REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
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: ________________________________