PHILIPSBURG TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
November 21st, 2023
7:00 P.M. Philipsburg Town Hall
Council in Attendance: Carl Sundstrom, Jason White, Gary Fujinami, Scott Lyons, John Laigaie, Mayor Daniel Reddish, Lorraine Dell-Bishop (online). Others in Attendance: Clerk Rachel Parret, Special Project Marueen Connor, Public Works Ryan Watkins, Chis Cooney, DuWayne Ulrich (online), and Nik Mehta (online).
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Reddish called meeting to order at 7:00 pm
PLEDGE OF ALLIANCE
Nik Mehta – NX Filtration Pilot Study Review
Nik Mehta worked with Tyler Gentry on the NX Pilot Study throughout the Summer of 2023. NX Company manufactures filtration plants. The Pilot Study was set up to remove Disinfection Byproducts (DPB), as a result organic material reacting to Chlorine. The DEQ requires the filtration of the DPB. The Nanofiltration trailer ran for 3 ½ months and had samples taken weekly. The filtration had a 95% removal rate.
Maureen Connor asked if the filtration would be good for Philipsburg. Nik replied with the water from Fred Burr is a good fit for the Nanofiltration. Councilman Sundstrom asked if the filtration was taking out the carcinogens and if the water was tested downtown where the infrastructure is bad. Nik informed the Council the water from the Pilot Project that was filtered was not distributed into the public drinking water. NX was not able to test the any other points in the water distribution for Town. Councilman Fujinami asked if the organic material increased with the temperature increase. Nik replied that the DPB’s had increased with the temperature increase. Councilman Lyons asked if the DPB’s were caused solely from the organics and chlorine or if the DPB’s can be caused by the U.V. treatment also. Nik said that U.V. treatment also produces DPB’s.
Minutes of Prior Meeting 11/7/23
Councilman Lyons made a motion to approve the minutes from 11/7/23 with corrections, Councilman Fujinami seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
Councilman Sundstrom made a motion to pay Triple Tree invoice 22-74-009 in the amount of $2188.78, Councilman Fujinami seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
Councilman Sundstrom made a motion to table the payment to Prestige Worldwide invoice #1958 in the amount $4323.21 until further information is available, Councilman Laigaie seconded the motion, and the motion passed with a 4 to 1 vote. Councilman White voted nay.
Councilman Sundstrom made a motion to table payment to Prestige Worldwide invoice #2037 in the amount of $2585.00 until further information is available, Councilman Laigaie seconded the motion, and the motion passed with a 4 to 1 vote. Councilman White voted nay.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to approve the claims approval list, Councilman Fujinami seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
No Financials available.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to approve the JVs for 11/23, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
Sewer Lagoon Update
Special Projects Maureen Connor informed the Council that bid for the Lagoon Project is posted in the Philipsburg Mail. On December 5th, 2023, there will be a Special Meeting for the Prebid Lagoon Project at 10:00am. Maureen has been working with the Army Corp of Engineering out of Seattle, WA on a grant for an additional $600,000.00 for wastewater. The Town will have to sign a memorandum with the Army Corp, along with receiving a Congressional letter of support to acquire the grant. The Town also has a WARDA grant with Army Corp for $925,000.00 with a match of $250,000.00. This match cannot be matched with a Federal Grant.
Councilman Sundstrom asked how the Town would acquire Congressional support? Mayor Reddish said that the Congressional Support would come from asking Senator Tester’s local representative to pass the request up the chain of command.
Water ARPA Update
Maureen Connor informed the Council that the Town’s HRD Engineer Shanna Adams is leaving HDR. Maureen suggested to the Council that the Town move some of their projects from HDR to Triple Tree Engineering. The first project suggested to be moved would be Montgomery/Broadway. Maureen doesn’t expect too much of a change with the cost of moving to Triple Tree. Mayor Reddish said that the Town needs to have a Memorandum of Understanding between HDR and Triple Tree to have Triple Tree take over the engineering on Montgomery/Broadway.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to move the Montgomery/Broadway project from HDR to Triple Tree Engineering, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
Maureen would like to leave the Silver Springs Pump project with HDR. Joe Mullaney is one of the top Scada experts in Montana and we need to be able to keep Joe available.
Councilman Lyons asked we have a delay on the Springs project. The delay is coming from HDR.
The Water Tank inspection final report has not come back and until it is done the Town needs to wait to make any major decisions. A new tank will cost about $1.2 million. Public Works Ryan Watkins informed the Council that it took 29 hours to fill the tank back up after draining the tank for inspection.
ARPA/MCEP must be done by 2025. The engineering for the water filtration final design will be about $500,000.
Maureen told the Council that the DEQ will receive the report from the Filtration Pilot Study. The Town will be required to have a filtration system in place whether it is Nano or traditional.
NX would like to use the Town as promotional for their Nanofiltration.
Shanna Adams reassured Maureen that all the work data that HDR has done belongs to the Town and she is trying to get us all the information.
Resort Tax – Discussion Next Steps
Mayor Reddish spoke on the Resort Tax and reiterated that the Town of Philipsburg has been approved by the Department of Commerce. The County didn’t qualify for the Resort Tax.
Public notifications and meetings will be set to take place in the next couple of months. Mayor Reddish stressed to the Council how important it is for them to dive into this and do their homework. Councilman Sundstrom asked if the Resort Tax would be classified as Resort Area or Resort Town Tax? Councilman White stated that the school district was denied so the tax would be classified as a Resort Town Tax. Councilman Lyons would like to see the Resort Tax on the November 2024 ballot instead of the June 2024 ballot. Councilman Lyons wants to give the public plenty of time to comment. Councilman Sundstrom would like to have a step timeline for the Council to follow proceeding up to the time of the Resort Tax being placed on the ballot. Councilman Lyons will set a Special Meeting in December to start the process for the Resort Tax.
Maureen Connor suggested that the Town look into getting a bond lawyer to help with the Towns financial capacity. The bond could come up on January 9th, 2023, for the Lagoon bids. SFR has asked about where the Town is going on the Resort Tax. The Town could use the Resort Tax to pay back the bond.
SAM.Gov – Registration
Clerk Rachel Parret explained to the Council that the Town almost lost their ability to receive grants due to not being able to register at SAM.gov. The Town’s old email address had failed, and Rachel was unable to access the information from the email address. Rachel had contacted a company who works with SAM.gov to regain access for the grants, however, the Town had to pay $599.00 to do this. The company’s rates will be increasing as of January 1st, 2023, to $899.00 a year but the company gave the Town a deal for 5 years of access for $599.00 a year instead of the $899.00. Rachel asked the Council to approve paying $2995.00 to have access to SAM.gov without having any problems to deal with for the next 5 years.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to pay the $2995.00 for the access to SAM.gov, Councilman Fujinami seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
Possible Change Council Meetings to 6:00 pm
The Council discussed changing the meeting times to 6:00 pm, as the Council Meetings have been progressively getting longer. There are more items on the agendas and with all the upcoming projects starting earlier in the evening seems to be the best for everyone.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to change the Town Council meetings from 7:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the Month, Councilman Laigaie seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
HDR – Contract Update
The Council decided to move some of the Town’s projects from HDR to Triple Tree. See motion above under the water update.
Magda Nelson Contract
Mayor Reddish spoke with Magda Nelson about having her continue to work on the annual financial report. Magda asked to have Reed Speegle help with the assistance of Rachel Parret.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to have Magda Nelson continue to work on the Towns annual financial report and to sign her contract, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
Councilman Laigaie spoke about the success of the Veterans Day Commemoration. Councilman Laigiae thanked Rachel Parret and Councilwoman Lorraine Dell-Bishop for all their work. Councilman Laigaie also said that he would like to write up a proposal to make up a Color Guard for the Town of Philipsburg.
Councilman Lyons thanked Councilman Laigaie, Councilwoman Dell-Bishop, and Clerk Rachel Parret for all their work on they did to make Veterans Day a success.
Mayor Reddish was happy with the turnout of Veterans Day. Mayor Reddish asked about the progress of the deer traps. Councilman Laigaie would like to have the traps made by the end of December. Councilman Laigaie also mentioned that he could call Helena PD to borrow one of their traps until the Towns are built.
Public Comment on Matters within the Town Council’s Jurisdiction
Chris Cooney informed the Council that Yule Night is December 8th, 2023, and Gem Mountain are the coordinators of the Light Parade. The parade will start at 6:00 pm. Chris requested to have any snow removed and sand placed on the road. Gem Mountain will be carrying the insurance for the parade. Annie Mullen was the founder of the light parade, however, no longer lives in Philipsburg, therefore Gem Mountain wanted to make sure the tradition was upheld. This year’s theme is O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree). The winners of the Light Parade will get to pick a nonprofit organization that Gem Mountain will donate money too.
Councilman Lyons made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 pm, Councilman Fujinami seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.