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On second thought...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Council member changes vote, Yacht Club plans back to square one

Tuesday night the Cherokee City Council, acting on a recommendation from City Attorney Wally Miller Jr., voted to reauthorize a $29,700 contract with architects for the design of the proposed new Yacht Club building at Koser Spring Lake Park.

On a 3-2 vote, the Council, at a special meeting Sept. 29, had approved authorizing a contract with Cannon, Moss, Brygger Associates for design services not to exceed $29,700 for the estimated $275,000 Yacht Club facility.

Voting for the measure were Council members Linda Burkhart, Wayne Pingel, and Dan Morrow, while Mick Mallory and Jim Peck voted against it.

However, at Tuesday night's meeting seeking the reauthorization of the design contract, Morrow switched his vote and the measure failed 3-2, with Morrow, Mallory and Peck voting against it.

Miller's recommendation to reauthorize the previously-approved design contract came on the heels of a trivial technicality in the agenda for the Sept. 29 meeting that did not include the exact location of the special Council meeting.

All City Council meetings are held at City Hall Council Chambers unless otherwise noted. City Clerk Deb Taylor said she inadvertently deleted the location on the agenda when issuing the agenda to the Public. The proper date and time, and all other relevance of the meeting were included in the brief agenda.

Now, the Council must revert to square one and re-address the total scheme of the proposed new Yacht Club, along with a proposed new Maintenance Garage for the City Parks Department, also at Koser Spring Lake Park, that is a companion project with the Yacht Club, but one that the Council had already decided to stand alone in the design planning stage. Preliminary engineer estimates peg that facility at $140,000, but a majority of the Council think it can be done at a much lower cost.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the Council did reauthorize a water mix study with Fox Engineering for the City's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

For the past year, the City of Cherokee and Tyson Foods have been working with the Department of Natural Resources on chloride compliance at Cherokee's Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant, as a result of higher quality standards mandated by the DNR and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The engineer involved has developed several alternative means of addressing the issue, and the preferred method is to combine the effluent of the City and industrial plants at one location before releasing it into the Little Sioux River. According to the DNR, the best time to conduct the study is when the river is at the lowest point, which is now.

The cost would be shared evenly by the City and Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant funds generated by Tyson Foods. After discussion during a special City Council meeting Sept. 29, the Council voted unanimously to approve an expenditure not to exceed $9,975 to conduct a water mixing study for the project.

Tuesday, the Council unanimously reauthorized the project, also on the legal advice of Attorney Miller.

In other business Tuesday night, the Council approved acceptance of a property deed from the Cherokee School District for a triangular parcel of land at the northwest corner of Walnut and North 6th Streets. That passed on a 3-2 vote, with Morrow and Mallory voting against it.

The tract in question has been owned and maintained by the School District in the past and is part of a recent three-way agreement between the City, School District, and Cherokee Regional Medical Center, also involving the two deteriorated tennis courts on Sioux Valley Drive adjacent to the CRMC and Roosevelt Elementary School.

The CRMC has agreed to buy the tennis courts from the School District for $5,000, clear the courts, and install a hospice garden to beautify the area. In turn, the City would take ownership of the unused triangular tract of land from the School District and maintain it in the future, and the School District would be rid of an eyesore and a tract of unusable, "orphaned" land.

Tuesday, the Council also approved a Business Redevelopment Grant not to exceed $2,640 for storefront improvements at 112 N. 2nd St., the former Hankens Law Offices.

Ameriprise Financial will be moving into the building and is seeking the grant from the City's successful Business Redevelopment Fund that is replenished by budget ($15,000) each July 1, and targets storefront improvements in Cherokee.

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