The Cherokee City Council recently 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 continue fast tracking towards the goal of constructing the new Yacht Club as soon as possible.
Meeting weekly since its formation in January, the Committee adopted an aggressive fundraising strategy to move the process along and establish a multi-purpose Yacht Club in the Park to replace the existing one that is antiquated, dilapidated and flood-damaged.
The new Yacht Club is estimated to cost $375,000, including a new outdoor shelter, landscaping, furnishings and other amenities for the Park and 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.
Because of its size and past usage numbers, the facility is not deemed to be in competition with the much larger Western Iowa Tech Community College Conference Center, or the Cherokee Community Center. It is designed for smaller gatherings like reunions, family picnics, civic organization get-togethers, etc.
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.
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 City Hall Thursday and the Council will be asked to consider awarding a contract at the next meeting on Tuesday, August 28.
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 City is exploring securing a short term loan locally for the $40,000 to cover the Yacht Club costs, and then proceeding to float a General Obligation Bond in the neighborhood of $250,000 to fund the new Park maintenance building.
The City's existing bond debt will be paid down considerably in the next two years, according to Eikmeier.