Month: December 2008

December 23, 2008

SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING FOLLOWED BY
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
December 23, 2008

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Jeff Snook.  Also present: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Tulip O’Neill.  Bruce Beeson arrived at 7:20.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR AMENDMENT TO THE 6-YEAR STREET PLAN:  Public hearing opened at 7:01.  No comments.

CLOSE PUBLIC HEARING AND OPEN REGULAR MEETING : 7:02

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 9, 2008.  Councilmember Schorzman 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.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on all the snow plowing.  Empire Disposal will NOT go down alleys; move your garbage cans to the streets.  PW plows some alleys because it’s their ONLY access but not all alleys will be plowed.  Community has been very helpful with moving cars for plowing.

Some pipes in the men’s restrooms at Heritage Park froze.  The damage wasn’t permanent and will be fixed.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported we received one bid for the Crown Victoria for $201.00 + tax.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept the bid.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The car was properly advertised.  This was our only bid.

Turkeys are residing at our city park.  Unfortunately, they were hand-raised then released so they are at risk of harassment by humans and dogs, etc.  Chief Neumann reminds the public that harassment of any wildlife is punishable by arrest.  Chief is looking into the ownership.

The PD roof is leaking inside.  The drain and gutter system on there are inadequate.  PW will look at it.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT .  Councilmember O’Neill reported Rick Wekenman was nominated for president.  The equipment and capital committee have joined as one.  Fire calls are down by one third from last year.  EMS remains active.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2008-18 – Amending the 6-Year Transportation Improvement Plan to include the H Street Sidewalk Improvement Project as Priority No. 1.  Mayor and Supt. Bev Fox reviewed the packet from TIB.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to approve Resolution No. 2008-18 as discussed.  Councilmember Bailey seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  We will need a call for engineers.  The Streets and Sidewalk Committee will review.

Ordinance No. 856 – Amending the 2008 Budget.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED , and Councilmember O’Neill seconded to suspend the rules for reading the ordinance.  The motion passed unanimously.  Clerk Beeson explained that the cemetery fund is the only one with a dollar effect to the end budget.  We’re increasing the cemetery salary by $900.  In current expense we’re moving $730 from travel to police chief salary, and in the street fund we’re moving $4,500 from capital expenditures to street salary to cover all the overtime for snow plowing.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to approve the overtime for PW for snow removal.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ord. 846, Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Milano suggested increasing comp time carry over for the PW, as long as they can use it.  Joyce will investigate the comp time policy.

OLD BUSINESS:

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported our park project has been identified as a project that might be part of the state and federal stimulus proposals.  Projects must be ready to begin by April 1, 2009.

There is a March 2nd deadline for our byway grant for our trail and pedestrian bridges.  We got an estimated price back from Munir for two bridges.  Mike will discuss it with him.  The ownership of the Lions Club Park was questioned.  It appears the Lions have a 99-year lease from McGregor’s.

President-elect Obama has made rebuilding “Main Streets” across America part of his economic recovery proposal.  Local jurisdictions have been contacted by engineers and policy makers to document projects that can be “shovel ready” in 2009. The city has brushed off the water capital improvement work from the late 90’s and is having Munir update the estimates for the reservoir project on south hill.  Just being prepared will be a distinct advantage for the city.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey presented a preliminary planning commission zoning map.  A public hearing will be set at a later date.  The last zoning map proposed but not adopted will be available to compare with the new one.  The changes are minor; mostly to the Critical Areas.

Councilmember Bailey talked to DOE grant administrator.  She thinks we’ll still get the funding for the Bobcat since it was part of the initial grant application.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Wekenman thinks there should be street signs on the NW corner and the SE corner of “Main & SR 27”.  Darcie will contact the state sign guy.  It will match our existing signs.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Trevor Villa turned in his bill for his Eagle Scout project for the gates on Shady Lane Trail.  The total was less than half of what council allocated.  There’s a design change that Avista and PW have required.

The mayor reported he received the comprehensive planning grant application from DOE for the Brownfields and would like to proceed with the application.  It is 100% funded by Ecology with no cost to the city.  The mayor also contacted the DOE about property acquisition possibilities from the same program utilized with the mobile home acquisition project.  The mayor discussed this possibility with Atty. Bishop prior. This would be a separate project from the mobile home project.  Councilmember Wekenman advised making sure it doesn’t cut the MH project short.  Mayor explained it would be a separate funding opportunity to purchase the property.  DOE will be looking into whether or not the purchase would qualify for the FCAAP program for reuse possibilities are the ultimate goal for this particular project.  It was also noted that in order to move to the phase of clean-up and reuse, we have to be the owner.  Once purchased, we’ll have to assume the liability of that site.  All of this is part of the planning grant that John Means from DOE will provide at no cost to the city should the city be successful in its application.

The city received a request from the liquor control board to renew the Green Frog Café and McLeod’s (Thurman’s) Market liquor licenses.  No objections from council.

Our new BIAS software includes a maintenance agreement contract.  Council approved signing the contract.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:17 PM.

December 9, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
December 9, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook. Absent:  Darcie Bagott, Rick Wekenman, and Mark Bailey.  Also present: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann.  Public present: Pete Hertz; Dixie Reber; Steve McGehee and Greg Partch.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 25, 2008.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin reported on normal maintenance and preparation for the winter.
He reported that the booster pump on North hill was out for about an hour while Strom Electric made electrical supply modifications. The sanding gravel has been purchased from the county and they are ready to plow snow.  He is participating in the NIMS training as provided by the county.

OPEN FORUM :  Whitman County Commissioner Greg Partch congratulated Palouse on being awarded TIB funding for the H street sidewalk project.  He then recapped county programs being used in Palouse such as the chipper, junk car removal, and the purchase of sanding gravel. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that the surplus police car has been stripped down and is ready to go if any bids are received.  To date, no bids have been received. Chief Neumann asked council if he should simply have the car removed by a scrap dealer.  Council agreed to the idea. The chief reported that he is also attending the NIMS training and handed out the November activity log for Garfield and Palouse.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 849 – Increasing the rate charged for water service :  Councilmember Milano MOVED to suspend the rules for reading Ordinance No. 849.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Mayor Echanove explained that this ordinance would increase the amount charged for city water by one dollar for each single service and incrementing the same from there as in the past ordinance.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 849.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 850 – Increasing the rate charged for sewer service : Councilmember Milano MOVED to suspend the rules for reading Ordinance No. 850.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried.  Mayor Echanove explained that this ordinance would increase the amount charged for city sewer by one dollar for each single service and incrementing the same from there as in the past ordinance.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 850.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 851 – Increasing the fee charged for dishonored checks:   Mayor Echanove read the ordinance.  This ordinance would raise the fee charged for dishonored checks from the current $10 to $25.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 851.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 852 – Increasing the fee charged for late water/sewer payments:   Mayor Echanove read the ordinance.  This ordinance would raise the fee charged for late payments from the current $5 to $10.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 852.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded.  Discussion included a comment against from the gallery.  One vote opposed, Councilmember Schorzman.  Motion carried.

Resolution No. 2008-17 – Establishing certain policies and procedures for authorizing issuance of payments :   Mayor Echanove read Resolution 2008-17.  He asked council how they want to proceed.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-17.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded.  Discussion included a question by Councilmember Milano asking if the language from this resolution is consistent with the State Auditors Office.  C-T Beeson answered yes.  Motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 854 – 2009 Final Budget and Budget Message :  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to suspend the rules for reading Ordinance No. 854.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried.  Mayor Echanove explained no changes have been made since the version was handed out at the last meeting.  The impact to Palouse of the Streamline Sales Tax is still a big unknown.  He asked council how they want to proceed.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 854.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Clerk Beeson reminded the Mayor of one more ordinance to address that should probably have been considered before Resolution 2008-17.

Ordinance No. 855 – Authorizing the payment of claims or other obligations by check:   Mayor Echanove read the ordinance.  This ordinance would allow the use of checks rather than the current warrant process.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 855.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported the he is working toward getting preliminary estimates for the two pedestrian bridges across the river.  Nicole Flansburg has joined with the Little People’s Park Project and will be gathering estimates on enhancements to our walking trails.  The Little Peoples committee would like the city to look at a piece of equipment they are considering for the park.  They ask that public works review the drawing of the equipment and possible placement site.  Mayor Echanove asked when he expects to know whether or not he gets the state award for park improvements.  Councilmember Milano answered this spring.  If awarded, this grant is for 12K and will go toward providing handicap accessibility and proper groundcover.  A memorial bench has been purchased to honor Roger Marcus II and Karl E. Nelson.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
The mayor reported on the most recent Brownfields meeting.  Reuse was the focus and several ideas were mentioned including retail, housing and a combination of both.  Also mentioned were light industry, and green space.  The main focus of reuse kept going back to using the river as an asset.  There are many steps to this process and the meetings will continue every month.  Dennis Griner has put in for a $10,000 grant to involve the high school students in this process.  Steve McGehee stated that with the zoning recommendations from the planning commission, be careful to maintain a degree of flexibility since the reuse of this property has not been determined.

Mayor Echanove relayed that with a stimulus package being considered by the President-Elect, communities across the State have been asked to identify infrastructure projects that are ready to construct.  The mayor asked all present to consider what infrastructure projects are most important and ready to go.  Some of the projects mentioned included the comprehensive park plan, reconstruction of West Whitman (including the rail line), a new Public Works building and a new South Hill water reservoir.  Also mentioned was the Fisher’s Addition sewer extension project as well as basic replacement of water, sewer and storm drain systems citywide where needed.

The City received TIB award of $130,000 for H Street sidewalk project, beginning in 2009.  One of the requirements is that this project be on the city’s 6 Year Street Plan.  A public hearing will be scheduled for the next regular meeting, December 23rd.

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.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM.