Following a scheduled Public Hearing last week, the Cherokee City Council approved resolutions for the proposed West Cherry Street Improvement Project and awarded the general contractor bid to Godberson-Smith Construction of Ida Grove in the amount of $1,522,040.
Godberson-Smith submitted the low bid of 11 received for the project scheduled to begin this spring.
According to City Administrator Don Eikmeier, Godberson-Smith reported that Lundell Construction of Cherokee will serve as a sub-contractor for the project. Lundell also bid on the project as general contractor.
West Cherry Street Project engineer John Meis of DeWild Grant Reckert & Associates of Sioux City and Rock Rapids, advised the City that the bids came in well under preliminary estimates ($1,952,000) and that they were very pleased with the bids.
The project has been budgeted and includes new curb and gutter, storm sewer, water main replacement, and limited sanitary sewer replacement, along with street surface replacement from the CN Railroad Crossing (which will be removed) west to State Street. The storm sewer system will empty into Railroad Creek near West Cherry Street's intersection with U.S. Highway 59.
The project will be funded by General Obligation Bonds and property owner assessment of $55.90 per lineal foot of frontage. The new City G.O. debt replaces the principal and interest payments on City debt that will be retired in 2012 and will not impact the City tax rate, according to City Administrator Don Eikmeier.
Also involved in the project will be the removal and/or relocation of utility poles, sidewalk, alley, and intersection approaches where necessary, and some tree removal.
The West Cherry Street Project will be linked to an estimated $260,000 project for North 11th Street, from West Cedar Street to West Bluff Street.
That project - consisting of new curb and gutter, street pavement, and an extended water line from Cedar to the 11th Street water tower - will tie in with the West Cherry Street project.
The Council also reviewed a renewal of a lease agreement with Evertek, Inc. for four antennae connections on the Hill Street water tower. The original five-year lease expired in June and the lease inexplicably had an automatic rollover clause for two ensuing five-year periods without any provisions for the City to amend or increase fees for the rollover periods. The original lease called for $75 per month.
Eikmeier has been negotiating this matter with Evertek for mounting the antennae connections and six free internet connections on the tower at such a low rate. A new lease agreement will be drawn up, according to Eikmeier, with the monthly fee paid to the City by Evertek jumping to $250 plus the six free internet connections. Any additional antennae connections added in the future would increase the monthly rate by $100 per month per connection.
The new lease agreement will be for five years, with one five-year extension.
The Council also approved closing a few City streets for the third annual Great Pancake Day Race on Shrove Tuesday (March 8) to kick off the Lenten season. The race originates at City Hall and the route is north on North 5th Street to West Willow Street, west to North 6th Street, south to West Main Street, and west on Main Street to the St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
The Council also set the Public Hearing for the 2011-12 fiscal year budget for March 8 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.
In other business, citizen Greg Stieneke, a former City Council member who resigned his post last summer, approached the Council requesting a committee be formed to seek public input on the proposed new Yacht Club building in Koser Spring Lake Park. There are FEMA funds available for replacing the Yacht Club and other amenities in the park and Stieneke said he wanted to see more public input and better communication from the City to the public.
Stieneke also criticized the recent Council approval for a new $260,000 pumper for Cherokee Fire & Rescue. He said there was not enough communication to the public before the pumper was approved and indicated it was not needed and was "slipped through" under the radar. "You keep spending money in tough economic times," Stieneke told the Council.