Cherokee Village City Council met in their regular monthly session Thursday, June 25 at Cherokee Village City Hall.
The previous agenda was approved before council went into executive session to hire Misty Andrews to work at Cherokee Village Animal Services for $7.25 an hour.
Mayor Lloyd Hefley and Clerk Phyllis Endrihs gave their reports regarding meetings attended during the month.
The only question regarding the financial reports was posed by Alderman Lynn Maxedon. He relayed to council that former Police Chief Jason French had spent $2,200 on new office furniture, when only $150 was budgeted.
Departmental reports were then read by respective department heads.
Fire Chief Mike Taylor gave the report for the Fire Department, stating that the department had responded to 81 calls during the month of May and that volunteer firemen had worked 208 volunteer hours. Taylor said the department received three bids for the roof repair at Baseheart Station. Taylor said that all three were under the $15,000 budgeted amount. Taylor will present these bids to council at the next working meeting.
Chief Ricky Crook presented council the monthly police report. The report reflected a speeding problem on Pottawatomie. Crook assured the council that officers were working the area heavily.
Besides the speeding, Crook said the department had 10 theft of property charges during the month. He attributed this larger than usual number to residents returning to their homes for the first time since the ice storm and discovering items missing.
Crook also announced the promotion of Richey Thatcher to sergeant and Officer Tamara Roberts to full-time. He also said that Mike Alexander would be working for the department. Crook said the department was back to full staff for the first time since the transition from the former chief's resignation. He said this will allow some of his officers to finally be able to schedule vacations that are due.
The department was also issued a Deprivation Permit from Arkansas Game and Fish to help with deer that have become trapped within the fences at the airport as a result of repairs made to the fence after the ice storm. Crook said there is supposed to be four animals within the compound.
David Crayne, Cherokee Village street superintendent, said his department spent the majority of the month of May with debris removal. He said the department applied for and received an extension on the burn site. He said they will continue the updates, but the Friday morning question and answer sessions will be halted.
Crayne said that paperwork required by the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management was more in-depth than that of FEMA. He said that ADEM requires photos be taken both before and after of hangers and other debris for reimbursement purposes.
Crayne said the department had five checks totalling nearly $124,000 coming in from FEMA in addition to the $178,000 already received. Crayne said there is another invoice for $116,000 to be billed. He said the department is doing well on the financial end. He said his regular workers are back working on regular maintenance work on the city roads and the temporary workers are assisting with other ice storm related damages.
Jerry Adams, with Planning and Zoning gave his report stating that there were 146 residential remodel permits issued during the month of May and three new construction permits. He said that 39 tear-off permits and 12 layovers were also issued.
Adams said the commission did 36 inspections during the month.
He said Lindley Surveying deducted $1,200 from their original $5,500 estimate for their survey work in the white areas of Cherokee Village. Adams said this was a very "nice gesture."
In unfinished business, Ordinance 2009-3, was read for the third time and adopted by the city. The ordinance would regulate the operation of all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers, go-carts, golf carts, cycles and mopeds with a 250cc or less engine displacement on the streets of Cherokee Village.
In new business, a temporary special use permit was issued for the Cherokee Village Fireworks Display to be held July 4 at Thunderbird Marina.
Another temporary special use permit was issued for "Kids Focusing on Fun."
The Arkansas Game and Fish 2009-10 Urban Archery Hunt was also discussed. Hefley has been in touch with Game and Fish and said representatives said that for this type of special hunt to be successful, three to four hunts are required to thin the population. Hefley said that Game and Fish will be doing a spot check in August to make sure the population is still what they anticipate it being.
The special hunt and requirements to register are available on the Arkansas Game and Fish Web site. The hunt is set for Sept. 8, 2009 - Nov. 15, 2009, and again Jan. 1-31, 2010.
The purpose of the hunt is to thin the population in areas that are not hunted in normal seasons.
Game and Fish sets the times that are optimal for the hunt.
In regard to hunters not tracking deer and them getting away and dying, which has been a concern with many residents, Fire Chief Mike Taylor said these incidents were very minimal and said that there were only two or three such incidents during both seasons last year.
The residents of Cherokee Village voted nearly 3-1 to allow the 2008 hunt to thin the population. City Attorney Jon Abele said this type of hunt did not require a vote, that city council could have approved it. Hefley said, "We wanted a vote."
A proposal was read by Alderman Lynn Maxedon regarding the creation of a committee to form a better Cherokee Village.
After returning from the recent Municipal League meeting, Maxedon explained that in one of the workshops he attended on grant assistance for cities, the League said that cities must have a long term plan in effect in respect to the goals and missions of a respective city.
The proposal was passed to begin proactively forming a committee to focus on establishing needs and gaining the support of both state and federal senators and congressmen that will help in the future with the city obtaining grants.