The Cherokee City Council in a recent meeting unanimously approved a motion that would authorize City staff to prepare an ordinance to create a City Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Cherokee had such a Board for many years in the past, but it was disbanded several years ago because of alleged "control" conflicts with the City, the Council, and the Parks & Recreation Board.
The concept of re-establishing the Board has been embraced by City Parks Superintendent Duane Mummert, and City Recreation Director Dave Ellis, who would welcome the guidance and public input by such a Board in its advisory capacity.
However, any proposed changes, projects, purchasing, employment, etc. would still require Mummert and Ellis to go through the proper City Administrator and Council channels.
Among the issues that could surface, according to City Administrator Don Eikmeier, range from maintenance challenges in the Parks and Bacon Aquatics Center, to addressing problems with equipment repairs, and ongoing or new adult recreational programs.
Once drafted, the proposed new ordinance would define the size of the Board, length of appointment, general duties and responsibilities.
In other Council action of late, the City agreed to raise septic tank dumping fees for local haulers from $40 to $60 per load.
Through the years, the City has accepted industrial wastes from non-local sources on occasion, but has agreed to no longer accept any wastes from non-local sources.
Local haulers of septic tank wastes in Cherokee have a designated dumping site that feeds into the City's sewage treatment plant for treatment in the City lagoons.
The Council also has recently acted on addressing the "safe, affordable" housing needs in Cherokee as identified in the new Comprehensive Plan. Mayor Mark Murphy hosted a meeting in March of local bankers, realtors, builders, and employers seeking direction in the City's housing needs. It was determined that an independent study be undertaken to identify and quantify such needs so that the data could be used to convince builders and developers to build in Cherokee.
The Council has now entered into agreement with Maxfield Research of Minneapolis, Minn. to do the study at a cost of $13,000, plus an estimated $1,095 for travel expenses. Local businesses and employers have contributed an estimated $12,000 to fund the study that will be completed in 60-90 days.