The Cherokee City Council Tuesday night approved two resolutions authorizing an amendment to a pair of loan and disbursement agreements between the City of Cherokee, the Iowa Finance Authority, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A..
The resolutions, which mean a combined cost savings of an estimated $120,000 for the City, result from a recent lowering of interest rates after the Iowa State Revolving Loan Fund refinanced the bond proceeds extended to cities throughout the state for water treatment plant improvements.
For Cherokee, that meant a reduction of interest charges on the SRF loans taken out in 1999 for treatment plant improvements were reduced from 4.23 percent to 3 percent. This results in savings of $120,571 over the balance of the loan payments which extend through the year 2012.
The two City loans taken out in 1999 totaled $508,605, and $1,661,395.
The Council also approved an official resolution to be penned by Mayor Pam Pierce showing total support for the Cherokee Mental Health Institute, and agreed to participate in any future public discourse on a proposal by the Department of Human Services to close one of Iowa's four Mental Health Institutes located in Cherokee, Mount Pleasant, Independence, and Clarinda.
A special state committee will visit and evaluate the four MHIs, with the Cherokee site visit scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 15, with public input beginning about 2:30 p.m. that day at the Cherokee MHI.
The City, as well as the MHI administration encourages the public to attend the Tuesday site visit and meeting as a show of support for MHI.
In other action, the Council approved the recommendation of the Advisory Committee calling for a Redevelopment Incentive Grant for the Spice Rack, a downtown Cherokee business undergoing a renovation project.
Spice Rack owners David and Julia Klee are rebuilding the storefront and front entry area to allow for breakfast and lunch service to the public. The project is estimated to cost $16,200 and the grant is for $2,500, the maximum allowed for the 25-foot storefront.
The Council also approved the purchase of a new sander for the City Street Department at a cost of $8,523. The department had budgeted $10,000 for the sander.
The Council also approved closing the West Elm Street parking lot, and South Fourth Street from West Maple Street to West Elm Street for the annual Fall Family Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26. Many events are scheduled for the Depot that day, and a Car Show will be displayed in the parking lot.
The Council also approved spending $5,500 for a sewer rate study, and authorized preliminary and final design services to be drawn for renovation of the South Cherokee Lift Station, and Beech Street Lift Station at a cost of $37,850.
The engineering company of Kuehl and Payer from Storm Lake will conduct both projects. The lift station projects will total an estimated $283,000, including the $37,850 engineering and overhead estimate.
The Council also granted a 14-day extension for resident Mike Morrow to clean up his property at 324 W. Beech St., and two other properties on South 7th Street. He had been issued a public nuisance abatement order by the Police Department and did not abate the nuisance in the time allowed. Morrow was asking for a 60-day extension to clean up the property.