REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
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