Month: March 2012

March 27, 2012

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
March 27, 2012

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; Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Mark Sawyer; Tom Kammerzell.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 13, 2012. Councilmember Ossinger seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Superintendent Griffin submitted a written report. Regarding the rising Palouse River, the water got to shop but no damage. But at the park the river moved all the wood chips and it’s a mess. City will try and have a volunteer day at the park to fix it before the Easter egg hunt on the 7th if weather is permitting.

PW was going to try and use the tin roof from the building on the Brownfields site but it’s not salvageable.

POLICE REPORT: Reminder to drivers to watch for pedestrians now that weather is warming up. PD will be having bike safety education day at the elementary schools soon. Reminder that dogs have to be leashed at all times while off of your property, even if it’s a well-behaved dog. The PD completed yearly mandated training and has been certified by the state. City Hall and PD radios have been updated and are now FCC compliant. Public Works’ radios still have to be replaced. We’re mandated by the feds to do this.

OPEN FORUM:
Mark Sawyer spoke about the 2nd Annual Palouse River Duathlon scheduled for May 12th. He would like permission for use of city streets and city park, use of city cones and white barricades, assistance from PD for traffic control, volunteers from the community on race day, and publicity through word of mouth. Also would like to have permission to begin setup for the race on May 11th at 4pm. The only changes from last year will be an earlier start time and reverse the race direction. Mark will obtain all county, D.O.T., and city permits, insurance, signage, emergency services, public notification, advertising, registrations, race timing, sponsorship and prizes. No objections from council.

Tom Kammerzell, Port of Whitman County Commissioner – Right now the fiber optic project is their main focus. As word has gotten out that the entire state will be looped, there is increased interest from business. This is a great opportunity to the Palouse. Project is about 60% done. The wet weather slows progress. All the vaults will be placed underground.

The port has put in for the federal Tigre grant to upgrade the rail system between McCoy and Marshall; this grant is what could potentially repair/rebuild all the bridges including the bridge in Palouse on SR 27. One positive thing for the rail in this part of the country is the DOT has assigned someone to be in charge of the rail. The upkeep of the rail will save wear and tear and expense on the highways.

Lewiston, Clarkston, and Whitman County recently had their quarterly meeting in Palouse.

JFB REPORT:
The training fund is over budget right now due to the increased cost for EMT trainings. Right now there are two people training in the program. It is about $700-$900 per person and very time-consuming. EMS has changed their policy on accepting new people into their program just because it is so expensive. They’re requiring 2/3 of the cost of the new equipment to be paid by the person and also requiring them to be in the community for two full years before they apply.

Four fire call in February, 8 ytd, which is already half of all of 2011. Our pumper tanker 416 is out for repairs. Should be back soon. We’ve notified neighboring community departments just in case we have a fire.

EMS had 6 calls in February, 12 ytd. Waiting to hear word on a pre-hospital participation grant from the DOH which will help outfit us in new equipment plus replace various sundries used on all their calls.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Norm Schorzman. Chair: no report

Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: no report

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: no report

Finance, Property, & Equipment-, Chair: no report

Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: no report. Having a meeting tomorrow.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Update about WSP. We continue to meet regularly. We’re into the point in the WSP where we’re looking at the strengths and weaknesses of our water program; our capital improvement plan. We will be submitting our first draft to DOH by the end of April. DOH will have 90 days to review. Once we make any revisions, we’ll have a public comment period.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Taylor Engineering is submitting paperwork to TIB for our grant.

Regarding the request by Nicole Wood to be allowed to have a private driveway on a city right-of-way. Councilmember Floyd recommends allowing it. Much discussion ensued. When the Kesslers built their house, they requested opening B Street between 7th and 8th, paid a contractor and built it to city spec and then some. Dwayne Griffin oversaw the work and has approved the street construction. A letter has not gone out yet to Kessler’s accepting it but that will be done. However for all intents this is now an opened city street. A private drive insinuates it goes to one property owner; there are three adjacent property owners (Tronsen, Griner, Kessler) abutting where Nicole Wood wants to put a private driveway. There are requirements for street openings and we need clarification on the process vs. a driveway. We don’t want to treat anyone any different, however each request is unique. It’s very important that we address the effect to the three adjacent property owners. If you look at the platted map, it appears the requestor (Nicole Wood) has access through their own property to that location. PW Supt. Griffin distributed in writing his concerns and accompanying map: several maintenance issues top the list. Dwayne stressed that the city needs to keep control of its property. We’ve had issues like this in the past and the city didn’t go through the proper channels and still has to deal with those issues. Now is the time to get this done right; don’t leave this for someone down the road. Connie stated that we should defer to our PW Supt as his concerns are not unreasonable. It is in the city’s best interest to have 24/7 access. Councilmember Newman MOVED that we refuse the 7th Street driveway request and require it as a street opening. No second. Motion failed. Council wants more information. Councilmember Floyd requested a note be sent to Nicole that no decision was made and it will go back to committee. He would like to have answers from the attorney on questions that have been asked and invited Nicole to the committee meeting scheduled for April 4. Council members were encouraged to look at the right-of-way in question.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Brownfields project is still moving along.

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 Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3898-3916 $5,686.86

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 13, 2012

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
March 13, 2012

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; Bo Ossinger; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to excuse Norm’s absence due to work-related responsibility. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Aaron Flansburg.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 28, 2012. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Heating contractor serviced the furnace in Marc’s shop and also looked at Heritage Park restrooms. He said the heating systems in the bathrooms are as efficient as they’re going to get; just need to replace the doors for between $100 to $600 each. The problem with the doors is they’re not exterior doors. Another option is buying electric wall heaters to heat the air.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted the February 2012 activity log. The PD is showing 50%+ in energy savings since doing the two phases of lowering the ceiling and insulating. Chief Neumann would like to start final phase 3 of walling in the furnace to help insulate it plus it will provide more storage. The work is estimated between $1500 and $2000.

OPEN FORUM:
Aaron Flansburg, skatepark project. Presented a brief history of how and when the project started nine years ago. $1,480 was raised. Efforts were sidelined. But now Aaron would like to take on the responsibility of starting up the project and fundraising again. There are many issues of concerns: liability, costs, upkeep, locations, etc. He has ideas for locations but it will be up to the city what works best. His first goal is to settle with the city on a location so he can move forward. It needs to be visible and accessible to people. And you don’t want it to be a noise bother to homeowners. He favors the park. His hope is a cement park, durable, low maintenance, and flood resistant. Needs to be fenced so small children can’t get in and get hurt. He sees it as smaller than 8,000 sf. Grants are tougher to come by now than in better economic times. He sees this as a five+ year project. Aaron’s next move will be to meet with the parks committee.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2012-01: Adoption of Whitman County Solid Waste Management Plant (SWMP):
Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. The city signed an Interlocal agreement with the county to participate in this SWMP rather than developing our own. The county has completed the SWMP and is ready for the city to adopt through this resolution. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Floyd, to approve Resolution No. 2012-01adopting the county SWMP. Motion carried unanimously.

Brownfields Project Update: MFA contract extension. There are three grants coming our way for the next phase of the Brownfields Project. The first is federal ARRA (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act)) for $150,000 – for professional fees and demolition. The ARRA grant will have provisions for reimbursing pre-award work back to March 1, 2012 and must be spent by June 30, 2012. The second grant is BRLF II for $200,000 – for construction and remediation costs. The third grant is Remedial Action grant for $436,800 – for construction/remediation costs, some professional fees and ground water monitoring. Total of all three grants is $786,800.

In order to meet the deadline of June 30 for execution of the ARRA grant, MFA would need to begin work as quickly as possible. They put together a contract and once signed by the mayor, would begin work even though the ARRA would not be signed until later this month. There is a provision in the contract (Page 5) which states that payment to MFA is subject to the execution of the grant as expected. The key here is they’re taking monetary responsibility if funding for work done though this contract falls through. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to enter into a cleanup and construction oversight contract as outlined with MFA. Seconded by Councilmember Jones. Councilmember Newman asked if there is a monetary cap to potential modifications to this contract. Mayor stated that we’re not spending more than we get from these three grants. That’s why there is the 20% contingency built in to all tasks as outlined. Motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to have the Brownfields Committee reactivated as part of the process as early as next month. Councilmember Newman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Planning Commission Update:
The Planning commission is considering mailing out a survey and asked if there is money in the budget for it. There is $700 budgeted for Community Planning. We can possibly include the survey with the city’s Consumer Confidence Report which goes out every June. The mayor appointed Cecil and Tim as the city’s ex-officio liaisons to the Planning Commission.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Finance, Property, & Equipment-: no report

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Norm Schorzman. Chair: no report

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Rick is representing Palouse on the Whitman County Hazard Mitigation Committee. They are putting together a county-wide plan and once approved, will qualify Palouse for monies in the event of any natural disaster such as flood, fire, wind, etc. Technology has really changed; there are all kinds of databases now that tell for example how an earthquake in Othello would affect our buildings here in Palouse, and how it affects our appreciable value.

Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: Still working on cost allocation. We’re about ready to present the resolution to council after it gets looked at by the state auditor.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Cecil reviewed aloud his submitted written committee meeting report. They decided they need more information on the process for request of a private driveway on an unimproved city street. The committee will gather information, consult with Attorney Bishop and revisit the whole issue.

Also they discussed the design of the Mohr Street sidewalk project. Calvin from Taylor Engineering thinks there’s enough funding in the grant to extend the sidewalk all the way to the school, but would need to pass through city right-of-way which raised no concern from council or staff. It has always been the city’s plan that Taylor Engineering be both the design and project manager for the Mohr Street project. Taylor Engineering will look into handicap accessibility issues for the abutting house affected by this project.

Discussed future projects: West Whitman Street classification as an arterial, making it eligible for TIB grant money. They invited Gloria Bennett from TIB to a committee meeting. Cecil talked to DOT about the Bridge St bridge. Rick said this bridge actually came up at his Hazardous Mitigation meeting. It might very well receive some funding. Cecil and Rick will each continue to pursue this through their different avenues.

Cecil asked for clarification about if B Street is opened all the way to Fairview Avenue. Dwayne explained that it has only been improved to Kessler’s house. Public works builds up berms below Kessler’s to keep mud and water off of Fairview.

Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: Time is upon us to begin working on the 2012 pool season. Ann sent a letter out in January to various Palouse groups about taking on swim team. No takers yet. Will continue trying to get word out to see if anyone wants to be a swim team coach and take on the duties related with having a swim team, with reminder that swim team is not a city responsibility/project.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Submitted a written report. Committee continues to meet regularly to continue work on the WSP. Palouse will be implementing a WUE (water use efficiency) plan. The plan will demonstrate that we take measurable steps to show we are preventing water waste and that we’re monitoring the whole community’s water use. The WSP is scheduled to be submitted to the DOH for review by April 2012. DOH does not require a public review and comment period for the WSP, but we are going to offer that for a period of time.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
The mayor would like to appoint Bo Ossinger to the JFB.

Hawkins Developer would like to discuss their side of the project with Palouse City Council. Mayor will tell him it would be better to make it a community-wide forum through the Palouse Chamber of Commerce rather than at a council meeting.

Connie asked about the parking lot at the new PCC. The city’s role is to excavate and install rock and fabric that has been purchased by the PCC. The area need to dry out first.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Jones MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:57 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid, Check Nos. 3873-3897 & EFT $17,061.69

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________