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Cherry Lake improvements to be Tama Police project

January 27, 2014
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

To kick-start a series of proposed upgrades, the Tama City Council agreed on Monday night to match $500 in money raised by the police department to stock Chery Lake with fish. In a letter to Mayor Dan Zimmerman and City Council members, Police Chief Jeff Filloon wrote, "the majority of the police department is excited about the fact that we have a lake within our city limits" and "The department feels this is a diamond in the rough."

Filloon wrote the police would like to use the lake as their "pet project" - "in trying to get the public to know the Police department's good side." He noted the area offers "an outdoor recreation area for young and old alike."

Filloon detailed work and plans at Cherry Lake the department intends to do:

Article Photos

The bathing beach at Cherry Lake is shown in this old postcard. Although swimming is prohibited in the lake now, other activities are planned for improvements.

help maintain the shoreline

bring activities to the lake through programs like Fish Iowa and the DNR fisheries

stock the lake for excellent fishing adventure for everyone to share

bring tourism to Tama and its downtown

develop fish habitat within the lake

develop wildlife habitat through youth projects

grant writing for future projects.

In the letter, Filloon said all future projects would be funded by private donations. Materials would be donated to build duck nests and fish structures to be submerged in the lake.

Police officers would only work on the projects off-duty according to the letter and they would only work on a volunteer basis, Filloon said. A net count of the fish in the lake has been volunteered by Todd Hinegardner of North Star Fish Hatchery, Montour. This will determine type of fish to stock the lake with according to the letter.

Mayor Dan Zimmerman said the proposed idea for youth fishing events at Cherry Lake are a very popular in both Des Moines and Waterloo.

The city was given the 40-acre lake and adjoining property by Caraustar - Tama Paperboard in 2006. It is located just southwest of the downtown business district.

Since then, the South Tama Recreation Trail was extended to encircle as part of its more than six-mile length from the Iowa River on the south edge of Tama to the west side of Toledo.

In other business Monday the council:

approved a grant application to purchase folding picnic tables or the Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival with the city being the vehicle for the application.

learned of an application and the previous approval for installation of a septic tank system on private property in the 1200 block of North McClellan. Mayor Zimmerman said the property qualified under the City code due to distance from existing sewer lines. Approval rests with the Tama County Health Department sanitarian.

learned of grant application for a "valve exerciser" which Public Works Director John Lloyd said would be used to keep valves in the water supply system and fire hydrants in working order.



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