Philip City Council approves water restrictions

The Philip City Council met for a relatively quiet meeting Monday, July 2, at 7:00 p.m. at the Haakon County Courthouse. One of the more important notes on the agenda was that water restrictions are in effect immediately. At June's meeting, the council decided to wait until West River/Lyman-Jones decided that water restrictions were necessary before implimenting them, though they had a plan ready to put in place.

"As this multi-year drought continues and temperatures exceed 100 degrees for days at a time, WR/LJ is at a time when water restrictions become necessary to ensure water supplies for domestic and livestock use," said Jake Fitzgerald, manager of WR/LJ, in a letter to the city council on June 29.

The plan the council decided to put in place involves a watering schedule which splits the town in two, using Highway 73 (also called Larimer Avenue) as the splitting point. People on the east side of Highway 73 may water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Those to the west of Highway 73 may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at the same times. No watering will be allowed on Sundays.

"I understand that water restrictions are not a popular subject," Fitzgerald continued in his letter to the council, "but it is the responsible and necessary action to take to make sure houses, businesses, hospitals and livestock have water."

In other business, the council approved establishing the Veterans Living Memorial as a park which may have free water use. Under city ordinance 3-101, which was established back on December 28, 2000, a park that qualifies for free water use is: "A park, playground, recreation center such as ball diamonds, golf courses, tennis courts, or any other public area in the city, owned or used by the city, and devoted to active or passive recreation."

Under these guidelines, the Living Memorial qualifies to receive free water use. The guidelines do put a limit on how much water can be used for free, however. For example: "any park and/or recreational area with a square footage of under 25,000 would be allowed a maximum of 200,000 gallons of water per year at no cost to the entity."

Currently, the Haakon School District football field area, Softball/Baseball Association, Haakon County Young Women's Kiddie Park, Fire Hall Park, Old School House Park and the Lasting Legacy are listed as areas included to receive free water.

The council elected Monte Palecek as its president and Greg Arthur as its vice president. Both Palecek and Dave Schofield took their oaths of office that evening, as well.

The council reviewed and approved the tire removal quote for the rubble site from New Deal Tire. They also reviewed and approved the engineer's estimate for the design of the new pool deck.

Joe Gittings also gave a recap of the Centennial Celebration. The council wanted to thank the community for a successful celebration and also to thank Walker Refuse for supplying all of the dumpsters during the celebration. There were many comments about how clean the city was during the entire weekend.

The building permits of Janie Kennedy, Jerry Carley by Dustin Lurz, First Lutheran Church, Brian Mills, Heath Morrison, Shelly Neilan and Warren Walker were all approved. A special events license for the Konst/Lurz/ Steakhouse Poker Run, set for July 28, 2007, was also approved.

The council heard department reports. The administration's quarterly report mentioned that budget meetings will begin on Tuesday, July 17. The airport quarterly inspection report said that the inspection went well.

At 7:30 p.m., the council opened bidding for quarterly pest control service quotes. EcoLab gave a quote of $159 per quarter and Ingram's quote was $75 per quarter. The council approved the low bid.

The council approved the first reading of Ordinance #2007-02, which establishes Chapter 16, Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. They also approved the City of Philip's Floodplain Development permit/application and Resolution #2007-03 which authorizes the use of the general fund restricted cash for the purchase of a new police vehicle. The council also approved Resolution #2007-04 which authorizes applying for United States of America and State of South Dakota Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant for the city pool.

In other business, the council noted that the South Dakota Department of Transportation will be hosting public hearings on the Five-year Statewide Transpor-tation Improvement Program. There will be one hearing at the Kings Inn in Pierre at 7:00 p.m. on July 24 and another hearing at the Rapid City Civic Center at 7:00 p.m. on July 26. The hearings will discuss improving Highway 73 in 2008. Everyone is encouraged to attend one of the two meetings and show support for the Highway 73 project.

The next regular city council meeting is Monday, August 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the community room at the courthouse.