PHILIPSBURG TOWN COUNCIL MINUTES
July 18th, 2023
7:00 P.M. Philipsburg Town Hall
Council in Attendance: Mayor Daniel Reddish, Gary Fujinami, Carl Sundstrom, Jason White, Scott Lyons, Lorraine Dell-Bishop, and John Laigaie. Others in attendance: Town Clerk Reed Speegle, Clerk-in-Training Rachel Parret, Brandon Parret, Grant Writer Maureen Connor, Pam Soares, Rick Soares, Ed and Nancy Linn, Steve Immenschuh, and DuWayne Ulrich (video).
Pam Soares – Horton Street
Pam read a letter concerning Horton Street and the ramp next to her garage. In her letter, she stated that on August 2nd, 2022 the issue had been reviewed by the council and a motion had been made to have the unauthorized dirt removed from Horton Street, along with having the road returned back to the Town. Pam also stated that she is missing 34 feet now, which lays in front of her garage, and that she believes her property has been devalued. Pam requested that the ramp be removed by September 15th, 2023. Mayor Reddish referred to the letter he wrote to Pam last year concerning removal of the slope on Horton Street. The Town states in the letter that the slope will be removed as close as possible to the original state as is practical. Mayor Reddish stated that Pam does have access to her garage and that as far as the Town is concerned the situation with Horton Street is closed. The Town will maintain the drainage and minimize as much as the erosion as possible.
Ed & Nancy Linn – 611 Galena Septic Variance
Ed requested to have a septic variance put on 611 Galena.
Mayor Reddish opened discussion with the questions, “Are you living on the property full time and what are you doing with your water and wastewater?”
Ed replied with, “We have a little cabin we bought down by Highway 1 that has been put on the property and a motorhome. The water and wastewater is stored in the motorhome and then dumped at the facilities at the Philipsburg Inn.”
Ed proceed to tell the council that he had spoken to Sam Dennis the Public Works Director at the time about water and sewer. Sam told him as the time that he wouldn’t be able to gain access to water or sewer because the Towns infrastructure would not hold.
Mayor Reddish asked if he had spoken to the current Working Foreman (Ed Roseboom).
Ed did speak with Public Works and was told that he could access water from Rosland Street, however, that the sewer was too old to access.
Mayor Reddish had also spoke to Public Works in which he was told that The Linn’s could have access to the sewer, if they could purchase a pump get a pump to push the sewage to the main sewer line. The other option The Linn’s have would be to ask their neighbors to allow them access through their property.
Councilman Lyons was hesitant to give a variance within the city limits and he didn’t feel that there was enough information to form a discussion on the issue.
Nancy states that Sam had quoted them $35k to have the work done on the sewer and they had only bought their cabin for $33k. If this was the case The Linn’s would have a dry cabin because they wouldn’t be able to afford the sewer costs.
Councilman Sundstrom asked to have more information provided and stated that The Town rarely grants variances.
The Council decided to table the variance until further information can be provided. Motion made by Councilman Lyons, seconded by Councilwomen Dell-Bishop, passed unanimously.
Steve Immenschuh – Philipsburg Rotary Update
Steve gave the back ground of Philipsburg Rotary. Philipsburg Rotary will be celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and would like to celebrate with The Year of the Child. The Rotary club has focus on trying to bring more families to town. One hurdle that they have found was the lack of daycare facilities in town with that they partnered with Flint Creek Childcare and have now raised $140k for an expansion of the Rotary facility. The annual Rotary Concert has raised $80k and the other $60k came from an estate donation. The new facility is designed to resemble an old schoolhouse.
Steve brought up an idea of receiving a portion of Zane Murfitt’s Park to build a hill that would have additional features of a culvert through it as a tunnel. Also, sprinkler and snow maker, slide, and splash pad at the bottom. This is something that families in the community could use all year round.
Rotary would also like to enter into a partnership with the Town and Ice Association in regards to Winninghoff Park.
The Rotary Club also asked The Town for permission to close off the streets during their annual concert.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to allow the closure of the streets, seconded by Councilman Sundstrom, and passed unanimously.
Minutes of Prior Meeting
Councilman Lyons made a motion to approve the minutes from July 5th, 2023 with edits, Councilman Fujinami, seconded motion, and motion passed unanimously.
Special Meeting Minutes
Councilman Lyons made a motion to pass pre-bid minutes from July 17th, 2023, Councilman Laigaie seconded motion, motion passes unanimously.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to approve bills payable, Councilman Fujinami seconded the motion, motion passed unanimously.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to approve financials, Councilman Sundstrom seconded motion, and motion passed unanimously.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to approve journal vouchers, Councilman White seconded the motion, motion passed unanimously.
Sewer Lagoon Update
Maureen Connor gave an update on the lagoon project. The pre-bid meeting went well with not a lot of questions asked. We are very likely to have 4 or 5 bids come in for the upcoming lagoon project. The bid opening will be August 1st, 2023 at 2:00pm and review of bids at 6:00pm with a possible award of bid.
DEQ is requiring potable water to be used with the lagoon project, along with a water source 1000 feet away from the screened source.
Mayor Reddish stated he would write the DEQ a letter for a variance.
Water ARPA Update
Maureen Connor filed the 1st quarter report for the Pilot Project. The filter is working and has a 75% filter rate.
The storage tank work needs an estimate done and they will have to go into the tank to determine the figure.
Survey work is being done on Montgomery Street.
Another task order will need to be done by Great West as we go through the bid stage and into project management.
Councilman Sundstrom asked to have the lawyer look over the contract again. Councilman Lyons made a motion to table the contract, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and motion passes unanimously.
Justice of the Peace Contract
Council decided that more information was needed to proceed.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to table contract, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and motion passed unanimously.
School Electric Contract
Councilman Lyons spoke about how The Town produced electricity 20 years ago but is no longer able to do so. The Town has been selling power to the Philipsburg Schools since we started to generate our own electricity. However, we are not producing currently but we are still selling electricity to the Schools at a reduced rate through North Western Energy. We unable to give the Schools accurate bills as The Town is billed in the rears from North West Energy (60, 90, 120 days). This is leaving The Town subsidizing the Schools.
Mayor Reddish suggested that The Town seek legal advice before they make any decisions.
Clerk Speegle explained that the extra fees that The Town is being billed are all transmission fees.
Great West Task Order Stormwater PER
Public Works New Hire
Ryan Watkins will start August 7th, 2023 with the Public Works Department.
NON AGENDA ITEMS
Councilman Laigaie asked about the light in the Town Hall building.
Councilman Fujinami thanked the council for being patient with absence.
Public Comment on Matters within the Town Council’s Jurisdiction
Maureen Connor asked the council to write a letter to the Department of Commerce, in regards to an analysis cost to qualify for the Philipsburg Resort Tax.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to adjourn, Councilwoman Dell-Bishop seconded the motion, and motion passed unanimously.