Month: April 2012

April 24, 2012

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
April 24, 2012

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Alison Webb; Bo Ossinger; Tim Jones; Cecil Floyd; Rick Wekenman; Norm Schorzman; Connie Newman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: David Hertz; Martha Hertz; Janet Barstow; Heidi Keen; Miss McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 10, 2012. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. The new lawnmower wiring issues are under warranty.

POLICE REPORT: Tremendous turnout for the bike race; no injuries to anyone.
Had some solicitors in town trying to sell insurance; instructed them of rules regarding going door-to-door.

JFB REPORT: Prior to normal JFB meeting, there was a capital improvements meeting to discuss how we might be able to afford new equipment in the coming years. In the next 5 to 8 years one of our pieces of fire equipment will be pushing 30 years old which is reaching the maximum age for reliability and trustworthiness. Bottom line is there is no money in coffers at this point. Used purchases cost approximately $150,000, new cost upwards of $250,000. This was just discussion, no decisions were made. Grants are very hard to come by anymore.

There were five fire calls in March, 11 YTD, which is more than half of what we had all of last year. Pump on pumper tanker is still being repaired in Spokane. We’ve come across some tires that need to be replaced on some of the vehicles so we’re doing that. Pullman’s new fire chief has visited with our department and is eager to work with us. There were six EMS calls in March, 18 YTD.

NEW BUSINESS:
Q1 2012 Financial Report: There are no issues or budget concerns this quarter, with no budget amendments. Councilmember Newman MOVED to cancel and not reissue the check from March 2011 to UCR&D for $150. UCR&D underwent administrative restructuring and are no longer a viable business. Councilmember Schorzman seconded. Motion carried unanimously. REET money is from the sale of real estate; the city gets a percentage. The laws have changed for spending REET money and the state has suggested cities open a fund just for collection of the tax. Once council develops a project, it can be transferred to the fund as needed. REET money can be spent on certain capital projects such as park improvements, building improvements. This year it has made approximately $1,000 (actual to date $1,600). The city doesn’t have to spend it every year; we can save it for bigger projects.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

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

Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: no report

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Re the Mohr Street project the paperwork is underway with TIB, Taylor Engineering, and Joyce. Construction should begin sometime June or July. We’re considering an application for another project to TIB. In the past we’ve discussed a walking path from downtown up Cove Road to Union Street. And the next year do the second half from Union Street to city limit. The $18,000 matching funds would come from our arterial streets fund and is for the WHOLE project.

Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: Pool opening date is set for June 20. Last day of school at Gar-Pal is June 13. Pool closing date is yet to be confirmed but approximately August 20. Swim lesson session dates have been determined.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Submitted a written report. The Water System Plan (WSP) is in its final stages. The wellhead protection piece is currently being reviewed by Don and Dwayne. Once reviewed it will be sent back to Taylor Engineering. Plan is to have the WSP submitted to the DOH by the first week of May. WSP will be available for community review sometime in July. The fee for DOH review of the WSP will be $2,280.

Our next order will be developing a Sewer Extension Policy (SEP). We hope to have that ready to present to council for review and approval by June. Additionally w/s committee will be meeting with DOE this summer to begin the process of preparing for the new wastewater treatment permit which is due June 2014. We are currently compliant with all of DOE’s sewer system requirements.

Councilmember Newman wanted to discuss an administrative issue we’re having with Jim Farr and/or Nicole Wood. Councilmember Newman and staff have spent multiple hours each week and each month for a few years now to answer their questions and concerns pertaining to water and/or sewer business. The w/s committee’s goal is helping Ms. Wood find a solution and answering her questions satisfactorily. Connie read aloud a letter she wrote advising city staff on how to proceed with this issue from here on forward. It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to come to this point but Connie feels it’s absolutely necessary, in an effort to come to a true solution. Much discussion ensued. Ms. Wood is reporting she’s not getting satisfactory answers via email, so we’ve offered to meet with her personally which she declined. Councilmember Wekenman thinks it’s unusual that they refuse to come to any meeting to address their issues, and that it’s unreasonable on Ms. Wood’s part and that she should make more of an effort to get this resolved in a public forum. The council and mayor agreed. Connie reiterated the need for a w/s meeting with them and to simply have a dialogue as emailing back and forth has not proven successful. Councilmember Newman has repeatedly asked Nicole to direct certain specific questions to Supt. Griffin and she refuses. Dwayne’s job is to maintain the integrity of Palouse’s water system. Councilmember Newman added that much of the email correspondence that she is receiving from Ms. Wood regarding w/s business has included personal attacks on city staff which in Connie’s opinion are unsubstantiated and potentially libelous. City staff handles all requests for w/s the same; these two haven’t received any different treatment than anyone else.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Attended another county hazardous mitigation meeting; we’re to the point now of summarizing our accomplishments since the last go round.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Alison Webb, Chair: none

OPEN FORUM:
Janet Barstow. On behalf of the PCC requesting permission for a beer garden, July 28th at the park, as part of the Palouse Music Festival. PW has no issues. PD has no issues. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman authorizing the Palouse Chamber to have their annual beer garden at the city park, July 28 for the Palouse Music Festival. Motion carried unanimously.

Heidi Keen. Would like to have permission to have the Barley Bar relay again in conjunction with Palouse Days. The Chamber was the sponsor last year. This year they would like permission to have the start of the race somewhere on Main Street. This is a fundraiser for the PCC. Discussion ensued. There are no objections to the race but the logistics still need to be worked out.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
The steel building is gone from the Brownfields site; they were very conscientious about cleaning up the debris.
We have not received Department of Commerce executed grant agreements yet.
MFA‘s intent is to have the concrete building down by June 30th.
Committee assignments have yet to be determined. Mayor is going to continue working on it.
Go to www.AWC.net for training opportunities.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Ossinger 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 Webb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid, April 25, 2012. Ck. #3961-3979 $7,713.12

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

April 10, 2012

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
April 10, 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; Police Officer Joe Merry; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Alison Webb; Vickie Griner; Marcia Lehman-Kessler; Aaron Flansburg; Greg Kessler.

Interviews for Council Position #1:
Aaron Flansburg and Alison Webb both submitted letters of interest for filling vacated council position #1. Council interviewed each candidate separately. Each candidate was asked the identical questions pertaining to interests, experience, and various council issues.

Executive Session for council position selection: At 7:27 Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to go into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss the two candidates. Seconded by Councilmember Newman. Motion carried unanimously. They extended executive session by 10 minutes. Meeting called back to order at 7:49 pm. Councilmember Jones MOVED to accept Alison Webb as new councilmember. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. It was a difficult decision. Mayor Echanove swore in Alison Webb as councilperson for position #1. Committee assignments will be determined later.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman amended the minutes to add, under the Streets & Sidewalks committee report, “In the absence of minimum specs for driveway development, Councilmember Newman MOVED that ……..” Councilmember Newman MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 27, 2012. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Additionally they started excavating the parking lot for the PCC today. Public Works is looking at getting volunteers together for cleaning up the flood damage at the park. Good team effort on watching the flood.

We’ve had limbs being dumped in the compost pile. The site is compost only: grass, leaves, and soft vegetation only. No tree trimmings, no bushes, etc. There is a 4’x4’ sign on-site saying chipper pile closed.

POLICE REPORT: March activity log submitted. Chief publically commended Officer Merry’s work during Chief Neumann’s vacation. There are ongoing investigations into crimes such as stolen property, drugs, stolen checks, gas siphoning. Chief reminded all of us that we need to help protect ourselves from these crimes of opportunity by locking our houses and cars. Always report suspicious activity; the police are available 24/7 and are ready and willing to respond.

OLD BUSINESS:
State Ecology Remedial Action Oversight Grant Agreement:
Federal EPA Brownfields Mediation Sub-Grant Agreement:
Federal EPA ARRA Brownfields Remediation Sub-Grant Agreement:

The Grant Agreements from DOE and EPA have arrived. Our Brownfields project is now 100% grant funded pending mayor’s authorization. Mayor read aloud a letter from Department of Commerce outlining the grants. The $150,000 ARRA EPA grant must be spent by June 30, 2012. The $200,000 EPA grant must be spent by Sept. 30, 2012. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Ossinger, allowing the Mayor to sign the grant agreements with the DOE and Dept. of Commerce for the EPA funds. If approved, it’s in MFA hands after this to arrange all the details. Atty. Bishop has reviewed the grants. Motion carried unanimously.

The purchaser of the metal building has a few weeks left to remove the building. May 1st is the deadline. The city will remind him.

NEW BUSINESS:
Budget Amendment for administering three Brownfields remediation grants as proposed. Because of the grant, we need to amend the budget. Ordinance No. 897 amending Ordinance No. 896. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Summary Revenue: EPA Brownfields Remediation – $200,000; Ecology LTCA Brownfields – $477,672; ARRA EPA Brownfields Remediation – $150,000. Summary Expenditures: Ecology – $477,672; EPA – $200,000; EPA ARRA – $150,000. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman to accept Ordinance No. 897 amending the 2012 budget. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Street & sidewalk committee has not met since the last council meeting and may not meet until the first Wednesday of May. Regarding the request for a private driveway on 7th Street – The requestor has asked for a driveway on an undeveloped portion of 7th Street. There is a city sewer line located through it. Councilmember Floyd stated that there is no policy in place that would restrict a driveway. There is concern for the neighbors both uphill and downhill of the request. If approved as a private driveway, the standards won’t be high enough to prevent problems for those neighbors. There’s no policy on the books setting standard specs for a driveway but there are minimum standards for a street opening. The city needs to maintain control of the construction standard and maintenance since it could have a negative impact on the abutting properties. Costs for street and driveway openings are bore by the requestor. The adjacent property owners, Kessler’s and Griner’s, submitted letters opposing the private driveway. Kessler’s stance is not objecting to a street opening, but they’re nervous about a private driveway: soil erosion; significant surface and ground water; effects to the sewer line, and fire hazard caused by unmaintained vegetation. Three properties adjoin this request, and all three are against opening it as a drive. Griner’s are concerned that if it’s not built and maintained at city standards, who takes care of a private drive? The water issue is significant; it’s not passable many months of the year. Marcia Kessler pointed out, regarding precedent setting, that the city could be held liable for negative impacts to abutting properties. Councilmember Floyd MOVED, based on the fact that we have no minimum requirements for a private driveway and we have objectors, that we deny opening 7th Street as a private driveway. Seconded by Councilmember Newman. Discussion – The requestor can come back and request a street opening. There are minimum street requirements which give the city some control and protection for the property owners. Perhaps in the future a policy for private driveway openings specs could be considered. What made this request particularly difficult is the entire length of the request (full city block) abuts three property owners while having no effect to the requestor’s property. Pullman deals with these kinds of requests on a case-by-case basis because each request is so unique. Last year the City of Palouse granted this same requestor private drive access in a different location (which they declined) which wouldn’t have affected any neighbors. Motion carried unanimously.

Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: Pool committee met. Discussed 2012 staff hiring, pay and duties. Pool manager is returning as well as five guards. Tentative pool opening date is June 20. School gets out June 13. Still no swim team as no one has stepped forward to coach and/or run that program. One option may be for kids to perhaps co-op with Garfield.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Still at same phase on WSP. Meeting tomorrow to go over final chapters of the WSP and capital improvement recommendations. This will be the last committee meeting before the working draft is submitted to the DOH. DOH has up to 90 days to review. Once we receive that back we’ll make any changes necessary as per DOH comments. There will be a review period for the community at that point.

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-Mike Milano, Chair: No report

OPEN FORUM:
Aaron Flansburg is still looking at locations for a skate park. He really likes the Brownfields site but not sure if that’s allowable under the conditions of the grants.

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 Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:59 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid, March 31, 2012. Ck. #3917-3935 & EFT $41,050.46
Claims Paid, April 11, 2012. Ck. #3936-3960 & EFT $19,367.37

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________