Philip City Council faces construction issues

The Philip City Council held its regular meeting on Monday, December 1, at the Haakon County Courthouse community room.

After approving the agenda and the minutes from the last meeting, the council approved the payment of current bills. The projected bills for December for the City of Philip totals $57,053.

The 10 old "No Parking" signs will be placed in new spots downtown. They will eventually be replaced by new signs that will have wording such as "this block" for during snow removal times.

The state has required that other traffic signs must have a certain reflective quality for higher visibility. It is not cost effective to have old signs recovered, but the City of Philip can take advantage of the state's bid for new signs.

The new Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act will not greatly affect the Philip swimming pool. It already has two drains, and domed grates over the drains will stop any possible suction and entrapment dangers. Bidding to have the pool deck replaced will be for work to begin after the 2009 swimming season. The fence may be salvaged and reused, while the diving board will be replaced. Preliminary estimates for the work are around $70,000 to $80,000.

The building committee is examining a version of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission's building codes on wind energy conversion systems (modern windmills). Councilman John Kangas said that, at first read through, it looked good to him.

A Homeland Security Grant of $5,270 for an additional warning siren has been awarded to Philip. Ordering the siren and putting it in place near Scotchman Industries will not begin until after the new year. Lola Roseth, emergency manager for the area, is working to get additional grant money for the siren project.

A Mayoral Proclamation was issued on November 18, 2008, in honor of Latvia's 90th Anniversary of Independence Day. Mayor Hart received a thank you from George Mangulis, Philip's hometown physician who immigrated from Latvia after World War II.

After a public hearing on liquor license renewals for 2009, the council approved all current licenses. All taxes concerning these licenses have been paid in full. Police Chief Kit Graham reported, "I do not have any problems with renewing these licenses."

The council approved the only building permit application; for a 12'x24' dog kennel by Philip and Cheryl Pearson. The council also approved the first reading of Ordinance #2008-14, which creates an expiration date of one year for building permit applications. Building permits are still free.

City employee dental insurance will increase January 2009. Individual policies will increase 75¢ to $31.50 per month and family policies will increase $3.25 to $80.20 per month.

Preparations for the school drainage project are ongoing. The rubble site will take the rock, broken concrete and other waste from the project. Storm drains will probably be placed on the south and on the east sides of the Catholic Church. Costs for new concrete will be assessed to the involved landowners. The Ash Street project will be bid at the same time.

Final repairs on the airport building project are being done to the city's satisfaction. Rod Senn, project engineer, said, "The majority of the work and repairs are complete, though we do have some issues." Damaged wall panels have been replaced, the door track will be made right, and cracks and uneven spots in the floor will be ground down. The city will ask for an extended warranty of five years on the repair work. The airport will receive oil seal on the runway within the next two years. The lighting system will be upgraded by 2011.

The Lake Waggoner Inspection Report done in April has come in. Flooding in 2004 had caused damage to the spillway. FEMA funds to Philip for repairs came by way of the State of South Dakota. Repairs were begun but never completed. Philip must pay back over $6,800 for not completing those repairs. A second incident, flooding during this last summer, caused more damage to the spillway. Repairs must be made or more damage will result. Now, Philip will be responsible for all current repairs, with no financial help from the state. Rough estimates from different estimators range from $90,000 to $350,000.

City offices will be closed on December 25 and 26 for Christmas and on January 1 for New Years. The city's final year end meeting will be Tuesday, December 30, at 4:00 p.m. on the fourth floor of the courthouse. The next regular meeting for the Philip City Council will be Monday, January 5, at 7:00 p.m. in the Haakon County Courthouse community room.