City Council's August meeting
Mayor John Hart reported that the sales taxes for the year looked very good, with records up to this last July showing an estimated 20 percent increase over last year's same time period. Hart stressed that the sales taxes are put back into the street, water and sewer projects of the City of Philip.
Chief Kit Graham's monthly police summary was, "We've had a pretty quiet time in July compared to June and all the people here for the Centennial."
The second reading was officially done to establish Chapter 16 - the Flood Damage Prevention ordinance.
Bids were opened for propane and heating fuel to be used by the city, with Midwest Cooperative being the low bid at $1.49 per gallon for propane and $2.65 per gallon for fuel oil.
Tom Lesselyoung began a discussion of the erosion occurring on the elementary school playground. Hart, who had viewed the sight with school officials, said that the asphalt that was below the playground is totally gone. Hart said that a "mini Grand Canyon" runs the length of the playground and that any new playground equipment will probably not be set up until the problem is fixed. Lola Roseth, Haakon County Emergency Manager notified the city of a federal 75/25 matching Hazardous Mitigation grant that is available to help with just such work. An August 15 meeting has been set with a representative to discuss options and application procedures.
The school and county have already entered into an agreement that basically creates a 10-year lease of the football / baseball area west of Philip. The city council voted to join the agreement. Watering of the grounds is done with water that the city provides for free.
Freya Simpson of Badlands / South Central Enterprise Facilitation presented an economic overview of past and present years concerning the city of Philip and Haakon County. She compared the different aspects of the economy to pieces of a puzzle that are coming together. Simpson said, "some strengths of the area are a wonderful work force with qualified people, a high percent of high school graduates and a median household income of around $33,000. Basically it's a nice picture when compared with other counties in the region. Very good." One negative is the diminishing population.
The city pool will continue swimming lessons next week. Since the original "free pool day" donated by the Forty and Eight group was a rainy day, another free pool day may be scheduled. The pool's last day open for the season will be Sunday, August 19. Two more lifeguards, Randi Holman and Tonya Ravellette, have been hired to help when most of the other guards begin school athletic practices on the 13th. The city has agreed to renew the $850 bathhouse lease with the school for 2007/08 for use of the restrooms and concession facilities during sports functions. Funds generated through people using the pool is down to under $9,000 as of the end of this July, compared to around $10,000 in previous years.
The city agreed to donate labor and equipment to tear down what is left of the old Lake Waggoner Golf Course clubhouse. The demolished materials will be taken to private property north of Philip. The underlying concrete slab will remain.
The council approved to pay the one-time $100 fee and five years of minimum monthly fees to light the Welcome to Philip sign east of town.
Highway 73 just south of Philip to Interstate 90 is scheduled to be resurfaced during 2008. Hart has been told by the Department of Transportation that the sidewalk project up Larimer Street "is not dead."
The meeting ended with an executive session to discuss personnel matters.
Because of Labor Day, the next scheduled meeting for the Philip City Council is on Tuesday, September 4, at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room.