The Cherokee City Council Tuesday night awarded a construction contract for water main improvements at Lake Street and Spring Lake Drive.
To be funded by Water Department Reserve monies, the project was awarded to Lundell Construction of Cherokee in the amount of $65,156.50.
A part of the on-going Lake Street Improvement Project, the water main replacement is not eligible for funding through the Iowa Department of Transportation, as are portions of the entire Lake Street project. The water main replacement includes a segment of old water main that has had several breaks through the years, according to Water Department Superintendent Mark Napier.
Because the Lundell bid came in $10,000 below the engineers' estimate, the project has been extended from the Lake Street intersection to the Koser Spring Lake Park north entrance.
In other business, the Council approved authorizing two $10,000 Legacy Grant applications - one for a community electronic message board to be possibly located near the former railroad property on the west side of North second Street, just north of the Fareway Store; and the second grant for an Oak Hill Cemetery Directory.
Costs for the message board have been estimated at $28,000 and it is hoped that several Cherokee organizations and annual events will donate to the project to make up the $8,000 difference after the City matches the grant and contributes $10,000. The City also will monitor and run the message board from City Hall.
Council member Mick Mallory opined that the City should not "own" the sign and that the organizations and community events using it should pay for it and its upkeep. AFter City Administrator Don Eikmeier reassured Mallory that probable donations and sign revenue would cover most of the expense involved, the Council voted unanimously to apply for the grant.
The second grant application would help pay for a shelter structure at Oak Hill Cemetery to house a directory. The project calls for a 26x26-foot roof over a cement floor located immediately north of the existing maintenance shop near the main entrance to the cemetery. The directory would be on a series of panels that visitors could utilize to find deceased relatives, friends, or others. The facility would be constructed at grade and be handicap accessible. A map of the cemetery also will be included.
Estimated costs for the Oak Hill Directory is also $28,000. The project has been on the drawing board for several years and is now being proposed by the North Star Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). That organization has participated in the construction of six other similar directories in smaller cemeteries in Northwest Iowa.
The City has previously agreed to provide manpower and materials to construct the cement slab at an estimated cost of $3,500. The balance is to be raised through donations, with area families already pledging significant amount, according to Eikmeier.
Peggy Corrington and Mickey Conley of NSDAR attended Tuesday's Council meeting to present the proposal.
The Council also authorized a grant application that would become effective for the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year for Transportation Enhancement Funding for the railroad trail between East Bluff and North Roosevelt Streets.
Total construction costs for the trail segment is estimated at $120,000, including contingency fees. The grant would pay for 80-percent, or about $96,000, leaving a local match of $24,000 for construction, plus engineering design, and inspection services totaling $28,000.
Ultimately, the trail, a popular thoroughfare for students, will be paved if the grant application is successful. The rock trail may be topped with limestone aggregate until that time, and would be groomed when possible in wintertime by the City and School District, according to Eikmeier.
The trail grant application was approved on a 4-1 Council vote, with Mallory, Wayne Pingel, Jim Peck, and Chad Brown voting yes, and Dan Morrow voting no.