Month: August 2011

August 23, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
August 23, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook. Absent: Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman is on family vacation; Councilmember Wekenman is working harvest; and Councilmember Schorzman is working. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to excuse their absences. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Katrina Shelton

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under Brownfields Update, change wording as follows “….EPA has presented the opportunity for 100% financing…..” Councilmember Floyd MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 9, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: The stop sign at Bridge and Main has been extended out and the tree trimmed to improve visibility. Pool is closed. Chip Seal project on Church St. and Bridge St. went well. Have repaired some water leaks and replaced some valves.

Approval to apply to TIB Small Cities Pavement Preservation (SCPP) for Chip Seal in 2012. Supt. Griffin put together an application for a 0% match grant for $49,876 for three segments of chip seal next year. The county confirmed that they would do the work, which will improve the economy of scale. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones authorizing the Mayor to sign the application to the TIB SCPP Application. Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT: Will increase morning and afternoon patrols to get drivers back in the mindset that school is in. We’re hoping to begin the work on the PD by the end of August. We’ve put off the purchase of the replacement vehicle until January. The Mohr Street house is now sold and the former residents have moved away.

JFB REPORT: Councilmember Snook submitted a written report. The 2012 budget was discussed and approved. EMS expenses are high due to items with a limited shelf life. The federal grant program opened and Chief Bagott is working on a proposal for wild land turnout gear and structure fire helmets for a total of about $20,000 with approximately $2,000 match. 3 Fire calls in July, 10 ytd; 5 EMS calls in July, 30 ytd. They’ve been very busy with trainings.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution 2011-10: Authorizing the direct receipt of a portion of the general property tax levy in the Street Fund. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. Authorizes the receipt of 35% of the general levy directly into the Street Fund (101) where it can be appropriated to all other functions within the Street Fund. We’ve always done this but the auditors wanted to see it formalized as a resolution rather than part of the budget cycle. Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution 2011-10. Seconded by Councilmember Jones. Motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM: Katrina Shelton requested the speed limit on Union Street be dropped to 20 MPH. Councilmember Floyd MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano to continue discussion on this topic. Motion carried unanimously. Discussion ensued. The stop sign at Wall and Union has helped. During the PD’s emphasis patrols in the area, there haven’t been any documented excessive speeds, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen; it’s just not possible to be there 24/7. They are narrow streets with no sidewalks so pedestrians should also be using common sense. We’ve also received complaints of children playing in the streets. Options discussed: lowering speed limit, giving tickets, more signage, speed bumps, sidewalks. This will go to the street committee for review.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones. Chair:
Reminder that we’re having the Palouse Native Plant Walk dedication and river clean up this Saturday.
YTD we’ve sold 186 nights at the RV Park for a gross of $4,650.00. It’s on track at netting 60% for the general fund.
Discussion about the city shed. It’s 100 years old and beyond repair. Another problem being that it’s in the flood plain. Chairman Jones will look at the whole picture with Supt. Griffin.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair:
TIB grant application for Mohr Street Project is done and awaiting Mayor’s signature for submittal. It falls under the sidewalk preservation program which may mean a 0% match instead of 5%.

Regarding the Cove Road project, Taylor Engineering split the project in half for pricing. From Union Street up to city limits, which is the lower priority, is $143,000 with city match of $7,000. The portion from Union down to the bridge is $250,000, with city match of $12,000. The match is a concern for the budgeting; one possibility is a federal grant for a bicycle/pedestrian lane with TIB providing the match. Federal money liability is a concern because of high administrative costs. This is an option to consider since the cost of street projects has increased, reducing the reserve balance in the street fund. Councilmember Floyd will work on this for application next year.

Regarding the low visibility of the stop sign at Main and Bridge, there is a product called Pre-Mark which is a non-paint “STOP” legend to put on the road. WSU uses it. It lasts longer than paint. $240 for the legend, $150 shipping, and it requires a special torch to put down. Cecil will continue looking into it. Councilmember Floyd MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano, to authorize the chair to proceed with this project after first clearing it with Supt. Griffin and Clerk Beeson. Motion carried unanimously.

Cecil forwarded to Chief Neumann some complaints about speeding on Union Street and on Hwy 272 to city limits (Colfax highway). Chief Neumann noted all concerns.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: A personnel and finance combo meeting was held to discuss budgetary and organizational issues with the swim team. There are budgetary concerns with the payroll costs associated with the swim team. Over the years things have slowly morphed into the current situation of paying swim team coaches for practice, meet times and travel time to out-of-town meets. Also, there is an insurance concern that the city is paying paid staff while outside city limits and in their own vehicles.

Jeff presented two options:
The first option is to adopt a formal responsibility for swim team. The swim team would be set up as a program offered by the city. Fees would be paid to the city and those fees would go towards offsetting expenses.

The second option is the city would continue providing the facility and also lifeguards only for practice and home swim meets. The coaches and all other staff needs would be the responsibility of a separate swim team organization, similar to GPAC or little league baseball. This option represents a savings of approximately $2,000 a year to the pool budget.

The city is making a significant contribution, it just may be more of a contribution than originally intended and a decision needs to be made. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Jones, to table this topic for further discussion. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Grant of Easement from Port of Whitman. Mayor read aloud portions of the document. Atty. Bishop reviewed and, while he has not confirmed the legal description, the rest of the document looked good. In short, the port wants an easement going down the west side of the fire station, straight down over the hill to Whitman Street. Joe Poire from the Port will attend next council meeting to review the route. We need to pay particular attention to how the Port gets the line down Main Street to the health clinic and library. Councilmember Milano MOVED authorizing the Mayor to sign the Grant of Easement once Atty. Bishop is satisfied with the legal description. Seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously.

Clerk Beeson will be sending out her call for budgets within the next two weeks.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3388 – 3399 $5,962.00

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

August 9, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
August 9, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Mike Milano is on vacation. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman to excuse his absence. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Atty. Bishop; & Commissioner Greg Partch. Public present: Pete Hertz; Doug Willcox.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 26, 2011. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Finished asphalt patching on Church Street; prepared for county to chip seal Church and Bridge. The county chip sealed the patches on Fairview. Next year we’re hoping to chip seal Fairview from shoulder to shoulder.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted July activity log. There have been five known bee swarms this summer along Main Street. The public needs to be aware that honeybees are very different from wasps; they are docile while swarming, they are an asset, and just want to be left alone. Please don’t spray or harm the honeybees. Report a swarm to City Hall.

OLD BUSINESS:
Resolution 2011-09: Interim policy for allocation of expenses. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. The state auditor has mandated we have a policy for allocation of expenses, whether we continue with percentages or go to actuals. This resolution will allow allocating payroll to actual hours and allocation of indirect costs to the best available documentation until a policy is developed and approved. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2011-09, seconded by Councilmember Snook. Councilmember Wekenman voted nay. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:
Whitman County Hazardous Mitigation Plan Update. Whitman County put together the current plan, which includes other entities (cities, towns, fire districts, school districts, etc). They could either join or develop their own plan so the City of Palouse joined. Each community received their own annex to the plan. The plan is good for five years and is now being updated. The City of Palouse has been asked again if they want to continue with the update. The federal government tied this plan to FEMA funding. Mayor would like Rick Wekenman to be the primary contact for this. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman, authorizing the Mayor to sign the letter of intent to join the coalition. Motion carried unanimously.

BROWNFIELDS UPDATE, Doug Willcox: Doug distributed a written report reviewing the city’s goals, and reviewing DOE administrative pathway from this point forward. The latest developments include a Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA), which limits liability as desired in advance of property acquisition. Another development is that the EPA has offered 100% financing rather than 90% State Ecology and 10% EPA. Estimated timeline: PPA and EPA funding commitment by early October; Property acquisition by end of October; Cleanup Plan design by engineering firm, November 2011 – February 2012; Clean up late summer 2012. Brownfields Committee activity will start up again after October 2011. The primary function for them is to work on site reuse/marketing. Little has been possible with marketing during past year due to cleanup strategy/funding uncertainties; Doug estimates the committee getting more involved this fall.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones. Chair: Presented an example of the sign the PCD is making and installing at the Palouse Native Plant Walk. PCD is planning a Palouse River cleanup and maintenance of the Palouse Native Plant Walk, August 27th from 9 to 1, with BBQ.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Palouse SD has pledged to split the $5,000 match of the proposed TIB grant for Mohr Street project. Councilmember Floyd will submit the application by August 31st deadline.
Discussion ensued about what the city wants to do with the Cove Road project. The cost was estimated at $400,000. There was talk of splitting the project into 2 phases: 1) Bridge St to Union St.; 2) Union St to city limit. It was agreed that phase 1 would be a huge improvement in safety. Councilmember Floyd will consider putting together an application for this year, however, grants are expected to be available for next year.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:
– Committee met and discussed the possible combining of the police vehicle and police equipment funds to allow more flexibility in budgeting for large items such as vehicle purchase. The police equipment fund is used to purchase equipment for the vehicles anyway.
– Discussed HP and Palouse Days; minor street closure adjustments.
– Finance committee needs to look at possible pay raises for all city staff.
– Main and Bridge Street intersection is still a big issue. The stop sign and flashing red light aren’t seen well; not uncommon for people to not stop because they simply don’t see it. Possible solutions: painting a warning on the highway, strip lighting, and extending the sign out on an arm. It’s a state highway and the state isn’t enthusiastic about doing anything because they go by percentages and we haven’t had any “serious” accidents there yet. The committee will have a joint committee meeting with Streets & Sidewalk to brainstorm ideas.

OPEN FORUM:
Norm Schorzman presented a map of the landscaping he wants to do between the health clinic and his home. The work will be done by a professional landscaper. It is the Schorzman’s property but the city has legal right-of-way. Homeowners need to remember they can beautify property but since it’s a right-of-way, if the city needs to access the property with heavy equipment, saw down a tree, etc., they can and will and there is potential for damage to the landscaping. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook, approving the landscaping plans submitted by Norm Schorzman. Councilmember Schorzman abstained. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Partch explained that the TIB has $50 million more available this year for sidewalks or overlays only. The county has $46,000 to spend in trainings for Public Works employees.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:46 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3360-3387 & EFT $16,262.90
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 3331-3359 & EFT $49,969,49

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________