Frequently Asked Questions


 What are the government office hours?

City hall hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  We are open through the lunch hour.

 When and where are City Council meetings?

City council meetings are held in the council chambers at City Hall, 416 W. Main Street, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, normally beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Special meetings may be called from time to time, especially during the budgeting process.  Agendas are posted on this website and at City Hall.

 I am moving to Cherokee. Who do I contact for water, sewer, gas, electric, cable tv, telephone and internet service?

The City of Cherokee provides water and sewer service to all residents as well as garbage service (contracted out to Sanitary Services) for residents.  Call or stop in at Cherokee City Hall.  You may set up your service over the phone, but will have to come in to pay a deposit, or provide us with a letter of good credit history.

Commercial businesses will need to set up garbage collection service directly with Sanitary Services.

MidAmerican Energy provides electric service (888-427-5632). 

Alliant Energy provides the natural gas service (800-255-4268). 

Cable television is provided by Mediacom (800-332-0245). DIRECTV (877-798-6070; 

Telephone service can be obtained through CenturyLink (800-244-1111;; Iowa Telecom (877-786-4692) and Mediacom (800-332-0245). 

Internet service providers include CenturyLink (800-996-2516), Evertek (800-242-0154), C-M-L Telephone (712-443-8222) and Northwest Internet Service (800-249-5251).


 My city utility bill is higher than usual. Do I have a water leak?

Water meters are read each month and your water bill will vary monthly depending on usage.  If you suspect a leak, you may want to check your toilets.  Toilets can leak without making much noise and can cause a high bill without you ever noticing it.  Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank of each of your toilets and wait 20-30 minutes.  Don't flush.  If the water in the toilet bowl is colored, you have a leak.

Another thing you can do is read your meter before you go to bed at night and again first thing when you get up in the morning.  If the water softener has not activated and the toilets have not been flushed, the meter reading should be the same.

Most leaks are attributable to toilets or water softeners.  If you are unable to locate the leak, please call City Hall and schedule a leak check.  There is a $25 charge for this service.

 I am going away for the winter. Does the city offer at "vacation rate" for snowbirds?

The city does not offer a "vacation rate," however you do have two options.  The first is to leave your water on while you are gone and contact city hall to ask that your garbage service be discontinued.  AS LONG AS THERE IS NO WATER CONSUMPTION, we will not bill you for garbage, however landfill charges will still be billed.  A  monthly minimum bill without garbage charges is $43.08.

The second option is to have the city shut your water off at the curb, there is a $50 charge for that. When you return they will turn it back on at the curb, there is a $50 charge for that. You must be gone for at least 4 months for this option. If you choose this option it will completely stop your bill while you are gone.

In the case that you leave the meter installed, we strongly urge you to shut the water off at the meter anytime you are going to be away for any length of time to prevent water line breaks/frozen meters. 


 Do I have to pay a deposit prior to getting water service?

The City requires either a $100 deposit or a letter of credit from a previous utility showing at least twelve months of good credit history from all new utility customers.  If you have established good credit with us in the past, you will not need to pay a deposit or furnish a letter of credit.

 I have water/sewage coming up through the drains in my basement. What do I do?

During business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) contact City Hall at 225-5749.  After hours, call the LEC at 225-6728 and they will contact the on-call person.

 Can I burn leaves in city limits?

No. The Cherokee County Landfill accepts yard waste and tree branches at no charge.  The city operates a yard waste dump accessible from the south end of South Sioux Street, open to all Cherokee residents.  Sanitary Services picks up yard waste three times during the spring and three times during the fall.  The date for these pickups are put on the water bills, on this website and published in the local newspaper.

 What is the garbage/recycling pick up schedule?

For all residents east of Hwy. 59 with the exception of those in Rock Island, Park View and Doherty Additions, garbage is picked up on Tuesdays and recyclables are picked up on Fridays.

For Rock Island, Park View and Doherty Additions as well as all residents west of Hwy. 59, garbage is picked up on Thursdays, and recyclables are picked up on Mondays.

For residents from 11th Street West and on Main Street, garbage is picked up on Friday, and recyclables are picked up on Thursdays.

 How do I get one of those black garbage containers on wheels?

Contact Sanitary Services at 712-225-2313.  

 How do I get rid of junk?

Sanitary Services picks up items that two men can lift (excluding hazardous waste, batteries, tires, appliances, and large amounts of construction materials) twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.  Dates are published in the newspaper, in the city newsletter and on this website.  You may also purchase a sticker at City Hall for $1.00 each for excess garbage (one for each bag or item), and items that have a sticker on them will be picked up with normal garbage.

 Do I need a license for my pet?

No, the city does not license pets. Be reminded though, it is unlawful for any owner to allow an animal to run at large within city limits.

 At what point is a snow emergency declared?

69.12 SNOW EMERGENCY. No person except physicians or other persons

on emergency calls shall park a vehicle on any street or alley between the hours

of two o’clock (2:00) a.m. and seven o’clock (7:00) a.m. whenever there is two

inches or more of snow on the streets or whenever there is two inches or more of snow 

forcasted by the National Weather Service.


designates the following streets as Emergency Snow Removal Routes. From

October 1 of each year until the first day of the following April, there shall be

no parking on the Emergency Snow Removal Routes, from 2:00 a.m. until 7:00

a.m. The Emergency Snow Removal Routes are as follows:

1. Willow Street First Street to Sixth Street;

2. Main Street First Street to Sixth Street;

3. Maple Street First Street to Fourth Street;

4. Fourth Street Willow Street to Maple Street;

5. First Street Willow Street to Main Street;

6. Second Street Willow Street to Maple Street.

As set out in Section 70.03 of this Code of Ordinances, the penalty for violation

of this section shall be a fine of $25.00. Vehicles in violation of this section are

further subject to the impoundment procedures contained in Section 70.06.

(Ord. 485 – Aug-04 Supp

 Do I need a permit for a recreational fire?

No.  However the material to be burned is limited to charcoal, commercially fabricated logs, wood and branches.  All burning will take place in an acceptable burning structure designed for fire containment.

 Does the city have a tax abatement program?

Yes, all qualified real estate assessed as residential property is eligible to receive a partial exemption from taxation on the first $75,000 of actual value added by improvements.  The exemption is for a period of five years, on a decreasing scale.  In order to be eligible for tax abatement, the increase in actual value of the property must be at least 10%.  All commercial and industrial real estate is also eligible from taxation on the value added by improvements.  Contact City Hall for more information.

 Who do I contact to rent a park shelter?

Call the Parks & Rec Department at 225-2715.
416 West Main Street, Cherokee IA 51012 (712) 225-5749