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City reviews snow removal, swimming pool, Festival Days, financial report

The city council's March 1 meeting began with the council approving the first reading of an ordinance establishing snow removal parking regulations.

The ordinance applies to Pine Street from SD Highway 14 west of Philip to Wray Avenue, and Wray Ave. from Pine Street to Hwy. 14 east of Philip. A snow removal emergency exists whenever there is a snow accumulation on public property of four inches or more of falling or drifting snow. No person shall park or allow to remain parked any motor vehicle or trailer on these thoroughfares for 48 hours or until the street has been cleared of snow. Violators will be ticketed. The vehicle will be towed at the owner's expense if not removed within 24 hours of being ticketed.

Following a recommendation by the street committee, the council has decided to change a handicapped parking spot near the Senechal and a spot near the Farm Bureau office to regular parking. People using walkers or wheelchairs have to walk behind their vehicle to get to a zero-clearance sidewalk from a marked handicapped parking spot. With passing traffic, this could be dangerous. "It is a shame that, because we might be liable, we lose two handicapped parking spots," said Mayor Hart.

Building/flood plain development permits included Tricia Burns putting up a "business shingle" sign over her Galleria door. Mel Smith, for Chip Kemnitz, will construct a 7'x8' addition. Lurz Plumbing, for Chuck and Shirley O'Connor, will replace a sewer line.

A swimming pool replacement bid has been accepted. The total cost of the pool reconstruction engineering, without the pool deck portion, will be $60,200. That breaks down to: design criteria development - $18,900, design phase - $11,500 and construction phase - $29,800. The council formally awarded a design/build contract of $380,000 to Associated Pools. These costs do not include the demolition of the old pool, electrical work or needed gravel. The balance remaining of the pool deck reconstruction contract is $35,248. The balance remaining of the pool deck engineering contract is $5,989.

The amount already invested in the pool deck, reconstruction and engineering is $53,033. The total estimated cost for the pool reconstruction for 2010 is $481,437, without estimates for demolition or electrical work.

The 10 year contract has concluded between the city and Philip Health Services, Inc. concerning the day care property. Through a quit claim deed, the city has turned over the lease property to PHSI. "The hospital board met last Friday and the scenario is playing out according to the contract," said PHSI administrator Kent Olson. "This is an example of local government and a local business working together to benefit the community."

Olson, now representing the Philip Chamber of Commerce, discussed plans for the Philip Festival Days weekend to be June 18-20. Glenn Parsons, head of the Festival Days committee, has been working hard to make everything as close as possible to last year's successful event. Olson said, "The security folks did a real good job last year and they are returning. The Dustin Evans band, I believe, will play for the same price as last year," said Olson. "It sounds like its going to be quite a weekend."

The special events license application included boundary maps for the parade route, for the cordoned-off dance area and for a karaoke area. An open container permit for during the dance is part of the application. Carnival games are planned for the youth. Set-up and clean-up have already been arranged. The weekend will begin with the now famous Matched Bronc Ride early Friday evening.

An update on the 2010 airport funding program shows that 95 percent is still being accounted for by the federal government. The state's amount has increased up to three percent, while Philip's share has dropped a percent down to two.

The 2009 annual financial report was approved. The total cost of the municipality's programs increased by approximately $41,789 from the previous year. The municipality's overall revenues totaled $1,421,154. The total cost of all programs and services totaled $1,221,574. Total governmental activities' revenues for the municipality increased by .03 percent, while total expenses increased by 9.89 percent, or $75,542. Under the state mandated property tax freeze, property taxes from one year to the next may increase three percent or an amount based on the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower, plus any amount of growth resulting from new construction within the city. The municipality adopted general fund budget for the next fiscal year will decrease $219,000.

The residential garbage collection agreement expires May 31, 2010. The garbage committee will review bids on March 25 at 3:30 p.m.

City Police Chief Kit Graham has been authorized to attend a transportation safety conference in Pierre. "It comes at a good time, with that we are trying to figure out what we are going to do with the intersection of highways 73 and 14," said Graham.

The city will pay the $39 membership fee to belong to the federal surplus property program called the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property (NASASP). The Philip Ambulance Service and the Philip Volunteer Fire Department are the agencies benefiting most from this service.

There will be no city election this year. No opposing candidates turned in signed petitions. All incumbents will continue to hold their current city council seats.

The City of Philip will host the South Dakota Municipal League District 8 meeting on Thursday, April 22, at the Steakhouse and Lounge.

The council will meet in special session Monday, March 15, at 3:30 p.m. in the Commissioner's Room to sit as a Board of Equalization. The deadline to file objections is Thursday, March 11, at 5:00 p.m.

The next regular city council meeting will be Monday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. in the Haakon County Courthouse Community Room.