DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
September 25, 2012
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Alison Webb (7:04 – 9:30 pm); Rick Wekenman. Absent: Cecil Floyd. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to excuse Councilmember Floyd. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Art Swannack; Pat O’Neill; Kelly Dow; Cathy Blood; Connor Lamb; Heather McGehee; Garth Meyer; Aaron Flansburg; Doug Willcox.
The Mayor stated that he would be moving the agenda items around so as to accommodate a conference call with Michael Stringer, MFA at 7:20. The order of business in the minutes may not reflect the actual order of the meeting.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. The Hayton Greene City Park bathrooms are usually kept open, sometimes even through Thanksgiving, until the weather turns to freezing. Public Works clocks approximately 30 minutes a day of maintenance at the Heritage Park restrooms.
POLICE REPORT: Palouse Day was successful, no problems.
At the encouragement of the mayor, Chief Neumann has been working on finding cost-savings for the PD office phone and fax. He’s hoping to drop that bill from $145/mo to about $60/month. Chief is also looking at cell phone programs, possibly eliminating city’s involvement in officers’ & chief’s cell phones and instead giving officers a stipend towards cell phone. There is an estimated potential savings of $600 per year.
JFB REPORT: Fire Dept. had two calls in August, 24 YTD. The dept. has investigated liability insurance options; nothing has panned out. They’re going to stay with their current carrier. Chief Bagott has been working on a capital budget. Airpacks have a lifespan of 15 years and ours will be up in 2018. That will be a $40,000+ project when it’s time to replace them. By planning ahead and getting a capital plan in place, they’ll be able to address these issues when they arise.
EMS had 4 calls in August, 28 YTD. The newly purchased ambulance has not yet had work done (decals, mechanical) so it’s not yet been used.
AWC regional meeting in Pullman Oct. 18th. Focusing on legislative priorities. Council is encouraged to attend.
MFA final phase clean-up contract & MFA additional soil removal proposal: MFA’s Michael Stringer (via telephone) and Connor Lamb (present), updated council on the progress of soil remediation at the Brownfields site. 90% of the planned-to-remove soil has been removed so far. DOE has come out on a regular basis to provide regulatory oversight; they’re very complimentary of everything so far. As we go through the cleanup the state requires you take samples along the sidewalls and bottoms of the excavation. On the north side, levels are still above cleanup levels so the state is asking us to continue excavation further along that side. We’re limited on the south side by concrete and rip rap that was installed in the 80’s. PSC’s contract bid was on the estimated weight of the soil. We’re less than estimated because of the physical restraints so we’re under budget. Therefore, the additional 500 tons of soil that need to be excavated on the northern half of the property can be done without additional costs. DOE has agreed that the exceeded levels of lead in the soil pose no migration hazard. Discussion continued on the clean-up progress.
Action items presented were –
Change Order request: PSC encountered an underground storage tank (UST) located at the front side of the former garage building. The UST was approximately 500 gallons in size, appears to contain approximately 75 gallons of water with a small amount of residual product on top. The UST was immediately stabilized and contained. DOE staff was notified and standard tank closure procedures are being followed to clean and remove the tank. Since the tank wasn’t in the scope of work for PSC, with no line item was in the budget, PSC put forward a change order for $5,000. We still have $115,000 left in the budget including accounting for this change order. Councilmember Newman MOVED to approve Change Order #2 from PSC for $5,000. Councilmember Ossinger seconded. Motion carried unanimously. The tank discovery has not slowed down progress.
MFA Contract for Clean-up Action Budget Re-allocation: There are two reasons for the need for this additional contract with MFA –
1. Allocate budget for costs of confirmation sampling and installation of 3 groundwater monitoring wells; and
2. Additional funding for professional services – MFA was able to lower the costs of soil disposal by developing an approach to handling and treating contaminated soil which then allows disposal in a standard landfill rather than a hazardous waste facility. The project savings may exceed $100,000. MFA had to invest more resources into the design process and requires additional oversight during the actual cleanup.
The budget and scope of work for this contract with MFA are outlined as follows:
Task 1. Confirmation Sampling during clean-up; Field Screening by MFA engineer on-site using specialized equipment; Waste Profiling in which areas of high lead contamination will be managed separately from other soil during clean up. Cost: $39,100
Task 2. Groundwater Monitoring Well Installation which includes the installation of 3 monitoring wells and provides for MFA oversight to ensure they meet the Remedial Action Plan specifications. Currently they are contracted for collecting, analyzing and reporting for one year. Cost: $35,800
The budget re-allocation total is $74,900 and will be covered 100% through the grants. This does not increase the grant amounts, but rather, re-allocates the budget.
Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman, allowing Mayor to enter into an agreement with MFA for groundwater monitoring wells for total of $74,900. Motion carried. After all this, we still have $115,000 left in the grant’s budget.
2013 Budget Review:
Review of the 001 Current Expense and the 103 Cemetery Funds:
In the long run, we need to trim about $25k. For many years, just like every other city, expenses have exceeded the revenues. The 2013 budget is based on returning the 3% staff gave up last year. Mayor read through the preliminary 2013 budget estimates line-by-line. Some of the cost savings in 2013 will come from the employees changing to a different health insurance provider and increasing the amount of deductible we now have on our property and liability insurance.
Shoreline Management Plan 2013:
Washington State is developing a shoreline management plan for all shorelines. Each year the legislature allocates money to each county for this process. Washington is putting it into their 2013 Whitman County budget.
Alan Thompson, Whitman county planner, contacted Palouse about possibly pooling our resources with the other 6 communities – Colfax, Rosalia, Malden, Tekoa, Palouse, Pullman, and Whitman County. If we join them, one single contractor would be hired, and a master plan developed through the shared resources. Since each community may deal with different classifications of shoreline, the engineer will also work with each separately. The county will probably be the lead agency but that has not been confirmed at this point. Funding will become available July 1, 2013, and they would like to have this group in place, ready to hire a contractor and start the process. Palouse will need to select a council person as our liaison and also an alternate. This is a funded mandate. Grouping together worked well with the Hazardous Mitigation Plan and the Critical Areas Ordinance. It’s an opportunity for shared resources and ideas. Our current Shoreline Plan is old and this update will be a state mandate at some point. Council will discuss this further at next meeting.
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: A change since the last meeting in developing the Water System Plan (WSP) – The DOH wants their second review period and approval to happen before it goes back to council for review. The DOH could take up to 90 days for this review. The meeting in which the public is invited to review the WSP is scheduled for 6:00 PM October 9th before the council meeting. Angela Taylor from Taylor Engineering will be there to answer questions along with Councilmember Newman and any others from council and staff who can make it.
Sewer Extension Policy (SEP) – Atty Bishop has responded with his thoughts on the SEP. A committee meeting is planned for Monday, Oct. 1st to continue discussion of the WSP and review Atty Bishops’ comments on the WEP.
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb. Chair: no report
Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: no report
Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: no report
Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: no report
Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: no report
Finance, Property, & Equipment-Norm Schorzman, Chair: no report
Kelly Dow and Kathy Blood, volunteer swim team coaches for Palouse this year. Thanked the city for continued support of supplying the facility and providing lifeguards for the Palouse Swim Team. There were 17 kids on the team this summer. They expressed the value of the program and its positive affects on the kids and the community. Read aloud a letter from a swim team parent thanking city staff, lifeguards, and coaches.
Aaron Flansburg. Update on his efforts to head up the Palouse skate park. Aaron has had several meetings. He has started a fundraiser. There will be a “learn to skateboard” clinic this Saturday at 10 am in the Palouse Park. He is continuing to try to raise awareness and funds. He would like to work with city on the contribution of ground available for the skate park. The land adjacent to the compost site has been mentioned as a possibility. He would explore that further through the SEPA process for any possible impacts.
Pat O’Neill. Whitman County Commissioner District 2, seeking second term. Thankful for last term and discussed some of his accomplishments as commissioner.
Art Swannack. Candidate for District 1 Whitman County Commissioner. Born and raised in Whitman County. From Lamont. Introduced himself and discussed his years of various service and experience.
MAYOR’S REPORT: DOE, with the work of Public Works, has been monitoring the water temp in Palouse River above and below our effluent going into the river. DOE is developing an action program to drop the temperature of our effluent going into the river.
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.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Jones requested the minutes of 9/11/2012 be amended as follows:
Under Police Report: Councilmember Jones questioned asked why the light pole flags were flown on Main St today and who is responsible for deciding when and how they are flown. Chief Neumann said the flags are up commemorating the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 and that the Palouse Lions Club own owns and hang hangs the flags. Councilmember Jones expressed his personal concerns over the protocol appropriateness of the decision to fly the light pole flags for this occasion. Councilmember Jones’ line of inquiry was interrupted by an unsolicited comment from the audience and he ceased his request for clarification.
Under Committee Reports: Councilmember Jones expressed his unhappiness with reactions and comments the unsolicited comment from a non-councilmember made when he raised his concerns over the flying of the light pole flags on 9/11. He reiterated that he is a patriot who loves his country and considers himself as patriotic as the next guy but believes that the decision to fly the flags on the lamp poles, in the manner they were flown on 9/11 commemorating the blunder and victimization by our government is was a mistake.
Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 11, 2012. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried. Rick Wekenman abstained as he was not present at 9/11/12 council meeting, and Alison Webb was not present for tonight’s motion.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Newman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:48 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. #4324-4343 & EFTs $145,259.33
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________