Month: February 2010

February 23, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
February 23, 2010

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Brian Dentler; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Mark Bailey; Scott Beeson; Bev Pearce; Doug Willcox; Tracy Milano; Pete Hertz; Scott Ellsworth; Greg Pearce; Bruce Reim of Canfield & Associates.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 9, 2010.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Mark Bailey – Google fiber to the home application :  Whitman County Library, in conjunction with NoaNet and the Port of Whitman, has applied for a federal grant to get fiber optics to every city with a library in Whitman County.  There is a high likelihood that this will be awarded.  The problem is once it gets to town, then what?  How do we utilize the fiber in the community beyond just the Library?  Google announced they are accepting applications for trial cities where they will install fiber to the home that will be able to provide gigabit Internet access as well as TV and phone services.  Mark is willing to work on the application, and act as the liaison, but needs council authorization.  The application would be coming from the city itself.  The deadline is March 26.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED and Councilmember Marcus seconded to appoint Mark Bailey as the liaison between the city and Google.  He won’t be making decisions but will be answering questions.  He will need some additional help later on, possibly from the Chamber and the Planning Commission.  Councilmember Bagott suggested Mark contact the Fire Chief for his input.  There will be no out-of-pocket expenses.  Motion carried unanimously.

Scott Beeson with Palouse Lions Club – asked for council’s permission to use Shady Lane for Haunted Palouse again this year.  Supt. Griffin said the Lions did a great job with clean up/maintenance afterward.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED , second by Zehm approving the use of Shady Lane by the Lions Club for Haunted Palouse.  Motion carried unanimously.

Scott Beeson with Palouse Community Center – asked for council’s permission to have the beer garden again at the Bluegrass Festival.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the beer garden, seconded by Councilmember Snook.  Scott believes it will be in the same location and same size as last year.  Chief Neumann said there were no problems.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  PW chipped last week and it’s already half full again.  They chipped using a chipper rented for the day from Hahn.  This chipper took all day and all three PW employees.  It was money well spent though because they learned what will and won’t work.  We have options:  renting Garfield’s or contracting with the county.  The Hahn rental chipper was a 9”, Garfield’s is 12” and the county chipper is 14”.  Supt. Griffin would like to watch the Garfield chipper work.  We can sign the county’s agreement and not ever use it; it just gives us the option.  Supt. Griffin wants to figure out how we’re going to pay for it, regardless of what option we choose.  If we’re going to start charging for permits, we need to get it on our fee schedule.  The permit fee will apply to the compost facility as well; both take man hours and work.  Educating the public is going to be difficult; that their permits are no longer valid and they now have to pay.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , and Councilmember Zehm seconded authorizing staff to prepare the proper documentation to charge for the use of our compost/chipper facility.  This process will be learning experience.   Questions asked – How will it be monitored, and what will the punishment be should someone violate the use?  Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT :  The spring bike safety rodeo at the school will be in April; he will spend approximately $350 on helmets benefitting both Garfield and Palouse school children.  The police motorcycle went into service today.

JFB REPORT :  Jeff Snook reported FD had three calls.  No news on the grant.  Some of the radios have been replaced through their update program to the new narrow band.

BROWNFIELDS UPDATE :  Doug Willcox – No new committee activity since last month.  MFA is continuing with the three parts of this phase – Site investigation in preparation for the clean-up; Reuse – economic development study; Clean-up plan – A 190 page work plan was submitted to him for review and mid April MFA will be on site for analytical work toward this cleanup plan.  The committee is involved in an expanded economic development study that involves site clean-up, reuse design, and access to the river and riparian development.  This whole process with Ecology and MFA is leading into other project possibilities.  A professor at WSU would like his class to do a riparian study and design.  Property owner Chris Boyd has asked that his river property be included in this class study.  March 3rd is the next committee meeting.

NEW BUSINESS :
Award Little People’s Park Project bids for ADA pathway :  Councilmember Milano went over the bids received.  Motley & Motley $4,650 + $2,900 add on for flood damage; Poe Asphalt $6,700; Spokane Rock $17,900 + $4,600 for flood damage; Woltering Concrete $5,250 + $1,800 for flood damage.  Councilmember MOVED and Councilmember Schorzman seconded to award Woltering Concrete the ADA pathway project.  All the money comes/came from private donations to the Little People’s Park Project.  The whole expenditure will be through the city with a grant covering $12,000, and the remaining balance will be donated directly to the city from the LPPP.  The only cost to the city will be for public works labor to remove sod.  Motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Milano said with their extra money they might put in some solar powered security lighting.

Award Little People’s Park Project bids for play structure :  Councilmember Milano went over the bids received:  Sitelines $19,374.88; Cascade Recreation $30,962.32; Northwest Playground $26,400.22; Pacific Outdoor Products option #1 $19,198.21; Pacific Outdoor Products option #2 $19,123.94; Playscapes $19,894.06.  Northwest Playground Equipment met the criteria of the Little Peoples Park Committee (LPPC).  Councilmember Milano MOVED to accept Northwest Playground Equipment’s bid of $26,400.22.  Councilmember Marcus seconded.  Appearance was the primary reason from the selection committee; the structure fits best in the park.  Warranty also was a big factor.  Price includes installation, freight, ADA engineered fall zone fiber.  Even though the bid from NW Playground Eq. was not the lowest, it was clearly the best choice as recommended from the LPPC.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 866 – Budget Amendment to RCO Park Project :  Mayor read the ordinance in its entirety.  Amends the 2010 annual budget to Fund 315 Park Improvement Reserve fund as follows:  Increase the estimated revenues for park donations to reflect private contributions from the Little People’s Park Project (LPPP).  It also increases Capital Outlay Playground to allow for increased costs associated with park playground equipment and ADA pathway.  The state will not allow us to spend more than we have budgeted and the LPPP now has more money than they originally had.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to suspend the rule of waiting until the next council meeting to adopt Ord. 866.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2010-03 – Water Utility Rate Study with Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC ):  Resolution No. 2010-03 is a formal request for RCAC assistance in evaluating our water utility rate and rate structure at no charge.  Councilmember Marcus explained the need to have a water system plan.  The average cost is $35,000-$40,000 so we have to table that as there are no funds/grants to assist us with that.  The city also needs a water efficiency use plan.  Andy O’Neill of RCAC is going to assist with that.  The public will be involved.  RCAC will examine our rate structure in comparison to our budget.  The regulations that are applicable to potable water supplies continue to increase regularly; meeting all the standards, etc., are the sorts of things that increase the city’s costs.  The rate study will make sure the revenue is equal to or greater than not only the cost of providing that service but also establishing a reserve fund for maintenance which we’re required to have.  This is one of the most important things we can do.  The city’s water income vs. water expenses is going to be in the red soon if this isn’t taken care of.  Councilmember Marcus MOVED to pursue a water utility rate study with RCAC as written.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :  The water/sewer committee met with John Eastburn, Doug Willcox; Patti Green Kent; Dwayne Griffin.  Doug Willcox chaired the meeting and it went very well.  Roger believes John understands what the city requires to develop Breeding’s Addition.  John has hired an engineer and their project is progressing.

The water efficiency use plan is due by July 1st and requires public input.  Andy O’Neill, RCAC, will be helping us to meet this deadline and will soon have a timeline for what council and city staff will need to do.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Whitman Co. PW Dept. bridge inspection report on F St. Bridge is available at City Hall.

Whitman Co. Library has requested an electronic letter of support for bringing the broadband fiber to the library.

Regarding the dangerous garage on Culton Street, the property owner who lives elsewhere, feels that she does not have the resources to address the situation.  Building Inspector Dan Gladwill is unsure what to do next.  He asked for council direction to either set up a timeline to either demolish or bring the structure to code, or start the process of abatement.  After discussion, it was decided that a timeline be put together which falls in line with the abatement policy.  If the city has to proceed with demolition, the homeowner will be billed and a lien will go against the property.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested putting up a fence in the mean time.

Habitat for Humanity home is way ahead of schedule.  They’re handing over the keys March 7th.  Construction of the second home will begin immediately after that.

CLERK-TREASURER’S REPORT: 
Per-diem policy:  Clerk Beeson explained that the policy committee needs to meet to address the city’s outdated/inaccurate per-diem policy.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     Ck #2083-#2101         $52,785.19
Payroll Paid

February 9, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
February 9, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Darcie Bagott; Norm Schorzman. Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Bev Pearce, Pete Hertz, Tracy Milano, Mary Estes, Tim Jones, Jeslyn Lemke, Greg Partch.

Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse the three absent councilmembers.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 26, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   In addition to his written report, Supt. Griffin reported that they are renting a chipper from Hahn Rental for $200/day for one day to test our options.  Public Works feel like the county offer is the best value for them at $55/hour + travel time, the fuel, and a county worker.  The county isn’t trying to make money, just recoup their costs of maintaining the machine and keep the program running.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann submitted the January activity log.  The PD purchased a new copier; the lower cost of the ink for the new copier will pay for itself within a few months.  The Union Street speed limit signs have been ordered.

TREASURER’S REPORT 2009 Treasurer’s Report.  Clerk-Treasurer Beeson submitted written report and added a draft copy of the 2009 narrative financial report for CE, which will eventually include all funds.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the treasurer’s report as presented.  Councilmember Marcus seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS :
Whitman County Commissioner Update :  Commissioner Partch reported that TIB is funded by $.03 of every gas tax dollar.  With normal income around 80 million a year, this year it’s at about 60 million.  They did have to cancel some projects but currently are holding their own.

The county had a difficult budget year but is okay, with no lay-offs.  If I-1033 had passed, things would have been worse.  They are still maintaining decent reserves.

There are a number of committee volunteer openings if anyone from Palouse is interested, particularly the county planning commission.    

Planning Commission Reappointments : Jay Iverson and Corey Laughary’s terms have expired and they would like to continue.  The mayor recommended their reappointments.   Councilmember Snook MOVED and Councilmember Zehm seconded to reappoint Jay Iverson and Corey Laughary to the Palouse Planning Commission.  Motion carried unanimously.  Mike Sanderson stepped down from the PC thus leaving an opening.  The city received interest from two individuals.   The mayor recommended the appointment of Mary Estes to the position.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Zehm seconded the appointment of Mary Estes to the Planning Commission.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Planning Commission is currently reviewing zoning and the comprehensive plan.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings:   Milano reported that he is looking into a Byways grant and a state RCO grant for the pedestrian bridge project.  He will see if the match money certification will allow us to apply for both grants for the project.

Mary Estes will be shopping for trees for the RV Park, using donated money.  Mary said we can plant anytime the city staff is ready.

Water & Sewer :  Roger reported the city is in the process of developing a small city water plan.  They are looking into having a rate study done also for water and sewer.  If Palouse continues as is, we will be operating in the red as rates have not kept up with inflation.  The w/s committee, Supt. Griffin, Clerk Beeson, and Doug Willcox met to discuss the water plan and the Breeding’s Addition request for a 2” line.        

MAYOR’S REPORT:    
A WSU professor contacted MFA to see if his class of 22 students could use the river walk project, (Brownfields area, Shady Lane, the river, the Lions Club Park and City Park) as a class project, making conceptual designs, etc.

This spring there is going to be a Japanese miniseries filmed outside of Palouse.  A majority of the filming is taking place at Gary Kendall’s ranch.  The cast and production company will be in Palouse in April.  Locals are involved in props, animals, catering, etc.

Brownfields Update, Economic development – The mayor reported on a great meeting involving the community in this phase of the project.  About 20 people attended.  Doug Willcox gave a full report at the last meeting.

Councilmember Snook and Mayor Echanove attended the legislative conference in Olympia.

Mr. Farr filed a complaint to the State Auditor about the city.  They will review his concerns when they do our city audit later this year.

We received 4 public records requests this week from Jim Farr along with a complaint against the Planning Commission.  Corey Laughary and Mark Bailey both submitted written responses.  All of these are public record and available by contacting City Hall.

Susan Fagan’s bill to charge for PRR staff time after 5 hours didn’t make it out of committee.  Approximately 30 states do charge, Washington does not.

Roger Marcus attended training in Yakima for newly elected officials.  He recommends it to all council members.

Canfield & Associates will be here Feb. 23 for a workshop.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Marcus seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     #2051 –  #2082            $10,537.87
Payroll Paid     2032 – 2049 & EFT     $38,037.31

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________