Cherokee Village Mayor Lloyd Hefley gave the State of the City address during the Feb. 19 city council meeting.
Hefley highlighted several things that happened in the city in 2008. "We hired a new police chief and patrol sergeant, purchased a pug mill for the road department, purchased two police vehicles and we had a tornado, floods and winds all of which we received money from FEMA for," he said.
He continued by stating several goals he has set for the city. "Conducting a formal needs assessment for the community; developing a new community blueprint to articulate the community's vision and the strategic steps necessary to fulfill this vision; launching an aggressive community input process; developing assisted living housing and youth programs; develop a marketing and promotional plan for the city; need to have a simple; yet effective means to communicate; and that our efforts to present the best service and most current technologies available in an efficient manner are measurable in terms of citizen's satisfaction and business prosperity; utilizing the grant process for community development; partnering with existing businesses for development of community; considering future commercial development and utilizing code enforcement for community enhancement; partnering with Sharp County Economic Development committee for structuring and developing county-wide development."
Hefley went on to break down the work of each department for the year 2008. He ended by announcing that the cash reserves for 2009 are $1,257,136.
Street Superintendent David Crayne reported to the council on the cleanup from the ice storm.
Crayne told the council that after working in conjunction with the fire department, every house in the Village could be accessed by the fifth day after the storm. "All roads are now driveable," Crayne said. "The last four days we have been driving around with the Corp of Engineers doing what they call a Black Box estimate of the damage."
Crayne said they are estimating that there is 36,000 cubic yards of debris and 3,000 dangerous trees. He said the Corp is estimating a cleanup time of 4 months.
"We have 15,000 acres that stretch almost 10 miles," Crayne said. "The Corp couldn't believe how many roads we have."
FEMA will pay quarterly and the state will pay nothing until the project is closed out. "I only ask one thing, be patient, we are going to get to everybody, but everyone cannot be first," Crayne said.
Crayne explained that they will be cleaning up by section starting with the South Entrance on the East side of Highway 175. The council gave Crayne permission to hire help for the cleanup process.
There are a lot of citizens who could use volunteers to help in their yards, Crayne said. The city is going to start their process by picking up debris residents have piled by the road.
Alderman Peter Martin announced that a special meeting is being held March 11, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the animal shelter. "I would love it if people would show up and voice their opinions as to where they would like to see money spent on this," Martin said.