Month: February 2006

February 28, 2006


February 28, 2006

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Police Chief Neumann; Officer Wright; Caitlyn McGehee; Sandra Schorzman; Melvin F Spencer; Thinh Nguyen.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Correction to the minutes: Committee Reports-Streets and Sidewalks: Council Member Bagott reported that the “committee” changed to “Chair Bagott, Mayor Echanove and Clerk-Treasurer Beeson met with”.  Second change: The “committee” change to “the group”. Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of February 14, 2006. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

  OPEN FORUM : No discussion

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : written report submitted by Byron Hodges

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: written report submitted by Chief Neumann

The chief added that he attended an L.E.O.P. meeting.  A wide range of topics covered including homeland security funding, and emergency management within the county.  Money is spent on infrastructure, towers, and radios.  Questions about how money is being spent were discussed.  The chief explained a proposition on the ballot for March 14th voting.  This is to increase sales tax within Whitman County by a one tenth of one percent levy. The hope is to generate about $300,000 per year, which would support the local public service communications.  The Mayor asked the council if they wished to write a letter of support for this tax levy.  Council Member Bailey MOVED to allow the council to write a letter of support to the county commissioners.  Council Member O’Neill seconded.  The motion carried unanimously. The chief has placed articles in the Boomerang about the new police department vehicles and informing citizens about cleaning up their properties this spring.  Officer Wright has a guaranteed position at the police academy in Seattle on April 12.  He is on stand by for a March date, if his doctor gives approval and there is still an opening.  The city received a nuisance complaint for 555 E Union Street .  The police department has acted upon the complaint and has spoken to the renter.  The police department has been working with the renter and spoken to the property owner about what would have to be done to answer this complaint.  Surrounding home owners are concerned and the police department is staying on top of this issue.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: Dan reported that he is working on several permits at this time.  He is keeping busy and continues with his certification process.  Last year he acquired 5 certifications.  The Mayor pointed out to council that the Building Department paid for itself with the income from fees.  Dan added that he hopes to continue with that progress.  Dan also reported that he informed the property owners who were working on a building demolition about asbestos abatement and the requirements. This process is to protect a contractor, property owner and anyone who may be working around potential asbestos materials.


JOINT FIRE BOARD AND EMS: Council Member Wekenman reported that a motion came before the JFB to name the Public Safety Building after William A. Wolf.  The naming of this building would not only honor Bill himself, but his family, who have given so much to the community.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to ratify the JFB motion to rename the Public Safety Building .  Council Member Snook seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

Fire Chief Bagott is working on a Homeland Security grant in the amount of $275,000 to purchase a new fire truck, replacing the 1974 Dodge.  Rick asked Clerk Beeson about a possible budget amendment for the DNR grant.  Beeson stated that the Joint Board Fund – Capital outlay, county share would need to be amended, while the cities equipment fund is good.  Chief Bagott is working with the surrounding communities on a mutual assistance program.  The JFB is supporting the March 14 levy.  On Friday, April 21 at the Moose Lodge in Pullman there will be a fund raising benefit for the son of Fire Chief Lester Erwin, who is battling cancer.  The community is helping the family by raising funds for medical costs.

OLD BUSINESS:           

A.     Brownfields Update

The Mayor reviewed for council that he and Clerk Beeson had met with a representative from the EPA at the IACC Conference last fall and discussed a possible Brownfield project in Palouse.  The EPA administers a 3 part program that can help communities and private property owners assess, clean-up and develop long-term goals of properties which potentially have had a history of use which may have contaminated the soils below the surface.  The mayor noted that the EPA is very goal oriented in helping communities with affected properties. It had also been explained to them that Brownfield properties are generally in good locations and considered prime real estate after restoration.  The mayor then asked council to authorize an application to the EPA for a site assessment of the property located at the corner of “J” and Main St. , also know as the old Conoco site. The Mayor confirmed that he has spoken to the property owner, Mr. John Sell, on two separate occasions and that he has no objections with city proceeding with an assessment and will coordinate with the EPA and the city should an application for assessment be accepted by the EPA.  Council Member Milano agrees that the clean up of this Brownfield will benefit the property owner and ultimately the community.  Council Member Wekenman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the application for a Brownfields assessment.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion.  The motion carried.

B.     Conservation Planting Day

Council Member Milano reported that the tree planting is going to take place on Saturday April 15.  Local youth groups are being invited to help with this project.

C.     Chamber of Commerce Clean-up Event

Council Member Milano reported that the chamber has chosen Saturday, April 15 as the city wide clean up day.  Signup will be done at city hall.  There will be a nominal charge for hauling.  Scott Beeson and Annie Pillers will be coordinating for this project. 

D.     Cub Scouts Day Camp at City Park

The Mayor has been contacted by the Inland NW Boy Scouts Cub Scout group requesting possible to use the City park in the summer of 2007 as a day camp location.  There may be in excess of 150 scouts at such an event.  He stated that this is a good example of why the city needs an outdoor event policy in place. 

       E.  Preserve America

The Mayor received a letter from First Lady Laura Bush congratulating the city of Palouse on obtaining status as Preserve America community.  Sandy Schorzman, who spearheaded the project for the city, explained to council the process involved and the potential funding opportunities this designation offers.  When asked about local technical expertise Sandy indicated that Pat Flansburg and Janet Barstow can provide assistance through their work on the Whitman County Historical Society.


  1. Street opening request – I Street Extension

Fred Spencer has made a request for a street opening.  The reason is to provide access to property that has been sold.  The new property owners need to access their property to build on.  The application was filled out and all requirements have been met.  The Public Works Superintendent gave his approval.  The Mayor read the street building requirements to the council.  The building inspector asked if a fire hydrant was within 500 feet.  The answer was yes.  Council Member O’Neill MOVED to allow the street opening.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

  1. Whitman County .08 Funds

The Mayor read a letter from the Whitman County Commissioners Office stating that $100,000 is available in 2006 from .08 funds.  The application for funds included the criteria that the funds be used for a public facility that creates economic development.  Up to 75% of a project could be covered.  In 2003 the city received $11,500 for the Heritage Park project. A discussion followed as to whether the proposed RV Park on West Main St. would qualify for these funds.  The deadline for making an application is March 24.  The Mayor asked if any other projects would fit the requirements.  The council discussed other possibilities, but in the end concluded that the RV Park was the best fit.

  1. Review requirements to re-establish the Planning Commission

The Mayor indicated to council his desire to re-establish and fill vacant positions on the Planning Commission.

Upon review of the cities current code it was determined that the city needs to officially put into the code books an ordinance to establish and set forth a planning commission.  The city attorney is now working on the appropriate ordinance.



Council Member Milano reported his progress with the proposed RV park on West Main St and his now pending .08 application.  He is working with Tammy Lewis of the Palouse Economic Development Committee on RV Park planning and design.  There is interest from the Palouse Lions Club to partner with the city for this project.  Byron Hodges would like to see the site designed to accommodate a new city shop as well.  The current city shop has structural issues and needs to be replaced.  Council Member Bailey asked Byron about a location for a compost pile.  Byron said he would like to see concrete flooring and barriers to keep the pile in place.

PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook – No Report

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman – No Report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
Council Member Wekenman reported that the committee met last week.  The discussion was about the new vehicles and outfitting the vehicles.  Chief Neumann is working on buying gently used equipment to keep the costs low.  The committee and police officers have been studying the old fire stations for renovations for the new police department.

There is $15,000 available for the work and the hope is to have the police in the building by the end of summer 2006.  Discussion at council continued on the ADA requirements.  Chief Neumann said that police business can be conducted anywhere.  The Chief also told the council that he is continuing with his establishment of an Explorer Post in Palouse.  The age requirement is 14 to 21 years.  Exploring gets the youth of the city involved in law enforcement, fire departments or health care.  It gives the youth a sense of community.

Council Member Bailey is working on a research for a recycle program in Palouse.  Empire Disposal does not provide enough recycle choices to benefit the entire program at this time.  A drop off location needs to be determined and security of the site needs to be addressed. 


Council Member Bagott presented the council with a design board for the Whitman Street renovation.  There needs to be a public meeting to allow for public comment.  The Mayor indicated to council that the RR tracks are owned by WSDOT and that the city will be working closely in the coming year to have the tracks either repaired or removed.  The project will be based on the idea that the tracks will be repaired by the owners.  The proposed construction date is the summer of 2007.  More discussion continued on the project.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill
Council Member O’Neill wants to meet within two weeks with Public Works Superintendent Hodges, Council Member Bailey and Milano.  He wants to look at the new street opening site and discuss other water and sewer issues.

The Mayor reported on a conference taking place in Colfax on March 29.  The discussion will be about funding partners for wastewater projects. In addition, the Upper Columbia RC & D is a federal organization that helps find funding sources for projects and our yearly dues of $120 is due.  The council gave approval to pay the dues.

The next council meeting will be held at the high school library because of the March 14 voting.  Council Members Snook, Bagott, Mayor Echanove and Deputy Clerk Pearce will not be present.

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 Mike Milano MOVED to adjourn. Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  #          through #                   Payment: 

Payroll Paid                   Warrants:  #          through #                   Payment:

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________

February 14, 2006


February 14, 2006

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent- Andy O’Neill.  Also present were:  Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Don Myott, Public Works Department; Chief Jerry Neumann, Police Department; Stephen Bishop, City Attorney; Elaine Snouwaert, Department of Ecology; Bill Peck, Palouse Conservation District; Michael Allen; Caitlyn McGehee, Boomerang Newspaper.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Council Member Bailey-correction of name under Approval of Minutes, Mike to Mark and Council Member Wekenman-correction of name under Streets and Sidewalk Committee report-Muir to Munir. Rick Wekenman MOVED to approve the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 24, 2006.  Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : No discussion

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted written report. Council Member Wekenman asked Don how much of the knotweed has been hauled off.  Don said three loads.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported the following:

Officer Wright will not be attending the Spokane Police Academy training at this time due to health related issues.  He will be attending the academy training in Seattle in April.  The state mandates that a new officer must go to the academy 6 months from the date of hire.  The department is working on junk vehicles and junk yards, according to city ordinances.  The owners are given a 90 day notice to comply.  If they don’t they are sited, and given another deadline.   If that deadline is not met, the city can clean up or remove the problem and place a lien on the property.  The department is also addressing vehicles that are not licensed in Washington and sitting on private, or right of way property.  These vehicles must be licensed in Washington 15 days from possession, if not they are sited.  If deadline is not met, the vehicle is removed at owner expense. If property is used as a rental, the responsibility is that of the property owner.  The city has purchased a 2004 Dodge Durango from Bagott Motors.  This vehicle was purchased from a 2005 Block Grant ($10,992) and city funds ($9,300).  The City of Palouse Police Department has signed on a grant application with Garfield and Whitman County for a second radar reader board for traffic education.   The Chief attended a Youth Safety meeting in Pullman .  It has been fairly quiet in town; the department is working on speed control in and out of town.   The Chief attended a regional meeting in Pullman in which Whitman and Latah county were in attendance.  Topics covered were drugs issues, the Dare program and the new drug dog was introduced.

Council Member Bagott asked the Chief how long the academy training is.  The Chief said 5 months and he reminded the council that the state will reimburse the city for replacement officers in the interim.  Council Member Wekenman asked about the status of the previous burglaries.  The Chief said that there are outstanding warrants for two suspects.


A. Brownfield Project – The Mayor did not have a report at this time


      A. Ecology – Elaine Snouwaert to report on TMDL for the North Fork Palouse River

      Total Maximum Daily Load for fecal coliform bacteria

Elaine provided a report titled Pollution Sources and Corresponding Organizational Responsibilities.  This report identifies compromised water areas on the North Fork of the Palouse River .  It is a draft plan to allocate how much fecal coliform needs to be reduced, who is going to pay for it, and when it would happen.   The discussion of culprits included pet waste, possible failed septic systems and natural causes.  It also includes what tributaries were monitored, and storm drain runoff.  Elaine asked Don Myott what type of maintenance the city has in place and where does the storm drains run to.  Don explained that the city replaces old sewer lines almost every year, flush the sewers,   check for breaks, and plugs.  The city is currently looking into a TV video camera to improve the maintenance of the lines.  Don pointed out that the storm drains go directly into the river without filtration.   Bill Peck said that some cities place rain gardens prior to storm drains.  This allows the pollution to filter through before going into the river.  Council Member Milano asked Elaine how close we are to having to notify citizens about water quality in the river.  Elaine said that if and when the water quality levels get to a point of warning, the department notifies Public Health and they put out an announcement.  One point of good news from the department is that the toxins in fish have declined.  Council Member Bailey asked how a failed septic system gets reported.  Elaine said that someone would have to notice a problem and report it to Public Health.

B. Palouse Conservation District – Bill Peck to discuss plans for various plantings throughout Palouse

Bill Peck is an Americorp volunteer and has been looking at the area around the wastewater treatment plant with Don Myott.  This area has been selected by the Palouse Conservation District to plant native trees.  Don reported that previous plantings have been done at the location of the dump site for the Congress Hotel and the old sewer plant.  Both locations show that the trees are thriving.  Bill explained the district’s role in the county.  Cost share grants are available to help cattle owners to put in pumps for water, instead of the cattle going directly to the river, planting trees to help with wind erosion and restoration to the land to encourage birds to stay in the area. Bill said that the district keyed into the area around the wastewater treatment plant suggesting that the city consider a nature park of sorts in that area with benches and markers for the planting.  He would hope that there may be volunteers that could help with this project.  The district is looking to develop a long term relationship with the city.  Council Member Milano said that as this area is across from our city park, it would be great to continue the green space development.  He did ask who would do maintenance and care for the aging plants.  Bill said the district is always there to care for the planting they put in place.  The Mayor stated that he has spoken to Don Myott and Rob Buchert suggesting that the city put up somewhere between $200 to $500 to show good will and partner with the district.  Council Member Milano MOVED to allow the city to spend $400 to augment the Palouse Conservation District planting project by the wastewater treatment plant.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion.  Don Myott said that perhaps not all of that funding would need to be spent this year.  The Mayor said that he would leave that to Don’s discretion.  The motion carried unanimously.



Council Member Bagott reported that the committee met with Commissioner Partch and TIB in regards to Whitman Street .  More information is needed on the status of the railroad tracks that are now owned by the state. The city was awarded up to $22,691 from the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) for the chip/seal project.  The committee also viewed the sidewalks on H Street going up to the school.  Funding may be available to improve the safety conditions for kids walking to school.


Council Member Milano has been researching the need for an RV Park and a new city shop on Main Street across from the city park.  The Lions Club is interested in a partnership with the city for this RV Park. He will research this. 

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
The committee will be planning a meeting with the Police Department.  The Block Watch Flood Party was a success.  Officer Wright is still recovering and has been working on light duty.

The Mayor has provided a list of proposed projects for the council committee’s to examine in 2006.

Policy/Admin– Outdoor Event policy, natural vegetation site.  Reassembling the Planning commission for the city zoning and land use, private enterprise’s use of sidewalks, recycling program.

Personnel/Pool-Current Public Works Superintendent is looking at retirement in 2008, personnel reviews.

Park/Cemetery/Buildings-RV park, how to market city lot for sale. 

Water/Sewer-Fisher’s Addition sewer project, review the money being put aside for a new reservoir, Water and Sewer rates review, promote conservation.

Police, Fire/Safety-Moving Police department into old city hall building, active on Joint Fire Board.

Streets/Sidewalks-Whitman Street, decaying sidewalks, 6 year street plan.

Finance– Enterprise fund for water, sewer and city lot.

The Mayor reported that Pete Hertz is now on the Solid Waste Advisory Committee; Council Member Schorzman is on the Whitman County .08 committee, Council Member Snook will be serving on the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Small City Advisory Committee.  The Mayor is working with the Cub Scouts on an event they would like to have in the city park.  No dates are set yet.  He encourages city employees and council members to take advantage of all educational opportunities.  Funds are set aside for training and they should be utilized. AWC events usually offer scholarships if registered early.

The WSU/U of I Bike race will take place April 29 this year.  This is the 3rd year of the race going through Palouse.  The Boy Scouts will be having a Spaghetti Dinner that afternoon.  Chief Neumann said that the county has already asked our department to aid in traffic control of the event.  Council Member Snook and the Mayor attended an AWC conference in Olympia .  Council Member Schorzman was also in Olympia discussing rural health care issues.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Jeff Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. 

Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN Norm Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 02/13/06     Warrants: #  11567      through #  11575             Payment:  $1605.77

VOID Claims                 Warrants: #  11592

Claims Paid 02/15/06     Warrants: #  11576        through # 11604            Payment: $34,413.63

Payroll Paid 01/31/06     Warrants: #  6067          through # 6088              Payment: $27,074.65

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________