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City Council deals with wide variety of property issues

PVFD building clean-up work day ... Some members of the Philip Volunteer Fire Department spent Sunday, September 11, emptying and cleaning up the Jay’s Saddlery building at 120 S. Center Avenue. The building had been gifted to the department by owner Rae Crowser and it has to be fixed up or demolished. The PVFD plans to transfer ownership to Lazy E Bar Designs, owned by Donnie Ehlers who creates metal silhouette signs, so the structure can still be a part of downtown Philip and so another business can join the downtown economy.

by Del Bartels

Property was the largest area of concern for the Philip City Council during its September 6 meeting.

The required construction to contain any spillage at the city shop is pretty much done, though the spillway repair work at Lake Waggoner is racing the clock. Possible contractors dealing with limited concrete allotments, eventual winter weather that will limit work, and the construction deadline for the FEMA grant money are all factors stressing that the project be started and completed as soon as possible.

The condemned building at 120 S. Center Ave. was gifted by owner Rae (Janice) Crowser to the Philip Volunteer Fire Department. The firemen spent Sunday afternoon emptying and cleaning the main floors of the building. The PVFD plans to transfer ownership to Lazy E Bar Designs, owned by Donnie Ehlers who creates metal silhouette signs, so the structure can still be a part of downtown Philip and so another business can join the downtown economy.

The legal process is moving forward on the annexation of the swimming pool, Kiddie Park, and the former state shop area into Philip city limits.

Building permit applications must now include the date of the last survey and/or the location of the lot lines. Discussion was tabled on a fence and tree placement policy until more legal information can be obtained.

The council passed all the many building (and demolition) permit applications. The fine for not obtaining a building permit is $100 for the property owner and for the contractor; if the project is being done by the owner, that makes them also the contractor. “I will never tell someone who asks not to file a permit,” said Finance Officer Mona Van Lint. “All it costs is a little of you time.”

Mayor John Hart followed suit with South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds in proclaiming September 2005 to be Life Insurance Awareness Month.

Gayle Rush, who has volunteered time in previous years at the Philip swimming pool, was formally hired as a Water Safety Instructor. The council approved donating the remaining pool concessions inventory to the Philip school, and approved the pool bathhouse lease with the school for use during sports events. A new pump will be purchased for around $1,200 to replace a pump that burned out earlier to continue the policy of always having a back-up pump on hand. The council authorized the advertising in November for a pool manager. The new manager will attend the required schooling in March.

There was discussion on replacing the flashing lights, which have been gone for over a year, and putting up safety signs in the school zone. One of the two previous lights may still be usable. The lights were owned by the school, though the city paid the electricity. The State of South Dakota would have final say on any such lights being used for highway traffic. Seven 24”x48” green-background and black-lettered “School Zone - 15 mph when children present” signs would cost $993.65. The council will ask the school to cost-share for the signs.

Over 51 percent of the lot owners along Ash Street have petitioned the city to have their street paved. One hundred percent of the cost of concrete curb and gutter design and installation will be the responsibility of the property owners. The balance of the improvements, which include asphalt, sewer main replacement (if needed) and storm sewer replacement (if needed) will be the city’s responsibility. The city is investigating those costs before approval.

Chip-sealing of streets, which included 12 blocks around town, has been completed for the summer.

In response to complaints of garbage bags being ripped open and garbage scattered by animals, the city reminds citizens that garbage receptacles must be of the 30-gallon size and must have a sufficient lid to prevent animals from scattering garbage. This is according to an ordinance that has been in effect since 1976.

The next scheduled Philip City Council meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 3, in the courthouse community room.