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Geothermal well, curb and gutter, street light projects before Philip City Council

With a very humble heart and an acknowledgement of responsibility, Mayor John Hart announced that the proposed sale of the city’s geothermal well will have to be handled in a different manner.

The sale of the well to MinKota Fisheries for the future development of a 35-job business in Philip was enthusiastic, but premature. MinKota has been made aware of the situation and “we are on the same page,” said Hart. Legal stipulations dictated by state law regulate the method of selling public property, even with the ownership-reversion clause that was to be an important part of the sale. Now, a lease proposal is being investigated by the Philip City Council and MinKota Fisheries.

A future agreement concerning the water plant building will be the subject of a meeting between the Lake Waggoner Golf Course Board and three representatives of the Council.

The Council approved the second readings of two ordinances concerning fences, hedges, walls, trees and shrubs, and an ordinance offering a vacation rate on water/sewer costs for “snowbirds” who wish to have their water left on while they are gone for a few months each winter.

The new school safety zone signs should be in place before the year’s end.

The City of Philip has been awarded $235,000 in CDBG funds for the downtown street improvement project. The project’s total cost is an estimated $851,000. With a $269,000 (rounded) grant from the South Dakota Department of Transportation already acquired, the amount remaining that Philip will have to borrow is an estimated $347,000.

Construction on the downtown street improvement project should begin early next spring. The completion date is projected to be by the end of July. Five blocks will have street work done, which includes curb and gutter work. A grant through the state will reduce the individual property owners’ cost down to 40 percent of the engineer’s estimate. The estimate is $4.50 per square foot for the sidewalk and $15.50 per square foot for the curb and gutter. Forty percent of those figures are $1.80 and $6.20, respectively. There may be a further discount if the landowner pays the total within 60 days after completion, otherwise 10 years of taxes will be placed accordingly on the property.

The Community Betterment Committee has taken responsibility for the cost of upkeep (mostly industrial light bulbs) for the street Christmas decorations for the last several years. The decorations have been put on the City’s inventory only for insurance purposes. The CBC has offered to pay for upkeep once again this year. This estimated $230 is appreciated by the citizens and the City of Philip. Next year the current decorations will not be able to be attached to the new decorative street lamp poles. The current decorations would still be able to be hung from remaining current poles. New decorations are very expensive, though decorating the streets of Philip during the Christmas season is desired by the Council. John Kangas will discuss future options with the Chamber of Commerce and the CBC, then report during the next Council meeting.

The City Council’s year-end meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28, in the Finance Office. The next regular meeting is at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room on Tuesday, January 3, rather than on Monday because of the legal New Year’s holiday.