Month: February 2011

February 22, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
February 22, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:04 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; 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: Sharon Tharp; Doug Willcox, Calvin George.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 8, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Public Works have been taking classes for their CEU’s. The Dodge 1-ton transmission went out and it was a $1,000 repair. Also had to have some repairs done on the Ford’s exhaust manifold.

POLICE REPORT: Spoke with Frontier about a call box which would automatically connect to Whitcom upon pick-up, similar to Pullman’s blue boxes on campus. Still working on park rules sign; we’ve condensed them to save money and make the sign look nicer as well. Still wanting to surplus the Intrepid; the bluebook is currently around $4,000, would like to put a minimum bid of $2,000 on it. Hope to get going on that within the next couple months. Once we’re able to put that money into the vehicle fund, we’ll have about $19,000 in there and spend about $15,000, leaving a little cushion. Avista did an energy audit and they said lowering the ceiling in the PD would be a major improvement because we’re losing a lot of heat out the top. So far we’ve received two estimates to make the PD more energy-efficient.

JFB REPORT: 0 fire calls and 10 EMS calls in January. No news on the grant they put in for radios. The firefighters were fitted for their future turnouts. We came to a final agreement with Pullman on our ambulance contract. It was dually ratified by the JFB and the rural; now it’s up to us. The contract is a 3 year renewal with a change of rates. Their original proposal was 4% a year but it was amended to a 2%, 3%, & 4% increase for 2011, 2012, & 2013 respectively. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano authorizing the mayor to sign our ambulance contract with Pullman. Rural is paying $1,000 for new radios for EMS crew. Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS
Review the Water Extension Policy. W/S committee met and went over the draft WEP. We’re not prepared to discuss the details as we’re waiting for Atty. Bishop to make the recommended amendments. We will get a draft to council before next meeting and will be taking public input at that time. The policy isn’t a huge departure from the current city policy. Councilmember Newman clarified the difference between a water extension and a single water service hook-up. These distinctions need to be established and will be clearly defined in the WEP. Discussion ensued.

The other change being considered is establishing an application fee for extension of water service. There are costs every time city staff does an estimate. The original application fee being considered ranges from $100-$500. The fees serve two purposes: 1, to recover city costs; and 2, to encourage earnest requests. There will be a delicate balance between recovering costs and discouraging development.

This isn’t just a policy but procedures as well. It is three phases: Application, design, & construction. Applicants can’t move onto one without completion and approval from the city of the prior phase.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 887: Budget Amendment. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This amendment sets the budget for receipt and expenditures of the Dept of Homeland Security for the firefighter turnouts. Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 887. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Mike Milano: WSDOT responded regarding highway signs for the RV Park. We can erect them as long as we pay for and install ourselves. We can’t add to other signs; they have to stand alone.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: We are going to advertise the pool manager position next week.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Spoke with the Upper Columbia RC&D regarding renewing our dues. They are a USDA federal program and they provide technical assistance with projects and can help access grant monies. They felt like they could be of assistance in helping us find funding as well as technical assistance on our WSP. One of their focuses is collaboration among similar cities with similar projects who can work cooperatively and share resources. They offered to do a presentation to council. Councilmember Newman MOVED to renew our 2011 membership of $150.00. Seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to have Connie represent council with Upper Columbia RC&D. Motion carried unanimously.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Councilmember Milano asked council for any comments or questions regarding the 2010 year end treasurers report presented at the last meeting. He commented that city departments are managing the city money well. We’re living within our means although reserve or ending balances are still being used and there is still more work to do on the budget.

OPEN FORUM:
Sharon Tharp: Renewable Energy Group is meeting March 1st to talk about renewable energy and would like to invite council. Paul Kimmell from Avista will be there to talk about renewable energy and answer questions.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Mayor and Councilmembers Snook & Newman were in Olympia last week at AWC Legislative conference.

BOA is having a public hearing for a variance request. Heidi Kite submitted a letter of resignation from the BOA, effective immediately.

The City’s copier lease is up. We can get a new one for only about $3.01 more per month and it comes with a scanner.

Regarding the vacant council position # 3; we will put out a call for letters of interest and post about town. The deadline to submit to city hall was set for March 7th at 5:00 PM with interviews at the council meeting on the 8th.

Discussion ensued regarding whether or not to continue sending out the draft minutes to the list serve prior to council approval. Councilmember Milano MOVED to stay with our current process of distributing draft minutes, continuing to clearly mark them as “Draft Only – Without council review or approval.” Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:48 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 2964 – 2978 $10,986.04
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 2917 – 2935 & EFT $37,890.72

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

February 8, 2011

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
Without council review and approval
February 8, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:08 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Randy Zehm. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Brian Dentler; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Bruce Reim from Canfield & Associates.

Mayor read aloud Councilmember Zehm’s letter of resignation effective immediately. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED and Councilmember Newman seconded, accepting his resignation. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under “Streets & Sidewalks”, Councilmember Floyd asked that the following sentence be added: “Councilmember Floyd added that the issue for him is that the process is taking too long.” Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 25, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Councilmember Wekenman voiced his concern with liability of allowing residents to use the compost and chips.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Dentler submitted the January 2011 Activity Log.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: At the last meeting we agreed to move forward on three street projects. One of them was to submit a request to TIB to reclassify a few streets as “arterial” which has been done. The next step is to get estimates for the construction projects.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Received from Atty. Bishop today a draft of the SEP. Committee will review prior to bringing to council for adoption by resolution.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Officer Merry’s unofficial 4 year contract will be up within the next year. It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to provide pay increases, however, Officer Merry is pleased to renew an unofficial commitment for additional years. Options are being considered for a police vehicle. At this point they are still moving forward with replacing the Intrepid sometime this year and hopefully replenishing the reserve fund so we can replace police vehicles approximately every three years. Councilmember Newman asked how the motorcycle plays in for value towards purchase of new car. It was mentioned that grant money was used to purchase that cycle so there is probably some obligation to keep it. Police vehicles take a lot of beating since so many of the hours are idle hours rather than highway miles. If they are kept too long they are eventually worth nothing.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings: The Little People’s Park Project has pledged to make improvement to the cushioning under the play equipment and they are still working toward replacing some play equipment at the park.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair:
Clerk-Treasurer Beeson provided a 4th Q 2010 Treasurers Report and financial summary report narrative. She asked council to look it over and bring her any questions. Mayor commented that the costs to run the pool are approximately $15,000 a month; by delaying pool opening by two weeks last summer over $6,000 was saved. Our pool manager remarked that during that two week window, we would’ve been open only 2 days due to the poor weather.

MAYOR’S REPORT: SEWEDA gave us a copy of their county-wide recruiting video of the Palouse. Once permission is granted, he would like to distribute it.

Mayor read aloud a letter from Upper Columbia RC&D asking city to renew dues of $150 year. Councilmember Newman will investigate whether or not this would be worthwhile.

Brownfields Update – MFA sent their Assessment Report to DOE for technical review and that’s where is currently. The DOE will come back with what they would recommend as the best clean-up for that site. The cost associated with the particular clean-up Ecology requires will dictate how the city moves forward. The city does not own or possess the property yet and nothing has been invested by the city toward clean-up at this point. Atty. Bishop said the technical review part is going to be lengthy and we were forewarned of that. Once that’s done the threshold issues become, 1. Will there be funding to deal with whatever DOE says is the solution to the problem? If there’s no money for it we’re done. 2. If it looks like we can put together a program to do it, do we want to accept the liability? If this puts the city in a tenuous side, Atty. Bishop will recommend we don’t do it. We’re hoping DOE will have some feasible solutions for the city. Clean-up dictates the reuse. We need to wait and see what DOE recommends.

The .09 grant cycle has started. Qualified projects would promote economic development. The State is not funding the .09 program but the county has $100,000 available this year to award. Discussion ensued about possible projects for .09 funding.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Cks. No. 2936 – 2963 & EFT $7,033.82

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________