Month: September 2008

September 23, 2008

September 23, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent were:  Andy O’Neill & Norm Schorzman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were: Pete Hertz, Mike Bagott, Jana Mathia, Sharon Tharp, Dave Tharp, Kirk Burhnam, Diane Meacham, Steve McGehee, and Jon Fleischman.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:    Amend the September 9th minutes as follows:  Under PD report, “The 6-month review of the Garfield contract will be up for review in November” and under Policy & Admin, it’s the chipper not the crusher.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 9, 2008.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin submitted a written report.  Councilmember Milano added that Greg’s Electric would like to begin the electrical work at the RV Park next week.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported from a police standpoint, Palouse Days was very successful.  Haunted Palouse is coming soon and he anticipates they will be busy; Reserve Officer Snead may be available as an added officer for Haunted Palouse.  Chief Neumann reminds drivers to watch for kids.  He’ll be getting to both elementary schools to discuss Halloween/traffic safety.  Chief Neumann met with the state for critical mapping for the schools; basically it’s an emergency preparedness plan.

Councilmember Wekenman asked if we ever heard anything back about the damage to the Bridge St. bridge caused by a wide truck.  It’s a state issue because it’s a state highway.

Pete Hertz reported that the car crushing is still on schedule for October.  There is still the issue of who will sign off the cars (city vs. county).  Councilmember Bailey will look into it.

Joint Board-Fire & EMS :  Councilmember Snook reported that they discussed getting back into the FEMA grant program.  The equipment committee met and went over our specs for a replacement vehicle.  Chief Bagott found a truck for sale in NY that meets our specs.  It’s a 1987 diesel pumper tanker with a 2,000 gallon capacity, automatic, etc.  The price started out at $60,000, and it has dropped to $43,000.  The JFB along with Chief Bagott believe now is the right time to move so the board voted to pursue the purchase of the truck.  Chief Bagott explained that the purchase of this truck is the culmination of what they’ve been working on to solidify their capability of water supply in our fire district.  Some other points:  some of our hydrants just aren’t beneficial without creating suction in the water supply system.  The old pumper is a 38 year old, temperamental, manual transmission, 1970 Dodge; it needs to be removed from front line service.  It only has a 750 gallon water tank.  With the purchase of this newer truck, it will give us 8,500 gallon total department capacity.  This will improve our firefighting capabilities and give us the opportunity to aggressively fight fires throughout the district.  This will be a cost of $26,000 plus $4,000 from the non-profit Emergency Services of Palouse.  This cost includes delivery.  A new fire truck like this at the most basic level would cost $275,000.  Barring grant funding, we will probably never purchase a new fire truck again.  Chief Bagott and firefighter Bruce Beeson are scheduled to go inspect the fire truck October 13th.  Assuming it passes inspection, it will be trucked out here.  The non-profit end will kick in to absorb some of the travel costs.  Chief Bagott pointed out that fire trucks like these are not very common; at the time of the board meeting last week there were a grand total of 5 fire trucks with our specs in the continental US.  Clerk Beeson said we have that money in reserve.  Councilmember Snook MOVED and Councilmember Bailey seconded to ratify the JFB decision to approve the purchase of the fire truck pending inspection.  The motion carried unanimously.

Building Inspector Report : Dan Gladwill reported that building permits in Palouse are down, but they have been picking up this fall.  Dan just got back from MN at the final action hearing for the state building code just adopted.  It will directly affect what he does and what everybody can build.  The firefighters rallied and got mandatory residential sprinklers on all new construction starting in 2011.  It adds $3,000-$7,000 to every new house built.  Not sure if it will apply to manufactured homes.  The city will need to consider the different demands the sprinkler systems will put on the city’s water system and how they connect to homes.  Public awareness is part of the process as everyone will view it as an added expense instead of a life safety.  Chief Bagott stated that in some places the water system is woefully inadequate, so for a small town and a volunteer fire department, it’s a great idea.  Councilmember Wekenman inquired if Dan has been working with the Lions club for the gazebo at the city park.  Councilmember Milano will contact the Lions and make sure they know to work with Dan.

Habitat for Humanity project in Palouse :  Sue Ritter from Habitat for Humanity (HfH) gave a powerpoint presentation on what they do.  HfH serves our neighbors in need.  They recently purchased two lots on Union Street in Palouse.  There is currently a house located on the lots which HfH is willing to give to a needy family for the price of moving it; several people have expressed interest in it.  It’s an older house and doesn’t meet HfH’s needs.  The house is in the middle of the 2 lots so, if renovated, they would actually lose one lot.  They hope to eventually put two homes in.  HfH would like to begin building within the year.  The houses they build are simple but meet all building codes and are highly energy efficient.  HfH tries to choose families that would be a good fit to the community.         

Resolution No. 2008-14:  Authorize the JFB to enter into the purchase of a used fire truck under special market conditions :  Mayor read the resolution and explained that in the used market there is not time to go through the full bid process when you find something that meets specifications.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt resolution
2008-14. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 846:  To amend certain funds within the 2008 budget .  Councilmember Milano MOVED to suspend the reading of the Ordinance.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The Current Expense fund increase is for pollution control programs such as composting and chipping and allows a transfer out to Police Car Reserve for the 3rd police car.  The Street fund increased because of the snowy winter and higher than usual overtime costs.   The Arterial Street fund increase is to transfer unspent Whitman St project budget that should have been budgeted in 2008.  The total project budget did not increase.  The Police Car Reserve fund increases to purchase the third police car.  The Fire Equipment Reserve fund increases for the city’s share for the purchase of a used fire truck.  Mayor asked Chief Neumann about how the Garfield contract is allocated toward the police car program.  Of the $66,000 contract, 6% goes to Police Car fund.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED and Councilmember Snook seconded to approve to adopt Ordinance 846.  Motion carried unanimously.

2009 Budget Revenues :  We need to add a revenue line item for RV Park fees.  The destination tax will be helpful if people take advantage of it.  It’s a very easy way to help the city.

Civil Service Advisory Board Appointments:   Mayor updated council on the process of getting a civil service board together.  As per our last council meeting, we’ve got our policy manual together.  The Mayor spoke with all 5 applicants for the Civil Service Commission.  There are three staggered positions; one 2-yr, one 4-yr, and one 6-yr.  The Mayor recommends Dave Tharp, Tony Wright, and Anne Larison.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to confirm the three appointees to the Civil Service Commission.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Chris Langsett has 75% of the headstones transcribed and he’ll add that to the website.  He volunteered to paint the cemetery sign.  Councilmember Milano spoke with chamber members whose businesses recently went under.  They stated the biggest obstacles to making a business work are the costs of rent and energy.  Paul Kimmell from Avista walked through Palouse’s business district to see what kinds of ways commercial businesses can save on energy costs.  We’ll ask him if he can look at city properties as well.

Councilmember Milano talked with Kathy Parker at SEWEDA.  They’re still looking for a Whitman County representative.  Kathy plans to come visit us this fall.  We also want to get Roger Brooks from Destination Development out here to talk about economic development.

Carrie Sundstrom the WSDOT grant manager will be here this Thursday.  She can offer advice on DOT grants.  She also works on DOT projects for pedestrian and bike safety.  We’ll talk to her about what we are doing in the park and the need for a pedestrian bridge.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey recapped the chipper program event in early October.  The chipper will be here October 6th-8th.  Having enough space to accommodate everyone’s yard waste is a potential problem.  This will be the first time having the chipper so we’ll work out the kinks.  Regarding the form for request for access to public records, Councilmember Bailey compared it to a couple other cities and it is verbatim what Pullman is using.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED , and Councilmember Milano seconded to adopt as policy the form Request for Access to Public Records.  Motion carried unanimously.     

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Spokane Rock is going to start testing emulsion and how it reacts with the new rail and street and let us know which one will work.  It needs to be repaired before the snow flies.  The landscaping is complete.  Munir Daud has started a punch list of minor things that still need work.  The reason the city got one, wider retaining wall instead of the initial two walls was explained as a utility issue.  It’s the same number of blocks but in a different configuration.

MAYOR’S REPORT Liquor License transfer from Thurman’s Market to McLeod’s Market.  No objections.
November 11th is Veteran’s Day so council meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 12th instead.  Ann will be putting together a newsletter and councilmember’s and staff need to get their info in.  The final Interlocal Agreement between Whitman County and City of Palouse for the chipper needs to be reviewed by our attorney before we sign it.  Councilmember Snook MOVED and Councilmember Milano seconded that we authorize Mayor to sign the Interlocal Agreement pending confirmation from Councilmember Bailey and legal approval.  The motion carried unanimously.
Local resident Jill Griffin dropped off copies of the publication ‘WSU Today’ which has a great article praising Mayor Echanove’s work for the city of Palouse.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:58 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims VOID:    #13344 – #13374
Claims Paid:     #13375 – #13391                        $16,561.60

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 9, 2008

September 9, 2008

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; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook.  Absent were:  Rick Wekenman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  Rich Villa, Trevor Villa, Patty Villa, Kirk Burnham, Steve McGehee, Pete Hertz, Jay Iverson, Greg Partch, Jerry Finch, Dave Mayhan.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 26, 2008.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  The Mayor states that the council will not entertain any comments regarding personnel issues of city staff.
Trevor Villa – Eagle Scout Presentation.  Trevor presented his Eagle Scout project to build two gates; one on each end of Shady Lane walking trail to prevent snowmobiles and 4-wheelers from riding on the trail.  The gates will hinge open to allow authorized vehicles access.  He asked how big the walking gap should be and what kind of sign is going to be needed.  Late October is the planned finish date.  The city will have possession of the gate keys and can distribute them to public works, fire, police and Avista.  Trevor is requesting $1,063.10 from the city in order to complete the project.  Clerk Beeson said this money would come from the Park Improvement fund and the current budget would allow the expenditure.  Trevor will contact city hall to arrange a meeting to finalize his plans.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to fund Trevor’s Eagle Scout project for $1,063.10, pending review and approval by city staff and Fire Chief.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Whitman County Commissioner Greg Partch updated the council on activity at the county level, including economic development in the Moscow Pullman corridor.  Partch informed the council that the county had received an Economic and Development award from the Governor’s office last week at the Governor’s Conference in Lynnwood for their economic development work on SR 270 for which he and Mayor Echanove attended.  Commissioner Partch highly praised the city of Palouse for the Whitman Street Project.  He explained to council how well received the Transportation Improvement Board’s (TIB) evening in Palouse went in June. He also praised Palouse for their other projects and the City for getting things done.

He then introduced Commissioner Jerry Finch then left the council meeting.  Mr. Finch is running for his third term as Whitman County Commissioner.  He spoke of his accomplishments and future goals if re-elected.  He praised Palouse’s success at getting .08 funding in the past and the economic development it has helped to stimulate.  He ended by saying how proud we should be of Palouse.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported the new swings are in at the park and the slide has been reassembled and installed.  They started on the water system at the RV Park and will try to clean up and level the lot for parking.  Whitman St. is open to traffic and the lights are still coming.  A water pipe broke and flooded the new booster pump that we put in a year ago.  Strom Electric has it for repairs and the back-up pump was installed temporarily.  There was about a 4-hour outage as a result.  The crosswalks were painted.  They installed another sewer hook-up last week in Breeding’s Addition and another is ready to hook up as soon as they can get to it.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported he is working with ongoing yard nuisance cases.  Like anything else, it’s a long process.  The PD is doing active patrols near schools every morning now that school is back in session.  The 6-month review of the Garfield contract will be up in November.  We’ve been working diligently on the PD lower level, installing a new doorway allowing for better access throughout.  They’d like to repaint the garage doors to match the new light poles and all the new work on Whitman Street.  The paint should be about $100 and they will provide the labor.  Chief Neumann handed out a projected budget that would allow them to replace a police car after 5 years of service.   In doing so, the vehicle would maintain a higher equity for trade.  Chief Neumann recommended to council that they purchase a third car before the end of 2008, reminding council that they are only borrowing the Garfield car and then replace the existing fleet on a rotational basis.  Every two and half to three years, one of the police cars will be rotated out under this plan.  The civil service manual is completed and ready for the future civil service board to adopt.   Councilmember Milano asked if the safety programs at Palouse schools will extend to Garfield schools.  Yes.  Councilmember Bailey asked if there have been any complaints about compression brake usage this fall.  Chief Neumann hasn’t received any complaints but is aware of one driver in particular who uses them.  Chief has spoken with him and reminded him that unmuffled compression brakes are illegal in the county, not just in Palouse.

Dave Mayhan complained that someone has moved property pin and it’s a felony.  Chief Neumann said he’ll discuss it with him as soon as council is over tonight.

JFB meeting :  The FD is looking into possibly purchasing a used pumper fire truck.  Any costs will be half city and half rural.  This is to replace the old Dodge.

Resolution 2008-13 :  Cancel and replace lost warrant #13062.  Mayor read the resolution.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-13.  Councilmember Bagott seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Review Carpet cleaning bids :  Three written estimates for carpet cleaning at city hall and library were submitted.  More bids were solicited but no more were received.  Bestway Cleaning $312.12; Castle Carpet $471.24; ABM $225.00.  The lowest bidder did not seem to be the most responsible as they did not physically come to the premises to look and we were left unsure about hidden charges like stain removal and travel.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to accept the most responsible bid as Bestway cleaning.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  More bids were solicited but no more were received.

Surplus item – 1966 Trailer :  The surplus and sale of the 1966 Mobile Home is still pending.  State relocation laws are being reviewed by city attorney Bishop.  As a result, we will not put it back up for surplus or dispose of the unit until we receive clarification.
Civil Service Advisory Board :  The Civil Service Rules and Regulations Handbook has now been developed and a list of interested parties given to the mayor.  The mayor will review, contact candidates, and give his recommendations to the council at its’ next meeting for ratification.

Breeding’s Addition Sewer :  Munir Daud submitted the final billing statement for A&R Construction.   Mayor Echanove explained that this was a quantity bid and he listed the quantities that changed as well as the two field orders.  Both Munir Daud, project engineer and Mayor Echanove recommended that this statement be approved for payment as final except for retainage.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that we pay the total amount for Payment #3, $54,030.13 leaving only retainage.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Steve McGehee asked whether the $228,653.50 total price included the price of engineering.  No, this amount was for construction only.  The price for engineering, legal and mapping was $6,918.00.  Steve McGehee wants a total cost of all monies expended on this project.  The total price, including engineering, is about $235,000.00.  Steve McGehee asked about the loans the city has for this project.  Clerk Beeson explained that loans included a short term note at AWB for up to $75,000 and Interfund loans that total $100,000.  Steve McGehee wanted to know where the money would come from to pay the final $60,000 for Breeding’s Addition.  The Mayor stated to McGehee that any numbers he was talking about were simply from him and that he could discuss the budget with Joyce and himself any time.

Kirk Burnham inquired about the asphalt repairs that are currently underway.  Dwayne told him the repair that is underway is a state project along their right of way.  Atlas will be in town tomorrow for some Whitman Street work and they will also do the asphalt repair in order to fulfill our requirement with the state.  This is not a good time to get asphalt bids with the shortage of oil and higher costs.  Instead of costing $10-$15/yard, it’s $100/yard.  Poe is not accepting new bids until they’ve fulfilled their prior obligations.  If we can’t get a bid this fall, we’ll have to incorporate into next year.  Supt. Griffin would like to see it get done this fall and will do his best to get some bids.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano discussed Palouse Days plans.  Mike is expecting 175 cars for the show.  The flyover for the ping pong ball drop is at 2:30.   Palouse city staff is the grand marshals for the parade.  The RV Park project is going well.  Hopefully the electrical work will be installed this fall.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported he was asked to look at providing police logs to the Boomerang.  Mark spoke with Chief Neumann and reviewed Moscow and Pullman’s procedures.  He recommends posting logs to the city’s website so anyone who wants that information can view it.  WhitCom will only have dispatched calls which aren’t a true representation of what the Palouse’s PD does so Chief Neumann will have to submit the logs.  Putting it on our website is the most efficient way to go.  Councilmember is reluctant to put into policy but thinks it should be more like a public courtesy that the PD can provide as long as time allows.  Chief Neumann agreed.

Councilmember Bailey looked at the strip of land on Pauline Lane and thinks it would be fine for the car crushing/hauling site.  Confirming that the railroad right of way is 20’ from center, there should be enough space there.

The chipper will be here Oct. 6, 7, & 8th.  Citizens can bring their yard debris to the compost facility beginning October 4th.  Supt. Griffin is concerned about how things will flow.  With the space available, we may have to limit the amount of debris we take in.  The first few times with the crusher will be very busy but will probably slow down after that.      

PERSONNEL & POOL : Councilmember Snook, Supt. Griffin, and Clerk Beeson will be meeting with pool manager Kasey Manning Sept. 10 for an exit conference.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott reported that the new trees on Whitman Street are being watered by city staff and volunteers for the first year until they’re established.  Engineer Daud is looking into getting a three year warranty on the sidewalks.

WATER & SEWER: Councilmember O’Neill is working with city attorney Bishop to amend the city’s sewer ordinance to allow residents like Kirk Burnham to be excluded from the 210 foot requirement to hook-up to city services if such a hook-up would be deemed impractical.   The change will be to include the words “where feasible and practical”.       

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Whitman Street dedication is this Saturday   Dave Mayhan asked why, if Munir Daud cared so much about the sidewalks, he didn’t put rebar in the sidewalks.  Dave stated he was required to put rebar in his driveway.  Mayor told him they were poured as per code.  Councilmember Snook explained to Dave that sidewalks aren’t driven upon, driveways are.

Deputy Clerk Thompson is drafting a ‘Requests for Access to Public Records’ form.  It is modeled after Asotin’s version.  Council will review for approval at next meeting.

The mayor discussed with council a thought on videotaping council minutes and putting them online for public viewing on the city of Palouse’s website.  The intent would be for residents to get a fair and accurate reporting of council meetings at their disposal.  Councilmember Bailey explained some of the pros and cons he sees at the City of Pullman.  There is some cost and labor involved.  Councilmember O’Neill thinks the city is doing a good job providing copies at City Hall and now at the grocery store, online, and various other locations around town.

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

Councilmember O’Neill wants to get the word out to people that when they buy big items for delivery such as furniture, appliances, and cars to make sure to designate our city’s zip code so the taxes go back to Palouse.  Over the counter sales are exempt.  It’s a destination-based tax.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                  #13312 – #13343            $71,683.73
Payroll Paid                  #6934 – #6967                $44,096.62

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________