Special meeting of Philip City Council on CDBG grants and as Board of Equalization

The Philip City Council met in special meeting on Monday, March 17th.

It hosted a public hearing for the application of Community Development Block Grant funds on the proposed storm drainage improvement project. The council also met as a municipal Board of Equalization.

The drainage project is the installation of storm sewers and the repairing of affected street surfaces. Erosion begins on Scottie Avenue, travels down the elementary playground hill over Northwest Avenue and onto Elm Street, finally depositing debris on Pine Street.

Qualifying the project to CDBG requirements, South Dakota Central Enhancement District representative Marlene Knutson said, "This project benefits the entire town because it affects a major traffic area." She warned that one of the grant stipulations is that no part of the project can be done until the grant application is finalized and accepted. The grant application may apply for a wide range of possible projects and is valid for one year.

A required low income survey of Philip residents is an estimated 97 percent complete, said Philip Finance Officer Monna Van Lint. "At this point, about 60 percent of those surveyed qualify as low income," said Van Lint. The CDBG application requires at least 51 percent of residents to be under certain household incomes depending on the size of the family.

The council passed a motion to continue with the grant application. As Knutson said, the list of desired projects is not concrete and is a "wish list" for the community. The drainage project was listed as highest priority. Some other items on the list included a group of street projects, increased housing, economic development, replacement of the pool deck and a sidewalk up the Larimer Street hill.

The council approved all applied for building permits: Haakon County - sewer service excavating for courthouse, Golden West Companies - bury duct, copper and fiber cable along west side of Wood Avenue, Ingram Hardware - reface greenhouse, JR Snyder - sewer service excavating for residence, and Gary Stephensen - 10' x 16' sun porch addition.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation has agreed to create a variance concerning the Philip Volunteer Fire Department fire hall. The building is technically three feet within the DOT right-of-way on Highway 73. The PVFD must move the pole that is holding a fire siren and move a propane tank from that area so they are no longer impeding the right-of-way.

The Ash Street project has been re-bid. Bid opening is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on April 7th in the Haakon County Courthouse Community Room.

Plans for the airport Snow Removal Equipment building have been accepted and bids will be let in April.

Haakon County Director of Equalization Rita Merrill gave her report to the council. Through new construction, the City of Philip has grown by over half of a million dollars in evaluation in the last year. No requests were presented by property owners to the city council in its capacity as a Board of Equalization.

The next regular meeting for the Philip City council will be at 7:00 p.m. on April 7th in the community room of the Haakon County courthouse.