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New Philip City Council sworn in

New Philip City Council taking their oaths of office. From left: Jennifer Henrie – appointed to a one-year term for Ward III, Marion Matt – appointed to a one-year term for Ward II, Trisha Larson – elected to a two-year term for Ward III, Marty Gartner – elected to a two-year term to Ward II, Greg Arthur – elected to a one-year term to Ward I, and Jason Harry – elected to a two-year term for Ward I. Shown below is Mayor Michael Vetter taking his oath of office for his four-year term.

The outgoing Philip City Council began the monthly meeting, Monday, May 7. After some old business was addressed, the new mayor and city council members were sworn in to finish the meeting.
“It’s time for me to get the heck out of here,” joked Mayor John Hart. “It’s been a good 12 years. It’s been interesting, but we have to live here. You may not agree with what the city does, but you have to stay consistant and watch precedent. I had a good mentor. It’s been good.” Hart became Philip’s 17th mayor in 2000, and filled three four-year terms.
“First official duty,” announced Michael Vetter, the new mayor, “I have a proclamation for Mayor Hart.” Vetter then read the proclamation declaring Hart Day. (See full proclamation on page two of this issue.)
Outgoing council members Shirley Chin and John Kangas watched as Jennifer Henrie, Marion Matt, Trisha Larson, Marty Gartner, Greg Arthur and Jason Harry took their oaths of office. Arthur was chosen as the council’s president, and Matt as vice president.
The council approved the inspection report by John Irvine, certified building inspector, of the demolition project at 204 E. Pine Street. Though interest of seven percent had been set on the special assessment attached to the property to pay for the city doing the demolition, the amount of time to pay off the amount had not been set. It is now set for within seven years.
The airplane, now minus its engine, still being stored at the Philip airport, has changed owners several times since its arrival. The lease for storage will be terminated by the city.
An executive session was held with City Attorney Gay Tollefson. No discussion or action followed.
The council reviewed a recent survey of Hoag Avenue, then approved a petition to vacate the west 10 feet of Hoag Avenue, as presented by John “Jack” Rush and Fred Hoag.
Building permits were approved for Christine Andrus to put up a fence, deck and retaining wall, Andrea Carley to demolish a trailer house and remove a tree, Charles and Ruth Ann Carstensen to replace a sidewalk, Mindy Green to do landscaping, asphalt or concrete a driveway and put up a fence and deck/pergola, Gloria Jelinek to put up a 10’x 12’ shed, Aaron Johnson to remove an old garage and replace it with a garage from Park Avenue property, remove trees, privacy fence, Rene Konst to reshingle a roof, put up a tin shed, repair foundation, replace steps and do bathroom improvements, Ron and Laurie Mann to put up a garage, addition and pergola, Audrey Neiffer to repair a porch floor and retaining wall, Jason and Tammy Rhodes to replace deck and steps, Jack Rush to build an east side addition and put in a water tap, Mike and Lori Seager to replace a concrete pad with a deck, Rick and Selma Thorson to build a deck, Branden and Tayta West to build a house and garage.
Harlan Quenzer with SPN & Associates recapped for the council the upcoming bond election and street projects of Wood and Walden Avenues and Pine Street and Wray Avenue. A bond election will be held in conjunction with the primary election, Tuesday, June 5. The election is not to raise taxes, but to raise the legal limit of debt that the city can go into.
“I want to stress that,” said Quenzer. “It doesn’t mean you’re going to spend it. You’ve got a lot of things going on in this community. You just have to plan it all out.”
Matt asked, “So we can assure people that their taxes should not go up just because of this bond issue?” Vetter said, “If the bond election passes, it doesn’t increase taxing, just the debt ceiling we can go into.” Finance Officer Monna Van Lint warned that there still might be something unforeseen or catastrophic, such as when the swimming pool needed replacing.
The council approved transferring $7,500 from the contingency fund to the general fund to pay election expenses and code enforcement services. The council also held the first reading of an ordinance to give supplemental appropriations to finance the rubble site maintenance and improvements.
The city’s gross salaries for April totaled $21,327.44. The city’s percentages of insurance, retirement and withholding added another $7,466.65. The total for all other bills came to $79,022.28, which includes over $13,885 for 2,500 gallons of fuel.
The council approved the second reading of an ordinance that will establish a wastewater surcharge.
Police Chief Kit Graham will hire Brandon Boyd as an additional police officer for Friday, June 15, during Scotty Philip Days.
The council denied a request from the Catholic church to pay for the city to chip seal the church’s parking lot. Vetter said, “I’m afraid if we start doing this, we may have to honor some kind of warranty.” He was also concerned about setting a precedent; the city does not want to get into the asphalting business.
The street light pole on W. Cherry Street and Park Avenue has been removed because one is no longer needed there.
The city swimming pool opening date is June 1. Lifeguard certification training will be May 29-31.
The city council will meet as an election canvassing board, Thursday, June 7, at 4:00 p.m. Their next regular meeting will be Monday, June 4, at 7:00 p.m. in the Haakon County Courthouse community room.