City Council preparing for summer projects

Most of the April 4th Philip City Council meeting was spent in preparation for summer activities.

The city is in the planning stages of contracting the hot water well to MinKota Fisheries. Philip would remain in control of the well, though MinKota would be responsible for the well’s maintenance. Current users of the hot water would continue to pay their fees, but to MinKota and they, in turn, would pay the city. The proposed contract would be made available for viewing to those other entities which use the well’s hot water.

Decals to designate city vehicles are still under discussion. White oval signs with black borders and lettering seem to be the top choice.

With a $549,760 grant from the Federal Aviation Aviation Administration, the airport improvement project should be completed by the end of this year. The grant, which is to be administered by the Department of Transportation, will cover the two phases of the project; paving and similar work, and perimeter fencing.

According to Rod Senn of the engineering firm Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson, the tentative bid opening date date will be May 4th, the bid awarding date May 15, Phase I work to begin June 1 with a completion date three months later, and the Phase II fencing completion by November 1. A $500 per day contractual penalty was discussed for each day the projects exceed their deadlines. There should be minimal impact on the daily use of the airport since all facilities should remain open, except for maybe one day when the electricity might have to be turned off.

Annexation of the Dakota Case property (a portion of Wray Ave. and Pleasant St.) will be finalized after the city officially hears from the county commission.

Haakon County Emergency Manager Lola Roseth updated the council on NIMS, emergency shelters, and the pandemic flu. The National Instant Management System is a national, standardized way of managing emergencies. First responders, and progressing to community leaders such as city council and county commission members, must take classes and tests to become certified in compliance with the federal requirements. The classes are free, but if there is no compliance, FEMA and other fundings may be withheld from local governments.

A list of pubic-use emergency shelters is being created in preparation for any future emergency. These shelters should be supplied with rations and equipment.

If the pandemic (bird) flu should enter the United States, the local community should be prepared. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department projects that 40 percent of the population could be afflicted. Any developed vaccines would be initially insufficient in quantity. It is suggested that all business personnel be cross-trained, and that households should acquire large varieties and quantities of medicine before-hand.

The 2005 annual financial report for the City of Philip was reviewed and approved. The depository disclosure for the City of Philip, as of March 1, 2006, was also reviewed.

The council approved dial-up Internet in addition to DSL for the Philip Ambulance Service. Both systems are necessary, and the costs will be reimbursed to the city.

The street department’s monthly report was reviewed. Seasonal street department employee applications will close on Monday, April 10, at 5:00 p.m. Investigations will start on the purchase of a newer street sweeper.

The police department’s monthly report included a request from Police Officer Butler for the city to apply for grant funds to help purchase protective body armor. Federal grants would pay half of the $600 to $800 cost per vest.

The lease for the site for a mobile home currently at the airport will expire on July 3 and will not be renewed.

The council approved lifeguards and concession stand workers at the swimming pool for the 2006 season. Jason Lanning has already been hired as the pool manager and other certified lifeguards will be Brynn Coyle and Jamie Nickelson. More certified lifeguards are being sought. Concession and maintenance workers will be Marissa Mann, Kayla O’Connell, Anthony Iwan and Randi Holman.

Free dump weekend will be May 6-7. The rubble site will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days. No tires, construction materials, plastic, cardboard or household waste will be accepted. Pick-up of trash materials from senior citizens and disabled persons will be Monday, May 8; please contact the Finance Office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5, to have your items picked up.

A pre-construction meeting concerning the Downtown Street Improvement Project will be on Tuesday, April 11, at 4:00 p.m. in the Community Room.

The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 1, at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room of the Haakon County Courthouse.