The Cherokee City Council Tuesday night authorized an architectural contract for the proposed Yacht Club replacement project in Koser Spring Lake Park that will enable the volunteer Yacht Club Committee to continuing fast tracking towards the goal of constructing the new Yacht Club by the end of the year.
Meeting weekly since its formation in January, the Committee has adopted an aggressive strategy to move the process along and establish a multi-purpose Yacht Club in the Park to replace the existing one that is aged, dilapidated and flood-damaged.
Committee chairs Sheree Hausmann and Mark Hecox addressed the Council Tuesday night to explain the group's progress and their desire to move ahead quickly on the plan to raise $375,000 for a new Yacht Club, a new open shelter, and various other amenities, including proper landscaping, etc.
Hecox said the Committee already has $50,000 in the bank from recent donations, another $29,000 in verbal pledges, and another $11,000 in written pledges, not counting other anticipated sizable donations on the horizon.
"We just started the fund-raising and its been going well," said Hausmann. "We've been meeting weekly and will continue doing so until this project is done. We have some real dedicated, intelligent people on the Committee and we're committed to this project."
Hecox said visits with the architects and their realization that this is a noble, grass-roots community project has led the architects to reduce their normal fees, which usually equal 10-percent of the total project cost, which would be $37,500 for normal situations. However, Hecox said the architects will do the entire project for $25,000.
Hecox advised the Council that they expect to let bids by July 1, start work by August 4 after RAGBRAI XL overnights in Cherokee July 22, and have the structure completed by the end of the year. The Committee seeks to finalize all fund-raising and pledges by May 1, 2013. A tele-thon fund-raiser is also in the works, according to the Committee chairs.
The new Yacht Club is estimated to cost $250,000, the new shelter about $25,000, and the remainder for landscaping, furnishings and other amenities for the Yacht Club.
Among enhancements of the new Yacht Club are a larger heated area more user friendly in the winter, large patio area to accommodate more people outside, more spacious and user-friendly kitchen, handicap accessible, large storage area, safer location so children do not have to cross the street to access the playground, and the new outdoor shelter.
The tax deductible donations can be made to "Cherokee Community Foundation-Spring Lake" and mailed or dropped off at City Hall at 416 W. Main St., Cherokee, Iowa 51012. Donors names also will be recognized on a plaque or brick in the Park.
In other business, the Council approved a series of resolutions closing out the West Cherry and North 11th Street reconstruction projects and accepting the work as completed with the exception of on-going final grading and seeding under way, according to project engineer John Meis.
The Council also approved Resolutions regarding levying the final schedule of property assessments for the projects.
The Council also reviewed the standards used by the engineers for the driveway replacement for properties affected by the projects, voting to approve the "standard dimensions" used in the driveway replacements.
The issue was brought to the Council last month by Dave Kintigh, who is displeased with the driveway replacement for his property on West Cherry Street because the driveway was not restored (winged out) to its original curbside apron width. Kintigh wanted the City to see to it that they replace the driveway to its original measurements. But the Council voted to stay with the standard dimensions adhered to by the engineer.
The Council also approved rezoning a lot from R-2 Multiple Family Residential to C-M Commercial Light Industrial to accommodate a large garage Robert Rollefson wants to build at 607 W. Locust St. to house his camper and pick-up truck.
The lot in question already abuts a C-M zone, so the Council, on the recommendation of City Administrator Don Eikmeier, approved the zoning change, pending clearance with the City Planning and Zoning Committee.
The Council also approved a $6,990 contract to Lundell Construction to replace a faulty drainage inlet on the west end of Centennial Drive, and authorized the purchase of a $11,652 (less trade-in) Parks Department mower from Builders Sharpening and Service of Cherokee. The mower is a John Deere 950A with a 72" deck, and was included in the 2012-1013 FY Budget.
Also, an annual $1,000 tool lease between the City and Parks Superintendent Duane Mummert was discontinued at the request of Mummert.
In effect for several years, the City utilized the lease agreement to access a large list of tools and equipment owned by Mummert, rather that the City having to purchase the items. As it has in the past, discussion of the lease surfaced during a recent budget workshop and Mummert then voluntarily chose to discontinue the lease rather than debate its value one more time with the Council.
The Council also approved final reading of the RAGBRAI Ordinance governing permit fees for food and non-food vendors for the 4th Anniversary RAGBRAI scheduled to overnight in Cherokee Sunday, July 22..