PHILIPSBURG TOWN COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
August 4th, 2020
7:00 P.M. Philipsburg Town Hall
Council in Attendance: Mayor Daniel Reddish, John Johnson, Derek Kuhl, DuWayne Ulrich, Nicole Nelch, Scott Lyons, and Carl Sundstrom. Others in attendance: Town Clerk Reed Speegle, Director of Public Works Sam Dennis, Town Attorney Robert Medof, John Laigaie, Charlene Bucha, and Barbara Cahill. Frank O’Connor and Rick Edwards attended via video.
Frank O’Connor – NW Energy
Sam Dennis refreshed the Council that the Fred Burr line can’t sustain the required pressure to run the generators. Mayor Reddish asked Frank about the conditions of the contract and asked if there were transmission costs when the Town is not producing energy. Frank said that there was due to an energy imbalance which was billed on an hourly basis. He stated however that if Town cancelled the contract it would revert to normal billing and not be able to re-enter the same contract in the future. Rick Edwards talked about a spreadsheet with the projected increase in expenditure if the contract was to be cancelled. He estimated that across all accounts the increase would be approximately $28,000 annually. Councilwoman Nelch suggested expenses during energy producing times vs non-producing times be analyzed. Councilman Lyons wanted to break out the school accounts vs the town accounts. It was decided this would be discussed further at the next Finance Committee meeting.
Barbara Cahill said that Charlene Bucha and Kendra Kanduch had been added to the Board. She also said that the Covid protocol was working well. Finally there was brief discussion about the garbage at the Library. The next meeting would on August 25th.
Chamber of Commerce
Charlene Bucha asked the Council if they had questions. Councilman Sundstrom asked that there be a representative at Town Council meetings every month. Councilwoman Nelch brought up the topic of parking and there was brief discussion on this. It was also suggested that the Chamber plug in to the CIP process.
No report. Councilman Sundstrom said he would reach out.
Director of Public Works
Councilwoman Nelch restated the motion that was made at a prior meeting concerning the cancellation of the School’s energy contract. This would be discussed further at the next Finance Committee Meeting. Sam Dennis talked about the DBP’s in the water and his conversation with the DEQ concerning switching to all liquid chlorine. There was a discussion on this between Sam and the Council. Sam said he would continue to be in touch with the DEQ. He also said distribution repairs and regular flushing would help with this issue.
Robert Medof updated the Council on the claim with MMIA concerning an incident at the park. He was set to meet with the MMIA attorneys on Thursday.
Reed Speegle reported that the liability insurance would be going up by approximately $10,000 this year and that he had received the property tax valuation from the County.
Minutes of Prior Meetings
Councilman Lyons made the motion to approve the minutes from 7/21/20, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Payroll and Bills Payable
Councilwoman Ulrich made the motion to approve the payroll and bills payable, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Water and Sewer Adjustments
Councilman Lyons made the motion to approve the water and sewer adjustments, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Project Request Payments
Councilman Ulrich made the motion to approve Pioneer Technical invoice #13869, Councilwoman Johnson seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Councilwoman Nelch gave an update on the Finance Committee’s budget process. Councilman Lyons made the motion to approve the financials, Councilwoman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Sewer Lagoon Update
Sam Dennis said the project was underway and encouraged councilmembers to visit the site to see the work being done. Reed Speegle asked about stench but Sam was not concerned.
Councilwoman Nelch talked about the survey and expressed her displeasure at the pace with which this was proceeding. Reed Speegle said the Town could do the survey mailing in-house in order to save money.
Cash Reconciliation Resolution
Reed Speegle talked about the process but suggested that this resolution be tabled until the Council voted on other resolutions in the future. Councilman Lyons made the motion to table, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
No new business.
NON AGENDA ITEMS
Councilwoman Nelch discussed the electric issue again briefly.
Councilman Lyons talked about some potential funds being available to resurface the tennis courts.
Councilman Kuhl talked about his BLM lease proposal.
Sam Dennis brought up the amount of construction happening in Town and potential strategies to protect the Town going forward.
Councilman Johnson asked about the mask policy related to Covid.
Public Comment on Matters within the Town Council’s Jurisdiction
Councilman Ulrich made the motion to adjourn at 9:01, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.