Month: March 2011

March 22, 2011

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

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman. Mayor Echanove, Councilmember Snook, & City Clerk-Treasurer Beeson are all on vacation this week. Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Floyd seconded to excuse their absences. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Bruce Baldwin.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman amended the March 8, 2011, minutes as follows: Under the water & sewer report, it should read “All current water extension requests….” not “w/s extension requests”; and Anderson Engineering is out of Walla Walla not Spokane. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano to accept the March 8, 2011, minutes as amended. Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Garfield has requested Palouse buy our own set of blades for the chipper. They are $29 each and there are 4 needed. This is fair; Garfield only charges us $20/hour to use their chipper.

POLICE REPORT: We received three bids ranging from $9k to 18K to lower the PD ceiling to make it more efficient. Chief would like to forego hiring and make it a summer project for police department. The city will have to purchase materials and get help with the electrical. Chief will run some figures and estimates.

Regarding the “Rules of Conduct” sign at the park. Chief priced two, 3’x2’ signs made from a couple different materials. It should cost approximately $550 for both.

We had a police, fire, and safety meeting to further discuss the replacement of the Intrepid. Chief Neumann presented a mileage projection formula. There’s no way to determine wear and tear on the PD vehicles; mileage isn’t the only factor. What takes most people 1.5 hours to drive, takes an officer 5 hours because they slow-patrol. The Intrepid has only 50k miles on it but they’re hard miles. Two shift cables, a steering wheel, the oxygen sensor, etc. have already been replaced on the Intrepid. Much discussion ensued.

JFB REPORT: Only two fire calls YTD. The grant for the new turnouts has now been allocated; should have them soon. We have not yet been turned down for the 2010 grant we applied for last year for new radios so we may still get that grant. For 2011 grant applications we are considering new wildland fire boots. On the EMS side, we got one new member. May 9th is the date for conversion to short-band on our radios. There are more opportunities for EMS training if anyone is interested.

OLD BUSINESS:
Water Extension Policy – This policy has been discussed in-depth for the last few months. The city attorney has approved the policy. Councilmember Milano MOVED to forego the reading of the policy. Seconded by Councilmember Newman. Motion carried unanimously. This policy only deals with water extension requests. Councilmember Newman summarized the policy. Much discussion ensued.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2011-01: Water Extension Policy. Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman read the resolution in its entirety. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones to adopt Resolution No. 2011-01. Motion carried unanimously.

Bruce Baldwin, mgr of Palouse Grain Growers, has requested permission to install access gates across Spokane Avenue. That property is private and there is no reason for anyone else to be in there. This is a big investment, a profitable business, and we need to protect it. And we have a legal obligation to protect it. The plant is an FDA-approved barley plant and a kosher-certified plant, in addition to Homeland Security food safety requirements. As such, we are subject to extensive testing. The issue at hand is illegal dumping (particularly dead animals) on the property which could seriously jeopardize our compliance. We are proposing the city’s permission to put in a locked gate with keys given only to key personnel. The FD would have a key to the gate. To his knowledge, there is nothing back there but railroad right-of-way. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Floyd, to allow Palouse Grain Growers to move forward with installing gates on their property on the west end of town. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones, Chair: Councilmember Milano reported Little Peoples Park Project still has money pledged to the city for new equipment at the park. He also heard back from the company who is generously donating curved benches for our RV Park.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Have set two tentative dates for interviewing engineers for the Water System Plan.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: Rachel Witthuhn has been hired as the pool manager for the 2011 season.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Met last week to further discuss the police vehicles.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Milano 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 Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:47 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid: Ck. No. 3031 – 3044 $47,430.67

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 8, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
March 8, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Connie Newman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman & Mike Milano. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED and Councilmember Floyd seconded to excuse both councilmember absences. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Jeslyn Lemke; Tim Jones; Pete Hertz; David Wold; Scott Beeson; & David Jenson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman recommended changing the word “discouraging” to “encouraging” under Old Business, 2nd paragraph. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 22, 2011. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

INTERVIEW FOR COUNCIL POSITION #3: The city received only one applicant for the vacant council position: Tim Jones. Mr. Jones was asked a series of questions. At 7:26 pm, Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to adjourn to executive session to discuss filling the council vacancy. Motion carried unanimously. Council reconvened at 7:23 pm. Councilmember Newman MOVED to accept Tim Jones as new appointed council member. Seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously. Tim Jones took the oath of office and was sworn in by Mayor Echanove.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT:

Chief Neumann submitted the February 2011 Police Department Activity Log. They continue to do high-visibility patrols.
There are safety concerns with the streets near the school. Spoke briefly with Councilmember Floyd about possibly making a couple streets one-way, a natural ingress & egress for the school bus routes. Mohr, Cannon, Alder, & Church Streets were all brought up as potential streets for making one-way.
Regarding the PD replacing one of the police vehicles, would like permission to put a vehicle description together to go out to bid. They are estimating to spend about $15,000. The Intrepid has 50k miles and is not an ideal patrol vehicle. With our weather, an SUV with all-wheel or 4-wheel capabilities would serve much better than the low-visibility Intrepid. Obviously we’d be buying a used vehicle with fewer than 40k miles. Mayor expressed his concerns with moving forward on this; would like to see some data. Councilmember Newman asked how the motorcycle fits into the fleet, its value and how Chief Neumann quantifies its’ use. The motorcycle was purchased with grant money and is worth approximately $15,000. The motorcycle is used frequently in the warmer months for high-pedestrian activities and events. Chief Neumann reminded council that getting in the habit of replacing a fleet vehicle every three years is an issue that needs to be addressed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: The proposed Cove Road multi-purpose pathway is a project that would qualify to be submitted to TIB for funding. The streets near the school have been identified as a safety issue but may not make it in as a TIB project but instead be a city project. Councilmember Floyd would like to get everyone (school admin; Supt. Griffin; PD; the committee; etc) together to identify the problems and brainstorm possible solutions. He will work on gathering data.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: The advertisement for pool manager closes March 16.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Atty. Bishop has requested more time to prepare the final draft of the WEP. It should be ready for a committee meeting review before presenting it for vote at the March 22 meeting. All current w/s extension requests are being deferred until the policy is adopted.

WSP is moving forward. We have narrowed down the SOQ’s to 4 engineering firms: Taylor Engineering out of Pullman; Anderson Engineering out of Spokane; Torrence Engineering out of Cashmere; and Keltic Engineering out of Lewiston. In selecting firms we took into consideration geographics; experience with WSP’s; letters of interest; and the initiative of the engineers who contacted us. We will interview them and as a committee make a final recommendation. Councilmember Snook MOVED to ask the w/s committee to move forward with the interviewing of these four applicants. Councilmember Floyd seconded. Councilmember Wekenman suggested the committee consult with Upper Columbia RC&D. Councilmember Newman will contact them to see if they have any additional resources. Motion carried unanimously.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Wants committee to meet prior to next council meeting regarding the PD vehicle replacement.

OPEN FORUM:
Scott Beeson with the Palouse Community Center asked for council approval for a beer garden at the Bluegrass Festival July 30th. There have been no problems with the beer garden in the past. Revenue goes into the PCC building fund. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to approve the request for the permit. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
The Mayor read PBAC letter thanking us for our 2011 contribution to support their work in ensuring a water supply and helping with our aquifer issues.

Mayor encouraged council to attend Thursday’s Mayor’s Roundtable.

Mayor, Councilmember Snook, and Clerk Beeson are all taking vacation this month and will not be at the March 22 council meeting.

Whitman County .09 funds: App is due Friday. Mayor would like council approval to submit a project which would allow local business owners to apply for improvements to their downtown building facades. Councilmember Newman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to move forward with submitting a .09 application for the downtown Palouse façade application. Councilmember Floyd seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:31 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 2997 – 3030 & EFT $ 7,836.27
Feb. Payroll Paid Ck. No. 2979 – 2996 & EFT $37,770.26

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________