Month: September 2007

September 25, 2007

September 25, 2007

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Andy O’Neill arrived at 8:00 pm.  Absent was: Darcie Bagott.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  David Mayhan, Heather McGehee, Carol Towne, Matthew Schmit, and Pete Hertz.

A PPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Mike Milano MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 11, 2007.  Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : David Mayhan voiced his personal concerns.  The Mayor acknowledged his concerns and moved the meeting on.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Dwayne Griffin submitted a written report. In regards to the RV Park, Rick Wekenman asked if there is anything we can do to speed things up.  Dwayne reported that it will depend on the weather.  PW will work on the site as they can.  Mike Milano stated that we’re still working out the details including drainage issues.  We need to determine our costs and get those things purchased, put some down money on the contractors, etc.  We have until end of April to get that completed.  If the weather holds up we should have that money spent.  However, It shouldn’t be too difficult to get an extension if we have to. PW must have Alder St. ready to pave by Oct. 10th.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that all is well in the city.  Palouse Days was a great success.  We had no real problems; one disorderly trespass.  The street closure worked really well.  We spent Wednesday in court with two ongoing nuisance complaints.  We were successful on both accounts.  Two citations were issued for vehicle infractions.  LEAP meeting was this week.  Chief Neumann reported he will be participating in  upcoming trainings on excited delirium and firearms qualifications.  Rick Wekenman asked if there is still a hunter safety program available for kids.  Yes, it’s offered out of Pullman.  It’s required before anyone can hunt.  If there’s enough interest, we might be able to have a satellite program here.


Resolution 2007-06 –  Authorizing the Mayor to seek and make application(s) for interim financing for the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension Project.  This allows the Mayor and Joyce to discuss interim financing with AWB.  It does NOT allow the Mayor to commit the city to any loan without further approval by the city council.   This is a $175,000 project, with $95,000 funded through a commercial loan and the remainder through inter-fund loans.  The Interfund loans will most likely come from CDBG and Current Expense.  Interfund loans must be paid back within three years or they are considered a permanent diversion.  These loans will be paid by property owners through connection fees.  Councilman Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2007-06.  Councilman Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


SR 27 Palouse MH Acquisition Project:   We received notice late Wednesday that the final list for FCAAP funding came out and Palouse was included for 2008 funding.  The project has been accepted and the city will be moving forward.  It has been estimated to be an $181,000 project.  Mayor reminded everyone that because this is so recent, he hasn’t had the opportunity to spend any time on it.  The owner/occupants are our greatest concern so we want to work closely with them.  There are three owner/occupants at the park currently and also Charlie on the end.  The other five homes are empty.  Each property will he handled individually. State law mandates that owner/occupants be given one year to relocate.  Carol Towne, a homeowner at the trailer park was present to voice her concerns and ask questions.  She has been hearing rumors that the homes have already been appraised .  Mayor Echanove reminded residents to get information from the city council: any other source is simply a rumor.  The city has not authorized any appraisals.  Owners/occupants will receive Fair Market Value for their trailers.  Rick Wekenman explained that if the city is the buyer, the year would begin from the time of the sale.  So if this happens at the end of October owners still have a full calendar year after that.  The vacant properties may begin being moved much sooner.  Carol Towne asked what exactly is fair-market value (FMV) and who does the appraisals?   FMV is what you could reasonably expect to get for your home on the market.  Our city attorney will be involved throughout the project.   Mayor stated that when the city takes ownership of the park, rent will continue but it will be paid to the city instead.  All responsibilities will be handled the same, just through the city.

2008 Budget Discussion:   The 2008 Budget was discussed.  Right now it’s very preliminary.  Joyce is waiting on more information before finalizing.  Joyce is a little concerned that she has overestimated how much we’ll take in from Breeding’s sewer connections.  The interfund loan from CDBG could be our safety net since it is not an operating fund.   Mayor Echanove stated that the 2008 budget includes expenditures for three big projects but that they are partially funded through outside revenues such as grants and fees. 

Mayor Echanove reported that the Whitman Street project is progressing well.  The city met with Munir Daud and Sam and Heidi Kite regarding the land-swap issue.  It was a successful discussion and sent off to the attorney to write up.  The plan is to be out to bid in January.

Mayor Echanove informed council that Munir Daud is ready for the Breeding’s Addition sewer project to go out to bid and he would need council approval to do so.  Council member Snook MOVED that we authorize Munir to go out to  bid for the Breeding’s Addition sewer project.   Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


WATER AND SEWER:   Andy O’Neill reported that he attended a wastewater conference.  He brought back a funding information packet for 2009.

POLICE, FIRE, AND SAFETY:   The committee met last week to go over the 2008 PD budget.  There’s a small amount of finish work to be done at the police station.  Also discussed were requested pay raises, and a few personnel matters.  Chief Neumann reported that the state of Washington does not have the funding for DARE Officer Certification.  Chief Neumann will be involved in the classrooms discussing such things as life skills, drug issues, etc. but not under the title of DARE.  The DARE title within the budget will be changed to something like “Crime Prevention Education”.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Mike Milano that the Palouse Days car show was a wonderful success.  Mike talked to Marc Arrasmith about the addition of new electronic sprinklers.  The new sprinklers should conserve water.  Marc will see how they work before he purchases more.  The first round was approximately $4,000 and there is $5,000 more budgeted in 2008.  PW is hoping to install the sprinklers themselves which should save some money.  There’s an addition of a “visitor information” board at Heritage Park which Chamber will be responsible for.  Mike contacted DOT regarding “restroom” and “visitor information” signs for the highways.  They should have been here already.  DOT will investigate and send them.  Mike recieved a citizen request to improve the cemetery sign.    Mike met with to talk  about improvements to the city shop.

PERSONNEL & POOL:  The personnel committee met regarding salary increases.  Jeff wants to hold off talking about them until he has one more meeting.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Mark Bailey reported that he and Dwayne Griffin attended an interesting and valuable small community compost workshop.  They toured the WSU compost facility and discussed some different funding alternatives.  Asphalt is the better alternative than concrete for the compost facility pad, so we’ll be exploring that. Palouse’s facility is being well-used.  Mark said we can expect it to be somewhat bigger than our previous estimate.  Dwayne said we’re going to double the size of the facility going west.  The Mayor inquired if the compost will reduce on its own?  It reduces by 75%.  Bailey stated that he is not worried about the compost building up too much since there’s a mandate from DOT that road contractors must use compost, and there isn’t enough available.  There’s about 4 million dollars a year available for continuing these projects.

MAYOR’S REPORT : Mayor Echanove read a letter from Palouse Community Center Committee thanking us for working with them.  They want us to move forward with the lease for the westerly most 40 feet of city property and the easement with the Kite’s.  It’s at the attorney’s office now.

We have received a letter from CTED stating that we’ve been selected for a $10,200 grant to provide a critical areas handbook to administer the critical areas ordinance.  We need to double-check the amount it seems to be much higher than anticipated.  Norm Schorzman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to proceed with the Growth Management Services Grant to develop the critical areas handbook.  Rick Wekenman seconded the motion.  Mark Bailey would like to hear from the city attorney on this.  Mike Milano wants to hear from the Building Inspector.  Norm Schorzman MOVED to table his motion until the next meeting.  Secondary Motion passed unanimously.  Discussion tabled.

Next Tuesday there will be a water summit regarding the aquifer.  The PCD is the lead organization on this.  They want to know if the City of Palouse would like to be an official sponsor of this summit for $50.  The Mayor will have a special collection fund if anyone wants to kick in.

Norm Schorzman said that the RR tracks on State 272 are in rough shape.  Norm Schorzman MOVED that the city submit a letter to DOT requesting that the RR crossings on 272 be repaired.  Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

The Mayor reported that someone has challenged Norm Schorzman’s voter registration.  It’s in the hands of the county auditor now to determine the outcome of that issue.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Mike Milano MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:  Norm Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Mike Milano 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: #12609          through             #12622              Payment:  $10,383.96

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:____________________________

September 11, 2007

September 11, 2007

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 was Andy O’Neill.  Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Dwayne Griffin, Public Works Superintendent; Ann Thompson, Clerical Assistant; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; and Heather McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Mark Bailey MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 27, 2007.  Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : No discussion

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Dwayne Griffin submitted a written report.  Dwayne reported that PW has installed the final water line in on Alder.  Tomorrow they will start on the sewer line.  The city was notified by the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) that there is funding available for chip/seal work in Palouse.  Dwayne submitted Palouse Cove Road and Church Street.  TIB responded and an overlay will de done in conjunction with area WSDOT projects.  The overlay is 100% funded by TIB.  Dwayne reported that the state missed a couple crosswalks when they painted.  He will call and remind them.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that things are well in the city.  He has been discussing with the school that the PPD will provide the DARE program to the 5th grade curriculum.  It is a weekly program lasting 10 weeks.  He would like to extend it to the K-5th grade.   The PPD has been working in collaboration with the school on morning traffic; trying to control before- and after-school speeders.  Traffic on Alder, Mohr, and Church Streets is horrible due to all the parked cars and congestion.  The streets aren’t wide enough for parked cars and two-way traffic.  Chief Neumann suggested to council that they seriously consider making two of those streets one-way.  We could work with the school and their bus routes.  North and south traffic are not a problem.  The mayor reminded council that residents gave resistance to this idea in the past but encouraged Chief Neumann to continue researching this idea. The mayor asked if there have been any complaints regarding the burn ordinance.  There have not been any.

NEW BUSINESS:   The mayor began 2008 budget discussions for current expense.  We reviewed each department within the general fund line-by-line.  The mayor requested that we continue with our $1500 to the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee.  Under Law Enforcement expenses, it was discussed that until our 2nd Officer is accepted into the Police Academy he is considered a Professional Reservist and his salary reflects such.  Council member Wekenman recommended we budget for a 25% increase in county criminal justice costs.  Chief Neumann hopes to offset DARE education costs through fundraisers.  Under General Parks expenses, Clerk Beeson suggested that the city compensate Marc Arrasmith $40/month for use of his personal vehicle.  Joyce will discuss it with the auditor.

Miscellaneous budget discussions included:  Will PW need summer help?  If so, we’ll need to budget that in.  Dwayne Griffin will look into it.  PW does not need new equipment.  As far as the shop building, a great deal of work needs to be done.  Council Member Milano said they will begin discussing building needs for Public Works.  Rick Wekenman inquired about health insurance for council members.  Joyce will look into it.  In regards to salaries, 3.2% was built into the salary increases with a few exceptions.  The personnel chair will review.  With the Whitman Street project, the city portion is $35,000 with no added street improvements in 2008.  The only other street project outside Whitman Street will be oiling.  As far as the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension, Clerk Beeson looked into a 3-Year Term loan through AWB for 95,000 and Interfund loans for 80,000.  The city won’t be locked into monthly payments and can pay as hook –up fees come in as long as it’s paid off in 3 years.  Joyce is basing these estimations on receiving 12 hook-up the first year and six for each of the next two years.  The bank loan would be the first to be paid, then the interfund loans with Sewer Facility Reserve paid next, then Current Expense, and last CDBG.  By the end of 2011 we’ll know how much money is owed to CDBG.  The city attorney suggested having a 20-year cap to hook up.  People are encouraged to hook up sooner by gradually increasing the hook-up fees.  The sooner they hook up, the less it costs.


Our funding partner for the Palouse River Trailer Park project has experienced delays in proceeding with their final list of projects.  The current delays are internal in nature and should be resolved soon.

Mark Bailey said the community center likes the idea of shifting the building 40’ to the west.  Councilman Bailey MOVED to amend the property lease agreement for the Community Center to the westerly most 40’, pending a letter from the Palouse Community Center Board.  Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Mike Milano is still working on the RV Park planning.  He’s discussing fill work and drainage solutions.  As far as Palouse Days, the street closure has been approved by DOT.  There is a planned flyover for the ping-pong ball drop.  He’s going to get chamber volunteers to help with the barricade removal Saturday afternoon.  The car show is looking good; there are approximately 300 cars and 600 people expected.

PERSONNEL & POOL:  Jeff Snook is amid plans to make the deputy clerk position 80% with pro-rated benefits.  He needs to have current ordinances amended.  Councilman Snook MOVED to develop an ordinance creating the 80% deputy clerk position with pro-rated benefits, effective Jan. 1, 2008.  Councilman Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Mark Bailey will be attending a composting class on Sep. 25th in Colfax on process and on state funding opportunities.  Whitman County Waste and DOE will be present.  He’s trying to contact Cindi Leper regarding funding for the concrete slab.  The site is currently only ½ the size and it’s already full.  We need ecology blocks.  There is money available.  Mark Bailey and Mike Milano are drafting a proposal for a sidewalk/right-of way use policy.

S TREETS AND SIDEWALKS:  Darcie Bagott spoke with ADA regarding Whitman Street parking.  According to their official “There is no law written that we have to [provide a parking spot], but if we can, we should.”  We will try the west side of the police building and see if that works for the parking spot.  Darcie will document the reasons why we can’t use particular spaces.  Chief Neumann suggested signage instructing people how to contact the police.  He also suggested a 9-1-1 phone box outside the police station.  Darcie will be meeting with engineer Munir Daud regarding the easement with Heidi and Sam Kite for the Community Center Building.


Chief Neumann is attending a law enforcement liability seminar in Moses Lake next month.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Darcie Bagott 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 9:07 PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  #          through #                   Payment:

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________