"I suggest that you look over the budget (2009) with a fine tooth comb," Pat Just, a Cherokee Village citizen, told the Cherokee Village City Council during their regular meeting Nov. 20.
Just told the council she has several concerns. "I know some of the things going on in the economy affect things going on with the levy," Just told the council. During the October council meeting the council voted to assess a one millage tax on Cherokee Village property owners.
The council met again in special session in November to discuss the millage further. The council then agreed to add an additional millage bringing the tax to two mills.
Cherokee Village has never had city property taxes and Just expressed that she thought this levy was due to SID not taking in as much revenue as they had in the past. SID pays 13 percent of their revenue to the city for roads and streets and 22 percent of their revenue for the fire department.
Just said that due to the economy, she believes SID is not taking in as much money as they had in the past which has caused a reduced revenue for the city. "This levy is due to SID not being able to pay for their share," Just said.
"As retirees, our income has been reduced considerably," Just said. "I am concerned for all of the people in the Village because many of us are retired."
"We have to tighten our belts," Just said. "No longer can you give increases in pay because the money is not there."
The council explained to Just that SID only pays the city on funds they have collected. Alderman Peter Martin said SID is paying their share according to their contract but the millage will allow the city to collect on the parcels of land that are being passed back and forth.
Recorder/Treasurer Phyllis Endrihs attended an identity theft program. Endrihs said she learned several things at the program she would not have thought of.
Endrihs said the instructor of the class recommended people not keep their Social Security numbers or cards with them. She also said she learned to take down all of her credit card information and the numbers to call in case they are stolen and keep them in a safe place.
Mayor Lloyd Hefley asked Endrihs to make copies of the packet she received. Hefley said the packets would be available at the next council meeting.
The Elks Lodge requested a temporary special use permit from the council to hold their annual turkey shoots. The council asked Chief of Police Jason French if the area was safe to shoot in.
French said there were no dwellings in the woods behind the shooting area and he had driven the perimeter to make sure it would be safe. French said he saw no safety issues with the shoot and the council approved the permits for the turkey shoots which will be held Nov. 22 and Dec. 13.
Cherokee Village City Council approved the resolution regarding the Sharp County natural gas system project. The project is in the first stages right now but after each city approves the resolution to continue, the next step will be to survey the residents of Sharp County to determine how many residents are interested in natural gas.
The intent of the project is to extend natural gas from Evening Shade into the Cherokee Village, Highland, Hardy and Ash Flat areas. Martin suggested to Hefley that they inquire about the Fulton County side of Cherokee Village being involved in this project.
The council also agreed to show their appreciation to Marty Betz for his outstanding service to the city. The resolution stated that Betz has for many years given his time, experience and untiring efforts to the city of Cherokee Village. Betz has been a chairman, alderman and volunteer for many city committees and his leadership has resulted in positive programs that are still being followed in the city today.
The council will show their appreciation by having this resolution inscribed on a plaque and presented to him on behalf of Cherokee Village.
Chief French reported to the council that the urban deer hunt in Cherokee Village was over until January. The hunt ended with outstanding numbers. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said the Cherokee Village hunt is now the most successful urban deer hunt they have ever had.
On the Sharp County side of the city there were 26 bucks and 74 does killed. Fulton County side had a reported 28 bucks and 51 does eliminated. From the beginning of the hunt, Sept. 15, to the end, Oct. 31, there were only three minor complaints called in. The total deer eliminated from the city limits was 179.