Month: March 2009

March 24, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
March 24, 2009

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman.  Absent:  Mayor Echanove and Councilmember Bagott and Councilmember Snook.  Also present: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Dixie Reber.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 10, 2009.  Councilmember Milano 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.
Dixie Reber, secretary of the Planning Commission asked for clarification about the Brownfields money.  Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman explained that the city has received approval on the $200,000 Integrated Planning Grant from the Washing ton State Department of Ecology.  This grant will allow us to hire a consultant to help the city complete an integrated plan addressing the cleanup and reuse of the Palouse Producers site.  The confusion she had was on the yet unused money from the river park project; and the question of whether or not the unspent funds from that grant could be used to acquire the Palouse Producers site.  It was determined that the FCAAP program must result in an area with no infrastructure while the Ecology Brownfields program emphasizes reuse.  Allowable costs will be paid 100% by the Integrated Planning Grant up to $200,000.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal operations such as cleaning, organizing, and taking inventory.  They’ve done some road grading and are hoping to haul rock next week.  As part of the Alder St project, they’re working on a plan to replace some cross-country sewer lines to within the city’s right of ways.  They will be working with the homeowners and getting bids from material vendors.   Storm drains will go in from I to K Streets.  It’s already in the budget to do those two blocks.

The chipper pile is full again and they are scheduled to be here March 30th.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported they’re continuing to catalog nuisance yards and junk vehicles.  He will present a report to council when it’s complete.
Dixie Reber requested a clearer and more comprehensive explanation of the police department for updates to the comprehensive plan.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE:
JFB had a capital equipment improvement committee meeting.  Chief Bagott is awaiting more info on a USDA firefighters grant.  It’s a $50,000 grant that would be used to purchase about 30 sets of turnouts which include protective jackets and pants.  The ones currently being used are very outdated and unsafe by today’s standards.

The finish work is underway at the Public Safety Building for its dedication ceremony on May 21st.

The CPR/First Aid renewal exam was held so everyone is now up-to-date.

Rick Wekenman spoke with Chief Bagott regarding the potential cost for the operator of the chipper.  Chief Bagott feels it’s a good investment in regards to the reduction of nuisance fire calls and cleaner air.

NEW BUSINESS:
Chamber is not doing the city wide spring clean-up this year.

Preparation has started for the annual WSU/UI Bike Race on April 25th.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported we’ve been approved for the DOE grant for improvements to the compost facility.  It was previously decided that a bobcat tractor and compost thermometer would be the most needed improvements.  The paperwork is underway.

Dixie Reber stated that the public hearing for the proposed zoning changes will be April 27th, 7:00 pm at City Hall.  Notices will go out through City Hall.

PERSONNEL & POOL:   We will begin to advertise for a new pool manager.  Once selected, the manager will put together a lifeguard staff.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Supt. Griffin reported that the engineers have begun their work on H Street for the new sidewalk project.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:40 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid     1168-1188       $11,567.53

March 10, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
March 10, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott (7:30); Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; & Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Andy O’Neill & Jeff Snook.  Also present: City Clerk Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; WWTP Operator Don Myott; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Pete Hertz; Guy Gregory, WDOE; Jerry Fairley, UI/Hydrology; Ryan Pouyea, UI/Hydrology; Roger Marcus; Kent Keller.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 24, 2009.  Councilmember Milano 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.
Norm Schorzman, representing the Palouse Arts Council, presented an application to the council for approval to serve beer and wine at the St. Paddy’s Day event at the Grange Hall.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED and Councilmember Milano seconded approving a liquor application for the Palouse Arts Council St. Paddy’s celebration.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported PW staff attended a compost conference.  It’s important that we get a composting thermometer to check the inner core.  Don attended some classes to keep up his sewer license.  Otherwise it has been normal winter work.

Pete Hertz reported that the county may have to start charging the communities for the salary of the chipper operator.   It would be roughly $150/month on the high end.  If it comes to that, council agreed that they would continue to support the program.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann distributed the February police log (always available for viewing at www.visitpalouse.com ).

Blockwatch is donating $75 toward the flag safety crossing on Bridge & Main which should be done by spring.

Chief Neumann reported that he continues to research the possibility of an ordinance regarding long-term vehicle parking on city right-of-ways that do not abut your own property.  Perhaps an amendment to our abandoned vehicle ordinance would alleviate the problem.  He will continue to investigate solutions.

NEW BUSINESS:
Selection of engineer for H Street Project:   Chairperson Bagott explained we went through the Requests for Qualifications process.  From those we received, the city then selected three to interview.  It was a difficult decision to make.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to award the contract for the H Street Project to MD+A and authorize the Mayor to sign that contract on the city’s behalf.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded.  The three firms interviewed were TD+H, MD+A, and USKH.  On a TIB-based project, we cannot negotiate a price when we’re interviewing them.  TIB has an allowable amount and the engineers typically go right to that number.  Councilmember Wekenman reiterated the consistency factor when having the same engineer working on different street projects in Palouse and having that consistent appearance when going from one project to the next.  MD+A indicated if his firm is selected, he’d need input as to how wide we want that road.  Engineer Daud talked about designing the sidewalk based on the road, not doing the sidewalk then doing the road.  He will work with Dwayne and the school.  Councilmember Bailey pointed out that H Street is probably the 2nd most traveled street in our town.  Motion carried unanimously.

Award Bid for Pool Boiler:   We have some inconsistencies in the bids so we need to contact the bidders and make sure we’re comparing apples to apples.  The current boiler is 37 years old so there will definitely be energy savings with the new boiler.

Scientific observation on city wells – Guy Gregory, Washington Dept. of Ecology (WDOE), spoke about recent observations from the data logger at Well #3.  There are data loggers in both wells.  One was purchased by the city and one by WDOE.  The data loggers provide temperature and water depth information.  Guy Gregory had observed some unusual temperature readings at Well #3.  The data from Well #1 showed very similar temperature fluctuations.  The Department of Health regulates pollutants and requires periodic testing.  All tests have been satisfactory and no health hazards are present.  The scientific community along with WDOE and DOH will continue to observe the wells.

OLD BUSINESS:
Brownfields update.   Mayor was notified last Friday that the city was awarded the $200,000 Integrated Planning Grant.  Mayor recommends, pending the official paper work, having the Brownfields Committee select an environmental engineer.  We’ll have to get all the rules and regulations that come with the grant.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported our bridge and trail application was not submitted due to a conflict of funding sources.  We can’t match fed money with fed money per the national scenic byway grant rules so we’ll have to wait until 2010 to submit that.

We’re ready to go on the Recreation Conservation Office project.  We need to have that all ready by April.

Mayor publicly thanked Mike for all the work on the scenic byway grant.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported on the PC.  They moved their meeting dates to the 4th Monday of the month.  We’ve discovered specific steps we need to take on the zoning.  PC has to announce their public hearing first and then city council will hold one.  We’re looking at April at the earliest.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott reported she spoke with Bev Fox regarding H Street concerns the school may have.  Her only concern with the project is the entrance to Little Sprouts.  DB heard back from TIB regarding crossing the highway.  There is a list we can get on for crosswalks and signage.  Once the snow clears she’ll get some pictures etc.  There’s definite progress being made but it takes time.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:33 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     1141-1167       $3,919.32