Month: August 2010

August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent: Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Connie Newman; Jon Fleischman; Dave Tharp; Doug Willcox; David Mayhan; Steve McGehee.

Councilmember Zehm MOVED , seconded by Councilman Milano to excuse Rick and Jeff from tonight’s council meeting.  Motion carried unanimously. 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Under the open forum, Mayor amended the minutes to say the following:  “…there are houses in town with the opposite problem…”  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 10, 2010, as amended.  Councilmember Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

The pool is closed.  They will make the pool restrooms available for Palouse Days again this year.
The temporary summer position has been a great help with getting caught up.
In regards to the water pressure complaint on the South Hill, Supt. Griffin went around with a gauge and checked the pressure at the various meters.  The pressure averages about 35 psi when the pump is not running and about 45 psi when the pump is running.  While a water reservoir on south hill would certainly increase their water pressure, funding for the project is years out.  Supt. Griffin said the homeowners have a responsibility to do what needs to be done on their end to be able to maintain the same water pressure to their home and yard that is available at the meter.

Because of a shortage of striping paint, the crosswalks and parking lines probably won’t be done by Palouse Day.

Supt. Griffin requested permission to surplus the 1987 ½ ton Dodge Pick-up and two utility tool boxes.  The city purchased the pick-up new in 1987.  It needs some work.  The two utility tool boxes are in excellent condition but they no longer have a need for them.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilman Milano to surplus the 1987 Dodge Pick Up and two utility boxes.  Closing date for sealed bids is Sept. 13, at 5 pm.  Bids will be opened & awarded at Sept. 14th council meeting.

Resolution 2010-17:  Fire District #4 membership in the CIAW .  Steve Witthuhn of AIA Insurance reported that the insurance pool through CIAW of which the city is a member will no longer allow the Fire Board as an associate member.  This is now a requirement for all associate members across the state.  The JFB must join the insurance pool as a separate entity from the city.  The Joint Fire & EMS Board voted to become a member of the CIAW insurance pool so they could renew their policy.  If this doesn’t pass, the FD will have to find other insurance for coverage beginning September, 2011.  Steve Witthuhn asked that the resolution before council (2010-17) be tabled because the language may need to be corrected.  On a related matter, the assessment handed from the state auditor’s office does not affect the JFB.  The city can expect to pay, over the next 3 years, 3% of the premium paid for the years of 2004 through 2006.  Resolution No. 2010-17 was tabled.

Resolution No. 2010-16:   Amending the 2010 fee schedule to include an RV Park Weekly Rate.  Last meeting, council approved a weekly RV rate of $150.00 (includes tax) and asked that the fee schedule be amended.  Councilman Schorzman stated that he has heard from potential patrons that our daily rate of $25 is too high.  He wants a committee meeting to discuss this before adopting the amended fee schedule.  Resolution No. 2010-16 was tabled.


Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair :
Councilmember Floyd is concerned with speeders on Union & Bluff Streets.  He recommends putting up stop signs about every other block along both Union and Bluff streets.  Supt. Griffin said Union Street is a main arterial street on south hill and the placement of stop signs could be an issue for many residents.  Cecil would like to research this and gather input from council, police dept. and public works.  He will have a report at the next meeting.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Councilmember Milano wants a meeting with his committee.  There are several finance issues that should be addressed.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Regarding the Water System Plan (WSP).  The WSP will be a long-term project which we will seek external help with.  Atty. Bishop clarified that Palouse isn’t alone in its lack of a water system plan.  Small towns and cities across the state don’t have water plans because of their huge expense.  Tekoa just finished theirs and it was in excess of $50,000.

In the short term the city needs to adopt a Service Extension Policy (SEP).  The SEP will make the process very predictable for anyone who wants water/sewer, whether it’s to 1 or 100 hook ups.  City Attorney Bishop has begun the work on Palouse’s SEP but he would like some technical assistance from an engineer he has worked with on similar projects.  He estimates the engineer’s fee for this at around $1,000; if more, he would hold off and run it by council.  Stephen clarified that he can do this without the advisement of the civil engineer but that the policy would not be as comprehensive.  Councilmember Zehm asked Joyce how it fits into our budget.  Currently, WCI fund has a balance of $13,000.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to allow Attorney Bishop to pursue technical advisement from an engineer of his choice for our service extension policy, spending up to $1,000.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

– Mayor Echanove would like to put together a water/sewer committee, not unlike the Brownfields Committee.  He would like it comprised of Fire Chief Bagott, Supt. Griffin, Doug Willcox, Andy O’Neill, Atty. Bishop, and local citizens.  W/S has a lot of important things going on right now:  the SEP, the WSP, the rate study, etc.

– Doug Willcox reported MFA conducted additional sampling and continues to work on their site analysis with DOE.  Reminding council that about 2 months ago we secured that extra $48k grant funding that allows a more thorough analysis.  Since then, MFA has gained a more specific understanding of the contamination and potential cleanup strategies that will be looked at.  This new work reduces the risk the city will have if acquiring the property.  Atty. Bishop stated that the city really needs to know what’s under there before taking title of the property.  The additional testing this grant allowed eased his worries greatly about the potential of finding large amounts of unforeseen contamination in the cleanup process.  Once testing at the river’s edge is done, MFA can move forward to data analysis and study of cleanup options.

– There have been three interested parties for the Planning Commission.  The Mayor was able to confirm interest with only one of the interested parties.  The Mayor then appointed Chris Hallan to one of the vacant positions on the PC.  He will appoint the second person once he has confirmed their interest in serving.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilman Milano, confirming the Mayor’s appointment of Chris Hallan to the Planning Commission.  Two people from the audience vouched for Chris as a good person for the position.

– At the last council meeting, Jim Farr requested access off of Fairview and through city owned land to his property, and council voted to approve, instructing Atty. Bishop to prepare an Easement for Access and Utilities.  Bishop presented the document to the Mayor and he read it aloud.  Once signed, it will go to Nicole Wood to be filed with the county if she chooses to.  Bishop stated that because just a driveway access has been requested, the specifications for opening a city street do not apply.  The mayor reported to council that just this week, Mr. Farr has requested that instead of a driveway access, he would like to open a city street.  After discussion it was decided that a north-south street is not platted where the access is requested.  The mayor requested approval from council to move forward by signing the easement that Atty. Bishop prepared.  For clarity it was stated that the sewer extension will come from the existing wye, and extended across city property.  Once the extension is complete and accepted by the city, it will be owned and maintained by the city.  Councilmember Floyd MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the Easement for Access and Utilities as originally requested by Jim Farr.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

– Jim Farr also left some pictures of the rock pit for council to look at.  The mayor stated that his issue was discussed over a year ago and it was determined that the city has no involvement in the matter.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Schorzman 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 Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:31 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid      Ck. No. 2452 – 2479 & EFT         $49,359.29
VOIDED           Ck. No. 2469
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2511 – 2531                  $  5,744.50


APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________


August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:09 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Mike Milano; Rick Wekenman; & Doug Willcox.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Jeslyn Lemke, David Lee, Sean Colligan, Nicole Wood, Doug Willcox, Bruce Beeson, Bev Pearce, Jon Fleischman, David Mayhan, Dixie Reber, Patti Green-Kent.

Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Floyd to excuse the absences of Councilmembers Wekenman and Milano.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Mayor stated he would speak of Councilman Marcus later.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 27, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

David Mayhan claimed the Mayor allowed Chief Neumann of the Palouse PD to violate his son’s rights when they trespassed him from the Palouse Park due to his criminal activity there.  Mayor Echanove stated he has no update or further comment.

David Lee reminded council of the low water pressure issue on certain areas of the South Hill.  There are times when the pressure is adequate and then it goes away.  Mayor explained this issue is a reflection of the 100 year old water reservoir on the North Hill which needs to be replaced.  One solution is to put in a new reservoir past the cemetery but this would be upwards of $500,000.  In 2009 the city submitted that project for some federal stimulus money but didn’t get it.  Supt. Griffin said the highs and lows in water pressure up there are due to usage; that whole area is gravity flow.  We’re not in any violation of DOH codes.  Councilmember Zehm asked if the reservoir is the only option or just the best option.  Mayor said the pressure is not uniform; there’s a house up there with the opposite problem – too much pressure.  Doug Willcox said homeowners can buy a booster pump that will take minimal supply pressure and boost it up to a suitable pressure.  Engineering work needs to be done to study this storage issue on the south hill.    

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Public Works completed their construction work at the flat house; Woltering Construction has poured the walls.  Our extra helper is working and doing a great job.  We trimmed trees on school bus routes.  Chipper was here last week.  Pool is going well; park is busy.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief submitted the police log.
Chief also submitted a sample Seattle park policy that he will use in writing Palouse’s park policies regarding regulations for park use.  Dave Mayhan argued that the Chief can’t compare Palouse Park rules with a city like Seattle.

Regarding the wedding at the park with alcohol, there were no incidences and the area was cleaned up afterward.  We may want to regulate music, perhaps not allowing amplified music after 9:00 pm.

Patti Green Kent spoke on behalf of Nicole Wood’s land-related issues.  She asked when the city is going to adopt guidelines for service extensions.  Mayor agrees on the need for a policy.  However, the city has worked very hard with Nicole Wood and her agents, for the last 2.5 years.  Patti stated that other people have been allowed to install water service to their property with more than one platted lot.  The Mayor reminded Patti and council that the four city blocks were talking about has requested several services, not just one like the Kessler’s did.  He then showed actual requests from them and the city responses.  The mayor also reminded everyone of a meeting with the DOH on December 11, 2009 and another workshop meeting on 2/16/2010 attended by both Patti and John Eastburn.  It was made clear everything that was needed to develop that land.  Mr. Eastburn followed up with a letter stating his understanding of what needed to be done and that Munir Daud would be contacted to begin the plan.  They have been told numerous times that they have to have an engineered water plan.  Having a water system plan would make it easier and probably cheaper for the engineer, but it still must be done and submitted to DOH for approval whenever more than one service is called for.

The water system plan will provide for a main line system and when a developer has questions, there will be something on paper to hand them.  Patti stated that Nicole wants to sell a couple parcels; she’s not acting as a developer.  Mayor responded that she doesn’t have to develop it, but before development begins the water plan must be approved by the city and DOH.

A Waster System Plan is an overall hydraulic analysis that goes into our general approval plan from DOH.  A Service Extension Policy spells out requirements in detail such as sizes of pipe, type and brand of meters and other specific requirements such as engineering.
Councilmember Zehm read aloud, at her request, a letter from Nicole Wood.  In it she discusses her dissatisfaction with the water/sewer issues with her property.

Private driveway approval for Jim Farr :  Jim Farr wants approval for a private driveway from Fairview across the newly acquired City rock pit property as indicated in yellow on map.  Bruce Beeson suggested the city needs a legal description and shouldn’t have to pay for it.  Mayor recommends a motion that we approve access across the city property to the rock pit pending legal description from Atty Bishop.  Specifics of access will be in attorney’s paperwork.  If Stephen Bishop will do it under retainer, the city will do it; otherwise the applicant pays for it.  The city has road specs that need to be followed if it is for a street opening.  Councilmember Zehm MOVED to send to attorney for development, an agreement for access off of Fairview and through city owned property as requested by Jim Farr, understanding any legal costs will be assessed to Jim Farr.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded.  Councilmember Zehm amended, second by Councilmember Schorzman, to learn of any associated costs beforehand and if so, signed approval from Jim Farr prior to agreement.

2nd Quarter Treasurer’s Report
After 6 months, we’ve only spent 32.6% of our budget which is great.  Everyone is cutting costs as much as possible.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Floyd, to adopt the 2nd Q Treasurer’s Report.  Motion carried unanimously.

RV Park – weekly rate fees :  There was discussion on having a weekly rate at the park to encourage RV’ers to stay a few extra days.  City Hall gets frequent requests for a weekly rate.  After discussion, Councilmember Snook MOVED to amend the fee schedule to include a $150 weekly (seven nights) RV rate.  The current charge is $175.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Utility Service Extension Policy – It is clear this needs to be done ASAP.  We will work through Stephen Bishop using a policy that he has already given an extensive legal review and was drafted by an engineer for technical information.  We could make fast work of this at no great cost to the city.  First call is to Stephen to put him on the mission.  Councilmember Floyd MOVED to proceed with writing the Service Extension Policy.  Councilmember Zehm seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Small System Water Plan – This item, on the other hand, is not done either quickly or cheaply.  The cost projection is $35-$50 k.  We can spread the process out over time to make it more affordable.  Once adopted and approved it must be updated every 5 years.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to begin the selection process for professional services to develop a water system plan for the city.  Councilmember Floyd seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Doug Willcox reported MFA will be here Thursday for a meeting to discuss the preliminary conclusions of the on site sampling just completed.

Mayor has received interest from a couple candidates for the Planning Commission.  He is not prepared to make a selection.

Mayor read aloud a letter from Councilmember Marcus.  He has to regretfully resign due to a very serious medical condition.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , second by Councilmember Schorzman to accept the resignation of Councilmember Marcus.  Mayor asked Ann to put out a call for applicants for a new councilmember, due by 5:00 p.m August 31st.  Water and Sewer Committee is now going to need a strong chairman or chairwoman.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:18 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2480 – 2510      $66,346.47
VOIDED           Ck. No. 2486


APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________