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City council - bills and next year's budget

The Philip City Council meeting Monday, August 1, began with the monthly bills and ended with the council preparing for the annual budget reading next month.

Bills pending as of August 1 total $69,904.37. This includes $15,000 for the upcoming purchase of a 1995 Ford tandem axle dump truck.

The council approved the first reading of Ordinance #2011-08. This amends and establishes the ordinance to open beer and alcoholic beverage containers and special alcoholic beverage licenses.

As per insurance loss control recommendations, the repair work to the airport hanger roof has been completed. An engineering estimate will be filed with the city concerning the needed repairs to the dam grade and spillway at Lake Waggoner. The report read, "Once final recommendations are reviewed, we will proceed with what can be completed within the confines of our budget and the ability of the local contractor to assist us."

Lola Roseth, Haakon County Emergency Manager, presented her annual report to the council. "Awhile back we had an exercise, a mock disaster. We are to have four exercises per year; this comes from the federal level. If there is ever a real disaster, the city will be called upon. Working nine days at the Pierre flooding in a Federal Emergency Management Agency truck really opens your eyes to what is needed."

"The other thing that was discussed at this exercise is, if something major happens, we will need a communications officer, actually two of them. If the mayor is out of town, then someone else has to be available. You need to know what to say, and what not to say. About once a year the emergency management department has a free class," said Roseth, who then thanked the council for its help.

Building permits were approved for Trace and Jennifer O'Connell to replace a patio, for Alvin Pearson to replace a sewer line, for Rock & Roll Lanes to replace a sidewalk.

The stop sign has been installed at the intersection of W. Elm Street and N. Dakota Ave.

The revenue for the city swimming pool, through July, is $15,380. Pool attendance so far is 4,815, which includes daily and season passes, free guardian observers and water aerobics attendance. Donations from the Philip elementary basketball, the Philip Boy Scouts and others include a pool side basketball hoop and accessories as well as a pool side football game for next season.

The city has filed an inspection of the pool and deck, registering any beginnings of cracks in the tile, decking and staybright in compliance with the one-year warranty on the new pool. The annual budget for operating and maintenance costs had been a rough estimate for the new pool. Now, those costs budgeted for this last season are determined to be less than will be budgeted for next year. This year's last day of operation for the pool will be August 17.

The city received, in the form of an official Pony Express letter, correspondence from the Verendrye Museum and a Gubernatorial Proclamation proclaiming the week of July 17-23, 2011, as Scotty Philip Days. The city also received a thank you from the Philip Chamber of Commerce for the city's assistance during the Scotty Philip Days celebration.

The council approved surplusing and disposing of the pressure pump and tank from the airport's well.

Sales tax collections through July 2011 are ahead of this same time each year since records back to 2004. The fiscal year 2010 audit is scheduled for August 24. The annual appropriations meeting is scheduled for September 6. In preparation for next month's reading of the proposed yearly budget, one controversy discussed was how much, if anything, the city should donate toward the annual Matched Bronc Ride.

So far, the rough draft of the budget has a grand total of $1,866,028. Concerning the fine tuning of the proposed budget, Mayor John Hart said, "Sharpen your pencils and ask the people on the street."

The city office will be closed Monday, September 5, in honor of the Labor Day holiday.

The next regular city council meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, in the Haakon County Courthouse community room.