The Cherokee City Council Tuesday night tabled action on a proposed resolution to vacate a platted but undeveloped alley off Clark Street, heard General Fund and Bacon Aquatics Center reviews from City Administrator Don Eikmeier, and held swearing-in ceremonies for newly-elected Mayor Mark Murphy.
The alley vacation resolution was tabled pending further review by the City and Street Superintendent Jim Agnitsch.
Several months ago Robert Vanatta, 611 Clark Street, made the request. He said he has maintained the alley property for 58 years and it is only platted 8-feet wide when an alley must be 16-feet wide. As part of the platting years ago for the subdivision in which Vanatta's lot is within, an 8-foot dedication was made for a future alley. However, the required additional 8-foot dedication from an adjacent subdivision was never made and the alley was never developed.
A problem now exists because a homeowner in the vicinity is considering erecting a garage on his property in the future and would need the access that platted alley provides to his property. Vanatta wants the City to give him the parcel in question for his maintaining it for the past 58 years.
In regards to the General Fund Review, Eikmeier advised the Council that the budget figures "are in OK shape" for the City to proceed under the current budget until the 2010 Fiscal Year.
Now about halfway through the current Fiscal Year, Eikmeier reported that revenues were on par with last year.
Property Tax receipts to date reflect 43-percent collected of those budgeted for the year; Sales Tax revenues are returned to cities from the State on a monthly basis, with the State adjusting those amounts in November, and again in January prior to preparation of the new budget; State Road Use Taxes also are received on a monthly basis and the City has received 35-percent of those budgeted for the entire year; and 42-percent of Hotel/Motel Tax revenues have been collected, keeping the City ahead of pace.
For expenditures, Police, Library, Recreation, Cemetery, and General Government are all at, near, or under projected expenditures for the year of 33-percent; the Parks Department has expended 43-percent of its budget compared to 44-percent last year, and the Bacon Aquatics Center has expended 51-percent of its budget as compared to 59-percent last year; Fire Department expenditures other than salary costs are within budgeted projections; not counting the recent River Road resurfacing precipitated by the availability of Federal Stimulus dollars, the Street Department has expended 29-percent of its budget.
Eikmeier also noted that the budgets for Parks, Bacon Aquatics Center, and Street departments are impacted by seasonal conditions.
The Council also heard an annual report from Mark Buschkamp, Director of the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC), who was present to seek re-funding from the City. Buschkamp outlined CAEDC's achievements, obligations, services, and duties for the past year and reported on what the future might hold for CAEDC and Cherokee County.
The City has in the past paid $21,000 annual dues to CAEDC from water and sewer utilities. Over the past four years, the City has also paid 14-percent of Hotel/Motel Tax revenue to CAEDC, which averaged $8,000 to $10,000.
The Council took no action and will decide its annual financial contribution to CAEDC at a later date.
The Council also approved a population control hunt for the heavy geese population at Koser-Spring Lake Park in Cherokee. It will be a restricted harvesting on designated days when the park is closed off to the public. The large number of geese at the park are a health and sanitary hazard from all their droppings on the trails and in the grass and playground areas.
This year's hunt will be Nov. 21-22, and Nov. 27-28-29, all subject to weather conditions. The geese who have adopted Koser-Spring Lake as their home will be harvested, and not migrating Canadian geese.
The Council also approved a $2,000 Business Redevelopment Incentive Grant to Jobies Pastime Lounge for storefront improvements on South 4th Street.
Outgoing Mayor Pam Pierce conducted her final meeting Tuesday, turning the gavel over to newly-elected Mayor Mark Murphy. Pierce was presented a plaque thanking her for her year of service after serving as Mayor by appointment when former Mayor Dennis Henrich resigned the position.