The Cherokee City Council Tuesday night heard residents' fears of possible soil and water contamination from Filter Recycling Inc. at 5167 Old 21 Road, a Cherokee oil filter recycling business that burned down in April in a catastrophic and hazardous fire.
Carrie Pruett, 5166 Old 21 Road, Carla Steele, 5155 Old 21 Road, and Michelle Paltz, 5139 Old 21 Road, told the Council that they are neighbors near the Filter Recycling building that was recently destroyed by fire. They are concerned with chemical runoff contamination of their well water.
The Iowa Department of Public Health will test the water every six months for the next two years; however, another of their concerns is that they have been told by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that because of a shortage of manpower, Filter Recycling owners are responsible to monitor the soil, which may also be contaminated.
Steele said she feels there may be a conflict of interest as the DNR partially funded the filter recycling business. She said the Wernimonts (owners) have also brought in fiberglass windmills that they are continually sawing, thereby creating additional contamination. The neighbors don't feel the business should be allowed to rebuild on the same site, as it is a residential area.
City Administrator Don Eikmeier said the City is waiting for reports from the State Fire Marshall and the DNR, and that this will be an item on a future Council agenda for further discussion.
In other business, Council Member Mick Mallory reiterated his suggestion to convert the fountain near the Community Center to a planter and noted that nothing has yet been done. Eikmeier said that plants have been purchased and members of the Good Times Place Senior Center will help maintain the plantings. Council Member Linda Burkhart asked that they try to salvage any of the remaining faces that are on the fountain wall.
Mayor Mark Murphy opened a Public Hearing on the amendment of the 2010-11 municipal budget. The amendment covers unbudgeted expenses related to the flooding and windstorm events of 2010; relocation of the Police Department; new fire truck; speed trailer; Library foundation repairs; improvements to the senior citizen center; and storm sewer engineering. The amendment also covers increased revenues from bond sales; county reimbursement for Police Department relocation; Legacy and REAP grants; and FEMA reimbursements
In a unanimous vote, the Council adopted Resolution No. 11-24, amending the
Murphy then opened a Public Hearing on the adoption of plans, specifications, form of contract, and estimate of cost for the pending North 11th Street Project. The estimated cost of the project is $370,000.
After discussion, the Council approved Resolution No. 11-25, adopting plans, specifications, form of contract, and estimate of cost for the North 11th Street Project.
Eikmeier also reported that bids on the project were opened on May 17 by the I.D.O.T. Bids were: Godbersen-Smith Const.-$399,703.40; Wicks Construction, Inc.-$438,055.66; and Cedar Valley Corp.-$438,337.56. As the contracts were not yet available, bids will be acted on at the next meeting.
Godbersen-Smith Construction is the major contractor for the on-going West Cherry Street renovation project.
The Council also approved an amendment to the Lake Street engineering contract with DeWild, Grant, Reckert & Associates. The amendment will include the design to replace the water main from the Lake Street/Spring Lake Drive intersection to 800 Spring Lake Dr. The additional cost is not to exceed $6,000.
The Council approved the Federal-Aid Agreement with the I.D.O.T. for the Lake Street Project. Federal-Aid will provide 80% of the funding for the Lake Street paving.
A contract with Schoon Construction of Cherokee in the amount of $65,117.50 to repair Oak Knoll Drive that was damaged by the June 2010 storms also was approved by the Council.
In other business, the Council authorized the Parks Department to purchase a J.D. 3520 tractor with blade for $21,161.86, and a J.D. 4-wheel drive tractor for $5,823.18 from Builders Sharpening & Service of Cherokee. These are budgeted items.
The Council authorized the Water Department to purchase replacement handheld meter reading devices for $8,710 and supporting software for $1,350 from Municipal Supply, Inc. These also are budgeted items
The City also authorized advertising for bids for two, 1-ton pickups. The Water and Wastewater Departments each have a pickup budgeted. The Water Department vehicle will be bid without a standard box, to allow for a utility box to be installed. Both vehicles will be specified with supporting snowplow equipment, and the utility box and snowplows will be bid separately.
The Council reviewed a plan to add a storage room on the north side of the Fire Station, next to the alley. This will be a 41.5' x 12' metal sided addition that will be used to store equipment and possibly the 1917 LaFrance parade vehicle. The addition will be done with donated materials and labor, and funds raised by the Volunteer Firemen. No city tax dollars will be used.
In his report, Eikmeier reported that the Bacon Aquatic Center is scheduled to open today, weather permitting; the bridge in Central Park has been replaced; the river rose three feet over the weekend; and the "plancherokee" website is up and comments are coming in.