Month: June 2007

June 25, 2007

PUBLIC HEARING – Street vacation request
June 25, 2007 7:00 PM


One time change to Monday night immediately following

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called Public Hearing to order at 7:00PM

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent: Darcie Bagott and Andy O’Neill.  Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Dwayne Griffin, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy City Clerk; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Beverly Parks-McDonnell; Neal McDonnell; Dennis Griner; Michael Wolf; Nicole Wood.

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING: Petition to close portion of alley between Houghton St & Cannon St east of I St
The Mayor asked the petitioners to introduce themselves and explain their petition to vacate.  Neal McDonnell and Bev McDonnell own their home at 500 E Cannon Street and are the petitioners to vacate the alley lying between their properties.  Beverly McDonnell explained that she grew up in this house they were never aware of a platted alley until it showed up on a survey they had done.  This area is and always has been part of their yard.  Mayor Echanove asked for public comment.  Hearing none he closed the Open Public Hearing at 7:05PM.

Mayor Echanove opened the special council meeting at 7:05PM.  The mayor began discussion on the petition to vacate.  Council Member Bailey asked about the utility poles and lines located in the area of the alley.  Neal McDonnell said that they had AVISTA check the lines out and were told that there was access from the east side of the property.  Mayor Echanove asked C-T Joyce Beeson to read the staff reports: Public Works-concern about future access of gas and electrical lines to the property east of this petition.  Police Department-no police issue; Fire Department- no fire issue; Building Inspector-no issue, make sure setbacks are maintained. Though there are no water/sewer lines in the alley, Byron restated his concern over the lack of access for a future gas line.  The Mayor read the street vacation policies and procedures.  He read from a street vacation of two years ago regarding the cost of purchasing the property if the petition were granted.  The McDonnell’s were asked if their intent was not to allow any easement for utilities on their property.  They said yes, if the street vacation passes, they will not allow any utilities to pass through their property.  McDonnell further explained that the gas line could run through Houghton or Cannon.  Council member Wekenman MOVED to grant the petition to vacate that portion of the alley between Houghton and Cannon east of I St.  with the McDonnell’s paying one half of the fair market value set as $1.00 per square foot.  Council member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 12, 2007.   Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : written report submitted by Byron Hodges and Dwayne Griffin
Byron added that Well #3 repair continues.  Dwayne told council that the new camera and laptop computer for the department has been received.  The surveillance cameras for the compost facility have also arrived and are at the police station.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported that things have been quiet.  The Cub Scout Day camp was a success with a huge turnout of scouts.  The Chief told council that he will be publishing a press release about the use of fireworks within the city limits.  He is working with Fire Chief Bagott on this issue.  Their will be zero tolerance for firecrackers and bottle rockets.  If you purchase fireworks on Tribal property you must use the fireworks on Tribal property.  Fireworks can be used in the city from June 28 to July 5 within certain hours.

JOINT FIRE BOARD AND EMS UPDATE: Council Member Snook reported that the Blood Drive was a success.  The Rural side of the board reported that they may have funds available to pave a small portion of the parking lot at the Public Safety Building.  The city would have to amend the current budget before construction begins.  Joyce would like council in their budget discussions to address the Public Safety Building fund.  This fund needs money to both maintain and make improvements to the building.


  1. Update from Munir Daud on the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension & Whitman Street Project.

Munir Daud was not present.  As of last Friday, the Mayor said Munir was speaking to the property owners who would be in line of an immediate hook up if this sewer extension were to proceed.  Dennis Griner asked if this project was likely to start this year.  The Mayor said that was still his hope.

  1. Ordinance # 831 – Regulation of outdoor burning & providing penalties for violations.

The Mayor read the ordinance through in its entirety.  Council Member Bailey stated that the fire calls  to leaf and grass burns were one of the reasons this ordinance has moved forward.  There is pressure from the state as well to eliminate residential burning.  The Mayor read the ordinance by title and ordinance number only, then a third reading by title only.  Council member Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 831.  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  Council Member Bailey said that it is unfortunate that it has come to this because a few people on both sides of this issue cannot be good neighbors.


PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Mike Milano reported that the group raising money for the toddler playground equipment will be offering recommendations, through the parks committee. Milano held a public workshop for the RV Park on June 13th and submitted the meeting notes to council.  The main concerns were security and length of stay.  The Policy committee will be reviewing needed policies for the operation and use of the RV park.  Palouse Welding donated electrical equipment that may work for the park, a big thanks to them.  Council member Milano also reported the the city website,, you can now view the tombstone data.  Giving thanks to Chris and Donna Langsett and Bo Ossinger.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No report
The Mayor reported that the state audit team performed the exit interview today.  The city is in good shape.  The auditors had one finding, which states that the city does not have adequate controls in place to ensure the reliability of financial statements.  The auditors recommend the council take a more active part in reviewing bank and other financial statements.  The auditors pointed out in the interview that multiple cities have had the same finding due to a new audit regulation.  The city has 10 days to respond with how they will resolve the issues as presented.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey reported that the security camera system for the compost facility has been delivered and will be installed soon.

MAYOR’S REPORT : The Mayor reported that Joyce has given council the budget schedule for 2008. The public hearing for revenue sources will be held July 10th. The Mayor said that he has received comments about the eligibility of Council member Schorzman to file for his position on council for the 2008 elections.  Council Member Schorzman moved out of town over a year ago on a temporary basis.  Currently and at the time of filing, Council member Schorzman does not reside in the city.  The Mayor has talked with Municipal Research, the city attorney and the Secretary of State’s office.  The State provided to the Mayor a form that any citizen may fill out and submit challenging the voter registration of Norm Schorzman.  This form is available at City Hall.  In addition, the mayor was advised that the council has the authority to remove any member they feel that does not meet eligibility requirements. The Mayor reported he will continue to follow the recommendations provided to him in regards to this issue.  Council Member Bailey asked Norm if he intends to move back into town.  Norm said yes.  City staff asked for an estimate of a date when he would move back to the city.  Council Member Schorzman said by the first of the year.
Council Member Snook and the Mayor attended the AWC conference in Tacoma last week.  It was a good trip and the Mayor received information that the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) will be allowing funding for repair to existing sidewalks with their Pavement Preservation Program.  The Governor informed the legislation that the State is running with a one-half billion dollar surplus.  This could mean additional funds for small cities.  It is estimated that there will be over 100 legislators and caucus members in Palouse on Tuesday as part of an eastern Washington tour sponsored b the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.  Council Member Snook brought back information on traffic lighting that is imbedded in the asphalt.  He said the city should consider alternatives to the current stop sign at Main and Bridge which is not as visible to traffic as he feels it should be.
Chief Neumann informed council that the Ride Idaho group will be in town tomorrow to check things out for their tour through the area next month.  He asked council if he could offer the park for overnight camping for the group.
Council Member Bailey asked to be excused from the next council meeting, July 10th.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.
Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN: Mike Milano MOVED to adjourn. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:06PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 12439          through # 12457           Payment:  $13,944.87

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________

June 12, 2007

June 12, 2007

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Open Public Hearing to order at 7:02 PM.

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 and Dwayne Griffin, Public Works Superintendents; Ann Thompson, Clerical Assistant; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Stephen Bishop, City Attorney; Dan Gladwill, City Building Inspector; and Greg Kessler, Pete Hertz, Nicole Wood, Mike Wolf, Fred Spencer, Vicki Bradley, Sandra Schorzman, Dale Tronsen, Kay Tronsen, Roger Gamet.

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING:  Ordinance regulating development and management of environmentally critical areas within the City of Palouse.

Fred Spencer asked if the ordinance was going to change.  The Mayor told him the ordinance will stay as written.  Fred Spencer was given a copy of the ordinance to read.  The gallery asked when it takes effect.  The ordinance takes effect five days after it is published.  The public asked if the decision could be put off until December.  Council said the decision does not have to be made today.

With no further comment, Mayor Echanove closed the public hearing and opened the regular meeting at 7:05 PM.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Minutes of May 22, 2007 were approved with two corrections:  Under Open Forum, change “The council agreed to pay this cost and it will be split evenly between three funds…” to “between four funds…”  Under Building Inspector Report, remove Byron “is very much opposed to this”.   Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of May 22, 2007.  Darcie Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : Council member Schorzman inquired about the availability of skunk traps.  Superintendent Hodges said that if the trap cannot be located they will order one or two more.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted a written report.
In regards to the problems with Well #3, Byron and Dwayne met with the company who admitted there was a problem with the pipe which was installed when the well was drilled.  They will repair the pipe at no charge to the city.  This will bring the cost of the maintenance of the well close to what would normally be expected.

Mark Bailey asked if the railroad has done any spraying along its right of way.  Mayor Echanove reported that based on his call to the state, the rail operators are responsible for weed control along the tracks.  If noting is done, we should call WSDOT to report it.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported he gave a bike safety talk at the grade school.  He has scheduled a bike rodeo for the fall.  The hot rod show went well, with no incidents or reports.  Chief Neumann recently returned from Portland where he returned the old cycles and picked up the new ones, as a part of our new lease with Harley-Davidson.  Police reports include: a couple small thefts on Birch Street, a malicious mischief at 120 E. Whitman, minor damage at the car wash, and a couple dog complaints.   Chief Neumann assisted the building inspector with the Bluff Street clean up project.  Extra patrols have been added in the park area due to the busy summer activities there.  All in all, things have been quiet.  Rick Wekenman inquired about the legality of pocket motorcycles.  We do have an ordinance in place setting restrictions.  Driver must be over 16 and licensed, and be wearing a helmet.  They have to stay on 25 MPH or less roads.

NEW BUSINESS:  The Boy Scouts will be having their summer jamboree in Palouse, June 18-22.  Mike Milano asked Attorney Bishop if there was any way he could get a variance to municipal code, on behalf of the Boy Scouts, in regards to BB gun usage for that one week.  Attorney Bishop said no.


  1. ORDINANCE NO. 820 – Regulating Critical Areas within the City of Palouse.

The Mayor read past minutes to get everyone up to speed on this issue.
Councilman Snook MOVED to suspend the reading of ordinance 829.  Councilman Milano Seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Mayor Echanove presented to the public the city map with the four overlay zones:  wetlands setbacks, aquifer protection, priority habitat, and geological hazards.  Dan Gladwill explained that the large aquifer protection zone looks a lot scarier than it is.  Primarily it affects a business that uses chemicals that would create eco-hazards.  The Priority Habitat and Wetlands Setback are regulated already by the County.  The updated ordinance isn’t anything new, as it is environmentally friendly issues that all citizens should be concerned about.

The public asked about how this would affect use of their own property.  According to Attorney Bishop, this ordinance doesn’t prohibit anything.  You just have to examine the effects on the environment.  On existing wetlands, how do you mitigate what you’re doing to the wetland environment?  The Building Inspector has the authority to make a determination.  He could tell you fairly quickly.  If the BI deems it necessary, he can require landowners to hire an engineer.  Councilman Milano said council has the opportunities to reduce setbacks by up to 50%.  City staff has to get up-to-speed so we’re not at risk for allowing something that should not happen.

Gallery asked if the city or county was responsible for the enforcement.  Palouse has jurisdiction to enforce the ordinance.  The state has no jurisdiction, it’s strictly city.  This all came out of the Growth Management Act.  The Mayor reminded everyone that every city in the state has to do this.

Roger Gamet had questions about installing private septic outside of the 210’ main line.  It will be on a case-by-case basis to be reviewed.  PW Supt Griffin inquired as to why Well #3 isn’t on the map.  Council may have to amend the aquifer protection to include Well #3.

The process to enforce this ordinance will begin at City Hall.  When someone applies for a standard building permit, they’ll have to point out on the map where their project lies.  If it’s within one of the overlay zones, Dan Gladwill will begin the process on a case by case basis.  Rick Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance 820.  Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension

Engineer Munir Daud was not present.   Mayor Echanove instructed the map people that they are needed urgently.
The engineering for Breeding’s sewer extension is now in the budget and a construction line of credit is being considered during construction.  CDBG grants are not available because Palouse’s income level is too high.
Roger Gamet asked when sewer would be extended further.  Mayor Echanove said the next extension would be much more expensive and there is no timeline.


PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Mike Milano has set up a Town Hall Meeting for the RV Park.  It’s June 13th, 7:00 PM at the school cafeteria.  The main concern seems to be security.  Chief Neumann will be at the meeting to address those concerns.  Milano reported there is a group collecting money for a toddler playground at the park.  ADA grants may be coming in next year for the underlayment.

Mark spoke with Cindi Lepper, Whitman County Public Works.  She said funding for the compost facility and chipper may be available after July 1st.  Signs are in, and the permit policy is in place.  The permits serve two purposes: 1, to ensure users are residents of Palouse, and 2, to ensure ONLY discarding leaves and grass at this time.  Norm Schorzman asked about the odor.  Andy O’Neill said the odor should be minimal, usually only when it’s turned over.  The main issue is proper aeration.  We’ll need to train the operator.   Council member Bailey reported that he is looking at a draft Interlocal agreement with Whitman County for use of the chipper.  Bailey stated that he would like to put the burning ordinance on the next agenda.

STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott read a memo from Munir Daud regarding progress of the Whitman Street Project.  Things are slow because we’re waiting on the maps.  Once the maps arrive, we will establish elevation of the railroad tracks, extending 300 feet on each end of the Whitman Street project.

The contract with the Whitman County Humane Society has expired and an amendment to extend it from June 2007 through May 31, 2008 is ready to sign.  The annual payment and number of dogs has not changed.  Councilman Milano MOVED to approve the contract extension with the WCHS.  Councilman Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Our regular council meeting on June 26th has canceled and there will be a special meeting on June 25th

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:    Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Mark Bailey 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 8:46 PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                  Warrants:  # 12398         through # 12438             Payment:  $25,496.65
Payroll Paid                  Warrants:  #   6516         through #   6540             Payment:  $34,121.29

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________