Cherokee Village City Council September meeting

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Cherokee Village City Council held its regular meeting Sept 17.

Prior to the approval of the agenda, Councilman Chuck Kristopeit requested he be allowed to report on the recently held public meeting regarding improvements to the Sante Fe Addition in Cherokee Village.

Once added, the council moved on to the financial and mayor’s report.

Mayor Russ Stokes told the council and those present at the meeting, the recent Suburban Improvement District payment to the city was the highest he had seen since taking office as mayor.

“Whether that continues remains to be seen,” Stokes said.

As part of the mayor’s report, Stokes announced in the near future, a large television would be installed in the council chambers so those in attendance could view the material the council was reviewing during meetings.

During the fire department report, it was requested that any individuals who intend to burn, are to call the Baseheart Fire Station to inform the department.

Two properties were set for raze and removal, however; City Attorney John Abele requested one of the two be removed for the time being. The second property warranted a resolution from the city to collect the amount due for the raze and removal, plus an additional 10 percent penalty.

Stokes asked for patience from the public as at the time, several street department employees had been placed in quarantine. He noted all employees were expected to return to work on Sept. 21, unless another individual were to test positive for COVID.

As the council approached the end of department reports, Kristopeit provided a summary from the recent public meeting.

“We had a special meeting regarding the Santa Fe addition and possible improvements. We had about 20 people come to the meeting and it was very positive. It was an introductory meeting to try to spur some revitalization,” Kristopeit said.

During the meeting, Kristopeit said there were some problem areas identified such as inhabitable condemned properties which need raze and removal, improving mowing schedules on the road side, increasing pothole repairs and more.

“We would like to get some extra support for our code enforcement and find a way to make it more effective. Councilman Carlton Hill lives in the addition and is establishing a neighborhood watch program,” Kristopeit said. “Councilwoman Pamela Rowland has offered to help with any fundraisers if we try to get some playground equipment for the park. We will have to work that out with the SID but the SID was present at the meeting and there has been good cooperation all the way around.”

All parties noted input from the public on ways to improve the Santa Fe Addition were welcome and that any property owners’ or residents’ concerns could be addressed in time.

Under old business, the council discussed a proposed ordinance to establish controls related to short term residential rentals.

After discussion and a few minor adjustments to the ordinance, the council voted to approve the first reading of the ordinance.

Under new business, the council voted to pass a new ordinance, which follows state codes regarding burning within the city limits.

The ordinance set parameters for the size of burn piles, types of materials which could be burned and more.

The council then voted to set the annual rate for ad valorum taxes. The rate will remain the same.

Three special use permits were approved. Two permits were issued for the Highland Elks Lodge annual Turkey Shoots, the first of which took place Oct. 3 and the second slated to take place Nov. 7. The third permit was for the Cherokee Village Lions Club to hold their annual White Cane Days fundraiser.

The council then discussed a staffing request for the Cherokee Village Street Department to bring on an additional full time employee. The request was approved.

During public comments, Karen Page, trail committee chair, presented ideas she had to raise funds for for trail expansions.

Page presented bags which were hand made and are being sold at Artasia in Hardy.

Office of Emergency Management Coordinator David Woods, said the tornado sirens had been tested and one of the three did not work. It was discovered a breaker had been tripped and was since repaired.

Just prior to adjournment, Stokes said a meeting had taken place regarding the old hospital located on Hospital Drive.

Stokes said the commissioner of state lands, and Sharp County Judge Gene Moore were in contact with the state land commission and that an offer would need to be made on the property before further action could be taken.

The Cherokee Village City Council meets the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. inside city hall.

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