Philip City Council - finances, construction

The Monday, November 2, meeting of the Philip City Council saw finances and construction as the main points of business.

A request from Brad Wilson with Insurance Benefits, Inc. regarding a change of agents for the city's airport liability insurance was denied. Mayor John Hart said, "Everything else being equal between the First National Agency and the Insurance Benefits, Inc. plans, I don't wish to take the money out of the local community."

Work on the School Drainage Project has been completed, but the payment for it is still in litigation. Though the bonding agency has paid out $72,634, Grissly Construction still owes four subcontractors a total of $77,724. The City of Philip will pay its final payment of $33,000 upon legal council's approval. During the project, the school district's geo-thermal water line had been damaged and repaired. The line's exact location has not been recorded with the One Call network. The city has been told that the school district has turned over the water line's repair bill to the school district's attorney.

Approved building permits include: George Ainslie - excavate yard and fill with blacktop for driveway, Greg Ferguson - demolish existing house and replace with 2,157 square foot home with basement, Dean Fitzgerald - steel containment and fence and concrete pad, Grossenburg Implement - concrete parking area, Dave Konst - repair block wall, Midwest Cooperative - two bulk hopper bins, Hazel Thompson - 8'x12' shed, Haakon County - excavate and replace drainage.

Swimming Pool replacement project has been aided by G&G Excavation, which donated $670 worth of man-hours and labor when trying to save the pool wall when it caved in. Bids for the pool replacement project will be advertised and opened at a later date.

The warning system siren recently installed near Scotchman Industries will cost the city $677.73. A Homeland Security grant award covered the other $7,155 of the total bill.

The airport report showed that 2,646 gallons of fuel were sold during 2008. After paying out an administration fee, the city collected a total of $11,895. The city purchased 2,700 gallons in August for a total cost of $9,927.

Sales tax collections for the city are about the same as last year at this time. "Looks great," said Hart. "People are keeping faith in their community and shopping at home."

The fiscal year 2008 audit report was, again, expected. "We have and always will, get written up because we dont have enough people," said Hart. The audit would have one employee responsible for payables, another for receivables, etc. for a clearer system of checks and balances.

Police Chief Kit Graham first reported, "We had a very quiet halloween." He then updated the council on the police department teletype fees. "I entertained the idea of going through the Winner 9-1-1 dispatch service in doing our teletype needs. After looking deeper, I recommend on staying with the county sheriff department's system. We are already budgeted for it for this year." Also, the computer used as a server for the police department and the sheriff's office could not be repaired. The old computer had viruses in the machine itself, rather than in the programs. The other computers do have adequate virus protection. Each department will pay half for the repair service charge and for a new computer.

Matt Reckling, public works director, said, "We are doing street sweeping and blading. We are going to peel a bunch of alleys, take out the mud and bring in some gravel."

•The city will continue researching comparable costs for "off-site" date vault storage as a security backup on its computer information.

•The propane bid for the month went to Midwest Cooperatives at $1.25 per gallon.

•Finance officer Monna Van Lint will attend election school on November 12 in Rapid City.

•City offices will be closed November 11 in observance of Veterans Day, and November 26-27 in observance of Thanksgiving.

The next regular meeting for the Philip City Council will be at 7:00 p.m. Monday, December 7, in the Haakon County courthouse community room.