SPECIAL TOWN HALL MEETING AGENDA
DECEMBER 15TH, 2023
10:00 AM AT THE TOWN HALL
Council in Attendance: Carl Sundstrom, Jason White, Gary Fujinami, Mayor Daniel Reddish, Scott Lyons, Lorraine Dell-Bishop, and John Laigaie. Others in Attendance: Clerk Rachel Parret, and Special Projects Maureen Connor.
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Reddish called the meeting to order at 10:00 am.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
OATHS FOR THE COUNCIL
Councilman Laigiae sworn in by Mayor Reddish. Councilwoman Dell-Bishop sworn in by Mayor Reddish. Councilman Lyons sworn in by Mayor Reddish. Councilman Fujinami sworn in by Mayor Reddish. Councilman White sworn in by Mayor Reddish.
HB 355 – LETTER OF PRIORITY
Special Projects Maureen Connor explained HB 355 was introduced to the State House by Representative Jack Fitzpatrick. The new bill will allow the Town of Philipsburg to submit a request for a grant in the amount of $91,732.00, with a local match of $22,993.00. The rules for the grant: can only be used on infrastructure, cannot be applied to an existing project, no in-kind match allowed, and the Town needs to apply by December 31st, 2023. The Town can submit a couple of projects in the total of $114,000.00. Maureen suggested a couple of projects to submit to the State for the grant. Option #1: Test wells to determine if the Town will be able to sustain enough water supply with the use of wells, instead of having to filter the Town water supply. O’keefe drilling would be able to drill the wells for the Town. Councilman Lyons asked Maureen, what the Town would do if the Department of Commerce (DOC) denied paying for the study. Maureen said that the Town would pay for the design as part of the match and the grant money would pay for the drilling of the wells. Councilman Lyons reminded the Council that the Town will need have filtration in place withing 15 months. Mayor Reddish told the Council that if the Town does not have filtration in place, the DEQ will just tell the Town to implement a boil order. Option #2: Distribution Line Projects. Some examples of the streets that need to be worked on are: North Montgomery to Sansome replace pipe from 2” to 4”, North Sutter to East Montgomery replacing pipe, and Montgomery to Harrison replacing pipe. Councilman Sundstrom made a motion to submit a letter for the HB 355 grant with the test wells being the number one priority and the distribution line projects as a second option, Councilwoman Dell-Bishop seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
ELECTRICITY CONTRACT – LETTER TO PHILIPSBURG SCHOOL AND NITSA AGREEMENT
Mayor Reddish explained Northwestern Energy met with Councilman Lyons, Mayor Reddish, Maureen Connor, and Rachel Parret on Friday December 8th, 2024, to discuss the termination of the contract with NITSA and the Philipsburg School. Northwestern Energy informed the Town that bills will be sent out for 2 years after termination. Councilman Lyons made a motion for Mayor Reddish to instruct Uda Law to draw up papers with the intent to break the NITSA contract and the contract with the Philipsburg School, Councilman White seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
RESORT TAX UPDATE
Special Projects Maureen Connor obtained data from the University of Montana (UM) Travel and Tourism. The UM surveyed out of state tourists during 2021-2022, the numbers were conservative and during the peak of covid. Data estimated how much was spent in Philipsburg $5,401,767. The resort tax estimated at 3% tax Philipsburg would approximately bring in $162,053 for the year and an estimated 4% tax would bring in $216,071 for the year. Maureen suggested that the Council meet with the Philipsburg Chamber on January 19th, 2024. The Council will have a special meeting January 4th, 2024, at 10:00 am, prior to the Chamber meeting on the Resort Tax.
LINE OF CREDIT
Mayor Reddish read Resolution 2023-12 to establish a line of credit of $500,000 at Citizens Alliance Bank. Councilman Lyons made a motion to approve Resolution 2023-12 to establish a line of credit for $500,000 at Citizens Alliance Bank, Councilwoman Dell-Bishop seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
With the line of credit to be established the Clerk Rachel Parret asked the Council to approve paying the balance of TCS’s bill $65,047.59. Councilman Lyons made the motion to pay the balance of TCS’s bill in the amount of $65,047.59, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
SENATOR TESTERS AID – MONDAY 12/15/23, 11:00 AM AT THE TOWN HALL
Senator Testers Aid will be at the Town Hall for public outreach.
PUBLIC WORKS MEETING WITH TRIPLE TREE 12/19/23 AT 1:00 PM
Triple Tree Engineering will be at the Town Hall working with Public Works.
Councilman Sundstrom made a motion to adjourn at 12:27 pm, Councilwoman Dell-Bishop seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.