Month: October 2009

October 27, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
October 27, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Rick Wekenman.  Absent: Andy O’Neill.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joe Merry; City Attorney Stephen Bishop (7:22); Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present:  Nathan Kite, Linda Snook, Tyler Barstow, Mary Rothlisberger, Tiana Gregg, Emmy Gregg, Jon Fleischman, Tracy Milano.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman added the word “mower” behind John Deere in the finance report.  Councilmember Bagott  MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 13, 2009 as amended.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Bailey MOVED to excuse Mayor Echanove and Councilmember O’Neill from the last meeting (10/13/09).  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:     Supt. Griffin reported the H St and Alder St storm drain systems are working great.  Currently they are picking up leaves, preparing for snow and working on the 300’ water extension to Kessler’s.  Councilmember Snook asked if a snow removal policy is necessary and Griffin said yes.  Councilmember Bagott said she would begin to develop a policy through the Street & Sidewalk committee.  Mayor Echanove asked how much is budgeted for the 1-Ton replacement in 2010.  It was determined that $20-$25K is in the budget for all costs of the purchase including retrofitting to their needs.  Mayor pointed out how important the 1-Ton is in the operations of Public Works.  It is especially run hard during the snow season.  Council asked if repairs have been made to the North Hill water reservoir.  No repairs have been made.  Mayor pointed out that the reservoir is over 100 years old and we should continue to look into available funding for the South Hill reservoir.

POLICE REPORT :   Haunted Palouse is going well, with no incidents to report.

Red Ribbon week is underway at the school with grades 1 – 5 participating.  Chief Neumann explained that Red Ribbon Week was started in 1985 to honor a DEA agent killed in the line of duty.  It is a national program that goes into schools to explain about the dangers of using drugs.

Mayor asked if RV Park operations are going good.  PD and Public Works both answered yes.  Councilmember Milano said that during winter months perhaps the outside water should not re available to use.  Information is going out that reservations will not be taken after mid November until early next spring.  He also reported that thanks to a donation by Jim & Ruth Cochran, a tree planting program will begin at the RV Park next spring.  Councilmember Milano suggested that the city match the $500 donation in the 2010 budget.  Mayor Echanove asked and it was confirmed that the tree trimming program at the City Park will continue in the 2010 budget.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS :  Councilmember Wekenman reported they are under budget for 2009.  There were two fire calls in September.  No word on their grant application.  He also reported that they need storage for the old Dodge fire truck.  They would like to keep it in good condition for use in parades.  The EMS had 5 calls in September with a total of 51 YTD.   Curtis Arrasmith will be honored November 16, 7:00 pm at the Public Safety Building, for his services throughout town.

NEW BUSINESS :  Q-3 Treasurer’s Report
Clerk-Treasurer Beeson provided copies of the third quarter treasurer’s report, and spoiled check register.  It was reported that no budget amendments are anticipated between now and the end on the year.  With all departments being frugal, most funds are running well under budget.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to accept the Q-3 Treasurer’s Report.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings :  Councilmember Milano reported that Palouse Conservation is having a tree planting day.  There are about 50 trees ready to plant to replace the ones that have died or were destroyed by beavers. 

Policy & Administration :  Councilmember Bailey reported that the Planning Commission (PC) met with no quorum.  Title17 – Zoning is getting close to being ready to present.  Attorney Bishop explained that the PC will need to hold a Public Hearing on the changes to Title 17.  They can make changes based on the hearing or send it on to council.  Council may then recommend changes to the PC or have a public hearing before it is adopted as an ordinance.

Streets & Sidewalks Councilmember Bagott will begin working on a snow plowing policy.   Mayor Echanove reported that TIB requests a dedication ceremony for the H St. project.  They will set this up through Commissioner Partch.

Police, Fire, & Safety:   Mayor Echanove explained to council that due to the resignation of Anne Larison to the Civil Service Commission (CSC), he reviewed the original letters of interest and contacted Lynn Youngblood.  Lynn stated he would still accept an appointment to the CSC.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to reaffirm the Mayor’s appointment of Lynn Youngblood to the Palouse Civil Service Commission.   Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :    Mayor Echanove reported he attended and gave a presentation at the Washington Brownfields conference.  The Brownfields public meeting was a huge success and MFA continue to formulate strategies.  They are planning to take core samples at the site.

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

From the gallery, Jon Fleischman suggested that we use the reader board and newspapers to remind people to license their dogs for 2010.

Councilmember Bailey reported that Governor Christine Gregoire recommended a 94 million dollar project to the Federal government for funding through the Broadband Stimulus program.  This will run fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure to all the communities in Whitman County where there are Whitman County library branches, as well as other rural areas throughout the state.  This project is a collaboration between NOANET (Northwest Open Access Network), the Port of Whitman, and Whitman County Library.  In addition, the Gates Foundation has pledged to contribute Whitman County Library’s match portion.

Initially, this new infrastructure will serve the Library system but there will be adequate capacity to carry both public and private phone, television, and data.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook  seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid     Ck# 1775 – 1786        $6,795.97

October 13, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
October 13, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; & Jeff Snook..  Absent:  Mayor Echanove (out of town) and Councilmember Andy O’Neill.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  John Eastburn; Jon Fleischman; Randy Zehm; Dixie Reber; Chris Lowe; Steve McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 22, 2009.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin reported they finished installing new w/s service to the new build on Union Street (Habitat for Humanity home).  The chipper was here last week and is coming again on the 20th.  The unstable city siren has been repaired.  The crew has been repairing water leaks.  The city water reservoir on the North hill is leaking and they are in the process of determining what needs to be done.  The reservoir is very old but it is steel lined.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann reported he is participating in a training which will allow him to give instruction to Boy Scouts and 4-H kids who are interested in learning firearm safety.  Councilmember Bailey asked whether this training will substitute for hunter safety for those kids who aren’t interested in hunting, just in shooting trap.  Chief Neumann will look into that.

There have been a number of complaints recently about signs being posted on power poles.  Chief reminds residents that it is actually a misdemeanor to put anything on power poles.

Chief Neumann did a Haunted Shady Lane dry run with the Lions Club and it went really well.

JFB REPORT:   Rick Wekenman reported there have been 20 YTD fire calls compared to 15 last year at this time.  Total EMS calls YTD 46, up a few from last year.  EMS is going to probably spend about $1,800 in “abnormal” purchases before the end of the year.  The FD isn’t projecting any unusual expenses thru the end of the year.  The training trailer was at the school teaching kids what to do in case there is a house fire.

NEW BUSINESS :
Regarding water service in Breeding’s Addition, Mark Bailey reported we need to give permission to Jack Nagle to work in the right of ways of 8th and D Streets to provide 2” water service to the NE corner of 8th and D.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to allow Jack Nagle to excavate and install a 2” water line to the NE corner of D & 8th.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Bailey reported that the Mayor would like MD&A to develop an engineered plan for 6” water distribution system for the area being developed in Breeding’s Addition.  The engineer will work with the Dept. of Health (DOH) for approval.  Munir thinks he can have that engineering done in less than two weeks at an estimated cost of $1,500 – $2,000.  It is unknown how long DOH approval will take, but in the meantime estimates can be put together for individual properties.  The city cannot approve 2” single service lines anywhere and everywhere leaving other lots with no route for getting water.  Clerk Beeson stated that MDA is so familiar with the rock and the elevations in this area.  We don’t have to go to bid if it’s under $7,500.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to approve MDA to develop an engineered plan for a 6” water distribution system, not to exceed $2,000.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

John Eastburn asked what it would take to get a work order to get the process moving along to hook into the city 6” line on 9th Street.  Supt. Griffin will meet with John this week to discuss the specifics.  John’s project will be a ½ day project for public works.

Steve McGehee asked if the city is no longer liable to bring water to the property.  Councilmember Bailey clarified that we are only having the engineering done.  It will still be up to the property owners to get the work done.  Right now the city is just trying to get a consistent plan.  The work Jack Nagle will be doing is a 2” line which will only serve one home.  There are three issues in developing that property:  water service, fire hydrant, and right-of-way issues.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT :  The biggest change in the general fund will be adding the 6% w/s utility tax.  The 6% applies to the $21 sewer charge which amounts to $1.26, plus 6% on water usage including overage.  The ordinance is already in Palouse’s code from the year 2000, but it has never been implemented.  City hall will put together some numbers on what the charges will be on an average water/sewer bill and email it to the city’s listserve and also put it in the Boomerang.  Mayor Echanove recommends a public hearing on the issue.  Councilmember Bailey suggested the hearing be held the same night as the preliminary budget meeting (Nov. 10) so that people can hear/learn the reasons why the city needs to implement the tax.  Mark explained “if inflation goes up 3% a year and property taxes can only go up 1%, we need to offset those revenue losses.”  Steve McGehee commented that the city could spend less.  Councilmember Bailey responded that the city has been very slim since 2000 and there’s not a lot of fat there.

Preliminary budget hearing will be Nov. 10 and the public hearing for the final budget will be Nov. 24th.  The final budget will be presented to adopt on December 8th.  The only request to the budget is to replace the one-ton pick-up (city’s snow plow) in 2010.  Councilmember Schorzman brought up having a snow plow policy which would set a minimum accumulation of snow required before public works plows.  Supt. Griffin agreed that a policy for plowing is a good idea.

The John Deere needs to be replaced in 2011 (it has over 1,000 hours on it already).

There was discussion on raising the costs for dog licenses from $5 to $10 for spayed/neutered, and from $10 to $20 for not spayed/neutered.  It would help offset the cost of the contract with the Whitman Co. Humane Society to allow us to take loose dogs over there.  John Fleischman disagrees with raising the fees and basically subsidizing those who don’t pay to license their dogs.  He argued that our fees would be higher than Pullman’s.  Councilmember Bailey explained that we need to compare everything and that Pullman can charge less for pet licenses because their property tax is MUCH higher than Palouse’s.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Councilmember Bailey has no news on the Red Flag policy regarding Identity Theft.  It will be reviewed and emailed out to council.

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 Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid     1695-1713 & 1726-1731         $41,924.35
Voided             1714-1725
Claims Paid     1732-1774                               $83,506.73