At last week's Cherokee City Council meeting, Administrator Don Eikmeier reported that bids for the proposed new Koser Spring Lake Yacht Club will be opened at the Council's next meeting August 23 and the Council will be asked to consider awarding a contract at the August 28 meeting.
A decision regarding financing for the City's share of this project, as well as a new park maintenance building, will need to be made soon, according to Eikmeier.
An estimated $375,000 in fundraising by the Cherokee Yacht Club Committee will pay for the construction of the Yacht Club building and other related Park amenities, but the City will be responsible for extending the utilities, parking and sidewalk improvements, which are estimated to cost $40,000.
The Council also reviewed estimated costs for the replacement of the Park maintenance building. The proposed 4000 sq. ft. building would cost $70,000; footings and concrete $50,000; utility extensions $16,000; heating, plumbing, electrical $25,000; and fill for site $20,000 for a total $181,000. Demolition and landfill costs for the current maintenance building and garage are estimated to be $15,000.
These projects, as well as several other possible projects, could be combined in one General Obligation bond issue, according to Eikmeier. Council member Mick Mallory asked whether there are current municipal bonds retiring and Eikmeier said that over the next two years, the City's debt would decrease substantially as previous bond indebtedness is paid down.
Council member Chad Brown asked whether the site of the current park storage buildings on West Beech Street could be used for the new maintenance building. Duane Mummert, Park Superintendent, didn't think there would be room, as part of the property is in the 100-year flood zone. Brown said they need to do something with the maintenance building, but he doesn't necessarily like the proposed location adjacent to the Park on the south side.
Council member Dan Morrow questioned the location of a leach
field in conjunction with well sites in the proposed area the new maintenance building would be located. Eikmeier said the leach field would have no impact on the well sites. Morrow also asked whether there was any other city-owned property that could be used for the maintenance building.
Brown suggested proceeding with borrowing locally the $40,000 needed for the Yacht Club project, but continue to look at other possible sites for the maintenance building. In a unanimous vote, the Council then directed the Administrator to attempt to obtain local financing for $40,000 for the utility extensions, parking and sidewalk improvements for the Yacht Club project.
In other action, the Council declared the Koser Spring Lake Park outdoor shelter as surplus and authorized an advertisement for sale.
The council also declared the existing flood damaged Koser Spring Lake Park Yacht Club as surplus and authorized advertising for the sale of the newer four-season room attached on the front of the facility, other possible salvage, and demolition of the building.
In further action, the Council reviewed a list showing eight city-owned vacant properties and recommendations on which could be sold back to private ownership.
The City has title to the property at 301 S. 6th St. and there are several parties who have expressed interest in the property. The Council approved advertising for bids on that property.
The property where the park storage buildings are on West Beech Street will be available for sale once a new park maintenance building is completed. Vacant lots south of the Fire Department and on Elm Street west of 3rd Street are on the list. The Fire Department will be consulted before these would be offered for sale.
Prior to the meeting, Mayor Mark Murphy presented a certificate of appreciation to Anthony Hunt who completed a summer internship with the City. Hunt is a local resident who will be a senior at Buena Vista University pursuing a Business Administration degree.
Administrator Eikmeier told the Council that some of the projects Hunt was instrumental in completing were a general housing condition survey, RAGBRAI handbook, survey of deteriorated structures, annexation research, spreadsheet for streets -- widths, rights-of-way, etc., and a list of vacant city property.
In the Public Forum portion of the meeting, Morrow said he has received complaints regarding the downtown decorative nodes. People have donated funds for the plantings and they are being left to die, assessed Morrow. Eikmeier said that the plantings are perennials and are self-sufficient; that this has just been an unusually hot, dry year; that nothing is dead or dying; and there has been limited watering. The City can't necessarily put manpower on watering the nodes every other day and still conduct regular duties, explained Eikmeier.
The Administrator also reported that proposals were received for engineering design services from Fox Engineering and Bolton Menk Engineers for the merging of the wastewater effluent line from the Tyson plant to that of the municipal plant. Fox Engineering submitted the lower proposal of $32,600, which will be paid by Tyson wastewater rates. The Council approved a contract with Fox Engineering for design and construction administration for $32,600.
The council went into executive session after completing the agenda to discuss abandoned residential property issues that could result in possible litigation as per Iowa Code Chapter 21.5(c.
After the executive session, the Council authorized City Attorney Wally Miller Jr. to proceed with obtaining ownership of 12 abandoned residential properties in the City as discussed in executive session, using the procedure as outlined in Iowa Code Chapter 657A.