The Cherokee City Council met for their regular meeting on Tuesday. With recent flooding and sever thunderstorm producing heavy damage to the town of Cherokee, The Council took time to publicly acknowledge the efforts of the many volunteers who have shown pride in keeping Cherokee cleaned up after the damage.
The Council reviewed a list of volunteers who assisted with cleanup efforts following the June 27 flooding: Curtis Cockburn, Cherokee Co. Assessor's Office, who provided maps for damage assessment; M.H.I. provided shelter for flood victims and volunteer groups; Crossroads Christian Church, Cherokee, filled sandbags; St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Cherokee, Helping Hands group assisted flood victims, provided meals for volunteer groups, and provided flood clean up kits.
Also acknowledged for their efforts were: Hornick United Methodist Church, Hornick, worked for a week providing over 100 hours of volunteer assistance helping people whose homes were affected by flooding; Grace United Methodist Church, Sioux City, provided clean up assistance to flood victims; Morningside College Campus Ministries students and advisor, provided cleanup assistance to flood victims; Meriden Evangelical Free Church Helping Hands ministries, provided clean up assistance to flood victims; Christian Disaster Relief, Holland, Minn.
Others providing clean up assistance to flood victims were the American Red Cross who distributed over 250 flood clean up kits; numerous private individuals who helped friends and neighbors clean up after the flooding; City Hall staff; Fire Department and Public Works employees; and Sanitary Services, who although will be paid for their efforts, went above and beyond in providing extra pickups to pick up water logged debris.
Administrator Don Eikmeier also recognized Aimee Barritt, Emergency Management Coordinator, in her efforts working with the County, City, FEMA, and residents. She will be missed.
Eikmeier also went over the list of volunteers who assisted in the July 22 storm clean up: Mike Taylor and Rick Forkenbrock, with the help of CCUSO, who coordinated the use of Rockwell City inmates; Cherokee Community School District in providing a bus and driver to transport the inmates for two days.
The Cherokee County Roads Department was also acknowledged for providing a cherry picker, trucks, chain saws and manpower for two days; the 48 inmates who helped over a two day period; numerous private individuals who helped friends and neighbors with clean up; and City employees who will continue with the cleanup most of this week.
Because of these storms, the Administrator reported that the Street Dept. is at least 4-6 weeks behind in their normal maintenance.
In other business Mayor Pro-tem Linda Burkhart made mention of Jack Olson's passing last week. Olson was a volunteer fireman for 39 years and Fire Chief for 17 years. "He was truly a great citizen and represents the fine citizens of Cherokee -- he loved this community," stated Burkhart.
On the recommendation of the Tourism Grant Committee, the Council approved a $3,000 forgivable loan for the Cherokee Thunder Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull that is being held tonight.
The Council also approved a $900 grant to the Cherokee County Veteran's Administration office toward costs associated with Veteran's Appreciation Day on Aug. 14. This will pay for 50 percent of the costs of advertising and to bring the Traveling Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to Cherokee. As recommended by the Tourism Grant Committee, the council also requested that the group advertise in local media.
Eikmeier reported that he has sent notices of intent to apply for grants for rebuilding of the Spring Lake Park yacht club and replacement of the park maintenance buildings. No action is required at this time.
Eikmeier then reported that the engineer is exploring the dike issue along Hwy. 3 as well as ideas for the sanitary sewer issue in the lower areas that flow to the Beech St. lift station. Any FEMA funding received will require a 15 percent local match.
The Council also authorized submitting applications for a Housing and Urban Development Challenge Grant to hire a consultant to complete the comprehensive plan update, which requires a 5-10 percent local match; and an Iowa Local Comprehensive Planning Grant, with a 50 percent match, to incorporate smart planning principles in the comprehensive plan.
Eikmeier reported that the City would be receiving a $60,000 grant for improvements to the Hwy. 59 and Beech St. lift stations. The balance of the estimated $275,000 project will be paid with a low-interest, State Revolving Fund loan.
The Cherokee Water Dept. will be draining and cleaning the Hill St., M.H.I. and Tyson water towers over the next couple of weeks. The Street Dept. hopes to resume work on gravel roads and alleys the end of this week.