Month: January 2008

January 22, 2008

January 22, 2008

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

ROLL CALL : Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent were: Norm Schorzman and Andy O’Neill. Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present were: Heather McGehee; Boy Scout Troop 326 from Moscow.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES : Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 8, 2008. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : Boy Scout Troop 326 from Moscow came to observe a City Council meeting.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : In addition to his submitted written report, Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin added that in researching used pick-ups, he found what looks like a good deal through the state surplus program. He asked council to set the maximum amount he could spend on this vehicle, allow a purchase under the special market conditions of a government surplus program. He reported that he is considering a 1995 Ford, 250 xl, with manual transmission, 2wd, and a utility box for $5,200. He needs something dependable and bigger than what they have now. The 2008 budget is $18,000 which will buy the new lawnmower and this pickup. Public works will use both pick-ups, Marc will take over the 1987 half ton dodge, while Don & Dwayne will use this 1995. If council approves they will pick it up Thursday or Friday. Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize Dwayne Griffin to spend up to $6,000 for the purchase of a vehicle. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Everything is business as usual. Traffic enforcement has been stepped with Officer Eaton’s presence. The Personnel Committee met and discussed ongoing search for 2nd officer. We’re meeting again in February, hoping to bring candidates in. Chief Neumann has started the process of replacing the Intrepid. He’d like a more traditional police vehicle, fully marked, and more visible. He’s looking at a used Dodge Charger. The intrepid still holds value for trade-in. Chief Neumann would like to update our vehicle every 5 or 6 years. Councilmember Bailey inquired about pricing of the Charger vs. a Crown Victoria. It’s the same engine in both vehicles; we’re dealing with a vehicle size issue more than anything. A used ’07 charger is between $14-15k. The trade-in value of the Intrepid is between $5-$6k. Councilmember Wekenman asked if council needed to discuss the rationale for two vehicles for a town this size and police force this size. Chief Neumann replied that if we’re looking to rotate vehicles every 5 to 6 years it would keep the wear and tear down a little bit. At times there is one vehicle down, etc. Councilmember Wekenman added that a lot of departments are going towards Chargers. Chief Neumann met with the Communications Advisory Board, going over bylaws, policy, etc. Whitman County is in a good position with .08 funding. We’re well ahead of the curve of other counties.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT : Dan Gladwill reported things were very busy until about Dec. 1st, then they slowed down as normal. He’s been working with WABO and joined a technical code advisory group, revising building codes for ’09. He’s going to Minnesota this fall for more training on the legislative side of it, stopping bad stuff from going to print. Getting the WABO seal on things really looks good. At the convention Dan represents both Whitman County and the City of Palouse. Our building permits are down a little from last year but considering the building recession, that’s okay. It’s the same in the county as well. City Clerk Beeson said our valuation went up about 3 million since last year, making it 39,186,000, as reported by the county assessors office.

JOINT FIRE BOARD : Councilmember Snook said they had a quick meeting. Our Fire Chief noted we have not had any calls since Nov. 2nd. EMS had four calls last month. We’re in the process of ordering equipment and new radios for trucks using money from the DNR grant. Chief Bagott thinks the burn ordinance has been a success; we have not had any nuisance calls since that was passed.

NEW BUSINESS : No new business

Ordinance 839: Adopt terms and costs associated with connecting to the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension .
Councilmember Snook MOVED to suspend the reading of ordinance in its entirety. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Councilmember O’Neill reviewed the wording and all points were acceptable. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance 839. Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Update on Whitman Street Project ;
Councilmember Bagott reported that we’re very close to going out to bid. Munir is working with Paul Weber from DOT Rail design. The final design is complete, contract documents are 95% complete, we just have to attach the cost adjustments. It takes time because we’re working with both the Railroad and TIB to get this finished. We have to meet one more time before it goes to Gloria Bennet at TIB. Once approved by Bennett it will then out to bid. The only other part TIB is waiting for is for Ecology to sign off on the DAHP study done by Rain Shadow Research. Mayor Echanove said everything is right on target for the project. Paul Weber’s salary is being paid by WSDOT Rail so it’s reducing our total project costs.

Mobile Home Acquisition Project : We received the appraisal last week. Numbers came in as expected. At the next meeting, council will be asked to approve the purchase of the property. Councilmember Wekenman asked if we have been in contact with anyone regarding the possible recycling of any mobile homes acquired by the city. The Mayor reported that our efforts to date have been strictly focused on the real estate acquisition piece for the project.

The Mayor asked Dwayne Griffin about A & R Construction’s progress on Breeding’s Addition. They’re waiting out the weather. Councilmember Bailey reported to Dwayne that A & R Construction is referring people to Dwayne in regards to property lines on personal property. It’s not Dwayne’s job; if A& R wants the work, they should be figuring out where property lines are, etc. not public works.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Councilmember Milano reported that an electrical contractor will be in town on the 5th to look at hookup sites and park improvements.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS : Councilmember Bagott reported that the South River Road and Lynd Street signs are in. She inquired whether or not the South River Road residents have been contacted about this change. Letters will go out informing residents of their new address. Darcie found a contact perso at DOT regarding SR27 signage. She will have a report at next meeting. Mayor added that with the pending acquisition of the MH park, we should consider a crosswalk between there and the Shady Lane trail. Since it is crossing a state highway, it would be a prime candidate for TIB funding. Let’s think about putting a sidewalk on the carwash piece and a crosswalk to Shady Lane.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY : Councilmember Wekenman reported that the Personnel Committee will meet shortly to discuss the hiring of a new officer.

Joyce has all the year-end figures if anyone wants to see them and will have a 2007 year end report for the next council meeting.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:54 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Warrants: #12855 – #12874 Payment: $9,842.41

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

January 8, 2008

January 8, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  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:  Crystal Bailey and Heather McGehee.

Swearing in Council Members : Councilmembers Snook and Wekenman, and Mayor Echanove read their oaths of office, which was followed by signings.  Councilmember Schorzman was previously sworn in at the Auditor’s Office.  Mayor Echanove recommended and Council agreed that Councilmember Wekenman should continue as Mayor Pro-Tem.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 11, 2007.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Crystal Bailey with the Palouse Community Center Committee (PCC) came to update Council on the community center.  She brought some rough sketches of the proposed building.  PCC understands that City Council is offering them a wider piece of land.  In addition PCC would like an update on what’s going on with the parking lot in the back because they would like to amend their lease if that area is retained by the City.  Crystal detailed all the dimensions on the proposed site.  Mayor talked about the city’s land exchange with the Kite’s.  The city now owns the north end of the Kite’s lot to allow improvements to Whitman Street and the Kite’s own an additional six foot strip along the west side.   Attorney Bishop said we need to make a lot-line adjustment on the remaining city land that is leased to the PCC to make one lot instead of two.  As part of the Whitman Street Project and future funding, the Mayor proposed that the city retain ownership of the PCC lot to develop a public parking lot.  PCC thought it was a good idea for the city to own and maintain the proposed parking lot.  The storm drain issue was discussed in conjunction with the Whitman Street project.  Councilmember Milano asked about getting an estimate from Munir on the parking lot for planning purposes.  Mayor Echanove asked council if they were ready to act on the request from PCC to amend their current 99 year lease.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to amend the PCC lease to include ’56 x ‘110 foot lot and proceed with a lot-line adjustment.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  In addition to his submitted written report, Dwayne Griffin added:  No news from A & R.  They’re on hold due to weather.  They did dig from Fairview to 7th Street, probably only 1% done.  There is a 90-day clause which only includes workable-weather days.  The Mayor reported that we may get a request to open a previously vacated street in the area of the Breeding’s sewer extension.  The Mayor informed Council that he has no problems with the PW working overtime plowing the streets.  He’s received many compliments on the job they’re doing.  PW Superintendent Griffin said there were kids being delinquent in the Heritage Park bathroom, making messes but no damage.  We’ve received a few bids for the Variable Frequency Drive.  A local company has come in lowest so far.  Dwayne has done some research and learned that the new drive will pay for itself within a year.

Scott Ellsworth submitted his resignation.  He decided to return to school.  His last effective day was Dec. 31st.  It’s been just Chief Neumann since then, basically on call 24/7.  We brought in a reserve officer last weekend allowing him a few days off.  Chief Neumann has been focusing on traffic enforcement, proactive type patrols.  Illegal turns are down.  He had two infractions and a couple paper enforcements.  Things are in good shape.  Thankfully there has been only one weather-related accident so far.   Councilmember O’Neill asked Chief Neumann about his options for replacing Officer Ellsworth.  Chief Neumann is actively looking and is hopeful he’ll have a replacement towards the end of January or first of February.

Ordinance 839:  Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension Connection Requirements and Costs:  The Mayor read the entire ordinance.  Councilmember Bailey voiced concern with the 210’ distance requirement.  What if someone builds just beyond the distance and doesn’t hook up?  The Mayor explained how the past council came up with that distance and that the county would most likely be reluctant to allow a septic system with city sewer available in the area.  Councilmember O’Neill was concerned with the paragraph regarding penalty – 13.46.040.   He would like to have a clearer penalty section.   The ordinance was tabled and sent to committee for review.  Chief Neumann asked to be included in the meeting.
Resolution 2008-01:  Setting the terms and conditions for the construction loan for Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension:  The Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2008-01.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Update on Whitman Street Project ; The Mayor showed a map which includes some changes to the plans. For example, a roundabout by the PD was added and parallel parking on Whitman St.  The Mayor read a note from Munir updating City on his progress.  The construction phase will go out to bid in January.  With the right of way along Kite’s secured, the state can continue with the construction phase of the railroad.

Update on MH Park Acquisition Project :  Attorney Bishop received the figures from the property appraisal and the figures were right in line with what we expected.  The appraisal includes just the land purchase, not the individual trailers.  We’re proceeding with the land acquisition portion.  Homeowners were informed by the landlord a couple months ago of the situation.  The City is not yet able to receive rent.


PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano heard from DOT regarding the signs for public restrooms to be placed on HWY 272 and 27.  They should be in place in March.  RV Park electrical bids are due in January.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Councilmember Bailey had a request from WHITCOM about Elmo Street.   They need clarification on the actual name – is it Elmo or St. Elmo Street?  We will verify, change signage if necessary and service addressing.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Mayor explained that the City needs to design Whitman Street how we want it to be 20+ years from now because as we all know, it will be this way for many, many years.  Whatever we do there is going to be permanent.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                  Warrants: #12813 – #12824         Payment:  $7,967.24
Claims Paid                  Warrants: #12825 – #12854         Payment:  $29,944.27
Payroll Paid                  Warrants: #  6723 – #  6747         Payment:  $30,240.91


APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________