PHILIPSBURG TOWN COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
September 3rd, 2019
7:00 P.M. Philipsburg Town Hall
Council in Attendance: Mayor Daniel Reddish, Carl Sundstrom, Nicole Nelch, Derek Kuhl, and John Johnson. Council absent: Scott Lyons and DuWayne Ulrich. Others in attendance: Town Clerk Reed Speegle, Director of Public Works Sam Dennis, Town Attorney Robert Medof, Fire Chief David Ray, Barbara Cahill, Jim Jenner, Steve Immenschuh, and Jay Harper.
Councilman Sundstrom asked for clarification on the area covered by the report. Mayor Reddish would inquire with the Sheriff.
Barbara Cahill discussed events that had happened in August and events that were upcoming. She said the Library was taking submissions for its’ annual photo contest. She also mentioned that they were hiring again for the Storytime position and that a decision would be made in near future.
Chamber of Commerce
Mayor Reddish said the next meeting would be on September 17th.
Jim Jenner talked about the idea of naming the Big Town Park after Zane Murfitt. He was important in originally acquiring the Park for the Town. Councilman Johnson made the motion to proceed with drafting a resolution to rename the park Zane G. Murfitt Park, Councilwoman Nelch seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously. Jim Jenner reported that the Rotary Concert was a success.
David Ray reported that the Fire Department was set to receive a grant as a result of being designated as a backup emergency command center. They would use this grant to purchase a backup generator. David mentioned the burn ban in Town and some confusion between Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department as to what was allowed. He said this was straightened out now. He mentioned the importance of having address numbers posted on people’s houses. Councilwoman Nelch talked about the idea of refinancing the Firehall Loan. David Ray said that if the Town could do this with favorable terms the Fire Department would have no issue with it.
Mayor Reddish reported that Maureen Conner was submitting a DNRC Planning Grant by the end of the week. Maureen submitted a letter that Mayor Reddish read. It highlighted the significance of the upcoming census and that the mid-decade estimates were way off. These numbers are all important when applying for grants and other funding sources. Councilman Sundstrom asked about the CIP and growth policy. A notice was put in the paper concerning adoption of the growth policy at a special meeting on September 17th.
Director of Public Works
Sam Dennis talked about the Fred Burr lines and conversations with engineer Todd Kuxhaus. He said it might be possible for the Town to do some of the work in-house. Sam then talked about a meeting he had with Ben Singer concerning the hydroelectric generators. It probably didn’t make sense for Ben and his company to get involved considering the scale of the generators but Ben said he would be available if the Town had any questions. He mentioned that the DEQ would be in Town for the annual inspection. There was then a brief discussion about street signs and how to proceed. Finally, Sam mentioned that the new backhoe had been delivered.
Robert Medof said he was completing the backhoe lease language and that the final water right adjudication was still outstanding. Councilwoman Nelch said the Town had budget approximately $1,100 for this remaining legal work. Robert Medof thought that it was good estimate for the remaining costs.
Reed Speegle talked briefly about the budget process. He also mentioned that there were issues with the recently purchased water meter reader.
Minutes of Prior Meetings
Councilwoman Nelch made the motion to approve the minutes from 8/20/19 with a couple edits from Councilman Sundstrom, Councilman Kuhl seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Payroll and Bills Payable
Councilwoman Nelch made the motion to approve the payroll and bills payable, Councilman Sundstrom seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Water and Sewer Adjustments
Councilman Johnson made the motion to approve the water and sewer adjustments, Councilwoman Nelch seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Project Request Payments
Councilman Sundstrom made the motion to approve Sanderson Stewart invoice #46702, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Councilwoman Nelch gave her synopsis of the budget process as the Finance Committee chair. Councilwoman Nelch made the motion to approve the financials, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Library Renovation Proposal
Robert Medof said he had a productive meeting with Blaine Bradshaw and that he had a draft of an agreement prepared. Some of the key topics that would need to be figured out were the length of the contract, the shared use of the space, and insurance. Councilwoman Nelch made the motion to schedule a special meeting to discuss the topic with the Library Board on September 11th at 2:00 p.m., Councilman Kuhl seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Sewer Lagoon Outfall Replacement
Mayor Reddish said the Town would like to get the work done as soon as possible. The next steps in the process were signing the contract and getting the shop submittals.
Robert Medof said he needed to get a hold of Matt LaTray.
Councilman Sundstrom talked about two clauses that he saw issues. The first pertained to equipment storage in the Zamboni room all year round and the second pertained to the PIA never being assessed fees. Robert Medof suggested that it be changed to no fees assessed during the duration of the contract. Councilwoman Nelch made the motion to approve the contract with the amended language, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion. Jim Jenner made the public comment that it was a multi-use facility and that the Zamboni room should not be used as storage for the PIA all year round. He had concerns that the room was not available for other uses. He also addressed concern that the Parks Board was not consulted on the contract. Jay Harper expressed his opinions on the matter as a representative of the PIA and that as a result of the organization growing they had more equipment. The conversation continued between the Council and the public. When the vote was called Councilwoman Nelch and Councilman Johnson voted in favor of approving the contract. Councilman Kuhl and Councilman Sundstrom voted against approving the contract. Mayor Reddish voted no as the tie breaker vote but wanted a final decision on the meeting on September 17th. Sam Dennis suggested that maybe some form of storage for the PIA be put on the Rotary property next to Winninghoff Park. Steve Immenschuh said that it was a public facility for everyone and that additional costs incurred by the Town should be paid for by the respective organizations responsible for the additional costs. Councilman Kuhl made the motion to approve the contract with the original language from the previous contract pertaining to storage, Councilwoman Nelch seconded the motion, and it was approved by majority. Councilman Johnson voted yes and Councilman Sundstrom voted no.
Park Reservation Form and Fee Structure
Councilman Sundstrom made the motion to amend the language on the form to reflect the potential renaming of the Big Town Park, Councilman Kuhl seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Councilman Kuhl made the motion to adopt the updated Park Reservation Form, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Final Budget FY20 Resolution
Reed Speegle further discussed the budget process and said that all the funds were balanced or deficits would be covered by cash on hand. Mayor Reddish read the resolution. Councilman Sundstrom made the motion to approve the resolution, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
NON AGENDA ITEMS
Councilman Kuhl requested approval of his phone and internet plan at an approximate cost of $1,500. Councilman Sundstrom made the motion to proceed with the plan, Councilwoman Nelch seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Councilman Kuhl then requested that he be allowed to call Joe Mullaney discuss how the internet and phone proposal could work with the SCADA system in the future. The Council had no objection.
Councilman Kuhl then requested that the Town replace the street signs at Sansome/Broadway and Montgomery/Broadway at an approximate cost of $1,600. Councilman Kuhl made the motion to proceed with the purchase of the street signs, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Mayor Reddish reminded the Council of the Joint Session on September 11th at 6:00 p.m.
Public Comment on Matters within the Town Council’s Jurisdiction
Steve Immenschuh expressed his frustration with the State and the deer removal process. The Town was not allowed to do anything without the State approval and the process would take two years. The Deer Committee was going to do one more deer count and then Steve said he would resign from the Committee.
Councilman Kuhl made the motion to adjourn at 9:15, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.