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City - expansions and emergencies

Swearing in ... From left: Greg Arthur, Monte Palecek and Tom Struble proclaimed their oath of office for their new terms on the Philip City Council.

The Philip City Council on Monday, May 4, began its new business with the swearing in of three councilmen beginning new terms, Greg Arthur, Monte Palecek and Tom Struble. Mike Vetter has been elected by fellow council members as council president and Palecek is the council vice president.

The council will invite back Seth Hyberger with the Central South Dakota Enhancement District to give more time and effort to a comprehensive plan. He had asked the council to supply a list of goals and objectives for the future use of city and adjacent land. The city must plan now for the next 25 years for where utilities, roads and zoning ordinances might be needed if Philip were to greatly expand. Councilman Mike Vetter said, "This can no longer be just a big dream that goes onto a piece of paper and that's where it sits."

Lola Roseth, Haakon County emergency manager, presented her annual update. The H1N1 flu "swine flu," with only two suspected cases so far in South Dakota, is not something to get nervous about as a pandemic outbreak, she said. After last June's flooding, sand and sandbags are stored in preparation if needed this summer. The Red Cross has supplied self-heating MREs (meals ready to eat) if needed in an emergency. Emergency cots and blankets may come at no expense to the city, with possibly 50 percent paid for by the Red Cross and possibly 50 percent paid for by the state. Since April 1, the 9-1-1 dispatch has been out of Winner, with the transition from Rapid City going well. If there is a disaster in Haakon County, Philip City Council members will be called upon to aid where needed.

An emergency siren has beenordered for near Scotchman Industries. Some citizens have asked for a silencer to be put on it so the 10:00 p.m. curfew whistle will not be quite so loud. One way to do this is to have a 10 minute shut off wired in, but if a tornado warning were to go off at 9:55, the siren would remain silent.

Identity theft possibilities are being reduced through policy changes, particularily in requiring proof of responsibility when applying for a utility account with the city.

The council voted to go with the more expensive replacements for the required retro-reflectivity signs in town. The minimal maintenance and ease of post repair warrents the initial cost. Since a likely, though one-time only, grant would pay for 30 to 50 percent of the total cost, Mayor John Hart said, "We should do it all at one time and get the biggest bang for our buck." None of the sign replacement has been budgeted for this fiscal year.

A building permit has been granted to Mel Smith on behalf of Steven Stewart to move in a garage.

A curb and gutter, damaged by city machinery, will be replaced at the city's expense. The council worried that many landowning citizens will state any damage over the last 15 years is the responsibility of the city. "Either way we go, we're going to set precidence," said Hart. For all future complaints, landowners must prove within one year after any damage has occurred that it was caused by the city.

The need to repair Lake Waggoner dam has been brought to the attention of the South Dakota political delegation in Washington, D.C. Other monetary sources are also being looked into.

The Ash Street project and the Philip school drainage project have begun.

A grant will be applied for concerning a future pedestrian/bike path project up Larimer hill to the Philip schools.

The Philip Volunteer Fire Department's application for a special events license has been approved. The PVFD will again host fireworks and a street dance July 3.

The next regular council meeting will be Monday, June 1, at 7:00 p.m. in the Haakon County Courthouse community room.