PHILIPSBURG TOWN COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
January 5th, 2021
7:00 P.M. Philipsburg Town Hall
Council in Attendance: Mayor Daniel Reddish, John Johnson (video), DuWayne Ulrich, Scott Lyons, Carl Sundstrom (video) and John Laigaie. Others in attendance: Town Clerk Reed Speegle, Director of Public Works Sam Dennis, Town Attorney Robert Medof, David Ray, Ed Roseboom, Maureen Connor (video), Barbara Cahill, Billie Kulaski, Tom Mullen, Grant Gehlman, John Gehlman, KL Dell-Bishop, Joe Willauer (video), Taylor Lovell (video) and Elena Gagliano (video).
Joe Willauer – Headwaters Economic Development Update
Joe talked about Headwaters and programs they have available. He mentioned environmental assessments, grant financing, and first time homebuyer programs specifically. Taylor Lovell talked about upcoming training opportunities provided by Headwaters. Councilman Johnson asked about any programs that could be used to benefit the Senior Center. Barbara Cahill commented that the Library had worked with them in the past.
Councilman Lyons said that interviews had been conducted and wanted to schedule another Special Meeting to discuss the applicants further. This was scheduled for January 12th at 3:00 p.m.
Library Board – Board Appointments
Barbara Cahill talked about the vacancy and the suggestion from the Library Board to appoint Keith Baxter to fill the seat vacated by Dustin Muhly. Councilman Ulrich made the motion to appoint Keith Baxter to the Library Board, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously. The discussion then moved to a seat on the Library Board to be vacated at the end of June 2021 that is currently filled by Linda Ransford. The Library Board was recommending that Billie Kulaski fill this seat. Billie introduced herself to the Council and gave some background on her prior experiences. Councilman Ulrich made the motion to approve Billie Kulaski to fill the seat set to be vacated later this year, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Chamber of Commerce
David Ray reported that it had been a busy end to the year with a couple house fires. He was happy with the turnout from the members at the fires.
Maureen Connor said the reimbursement request had been submitted for the CIP grant. She then informed the Council that the application had been approved for a growth policy planning grant that placed emphasis on mapping and digitizing water and sewer lines, the downtown historic district, and the community fire protection plan. She then reminded the Council that the Town has placed first on the DNRC grant list for the Town’s sludge removal.
Director of Public Works
Sam Dennis submitted his report. Councilman Sundstrom asked about SCADA communication devices.
Minutes of Prior Meetings
Councilman Lyons made the motion to approve the minutes from 12/15/20 with an edit from Councilman Sundstrom, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Payroll and Bills Payable
Councilman Ulrich made the motion to approve the payroll and bill payable, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Water and Sewer Adjustments
Councilman Ulrich made the motion to approve the water and sewer adjustments, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Project Request Payments
Councilman Lyons made the motion to table Triple Tree invoice #2-35-003, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Councilman Ulrich made the motion to approve the financials, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Mayor Reddish reiterated that the Town had received a grant to help produce a standalone Growth Policy. He said he wanted the Council to dictate the process.
UI Permit Changes
Water/Sewer Ordinance Changes
Robert Medof presented a draft to the Council and said it would be a good idea to schedule a Water and Sewer Committee meeting to discuss these changes. This was scheduled at a later date.
Town Attorney Hiring Process
Robert Medof said he would be looking at different avenues to advertise the opening and that he would be willing to stay on through the end of February. Councilman Lyons made the motion to keep Robert Medof as Town Attorney through February, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Proposed Action for Noncompliance of Council Rules
Mayor Reddish gave some background on the issue. Councilman Johnson said he had reviewed the Personnel Manual and thought it was applicable to Council behavior. He thought a letter of reprimand would be appropriate and that the rest of the Council should comply with the previous motion for a mask mandate or attend virtually. Robert Medof read the State statute concerning Council behavior. Councilman Johnson made the motion to reprimand Councilman Lyons, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion. Councilman Sundstrom asked Councilman Lyons why he wasn’t complying with the mandate. Councilman Lyons chose not to answer the question. The motion was not approved. Councilman Johnson and Councilman Sundstrom voted in favor of the motion. Councilman Lyons, Councilman Laigaie, and Councilman Ulrich voted against the motion.
Councilman Lyons made the motion to repeal the mask mandate, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved by majority. Councilman Lyons, Councilman Ulrich, and Councilman Laigaie voted in favor. Councilman Johnson and Councilman Sundstrom voted against.
Surplus Equipment Bid Opening
Reed Speegle opened the bids and read the amounts out loud. He would contact the winners the following day. Sam Dennis said he thought the winning bid for item #3 was not enough. Councilman Lyons made the motion to accept all the bids except for item #3, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
NON AGENDA ITEMS
Councilman Lyons asked about ambulance response in Town and nearby. Mayor Reddish said it was a shared responsibility and that this topic would need to be addressed in the near future.
Public Comment on Matters within the Town Council’s Jurisdiction
Councilman Ulrich made the motion to adjourn at 8:40, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.