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Cherokee Village City Council approves benefits

The Cherokee Village City Council met Jan. 27 for their regular monthly meeting. Councilwoman Pamela Rowland was absent with all others present.

At the start of the meeting, Councilman Peter Martin made the motion to suspend the rules and put on the table a discussion that was had by council during the Dec. 16 regular council meeting in executive session. Councilman Chuck Kristopeit second the motion.

Action was discussed on expending funds to benefit the three fire fighters that retired in the amount of $17,000. The motion to grant the funds was made by Councilman Martin and second by Councilman Kristopeit. The council unanimously approved the motion.

During public comments, Ms. Chris Studebaker called to attention an issue concerning unkept property owned by Mr. Howard Baswell. ” He always has these renters who have all of this trash and crap all over. I think they need to fine like these property owners, example Howard. I did a little bit of checking and he owns 90 properties in Sharp County and 161 in Fulton County.” said Ms. Studebaker.

Have you reported it to the Planning and Zoning Department? asked Mayor Russell Stokes.

“Yes. Thomas back when Cody or Cory was there.” said Ms. Studebaker..

“Well currently Thomas is out with the virus. When he returns, we will investigate and see what’s going on. We have certain procedures that we have to follow.” said Mayor Stokes.

During financial reports, Councilman Martin stated that he has not received any packets for the past two months.

“Are you not getting anything on email?” asked Mayor Stokes.

Councilman Martin said he had requested a city email but was cut short on his comments.

“Well we aren’t going to do that for security reasons.” Interjected Mayor Stokes.

“Well, but we do have, the city is paying for an email server which is separate from the server that all the data is put on,” Councilman Martin stated.

“Sorry to interrupt you Mr. Martin, but it’s going to have to be, every individual up here has their own email and that’s how it’s going to have to be transmitted.” said Mayor Stokes.

“I would like to put on the next meeting a discussion about email because there are several things that are auspicious for the city to have one.” said Councilman Martin A short but heated debate then took place between Councilman Steve Thompson and Councilman Martin, The Mayor called for cease and abate due to that item not being on the agenda.

During the Mayor’s report, a proclamation was made to recognize the work of the school board. The request for the proclamation was sent to the city by the Superintendent of the Highland School District. Mayor Stokes declared the month of January 2022 Arkansas School Board Recondition Month.

Mayor Stokes gave an update on the low water bridge project. Mayor Stokes has turned in the paperwork to the city attorney and will bring it to council for approval once the attorney is finished with reviewing it. “We have a 30 day timeline on this, normally it would be 60, but it has been reduced to 30.” said Mayor Stokes.

Under department reports , Mayor Stokes announced that due to the virus, the city has had key personnel out of the office. With both employees at animal control being out sick, the city has been using outside help to make sure the animals are cared for until the employees can return to work. Mayor Stokes pointed out that the two biggest responses made by the fire department are assisting the ambulance service and then public service assistance, such as lift assists.

Fire Chief Kal Dienst spoke of the new hours and schedule of the firemen. “So, all the men were interested in changing their shift schedule. Previously, they worked a 24 hour on and 48 off schedule. They all showed interest in changing to a 48 hour shift at which point they would have 96 hours more days off.” said Chief Dienst.

Under new business the council reaffirmed their procedures and elected Councilman Rob Smith as the 2022 Mayor Pro-Tem.

The council voted unanimously to remove the Emergency Management Trailer from the city asset list and put it up for sale through a competitive bid.

During public comments, an unidentified male audience member inquired about council’s opinion on a possible multi-family complex that would be located between the old hospital and the airport. The gentleman was directed to speak with Planning and Zoning.

“And if you don’t get the response you want from Planning and Zoning, you can put yourself on our agenda and then pose it to us.” said Councilman Martin.

The Cherokee Village City Council will be having a special working meeting on Monday Feb. 14, 2022 at 6:30 pm at Cherokee Village City Hall.

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