City Council addresses topics and audience from fishing, insurance, trees, dances to rifles

The Philip City Council held on Monday, March 3rd, was longer than usual to accommodate the full agenda.

Roger Williams asked if Lake Waggoner was receiving all that it could from the well system. With the extended drought in the region, there are very few fishing and boating places in western South Dakota. "We have a great place with a nice camping area, and no other place around to fish or boat," said Williams. He noted that the north boat ramp at the lake will not be usable much longer because of the lowering water level. "If something doesn't change, much of the lake will not be usable this summer," said Williams. The council will look into if any more water can be diverted to the lake, though the full amount of the well water is probably accounted for.

The council approved a building permit and flood plain development permit presented by Paulette Combs and Jerry and Lu Roseth. A 27'x38' house may be put on an existing foundation on the condition that documentation is provided on the acceptable elevation of the proposed structure.

The proposed Ash St. Project will be re-opened for bidding next month.

The drainage project on the hill south of the school will have a Community Development Block Grant hearing at 3:30 p.m. on March 17th. Mayor John Hart said that the city plans to "go for the gusto" in applying for the full project estimate, with the school's funding share and the city's being combined to account for the required matching funds. For Philip to qualify, a survey must be done to establish that 51 percent of the community is below a governmentally pre-set income rate. Finance Officer Monna Van Lint said that explaining what the telephone survey was for would probably take more time than the survey itself.

Councilman Michael Vetter was elected as the new vice president of the council.

Approved building permits include the Philip Ambulance Service replacing a sidewalk, Richard Stewart building a 10 foot addition to a carport, and Doug West pouring a 28'x35' concrete slab.

The council approved sur-plusing and selling or gifting the following items: 1,000 gallon furnace oil tank, 1979 International dump truck, 1967 Case W7 loader, Epson LQ-570e printer, Sharp AR-163 copier, fuel oil furnace and 11 street light poles. Because of nostalgic whittlings on them, some bids have already been received on several of the light poles.

Brad Wilson from the South Dakota Municipal League made a pitch for Philip to join the SDML workers compensation fund. He was asked to present an exact quote on rates to the council before the next meeting.

Ray Gibson spoke for the Chamber of Commerce Festival Days Committee in getting city approval for a street dance location. Other members present were Terri Pelle, Doug West and Kent Olson. "Our main concern is not to promote alcohol or such businesses, but to keep the attendance up for the dance. If the band and dance area are too far from such places, the dance attendance goes way down." August 1st and 2nd will be Festival Days. One or two dances may be scheduled. Two colors of wristbands or a partition to keep the underage dancers separate from the adults are tentative plans. Perhaps the younger kids would have a dance time, followed by the teens, then followed by adults.

Branden West asked the council for an annual financial commitment of $2,500 to be used only for advertising of the Matched Bronc Ride scheduled in June. The council agreed for one year, with hopes of it succeeding for following years. The sales tax numbers and recognition of Philip as a potential "Matched Bronc Riding Capital" were selling points made by West.

A first reading was noted for the complete rewriting of the Streets and Sidewalks and the Fences and Walls ordinances. "The city is trying to make a compromise that it and landowners can live with," said Van Lint. All current items will be grandfathered into the ordinances. "We tried to make it very clear that all future damages to utilities will be the responsibility of the landowner," said Van Lint.

The council approved the 2007 annual financial report. The three largest forms of revenue were charges for services (34 percent), sales taxes (27 percent) and property taxes (26 percent). The four largest expenses were public works (29 percent), water services (21 percent), general government (19 percent) and public safety (11 percent). For assets, the report stated, "By the end of 2007, the municipality had $6,376,627.00, net of depreciation, invested in a broad range of capital assets, including land, buildings, various machinery and equipment."

The police department received approval to purchase two rifles, one for each patrol vehicle. It also received permission to put Terry Deuter on the roster. Deuter needs to be registered with some law enforcement entity so he may continue training and keep current his certification. He will not be paid unless he actually works, for example during Festival Days. In trade, he will train and certify Police Chief Kit Graham and Patrolman David Butler in firearm use. Graham would like such official certification for liability reasons.

The council has adopted a $5 per day fee for storage of vehicles and other items. It has adopted a $16.50 for civil service fees such as serving subpoenas.

There will be an election on April 8th for Ward III between Shirley Chin and Greg Arthur.

The South Dakota State University Horizon's Program seminar in Philip on March 26th will be attended by Councilman John Kangas and Deputy Finance Officer Brittany Smith.

The council will meet in special session at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, March 17th, in the Com-missioner's Room for a CDBG public hearing and then at 4:00 p.m. to sit as a Board of Equalization. The deadline to file evaluation objections is Thursday, March 13th, at 5:00 p.m.

The city council's next regular council meeting is Monday, April 7th, at 7:00 p.m. in the community room of the Haakon County Courthouse.