CITY OF PALOUSE
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING-DRAFT ONLY
September 14, 2004
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Norm Schorzman, John Sell, Jeff Snook, Linda Dillard, Dave Willmore, and Steve McGehee. Late arrival (7:05PM) Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Randy Zehm, Police Chief; David Caudle; Adam Simpson; Corey Laughary; Doug Willcox.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 24, 2004. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
OPEN FORUM :
Councilman Schorzman stated that Will Thurman was concerned over a milk truck delivery on Saturday, September 18, prior to the parade on Palouse Days. Will stated that the driver could deliver at 7AM or 8AM. The parade does not start until 10AM and Chief Zehm stated that if delivery was made prior to the parade it would work just fine.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Written Report Submitted By Byron Hodges
Byron added to his report, that crosswalks have been painted the same day the state painted their street lines. Today, a lift pump went out at sewer plant and went in for repairs. Barley was harvested on the hill on Sunday. The city crew is working on the sludge at the sewer plant and the sludge spreader was rented from Jerry Askins. The offer to the City of Pullman for the spreader never came through. Councilman Wekenman asked Byron if that the strong odor from the sewer plant area, Byron said yes, they are using lime to keep the odor to a minimum. Councilman Willmore asked if there was an area around the new well area that is sprayed for weeds; Byron stated that the area is farmed right up to the building. Willmore is concerned about lightening striking the area around the building and catching it on fire. Byron stated that this had not been a concern. Councilman Willmore asked about the painting of the crosswalk on Alder and Division, Byron restated that is had been painted. The city will be responsible for painting the crosswalks on the intersections of Church, Alder, Mohr and Division.
POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Chief Zehm reported that he asked the Garfield Police Department to assist with traffic on Saturday, September 18 for Palouse Day. Officer Grass has begun the Hunter Safety Course at the high school, the turn out was large this year. Councilman Wekenman asked the chief about the semi trucks parked across from the park. He is concerned about these trucks being parked during the car show on Palouse Days, as well the traffic hazard they present. The chief stated that he has tagged the trucks with an orange sticker and has run the plates through the state. He is identifying the owners and contacting them to tell them to move the trucks. Wekenman offered the Palouse Grain Growers property for truck to park on in the future. Chief Zehm said he would tell all the truck owners about this arrangement. Chief Zehm suggested the city putting up signs to prohibit further parking of these vehicles in this area. There was further discussion about alternative parking and it was decided that Chief Zehm would look into the possible signs. Councilman Willmore asked the chief about his children riding motorized bikes on Saturday morning to get to the staging area for the parade. Chief Zehm has no problem with kids getting to and returning home for the sole purpose of participating in the parade.
- Discussion of issues as related to the operation of a Men’s Shelter at the Palouse Community Chapel
The council members received a report from the city staff, which presented all past and current council minutes on this issue, as well as a time line of the men’s shelter, this report is available at city hall.
Pastor Caudle begins by stating that personal views generally come to bear on a situation when people have children. Initial statements from the council were that the shelter is fine, big issues were previously discussed, research was sound, Chief Zehm is proactive in regards to sex offenders in our community, notices will be posted when legally correct. The Mayor again explained the sex offender levels and what is required by the state and our police department. Councilman McGehee stated that the issue is not whether we personally agree with the men’s shelter, but dealing with land use issues and correct permits. The councilman continued to discuss an issue with the City of Bothell and a homeless camp set up in that town. He stated that he wants a 2 way dialogue between the church and the city. Councilman Willmore stated that the situation of miscommunication raised the level of concern over this issue and while the city cannot micromanage the church activities, friendly communication is needed. Pastor Caudle referred to previous council minutes on July 27 where he stated that he had no problem working with the council. He stated that it is difficult to remember the dialogue that occurred 10 years ago with the city. He also clarified that the shelter does not recruit its residents. Council member McGehee clarified that he did not use the word required, but request, in regards to reports from the church to the council. He stated that the city cannot require anything from the church in this regards. He wants the citizens to see that the council is responsive to the concerns of the community, and suggested a report twice a year. Councilman Wekenman asked if any council members have been to tour the men’s shelter facility. The answer was that Councilwoman Dillard had. Councilman Snook suggested that council members go to Dave for feedback and bring the report back to the council. The Mayor stated that he sees three issues: 1. men’s shelter, 2. sex offenders, which have been addressed by Pastor Caudle and the Palouse Police Department. Pastor Caudle interjected that the shelter and church does not allow any sex offenders in the program, primarily due to the legal stipulations of their release. 3. Pastor Caudle and the church is viewed as bad neighbors, perhaps if they were better neighbors, then there would be less problems. Pastor Caudle asked to respond to the mayor. He begin by stating that he likes loud cars, the church goes to Cottonwood once a month with musical equipment and when they return it all has to be unloaded, back in to the church, this does cause some noise, but the group, due to a neighbors complaint, uses a hush policy, where they do not talk during the unload of the equipment. Caudle felt that they are good neighbors and the specific neighbor who is complaining poses some problems for the church as well. There was discussion between the council members about whether any of them have had any complaints as neighbors to the church. Councilman Sell said a few years ago, it was noisy and there was some alleged car prowling, but it seems to have quit. Chief Zehm stated that anytime a noise complaint is made against the church or Pastor Caudle, he relays this information to them. He feels that Pastor Caudle has attempted to keep things quiet. There have been no complaints from any other neighbors in the church vicinity. Pastor Caudle stated that he would be willing to change the pipes on his truck, if this was the answer to the one neighbors complaints.
Chief Zehm stated that he has talked to the one neighbor about an Anti-Harassment Order and explained the issues involved with this type of law.
Councilman McGehee stated that this meeting was well publicized, with the men’s shelter on the agenda and no other community members came to this meeting. He restated that two-way communication is important. Pastor Caudle again invited the council to come to the church and check out the men’s shelter facility. This issue will not be a standing agenda item any further.
JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE:
Award Bid for Structural (building) Portion of Public Safety Building
The following companies made bids for the Public Safety Building:
- Mac-Lee Construction-Lewiston $84,500
- Steel Structures America-Post Falls $98,976
- Mike’s Pole Barn-Clarkston $105,250 + add-ons
- Alpine Custom Structures-Spokane $155,220
The JFB selected Mac-Lee Construction. This bid is to build the pole barn only and all other components will be bid out separately. The committee is working with a $160,000 to $170,000 budget and has tried very hard to keep within that limit. Volunteers will be used for certain aspects of the project. The JFB has chosen Eric Slocum as the Owners Representative for the project. Council members, Norm Schorzman, John Sell and Jeff Snook agreed with this plan. The goal is to have the building closed in by the end of November. Councilman Norm Schorzman MOVED to ratify the Joint Fire Boards award to Mac-Lee Construction for the Public Safety Building. Councilman Wekenman asked about the volunteer labor on this type of project and it was suggested to have Joyce Beeson speak to Steve Witthuhn about liability issues. Councilman John Sell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Councilman Jeff Snook MOVED to ratify the JFB action to appoint Eric Slocum as the Owner’s Representative for the project. Councilman Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
- Amend 2004 Budget to increase costs as related to Protective Inspections –
Building Inspector employment costs and operating expenses.
The mayor read ordinance 803 through in its entirety. An Ordinance of the City of Palouse, Washington, amending Ordinance no. 795 and Ordinance No. 797, amending certain funds within the 2004 Annual Budget. Treasurer Beeson explained the need for this order, when Bruce Grass was hired as the City Building Inspector; it was changed to employ him as a city employee and the employee cost were not initially included in the 2004 budget numbers. Another part of the ordinance allows the expenditure of funds for the Public Safety Building. The mayor read the ordinance a second time by Ordinance number and Title; he read the ordinance by Title a 3rd time. Councilman Schorzman pointed out that these funds were already included in the budget for 2004. Councilman Schorzman MOVED to adopt Ordinance 803. Councilman Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
STREETS & SIDEWALKS: Linda Dillard
Council member Dillard reported her research on the closed alley issue. She stated the adjacent property owners concern with safety issues and a blocked off alley. It was asked if the property owners voicing the concern had spoken to the other owners who are currently using the alley as part of their property. She stated that the complaining parties do not want to talk to the property owners in question. It was suggested that the fire chief and the public works look at this alley to access utility usage and emergency service access. The Mayor had spoken to the city attorney and if there was no immediate need to access, the current property owners using the property could do so, this, according to the attorney. Chief Zehm will also take pictures of the alley for further research and send to the city attorney. The mayor requested a report be submitted by both the Public Works Dept. outlining any easements or access issues with this portion of the alley and by the Fire Chief accessing any access issues the Fire Dept. may have.
FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman
The finance committee met last Thursday with Treasurer Joyce Beeson to begin the budget process. More meetings will be held.
PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : John Sell
PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook
No Report, but Council member Snook had a Heritage Park update:
The roof is done, electrician has begun the inside work, plumber still needs to show up. The floor tile work has begun. A fence will be made by Palouse Welding, with only materials being charged out. Council member Dillard voiced concern over people sleeping in the finished bathroom. There is concern, but issue will be addressed as needed. Chief Zehm pointed out that the Post Office is open 24/7 and he has had to remove people from there before.
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Steve McGehee
Council member McGehee will be having a committee meeting to discuss the City Park/camping questions.
WATER & SEWER : David Willmore
Council member Willmore will be speaking to the Public Works soon.
POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
Council member Wekenman ask Chief Zehm about the motorized scooter issue. Zehm has found some information and is working on the issue. The mayor asked what the solution is. Discussion continued with where and when scooter could be ridden, helmet laws, skateboarding, state laws v. city laws. The focus seemed to be on helmet laws and a scooter ordinance. A rough draft of an ordinance would be presented at the next council meeting.
MAYOR’S REPORT :
- Liquor license for Palouse Tavern: The mayor began his report with an application to transfer the liquor license from former owner of the Palouse Tavern to the current owner of the Palouse Tavern. There were no objects and the transfer occurs be default.
- Centennial Clean Water Fund: The mayor and Joyce Beeson met with Paul Dorning, in regards to the Centennial Clean Water Fund. Paul would like to work with the city on the Fisher’s Addition Sewer Project. Paul is on the Upper Columbia Resource Conservation & Development group and feels that this project meets criteria for funding from grant and loan programs that are available. Council member McGehee is concerned over citizen support, funding and costs of this project. The general concern from the council is what it will cost to have Paul do the application work for the city, how much money could the city get from grants to reduce the project cost, what is the total cost of this project. Would the city have to pay out money it doesn’t have to get sewer to a small area of population. Clerk Beeson stated that this project would not paid by city-wide ratepayers. The goal is to find funding and research ways to reduce the total costs of the project to make it affordable. She stated that this issue must continue to be addressed by council and that some fact finding meetings for the water/sewer committee would be scheduled.
- Abatement for Beach Street House:
The mayor began by reading the past correspondence on this issue. The discussion between council members was about how to proceed, as the September 1 deadline has come and gone and work as outlined by the building inspector has not been completed. Council member McGehee MOVED to proceed with getting 2 separate bids, one for demolition of the house and one for rebuilding the structure. Discussion continued on what the city would have to do to recoup any financial cost for either of these bids. Council member Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Council member Willmore suggested getting a tax assessment for this property. The city staff was charged with gathering financial and legal data on this issue.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.
Dave Willmore seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Jeff Snook MOVED to adjourn. Norma Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:28PM
The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Warrants: # 10608 through # 10636 Payment: $54,377.69