee.
In regards to the cable franchise fee, City residents subscribing to cable will now pay a 5-percent user fee that would mean an additional $2 per month on top of the average $50 per month cable subscription cost. A 1-percent user fee has been in effect since the inception of cable TV service in the City, equaling a 50-cents per month fee on a $50 per month subscription rate.
The hike recommended by City Administrator Don Eikmeier would help pay for the costs associated with the maintenance and upkeep of the City's street and alley right-of-ways accommodating the cable system. The hike also would generate an estimated $50,000 in revenue per year for the City, as compared to about $10,000 per year now, according to Eikmeier.
The Council also approved a motion adjusting wages $1,000 per year for non-union and supervisory employees, and a motion approving a revamped fee schedule for services and facilities for next fiscal year 2009-2010, effective July 1, 2009.
Salaried supervisory employees and their adjusted wages, with current wages in parenthesis are: Steve Casey, Sewer Superintendent, $47,320.37 ($46,320.37); Mark Napier, Water Superintendent, $47, 320.37 ($46,320.37); Jim Agnitsch, Street Superintendent, $46,820.37 ($45,820.37); Duane Mummert, Parks Superintendent, $46,820.37 ($45, 820.37); Deb Taylor, City Clerk, $46,820.37 ($45,820.37); Steve Schuck, Police Chief, $52,063.43 ($51,063.43); Mary Jo Ruppert, Library Director, $39,554.70 ($38,554.70); and Dave Ellis, Recreation Director, $30,977.60 ($29,977.60).
In addition, wage hikes for hourly employees include Julie Case, Police Secretary, $15.53 per hour ($15.05); Judy Grienke-Miller, Adult Lilbrarian, $17.51 per hour ($16.53); and Steve Thill, Parks/Cemetery, $17.01 per hour ($16.53).
Eikmeier told the Council these wage adjustments were consistent with those of the proposed union contract adjustments.
The Cherokee Municipal Wastewater Ultraviolet Project is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mandate that consists of installing ultraviolet lighting systems that sterilizes bacteria and renders it harmless before the effluent is discharged into the Little Sioux River.
The original bids came in over engineer estimates to total $443,000. Fox Engineering was then advised by the Council to negotiate with low bidder Grundman-Hicks Construction Company of Cherokee to pare that total down and, ultimately, $32,294 was cut from the original bid that now totals $410,706.
After the Council approved the change order Tuesday night, the City's revised share now totals $222,088, and the industrial portion, to be paid for by Tyson Foods, Inc., totals $188,618. The City has monies put aside to cover its portion of the project.
The minor hikes in the fee schedule for services and facilities concerns such areas as administrative services, park rentals, Community Center rentals, Water & Sewer Department services, Recreation programs, Bacon Aquatics Center, Equipment rental, and Fire Department services.
Detailed information, or for a list of the fee schedule, is available at City Hall.