Month: December 2005

December 13, 2005

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING-DRAFT ONLY
December 13, 2005

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00PM

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Jeff Snook, Dave Willmore, Steve McGehee, Rick Wekenman; and Norm Schorzman. Absent – John Sell and Linda Dillard. Also present were:  Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Chief Neumann; Officer Wright; Whitman County Deputy, Randy Zehm; Greg Pearce; Mark Bailey; Darcie Bagott; Mike Milano; Thinh Nguyen and Dave Caudle; City Attorney, Stephen Bishop (arrived 7:10PM)

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Corrections to the minutes are: OLD BUSINESS-line 2 “information from Kary and the Dept. of Ecology it is not” and line 4 “the authority the Department of Ecology has for enforcement”.  Adding the Police, Fire & Safety report: The committee met with the police department and there are new Palouse Police Department patches. Steve McGehee MOVED to approve the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 22, 2005.  Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :

A.  Roadway not being plowed by Jo Johnson’s house

Council Member Schorzman stated that he received a call prior to this council meeting about the lack of snow plowing on the road by Jo Johnson’s.  Schorzman said that hoped the city attorney would be present to discuss this matter.  Also noting that without Byron present he could not ask what the current situation is.  He hopes to get this issue resolved as it has been going on for years.  He thought the road was is use, but had not been accepted by the city.  Mark Bailey, who is an abutting property owner of the road, said that part of the road has been vacated and that he discussed with Jo Johnson the possibility of giving her an easement.  Council Member Schorzman said that the streets and sidewalk committee should meet with the city attorney on this issue.  The Mayor said that he is not sure how the issue of snow removal on Jo Johnson’s road can be resolved until it is brought up to spec and accepted by the city.  Mark Bailey has discussed the problem with other property owners abutting this road, Richard Akin and Ed Gnaedinger.  He said that this could be an issue for the title company who handled the sale of Jo Johnson’s property or the previous property owner’s problem.  City Attorney Steven Bishop said the he has already spoken to Jo Johnson and suggested she hire an attorney to look at the matter.  Mark Bailey said if the city were to take over the road as is, he had no problem, but Ed Gnaedinger may be more affected than him.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted a written report

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: Dan Gladwill

Dan reported that he has worked on 3 to 4 permits since the last council meeting, one permit has been finalized.  He continues to receive phone calls from citizens regarding future projects.

JOINT FIRE BOARD FIRE & EMS:

No report as the board will meet on December 19.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Report from Chief Neumann

A. Swearing in of new Chief and Officer

Mayor swore in the Oath of Office for Chief Neumann and Officer Wright.

B. Chief Neumann reported that Officer Wright has been working on an accelerated field training program in order to familiarize himself with Palouse.  He has made several traffic stops, giving warnings only.  A new computer has been installed in the department.  The police department is working with the Harley Davidson Company on a motorcycle program.  The chief has met with the city attorney to go over details of this program.  Stephen Bishop said that he sees no problem with this program.  Officer Wright is a state certified trainer for police motorcycles.  The council asked for a description of this program.  The chief said that Harley-Davidson Company offers police motorcycles to departments for the cost of set up.  The department would pay $500 per motorcycle per year.  This could save the city money on gas during summer months.  The department could use the current portable radios with earphones, any additional equipment could be purchased used and remain with the city after the motorcycles are returned to Harley-Davidson.  Since Officer Wright is a certified trainer, his skills could be used in a program for training police and civilians how to ride a police motorcycle.  The revenue from this would cover the $1000 cost of the motorcycles.  Officer Wright noted that Palouse would be one of the first departments in the area with motorcycles.  The cost of this program and equipment is covered under the current budget.  Officer Wright is also a member of the motorcycle club called the Cossacks.  They perform stunts at fairs and parades across the state.  This year Officer Wright has invited the Cossacks to perform at Palouse Days.  This may raise the attendance at the event, with the participants and their families coming into Palouse on that day. 

The Mayor has given his approval for implementing this new program in Palouse, the Police, Fire and Safety committee also gives its approval.  Council Member Snook MOVED to allow the police department to move forward with implementing this new program in Palouse.  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  Officer Wright said that the Cossacks club is required to carry a 5 million dollar insurance bond for their performances leaving the cost of travel.  He was hoping to obtain donations in some way to help cover these expenses.  The chief and seconded officer attended a School Safety meeting in Pullman , introducing the new officers to other officials and contacts for future use.  On Friday, December 9 the police department assisted in arrests of three suspects in a Meth Lab on Almota Road .  The Quad City Task force was present and there will be an ongoing investigation.  The Mayor asked Chief Neumann about what can be done?  The Chief said that landlords can do background checks and ask for references on potential tenants.  Neighbors should keep an eye out for clues such as an ammonia smell, pool cleaner bottles, chemicals and propane bottles lying around.  Dave Caudle asked the chief if he was being informed when people with past drug records move into town.  The chief said no. Dave offered to help the police department keep informed when he can.  The Mayor inquired about the state of the home after a Meth lab has been using it.  Chief Neumann said at times the public health department steps in.  In the case of Friday’s arrest a decontaminate task force came in to remove and clean up any residue from the chemicals.  The chief said he would inquire about what could happen to a home if it were to be condemned.  The police department has had no reports of accidents within the city due to the snow and ice.  Council Member Willmore commented that more gravel should be put down at the intersection of Main and Bridge.  There was some discussion of a possible barrier being needed at the foot of I Street and Whitman St .

OLD BUSINESS:

A.  Ordinance No. 815 – Adopt 2006 Budget and Budget Message

The Mayor asked council if he could suspend the reading of the entire ordinance and budget message.  Council Member McGehee MOVED to allow the Mayor to suspend the reading of the entire ordinance and budget message.  Council Member Willmore seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  Council Member Snook MOVED to adopt the 2006 Budget as written.  Council Member McGehee seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  The Mayor commented that in the past few years the council has had to make spending adjustments because of reduced state support.  Fortunately, the 2006 budget process was far more positive because of the support given local communities by the 2005 State Legislature with the passage of ESSB6050 and the support by local voters in moving the Palouse Library to the Whitman County Library system for funding.  The mayor thanked Council Member Schorzman who spear headed the library annexation into the county. The Mayor stated that the Heritage Park project is complete with only one remaining cost for the donation plague of $150.00.  Council Member Schorzman stated that in regards to the Public Safety Building we have a good building.

NEW BUSINESS:

A.   New contract for Building Inspector Dan Gladwill

The Mayor requested authorization from the council to sign the new 2006 contract for building inspector Dan Gladwill.  He stated that the building department holds it own now.  Revenues are coming in that exceed the contract cost. It was requested to increase the proposed contract $500 per year.  The council comments were that the building inspector is always there and he is a good employee.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the 2006 contract with Dan Gladwill as building inspector, amending the amount of monthly compensation from $458.33 to $500.00.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

STREETS & SIDEWALKS: Linda Dillard-Absent

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No Report

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : John Sell-Absent
PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook –No Report

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Steve McGehee-No Report

WATER & SEWER : David Willmore-No Report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
The committee met with Chief Neumann and Officer Wright in regards to the Harley-Davidson motorcycle program, the committee feels this would be a good program for the city.  Council Member Wekenman asked the council to give direction to the police department in regards to abandon/injured cats being turned into the department.  Whitman County is not accepting any more cats at this time.  Chief Neumann said that the department needs a policy; there could be the potential problem of people thinking that they can abandon injured cats in Palouse and the city would pay for the animals care.  Mike Milano said that the City of Albion sees this as a seasonal problem as college students leave the area, abandoning their pets.  Council Member McGehee recapped past council discussion about cats being left at the vet clinic.  Chief Neumann said that if the problem persists that a policy to only cover the cost of euthanizing the animal could be put in place.  The Mayor asked, since the city has a contract with Whitman County for dogs, could be have one for cats.  Council Member Schorzman asked Stephen Bishop what other cities do about this problem.  Stephen said that this issue has never been discussed in any of the other towns he works for.

MAYOR’S REPORT : The Mayor reminded council that the city Christmas party will be held on Friday, December 16, 2:00PM at the Legion Hall.  He has asked architect student Sam Gregg to work with the Police Department on a design for the new department at the old city hall location.  The Mayor thanked Deputy Zehm for helping our new police officers.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. 

Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN Dave Willmore MOVED to adjourn. Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:20PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  #11450       through #11486     Payments:  $5,929.82

VOID Claims                 Warrants: #11448        through #11449

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________