In a special meeting Tuesday night, the Cherokee City Council unanimously endorsed and approved three Resolutions in support of seeking possible grant monies for Koser Spring Lake Park facilities improvements from the State of Iowa's current I-Jobs Local Infrastructure Program.
The City is applying for the grants to help defray the costs to construct a new Koser Spring Lake Park Community Building that would replace the existing "Yacht Club" facility, and to replace the existing City Parks Maintenance Building, both aged and outdated facilities.
The third Resolution meets the purpose of the City supporting the I-Jobs Grant Application process.
Cherokee City Administrator Don Eikmeier lauded City Clerk Deb Taylor and her staff for their efficient work and diligence in filing in a timely fashion the appropriate and extensive paperwork involved in the grant process to meet the imposed dealdines.
In other business, the Council unanimously approved a motion to move to arbitration regarding a girevance filed by employee union IUOE Local 234 disagreeing with a sizable hike in the City's medical insurance premium.
The City and union ratified a new, one-year labor contract in April calling for an estimated 15-20 percent increase in the insurance premium. However, that increase came in at 36 percent and the City then negotiated with carrier Blue Cross/Blue Shield and adjusted that down to 23 percent, which the Local 234 will not accept.
The Cherokee Policeman's Association has accepted the 23 percent insurance increase, according to Eikmeier.
The Council also discussed the appraisal of the City Administrator position and several Council members were quick to applaud the work and achievements of Eikmeier and his ability to priortize, analyze and get things done in a proper manner as the City moves forward in tough economic times.
"You certainly have made my job easier," said Mayor Mark Murphy in his first year of service to the City. "I've acquired a lot of learning skills from you."
Council member Linda Burkhart also praised the job Eikmeier's done, adding that she wished the City could pay him more.
Eikmeier advised the Council that the City needs to soon begin work on a new, updated Comprehensive Plan. The last one was completed in 1979, more than 30 years ago.