Month: November 2011

November 22, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
November 22, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
Special Council Meeting: Final Budget Hearing
Followed by: Regular Council Meeting

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Cecil Floyd is on vacation. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to excuse Councilmember Floyd’s absence. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Pete Hertz; Bo Ossinger.

7:02 PM, Open final public hearing for 2012 Budget. No comments. 7:03 Close public hearing and open regular council meeting.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: We’ll be looking at all possible ways to increase revenue but forecast is bad for state assistance. Water/Sewer Committee will be making adjustments for reallocating funds to replace large equipment.

Discussion ensued about the pros and cons of keeping the chipper program. Raise fee or eliminate program? The savings if we eliminate program would be significant, between $4,500 and $5,800. Raising the permit cost to $40 still wouldn’t break us even, and there is an increased chance of not selling as many permits at the higher cost. How much would it cost to load into container to be hauled to county dump? The county is considering raising costs but they won’t have numbers until January. Supt. Griffin explained raw material will fill up a dumpster in just a few days and would be labor intensive. Plus it potentially creates another overtime situation by making PW dig through and sort debris just as they have to do now. Chipper is too expensive for now; we can revisit when times are better. After discussion, council decided to eliminate the Chipper program for all of 2012. City will still allow compost dumping with an annual permit fee of $15.00.

Swim lesson fee will go up to $35 for people residing outside Palouse city limits, and stay at $25 for those residing within Palouse city limits.
Police Department paper service and accident report fees will increase.
There are 42 lights on Main Street, plus two at Heritage Park. Only 19 are lit now as a way to conserve money. A citizen inquired about “adopting” a lamp post. City will look into how much it costs approximately per month per lamp post.
3% pay reduction for all staff. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook, to reduce pay by 3% for all city staff.
Mayor Echanove and PW Supt. Griffin both voluntarily gave up their city cell phones.
Individual, volunteer option for council and Mayor to defer all or partial pay.

Still discussing plans for the lighted sign at corner of Bridge & Main Streets. Sign averages $1,300/year to run/light. Councilmember Milano will speak with Avista, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Lions Club, about possibly sponsoring the sign. Or perhaps it could be used for paid advertising by others. For now the sign will be turned off.

Medical insurance premiums increased by 11%. Dental insurance premiums decreased by 5%.

An Event Impact fee is being considered. Certain private events such as Bluegrass Festival, car show, and Haunted Palouse require public works to empty garbage cans, clean restrooms, restock garbage can liners and paper towels, etc. on the weekend. Impact fee would help pay for those supplies and labor. This will be part of future discussions.

Discussion on public works’ shifts and the sewer plant and well pumps requiring maintenance 7 days a week. No changes were suggested. There was discussion of the elimination of overtime except on emergency basis. Mayor Echanove stated that snow events should be recognized as emergency since Palouse is situated on three hills and safety is an issue. It was decided that public works is left with the decision on safety.

Discussion about closing Heritage Park restrooms Jan, Feb. & March to save on the heating costs. Closing it could negatively affect commerce. It is used by many throughout the winter. It will go on consideration list for things to cut. Thermostat is down as low as possible without freezing.

The 2012 Budget Message was read and discussed. It details expenditures, revenues and changes that have been proposed.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman amended the minutes under w/s committee report to add “We “will” have a current, accurate city boundary map and a city zoning map.” Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 8, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Additionally, they turned off every other lamp post on Main Street for cost savings.

Was PW satisfied with the street oiling this year? The product isn’t oil-based so it doesn’t soak in as well, just kind of sits on top. Overall, PW is satisfied with the product and would use again.

Regarding the camera at the chipper plant, the hard drive is broken. They had a few successes using it to determine who was misusing the site.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann reported they have completed lowering the ceilings and adding insulation to 2 of 3 rooms at the PD. It should be completed by Tuesday. A special thank you to volunteers from the Calvary Chapel men’s shelter for all their hard work on the ceiling and insulation. PD replaced 50 gallon hot water tank with a 3 gallon tank. Chief put in for an Avista rebate. The new police software program is in and working great.

JFB REPORT: 17 fire calls YTD and 47 EMS calls YTD. Budget looks really good, mostly due to lack of fire calls. This was a good year, unfortunately they have to budget such in case you have a lot of calls. The pump on the pumper truck is having issues so they will probably have work done on it next year.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 894: Changing the date of the December 27, 2011 council meeting. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Changing the date of Dec. 27, 2011 council meeting to December 20, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano, to adopt Ordinance No. 894. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Anticipating completion of WSP by this spring.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Committee report is written above under budget hearing.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
We will need a councilperson to fill Jeff Snook’s vacancy on JFB beginning in January.

Staff would like permission to surplus two printers. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones to surplus the two printers. Motion carried unanimously. Signs announcing surplus will be posted at P.O., and sent out on city list serve. Is it possible to donate a printer to PCC? We can give to another government entity (like FD or PD) but not to private enterprise. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to go out to sealed bid for these two items. Motion carried unanimously.

December 1st, 2011, at 7 pm is our Brownfields meeting at Gar-Pal High School gymnasium.

TIB awarded us the Mohr Street Project which Councilmember Floyd applied for. The school and the city are each putting in $2,500, and TIB is putting in $88,000, for a total of $93,000.

Salary Schedule, Fee Schedule, & 2012 Budget will be ready at next council for adoption.

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 Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3596-3609 $3,293.06

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

November 8, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
November 8, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
Special Council Meeting
Public Hearing for 2012 Preliminary Budget
Followed by
Regular Council Meeting

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 had medical absence. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to excuse Councilmember Milano’s absence. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Pete Hertz.

7:02 PM, Open public hearing for 2012 Preliminary Budget. No comments. 7:04 Close public hearing and open regular council meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 25, 2011. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. The new mower has been ordered. The fiber optic people have all their vaults in but still have a lot of work to do.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted the October Activity Log. A few minor HP incidents were handled. Reserve Officer Snead worked all four nights as a volunteer reserve officer. The PD banner is up and hoping to install the new sign soon. The first part of the building remodeling/lowering the ceiling has begun. Our PD’s reporting software program is version 1.5 from 2001 and it is outdated. The program is now on version 7.93 and they can’t help us anymore unless we upgrade because our version is obsolete. The total cost for new programming on P.D.’s main computer, with a 1 year maintenance agreement is $1,499.00. We can pay half now and half in 2012. The money would come out of the general fund. Councilmember Jones MOVED to authorize Chief Neumann to purchase the software. Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

With recent issues involving live traps, Chief Neumann would like to remind the public that they are to trap skunks, raccoons, and feral cats (as long as you abide by the feral cat program). The trapping of domestic animals (purposefully or accidentally) is not allowed and you need to release them immediately. It can be considered animal abuse to trap domestic pets.

OLD BUSINESS:
Atty. Bishop updated council on the timeline and tight schedule the Brownfields project will be on between now and the first of the year. The Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree (PPCD) will be going into the public comment period through Ecology – Nov. 17 thru Dec. 17. Ecology and the City will be hosting a community meeting at the high school gymnasium on December 1 to share information and build community input. On December 20, after Ecology’s public comment period, council will meet to vote on final approval to sign the grant application for clean-up funding. The application must be sent in before the end of the year. The cleanup action plan and scope of work are prepared, pending funding. Atty. Bishop explained that a great deal of time and effort has been spent on the PPCD. He is pleased that Ecology agreed to work with the City to develop this agreement. In short, Ecology says we must own the property before we can apply for funding the cleanup; the City holds that we have assurance of funding before we own the property. Hence, the PPCD. Bishop has been negotiating with Asst. Atty. General who is preparing the draft and they came to an agreement this afternoon. It will be prepared for their public comment period. The only thing that really remains is there’s going to be a gap between the funding and when we commit ourselves to this project. Bishop won’t tolerate a gap. Jim Darling, of MFA has proposed to the EPA that they go on ahead and issue a binding commitment to the grant so we have that available when we sign on to this.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 893: Establish a capital projects fund for police car and equipment. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This combines two current separate funds (Police Car 306 & Police Equipment 307) into one fund Police Car & Equipment (311). Funds 306 & 307 will be closed Dec 31, 2011. A budget amendment will come later to allow transferring funds from the funds which will close. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 893. Seconded by Councilmember Wekenman. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Went to planning commission mtg. Collaboration between WSP and PC is very fruitful. We have a current, accurate city boundary map and a city zoning map. Retail Service Area proposal will go to public for comment at some point. The PC made some good recommendations for the WSP.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Mayor Echanove met with Councilmember Milano to discuss budget. Proposed changes include:

3% pay reduction for all staff
elimination of spouse/family member dental insurance benefit
Building Inspector contract reduced from $500 to $400/month
Voluntary council and mayor pay deferment by percentage or dollar amount or permanent change to council/mayor salary.
increase to photocopy charges
increase chipper permit cost from $25 to $40 or eliminate chipper program
keep swim lesson cost at $25 for residents but increase cost to $35 for non-residents
increase PD paper service and accident report fees
adoption of an event impact fee to pay for such things as toilet paper, paper towels, & garbage sacks
charge for reservation of park shelters and gazebo
increase the pool levy from 28k to 29k for collection in 2013
reduce the number or lights on Main Street & perhaps put Whitman Street lights on a timer, or other options
Disconnect Bridge Street school sign saving the city approx. $1300 a year in electricity. Perhaps the school, Lions Club, or other civic group will want to pay to run it.
Close Heritage Park restrooms from Dec. through Feb. to save on high winter electricity costs

Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Newman MOVED to approve the BI contract reduction in pay effective January 2012, seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously. Forecasts from the state continues to be gloomy.

MAYOR’S REPORT: AWC is offering four $1,000 civic engagement scholarships. Each of Washington’s 281 cities and towns get to submit one nominee. Deputy Clerk Thompson will work with Palouse H.S. to get the word out.

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 Jones MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:59 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid: Ck. No. 3540-3556 & EFT $37,468.94
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3557-3595 & EFT $54,200.54

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________