A moment of silent prayer was observed to honor the service of First Lieutenant Tyler Edward Parten who was killed in combat in Afghanistan Sept. 10 and whose grandparents, Lowell and Charleen Parten, live in Cherokee Village.
Following the prayer Cherokee Village Mayor Lloyd Hefley presented certificates to Jack Lowe and Jody Shackleford for the recent Thunder on Thunderbird event that was held over the Labor Day Weekend. The event raised money for the Elk's Foundation scholarship and was deemed an overwhelming success by residents who attended. Many said it was better than the Fourth of July events.
Following the department heads reading of their reports to council, Tom Hrezo, with planning and zoning, presented sample ordinances as well as samples of the letters to be mailed to residents who reside in the white areas subject to annexation into the city. These drafts were given to council members for their consideration in adopting the ordinances for annexation in the event it is approved by council following the upcoming public meeting scheduled for Oct. 14. They were designed to simulate an actual ordinance and allow members to comment and change anything they disagreed with that was contained within the draft. Hrezo said the sample ordinance and letter had already been submitted to Jon Abele, the city's attorney, as well as having been changed to reflect Abele's suggestions.
No problems were addressed with the wording of the documents, but Alderman Peter Martin did question members of Planning and Zoning about reasons for the proposed annexation and said he felt it would be better to improve upon the property which was already contained within the city rather than taking on new responsibility.
Hrezo also presented to the audience the advantages to the annexation for both the city and residents. Some of the advantages of annexing these areas for the city include making the city more whole and Hrezo said in the long run it will help the population increase to more than 5,000, which puts the city into a new category and makes them eligible for more federal grants and also more tax turn back-money. The annexation will also clean up the boundaries of the city and allow Cherokee Village to establish an Advertising and Promotions tax for businesses relative to tourism, such as rentals and restaurants. This tax money will help Cherokee Village expand for the future. Hrezo said there are also advantages to the citizens which include increased property value by being part of the city as well as police and fire protection.
One resident disagreed with Hrezo and said that the reason many of the residents of Cherokee Acres, another area in the city that will be considered for annexation, live there is because they do not want to be part of Cherokee Village. Reasons residents gave included the city having too many rules and regulations as well as the SID taxes.
Both Hrezo and Jerry Adams with Planning and Zoning stayed after the meeting and discussed concerns with the citizens. The certified letters for residents in the areas proposed for the annexation will be mailed out by Sept. 21 for the public hearing at which all voices will be heard prior to city council voting on whether to approve the annexation of the areas. The areas that may be annexed into the city include a 160 acre hunting area and Big Oak Estates.
Cherokee Village City Council holds their regular monthly meetings every third Thursday of the month at Cherokee Village City Hall. The public is welcome to attend.