Month: January 2007

January 23, 2007

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING-DRAFT ONLY
January 23, 2007

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02PM

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill (7:05); Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Bev Pearce, Deputy City Clerk; Dan Gladwill, Building Inspector; Gloria Hodges; Fred Stephens; Gerri Stephens; Cory Bakeman; Carol Towne; Lynn Youngblood; Charles Sack

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Mike Milano MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 9, 2007.  Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :

Cory Bakeman asked the council if the website could be updated.  He has found old police forms with past Chief Zehm’s name on them and current events are not listed.  Council Member Bailey also noted that the council minutes are not up-to-date. The Mayor will work with Bo Ossinger, the website manager and make the changes.  Bev Pearce reminded everyone that current data needs to be sent to Bo in order for him to keep the site updated.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges reported that it has been cold and snowy.  The city crew has been working on keeping the water flowing.  There have been no major problems.  The water chlorinator quit, but the city has backup.  The broken part has been sent off for repair and a new chlorinator has been ordered.  Marc has been working on painting benches and the pool bleachers.  He is working in the police station’s garage area.  This is very useful space for the city, as the space is heated and painting can be done during the winter months.  Public Works has decided to bid on the same model lawn mower in use now, since the attachments we have will fit.  The new Public Works Superintendent can make the decision to change models next year.  Byron is currently looking for an ATV for the city; it would be fitted with spraying equipment.  The city staff and crew have been working on the new storage area in the back of city hall.  File cabinets have been moved and shelves put up.  Byron has been plowing snow for several Saturdays now.  Council Member Milano reminded Byron that the chamber has allotted $300 for barricade repair.  Milano stated that the next event in March will need the barricades.  Byron said Marc would get on it.  The city crew has been working on cutting and cleaning up roadside trees throughout town.  Council Member Milano also asked if the Palouse Conservation District has talked to Don yet about planting trees in April.  Byron said he hadn’t heard yet.  University of Idaho hydrogeologists continue their work for the city with the installation of the new well data loggers.  The Department of Ecology will be coming to review the site location for the compost area.  Council Member Bailey asked Byron if the approach to 8th Street was under the State’s repair or the City’s.  Byron said that when Jack Nagle was putting in mobile homes up there he widened the entrance to accommodate the project.  Mark feels that the turn in the street is tight and needs improvement.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted a written report to the council that included police department activities, new PD office info, training information and summer activity schedule.  He added that he has been in contact with Columbia Harley Davidson and will be renewing the lease for the motorcycle for another year.

The clothing and equipment purchased for ex-officer Wright cannot be used by the current police staff and is on con-signment at Blumenthal in Spokane .

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: Dan reported that the winter months have been slow for permits.  He has one new mobile home permit and is continuing his work with the contractor for the new stick frame home in Fisher’s Addition.  He has been answering many questions for people.  He has been studying and taking tests for his building official certification.  Dan explained that the studies cover a broad spectrum of building inspection as well as managerial aspects, such as setting up a new building department.  The Mayor asked if inspections are slow county-wide.  Dan said yes.  The State will be adopting the 2006 International Building Codes and Dan is studying  the updates to inform permit holders of the changes.  Council Member Wekenman asked what part the building department takes on as to  dangerous buildings such as the burnt house on Illinois Street .  Police Chief Neumann stated that Fire Chief Bagott informed City Hall today that the property owner will be tearing the house down.  Dan said that the building department does take action if needed for dangerous buildings.

JOINT BOARD-FIRE & EMS UPDATE: Council Member O’Neill reported that Fire Chief Bagott will be attending a 2-day grant class, paid for by the Fire Department.  The purpose is to educate the department on grant writing to better ensure the potential of receiving grants for Fire and EMS .  The Potlatch Fire and EMS are back on track and no longer require Palouse to be on call for them.  The utility bill at the fire station is great; much better then the previous building.  Two firemen have retired, Steve Tuttle and Steve Witthuhn.  The fire calls for 2006 were high for the year.  Council Member Schorzman thanked Gloria for the quick EMS response to a call earlier in the evening.

OLD BUSINESS:

  1. Palouse River Walk (Trailer Court Project)

Charles Sack, resident of the trailer park, asked “why do you want to do this?”  Why would the city take people’s homes to build another park?”  He said it will cost a lot of money to buy out the owners.  He suggests a compromise like planting shrubs and trees.  He volunteered to prune the plantings.  He quoted from Caitlyn McGhee’s article in the Boomerang.

Carol Towne, resident of the trailer park for seven years.  She agreed that some of the spaces are an eyesore.  She suggested working on the property to make it look better.  She has family members that also live in the park who are disabled.  The current property owner has raised the rent and makes promises not kept.  She likes living in Palouse and would like to know what the city will do to make it right, if they do purchase the park.

Fred Stephens, Carol’s son, and resident of the trailer park.  He doesn’t understand about the Palouse River Walk.  He would like to see plantings and improvement in appearance as well.  He asked if he could legally move his trailer.  Chief Neumann said yes, following state codes.  “Would the city be willing to pay for moving and setup costs?”

The Mayor stated to the audience that Caitlyn is an employee of the The Boomerang newspaper, not the city of Palouse , thus, her statements may or may not reflect that of the city’s.  The trailer park is for sale and anyone can purchase it for any use.  The Mayor has talked to the trailer park owner and discussed possible uses for the space.  The city is afforded funding opportunities for this location because of its location along the Palouse River . The information about the city “buying out” the trailer owners was loosely termed.  The Mayor referred to a 1985 planning commission report quoting surveys done at that time.  The citizens of Palouse were asked what they would like to see along the river front and nature trails and walking paths had high percentages.  The Mayor again reminded the council that the park is for sale to anyone and anyone can come in between now and the time the funding application is written, sent in and potentially approved, and purchases the property.  Then there is the one year’s notification time to the trailer owners.  The city has zero involvement with the park at this time.  The goal for the city is to make sure this is a win-win situation for all involved.  This would be a long-term project for this city if it were to happen.  Fred Stephens and Carol Towne thanked the council for their time and information.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Mike Milano-No report

PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook reported that the committee met to begin work on the replacement for Byron.  The committee wants to review the position description and perhaps rewrite it.  They hope to have an ad in place by the first week in February and hiring by mid-March.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman-No report

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey-No report

STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott reported that the committee met to address questions raised at the last council meeting.  In regards to the West Whitman Street , the committee reviewed the different possibilities to the traffic flow and determined that with the railroad traffic going both directions and the general use of the street; it would not be feasible to make it a one way street.  In regards to the weeds, it was determined that the property that weeds are growing on is private property and the owners are responsible. There is no funding available to repave the street at this time and no action will be taken.
Chief Neumann followed up with Officer Zehm and there is no record of any citations being processed for handicap parking violations.  Council Member Bagott said that they are continuing to review the signage requirements.

Chief Neumann followed up with Officer Zehm and there is no record of any citations being processed for handicap parking violations.  Council Member Bagott said that they are continuing to review the signage requirements.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill reported that no changes to the late fees or payment by the property owners will take place until 2008.

MAYOR’S REPORT : Palouse Economic Development Council released a statement about the first annual Business Plan Competition being sponsored by Washington State University , the Port of Whitman and Palouse Economic Development Council.  The total of $30,000 in prize money may be given to winners.  Leta Palmer, Day Camp Director for the Chief Kamiakin District Day Camp sent a letter requesting the use of the city park June 18th to June 22nd for 150 cub scouts.  The Mayor passed this information on to Council Member Milano as a contact.  The Whitman County Spring Clean-Up is Monday April 16 through Saturday April 28.  The Tire Amnesty Day is on Saturday April 7th.  The city will have sign-up sheets at the front desk.  This information will be passed on to the Palouse Chamber and Deputy Clerk Pearce will put up signs around town.  The local municipalities will be having a breakfast meeting about telecommunications tomorrow.  March 22 at the Gladish Building there will be an economic development meeting about affordable housing for anyone wishing to attend.

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

Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants: #12174                                  Payment: $5679.42

Claims Paid                   Warrants  # 12175     through # 12192     Payment:  $9652.08

Claims VOID                 Warrants: # 12181

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________

January 9, 2007

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
January 9, 2007

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03PM

ROLL CALL: 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; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Cory Bakeman; Caitlyn McGehee; Iva Lee Bricker; Bill Cooper; Doreen Hanson; Cristina Hanson; Dale Tronsen; David Mayhan; Gloria Hodges; Mark Kramer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 12, 2006.  Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :

Iva Lee Bricker resident on West Whitman Street stated that her end of Whitman Street needs to be repaired too.   The warehouse across the street from her house puts out a lot of dust.  The Mayor explained to the council that funding is available to reconstruct the East end of Whitman Street because the street is used as an arterial between two state highways and TIB will allow funding this project.  Council Member Wekenman agreed that West Whitman is in bad shape as well.  He encouraged Iva Lee to contact the manager of the warehouse at Wallace Pea and Grain to address the dust issue.  She also voiced concern that people drive too fast down the hill past her house.  She would like to see the street made into a one-way and she said there were weeds that had not been addressed as well.

David Mayhan asked the council when the handicap signs were going to be put up on the sidewalks.  The Mayor told council that the signs need to be purchased and put up to solve this issue. 

Mark Kramer added that West Whitman is broken down and he would have to think about how a one-way street would affect his business.

There was discussion on how the police department could aid in traffic control during a funeral service if the street was made one-way.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted a written report and added that he was unable to place a “no compression brake” sign on the west highway coming from Colfax because the proper placement would put the sign too far into town and past the point that a sign like that would be useful.

Council Member Schorzman asked Byron about the water run off at the intersection of Church and Division.  Byron said that is just ground water runoff, not a leak.

Council Member Milano thanked the city crew and police department for the hard work during the snow storms, keeping the roads clear and addressing minor accidents.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported that the holidays were quiet.  He escorted Santa Claus into town, using the motorcycle for the Lions Club Christmas party in December.  He worked a traffic accident involving a semi-truck on Echanove Avenue at the fire station last Thursday.  The personnel committee met and approved the hiring of Terry Snead as the second officer for the city.  The committee requires that Terry live in Palouse during his working hours.  Terry will take up residence here in Palouse, while maintaining a second home in Malden , where his wife will continue to live.  The Chief will have a swearing in ceremony at the next council meeting.  The Mayor asked the chief how “on call” hours worked.  The Chief said that when an officer is on duty his actual working time is typically a 40 hour work week.  But he is “on call” for a full 24 hours during his scheduled shift hours.  This is why the requirement to have officers living in town is necessary.  The chief announced that the new police department is up and running, with minor details to be addressed, but it is a functioning station now.  The Mayor asked the chief about reports of loose dogs on West Church .  The chief said that two citations were handed out and it will proceed to the courts.

NEW BUSINESS:

            A. Palouse River Walk Project: The Mayor introduced to the public an opportunity for the city to purchase the trailer park property at 200 W Almota Road .  There is funding available through the Department of Ecology (DOE) to purchase the property, relocate the owners living in the space and developing a green space in that area.  The owner of the property is selling and willing to work with the city on this purchase.  The land would be purchased at fair market value and a program developed to relocate the owners and tenants who live in the park now. The DOE has a flood control program that would grant 70 % of the funds, with the city matching 30%.  The 30% match can be in the form of volunteer and city time and labor.  The funding process starts in February and the application would need to be started then.  This is a joint venture between the City of Palouse and the Planning Commission.  Washington State laws would be observed in regards to relocating any of the trailers in Palouse.  A question to the Mayor was asked about the car wash and including it in this project.  The Mayor felt that because the building is constructed of cement brick, it could not be included in the grant process.

OLD BUSNIESS: Dale Tronsen asked the city what the decision was on the sewer project for Fishers Addition.  He volunteered to work with the city on this issue and help make a decision.  He stated that the city is missing an opportunity for growth, if they don’t pursue this project.  Council Member O’Neill told Dale that there are simply no funds available to pay for this project.  He said that Pullman is working on a project similar and the millions of dollars it will take to fund it have not come from any grants, only loans and the citizens footing the bill.  He does not see any funds available for Palouse in the next 3 years.  He said he does not see the city pursuing this.  The Mayor told the council that he, Joyce and Council Member Schorzman have been at numerous meetings talking to potential funding partners and no one has the funds and the DOE is not pressing the issue.  The Mayor invited Dale to put together a property owners group to discuss the issue.  The city estimates the cost of engineering the project to be between $50,000 and $60,000.  The ultimate cost for each property owner to hook up to sewer could cost $10,000 per property.  Dale said that is a number that property owners will not approve of.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Mike Milano reported that he will be pursuing funding again this year for the RV Park project. He would also like to develop a Parks and Recreation program, which would open up funding possibilities.  The RV Park is listed on the Scenic By-Way wish list for funding.  A visitor information area needs to be decided on for the Scenic By-Way project.

PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook reported they will begin work next week on the replacement for Byron. He also reported that the Joint Fire Board met and elected new officers, with Council Member O’Neill elected as Chairperson.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No Report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman reported that the committee supported the hiring of Officer Snead.
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey reported that a meeting has been arranged with the DOE in regards to the compost facility grant.  The one issue that is difficult to address is the location of the site.  There doesn’t seem to be an appropriate location within city limits.

STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott reported that she is waiting for the paperwork to come from TIB and then a meeting will be set up to proceed with the Whitman Street Project.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill reported to council that he would like to see an increase of late fees paid to the city for water and sewer delinquent bills.  The increase would be from $5.00 to $10.00.  He would also recommend that the city ordinance be changed so that only property owners pay for the water and sewer bills.  The current ordinance allows renters, with the owner’s permission, to pay the bill.  These changes are proposed for 2008, giving landlords time to adjust their rental agreements.

Byron stated that the Public Works department supports these proposed changes.  Council Member O’Neill said that the city staff is committed to providing consistent procedures for all citizens who purchase city services.  The Mayor thanked Andy for following up on a water and sewer billing issue and handling the situation.

MAYOR’S REPORT : The Mayor reported that a liquor license renewal request for Thurman’s Market is due.  There were no objections and the license is renewed by default.  Time Warner, who purchased Adelphia Cable Company, provided a list of stations it will not provide.  The Mayor has given this list to the Boomerang for publishing.

Whitman County has decided to enforce a law, whereas cities are responsible for election costs.  The first bill for the city came to $770, which the county lowered to $268.78 for this time.  The Mayor attended a Pullman City Council meeting.  He commented that the Mayor in Pullman starts the meetings with the Mayor’s report.  The one item that the Mayor of Pullman reported on was also important to Palouse was that all citizens with adjacent property to city sidewalks are responsible for snow and ice removal.  The Mayor asked Byron about mailboxes located on the corner of Bridge and Cannon.  The property owner in that location is planning on replacing his mobile home and needs to have the boxes moved to access his property.  The issue has been discussed with the property owner and Byron already.

The Mayor congratulated Joyce on beginning her 14th year as a city employee.  He listed Byron as starting July 1989, Don in March1985, and Marc in1986.

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. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:15PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 12/01-21                 Warrants: # 12070       through # 12132  Payment: $26,595.56

Claims Paid  12/31                    Warrants: # 12151       through # 12173   Payment: $7,403.15

Payroll Paid  12/29                    Warrants: # 6396         through # 6419    Payment: $27,961.63

Claims Paid 01/10/07                 Warrants: # 12133       through # 12150   Payment: $6,788.79

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________