Philip City Council begins year – sets fines and levies

The Philip City Council meeting on Monday, January 3, began the new year quickly.

The council approved the payment of monthly bills from the appropriated funds. The official depository for the city for 2006 is the First National Bank in Philip. The official newspaper for the city for 2006 is The Pioneer Review. The paid holidays for 2006 for city employees were set. Authorization was given for the finance officer and/or deputy finance officer to purchase certificates of deposit or make deposits as they deem appropriate.

The subject of officially closing Lake Waggoner and the hot water ponds to hunting was tabled until legal counsel could be consulted. Hunting within close proximity to residences, the county shop and the golf course posed a concern.

The council reviewed the city rates and fees for 2006. It was noted that no increases to water, sewer and garbage fees were proposed. Fees and fines covered ranged from the penalty of a check with insufficient funds, to speed limit fines, to liquor licenses, to disorderly conduct, and airport usage rates. Most rates and fees had not been raised since the year 2000 or before. Many of the fees and fines were raised at Monday’s meeting. It was suggested that a relative smaller increase every few years would be easier on the public than a far larger increase every 10 or 15 years.

The 2005 year-end sales tax revenues surpassed the goal of $300,000 by $11,214. This “monumental number” is the highest amount collected in the city’s history. It was noted that these figures reflect the good economy of the local community.

The street department’s quarterly report included that individuals plowing sections of public streets actually cause more work in snow removal and street repairs for the city.

Council Member Greg Arthur has been appointed the council liaison with the Chamber of Commerce’s Centennial Committee.

The rubble site will implement new hours beginning January 7 as advertised in the newspaper.

City employee salaries were increased by two percent for those earning over $11.87 per hour (the median rate), and increased by three percent for those earning less than that. The city will continue to cover 100 percent of the employees’ health insurance. Council members now earn $50 per meeting and $200 per quarter.

Petitions for council member seats for Wards I, II, and III can begin circulating on January 27.

The next regular city council meeting is Monday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the community room of the Haakon County Courthouse in Philip.