PHILIPSBURG TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
July 16th, 2019
7:00 P.M. Philipsburg Town Hall
Council in Attendance: Mayor Daniel Reddish, DuWayne Ulrich, Carl Sundstrom, Scott Lyons, Nicole Nelch, Derek Kuhl, and John Johnson. Others in attendance: Town Clerk Reed Speegle, Director of Public Works Sam Dennis, Town Attorney Robert Medof, and Dennis Panish.
Minutes of Prior Meetings
Councilwoman Nelch made the motion to approve the minutes from 7/2/19 with a few small edits, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Councilwoman Nelch made the motion to approve the bills payable, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Reed Speegle explained the year end numbers for fiscal year 2019. He noted that all of the funds looked to be in good shape. The numbers would be fully finalized when he does the closing with Magda Nelson.
Councilwoman Nelch made the motion to approve the financials, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
FCTA Trail Construction & Maintenance Agreement
Councilman Lyons recused himself from the decision on this topic. Councilman Sundstrom made the motion to approve the construction and maintenance agreement, Councilman Ulrich seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Law Enforcement Contract
Mayor Reddish met with the County Commissioners and there would be no further increase to the base amount of the contract. Councilman Ulrich made the motion to approve the contract, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Mayor Reddish and Robert Medof were planning on following up on this with the County Commissioners the following week. Robert asked Councilman Johnson for a member of the Cemetery Board to be present at that meeting.
Town Health Insurance Coverage
Reed Speegle reported on a conference call that the Finance Committee had with MMIA. The health questionnaires were distributed to the employees and then sent to MMIA.
Hatcher/Panish Water Claim
Mayor Reddish gave a quick background and update on this situation to the Council. Robert Medof read some pertinent language from the potential agreement and said it was coming down to a distinction between the claim being restricted to one or two parties in the future. Dennis Panish gave some information about his past and how he came to this point. He had purchased the property from Patty McDonald and stated that one of the reasons he bought the property was because of the assumed claim. At the time of the meeting he stated he believed he had the water rights for 5 head of cattle and Kerry Hatcher had the rights to one residence and 5 head of cattle. In this process he had been dealing with Kerry Hatcher separately and they had come to a verbal agreement wherein which Mr. Panish would purchase the entire claim from Mr. Hatcher for $4,500. Mr. Panish was requesting that the rights be allowed to be potentially transferred in the future to two parties. Councilman Lyons asked Robert Medof’s opinion which was that it was in the best interest of Town to serve a single party going forward. Councilman Lyons and Councilman Johnson didn’t have an issue at the time with it being passed to two parties. Councilman Nelch preferred the current proposal of one party. Councilman Kuhl was concerned about potential future development and how this could affect the Town’s position. Mr. Panish said that he could deal with Mr. Hatcher separately but would be feel more comfortable if he had an agreement with Town before that. Councilman Sundstrom said he didn’t think it was a good idea to agree to anything before seeing a final agreement. Councilman Johnson made the motion to table the decision to a future meeting, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Finance Committee Update
Councilwoman Nelch reported on the Finance Committee meeting which covered budget worksheets, compensation recommendations, debt totals, insurance deductibles, as well as other budget related topics. There was a brief discussion of moving funds in to a Sewer Reserve account related to the Sewer Lagoon project.
County Planning Board Growth Policy
Councilman Sundstrom talked about a letter from the Planning Board covering topics such as VRBO’s, the Town’s historic district, and zoning. Councilwoman Nelch stated the first step to any type of ordinance related to VRBO’s would be to institute a business license which would require fire inspections. Councilman Lyons estimated that there were between 20-25 in Town limits. Councilman Johnson suggested creating a zoning committee. Councilman Johnson made the motion to create a committee for growth. There was no second. There was a brief discussion about the Committee structure overall and the roles and responsibilities of each committee. Councilman Lyons said he would be willing to discuss this topic within the “omnibus” Committee after the park fees were finalized. Councilman Sundstrom made the motion for the “omnibus” Committee to cover the planning board recommendations, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously. Councilman Kuhl made the motion to prepare an explanation to the Planning Board but then rescinded this motion. Councilwoman Nelch stated that this ties in to the CIP and growth policy for the Town.
NON AGENDA ITEMS
Sam Dennis gave his report on the Public Work Department. Pioneer completed the dam inspection and gave the recommendation for minor work to be done. The UV and chlorination system had been having some technical issues. Temporary water was being provided to households on Brown St after the leak was repaired near the hardware store without those households having a noticeable difference in water volume. The next step is to engineer the project which Sam would follow up with Pioneer about. The Forest Service and Hospital both had ongoing projects with their service lines. Storms were causing issues at areas with storm water infiltration in to the sanitary system. Sam had received comments about the tennis courts and was instructed to order the new nets. He would follow up on the Caterpillar lease program.
Mayor Reddish said he would be on the agenda for the next School Board meeting to discuss an agreement related to the parks. Mayor Reddish brought up Winninghoff Park and the discussions of building a retaining wall on the North side. Councilwoman Nelch did not want the Town to incur any of those costs. Councilman Kuhl made the motion to table the discussion, Councilman Lyons seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Mayor Reddish requested that Jim Lardy’s proposed raise be put in to effect immediately. Councilman Ulrich made the motion to approve the raise, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Public Comment on Matters within the Town Council’s Jurisdiction
Councilman Ulrich made the motion to adjourn at 9:00, Councilman Kuhl seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.