Hello! Anybody home?

Monday, March 29, 2021

There are a handful of streets in Cherokee that had underground water leaks this past winter. The City repaired or hired someone to repair the leaks, backfilled the dirt and topped it with gravel, and left the scene. Now, 2-3 months later, they finally returned last week to pour the concrete (street) cap.

We called City Administrator Eric List a few weeks ago who appeared unaware of the problem and he said he’d make a note of it and pass it on to Public Works Director Armond Rider.

After a couple more weeks of waiting, we called Rider who has a habit of not picking up his work cell phone that is paid for by the City. No contact.

In the meantime, snow, rain, snowplows, and regular traffic combined to make these “temporary” street patch jobs a total mess, with gravel and mud spread all over the streets and into yards and clogging gutters. Pedestrians beware!

This is the third known water leak that we know of in the past 20 years in the same place on Hillside Street. The others were repaired and patched with concrete a day or two later - one on a cold, rainy fall day and the other in the midst of winter with snow and ice.

We’re told similar leaks and the same crappy City response has occurred on South 1st and East Elm Streets. As we all know, in today’s world you can pour concrete in all kinds of weather.

While we’re at it, the City’s snow removal process the past couple of years is also receiving frequent criticism from residents. The quality and timeliness of snow removal has changed from the exemplary work done in the past, and this is no reflection on our dedicated street department.

As PW Director, Rider makes the rules for snow removal and all City functions are, or should be, scrutinized, monitored and kept up to snuff by List as City Administrator.

We love our town and the people who live and work here. We know the City fights a constant battle with limited budget. But we shouldn’t have to wake up sleepy City department heads to tell them how and when to do their job.

Paul Struck