Cherokee Village SID hears updates

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Cherokee Village Suburban Improvement District (SID) held its regular meeting June 15.

Commissioners Jim Best, Joe Waggoner and Ron Patterson were present as well as David Webb, manger of the SID.

Following the approval of minutes and the agenda, the commission moved on to old business.

Webb told the commission new concrete steps had been poured at the Thunderbird pool and the pool had since been filled.

“It has been inspected and certified and has been open about two weeks. Under the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines, we’re limited on capacity. It is set at 50 percent like the Omaha Center pools,” Webb said. “People have been cooperative and the pool workers are doing a good job helping to maintain social distancing.”

Webb said the beach was also open and contact tracing was being used, but there was no capacity limit. Signs have been posted.

Pickleball courts and rules were also discussed.

“We opened the inside for singles and now for doubles play. We have limited it to three balls per court and the courts are separated. The balls are in sanitization containers and it has been back up and running for about a week now,” Webb said.

He also said recreational lake activities were ongoing.

“We have boat traffic and more swimming. The lakes have been really active,” Webb said.

Commissioner Waggoner announced the fire department had canceled the annual pancake breakfast traditionally held on the morning of July 4.

Jonathan Rhodes with the Cherokee Village Advertising and Promotions Commission also spoke to those in attendance regarding the cancellation of the 2020 fireworks show on lake Thunderbird.

“I chair the commission which is responsible for the fireworks. We worked with the fire and police departments, SID and paramedics to reach that decision. We looked at alternatives but couldn’t come up with a good alternative to do the show, do it safely and meet guidelines. It was a very difficult decision. Our plan is to do it next summer,” Rhodes said.

Captain Kal Diesnt with the Cherokee Village Fire Department also spoke to the commission about a new undertaking between the water and fire department.

“At the beginning of this year, the water company came under new management. I reached out to them because we had some projects we were working on. We have a web based software and within it is a hydrant tracker,” Dienst said. “They put in a brand new hydrant inspection program and told them we had a tool to track that. They looked at it, liked it and are using it. All my men can see the records.”

Dienst said in addition to locating each hydrant and mapping it using GPS, hydrants were also being mapped according to the flow of water they provide.

“We just went through the ISO scoring process. Five years ago, we dropped from a 6 to a five, every time we drop that score, it should help with the insurance rating. We were less than two points away from being a 4. We hope with these things we’re doing will make those points,” Dienst said.

More discussion was held about the project, before the commission moved on to the next agenda item, extending a line of credit.

Waggoner said typically this time each year, the commission obtains a line of credit from FNBC bank.

Webb said the line of credit with the bank is $225,000 and SID draws on it until assessments come in in October.

“So far, we don’t need it, but it is good to have,” Webb said.

The commission voted to approve the line of credit and Webb then presented the financial report.

During Property Owner comments, Rob Alwin spoke to the commission.

“I have been blessed to have a home here for 20 years. From the bottom of my heart, I believe we have the best kept secret in the world,” Alwin said.

He shared some of his experiences with the commission about living in the Village and how he came to be a resident.

He then began to speak to the commission about changing it’s policy regarding wave runners and other similar style recrational water crafts to be allowed on certain lakes.

“When I want to ride them, I have to go to Crown Lake,” Alwin said. “At the time it was made, it was a good decision to keep them off the lakes, but things have changed. The wave runner today with reverse is safer than the 5,000 pound boat with 200 horsepower. I’d like to petition that with common sense regulation, speed, age, days of the week, possibly even limit the hours but why not allow them on the lakes now.”

Alwin said Cherokee Village was a desirable destination and with some common sense changes to regulations and some modifications, it could become even more so.

“We could have the best of both worlds, I hope you all will consider this,” Alwin said.

Karen Page also spoke to the commission regarding a grant she was working on. She told the commission she had resigned from her position on the trails committee, but would continue until the grant process was finished.

The final property owner to speak was Joey Whited who inquired about dock building and dredging a cove in one of the lakes. Although property owners and contractors are allowed to dredge from the property line into the lake to skim away silt, they cannot touch the lake bed.

Whited said the level of runoff which would need to be removed was greater than what could be reached from the banks.

Webb said he would have to travel to the site and look at it before determinations could be made.

The Cherokee Village SID meets the third Monday of each month at 3 p.m. at the Omaha Center in Cherokee Village.

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