Following the scheduled Public Hearing on the proposed 2011-12 annual budget Tuesday night, the Cherokee City Council unanimously approved the Budget as there were no oral or written comments presented to the Council.
Essentially, the new budget is similar to last year's and totals an estimated $11,120,271, compared to the 2010-2011 budget of $10,965,390.
City Administrator Don Eikmeier referenced pie charts comparing the City's breakdown of various revenues and expenses compared to the statewide average. The tax levy for the 2011-12 budget will be $17.44847/$1000 assessed value, which is a decrease of $.16/$1000 over the current budget
A Public Hearing was also held on the authorization of a loan agreement and the issuance of not to exceed $2,600,000 G.O. Capital Loan Notes for the proposed West Cherry Street Improvements, North 11th Street Improvements, Lake Street Improvements, and new $260,000 fire pumper truck.
One written comment was received from former Council Member Greg Stieneke that read, "Will you please remind the public that the fire truck that is being replaced has only been used twice in five years."
As there were no further comments, the Council unanimously approved the $2.6 million G.O. Bond.
A Public Hearing on the authorization of a loan agreement and the issuance of not to exceed $50,000 G.O. Capital Loan Notes for the Koser Spring Lake Park trail also was held Tuesday night. As there were no oral or written comments the Council unanimously approved the G.O. Bond.
Scott Stevenson of Ruan Securities was present to review the proposal on the issuance of $2,500,000 G.O. Capital Loan Notes. The interest rates are 1.5%-3.55% over the life of the notes with an average annual debt payment of $293,000. The Council voted unanimously to accept the proposal to purchase the $2.5 million G.O. through Ruan Securities.
In other action, the Council approved a Resolution accepting the contract and bond with Godbersen-Smith Construction, Ida Grove, for the West Cherry Street Improvement Project.
The Council previously 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.
The Council also approved a contract with Professional Surveying Services for staking and construction inspection on the West Cherry Street Improvement Project in the amount of $116,400.
In other action, the Council approved an engineering proposal with DeWild, Grant, Reckert & Associates in the amount of $47,400 for the proposed Lake Street Reconstruction Project, and an engineering proposal with DeWild, Grant, Reckert & Associates in the amount of $17,600 for the Koser Spring Lake Park Trail Project.
The Council also approved a tourism forgivable loan of $3,000 for the Cherokee 2011 All School Reunion, and approved a $900 tourism grant to the Chamber of Commerce for 2011 statewide advertising.
Eikmeier reported that a committee consisting of Mayor Mark Murphy, Council Members Linda Burkhart and Wayne Pingel, and Planning & Zoning Commission members Karen Peterson and Tim Gaydo met to review proposals for the comprehensive plan update. Proposals to create the City's Comprehensive Plan were received from SIMPCO-$18,300; JEO-$28,000; Community Redesigned-$30,000; and Confluence-$31,000.
After careful review the committee recommended Community Redesigned. This firm worked with the City on the downtown improvement project and expects to complete the plan in 3-4 months. A motion by Pingel, seconded by Burkhart, awarded the contract to Community Redesigned for $30,000. The Council approved the vote 4-1, with Mick Mallory voting no. From the beginning of this issue, Mallory has maintained that City staff should create the Comprehensive Plan and not spend monies for it to outsiders.