Month: April 2013

April 23, 2013

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
April 23, 2013

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Connie Newman, Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Tim Jones & Alison Webb. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Attorney Bishop (7:24); Police Officer Joe Merry; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to excuse both councilmembers’ absences. Councilmember Newman seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Brad Pearce; Alexis Maxwell; Scott Kent; Patti Green-Kent.

The City received a letter of interest from Brad Pearce for the vacated council position #4. He gave a brief introduction about himself. Council then asked him a few standard interview questions. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by councilmember Wekenman, to go into executive session at 7:15 pm. Motion carried unanimously. All of council as well as Atty. Bishop and Officer Merry went into executive session. 7:31 pm came out of executive session. Council has decided to keep the position open but reminded Brad that he can file for candidacy in this year’s election.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under Police Report, change “WSU cycling event” to “intercollegiate cycling event”. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 9, 2013. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Submitted a written report.
Supt. Griffin spoke with the Playtex Company and the Kleenex Company about their “flushable” products which cause problems at the sewer plant. Don called Wilson Engineers regarding this same problem (built our sewer plant 18 years ago). They said this is a common plight they’re seeing these days. One of the solutions may be a transducer type control instead of the ball floats. Transducers hang on the line and read the pressure in the container. That’s what we use in our water reservoir.

Supt. Griffin and the Mayor met with Avista and TIB about converting the street lights to LED. Avista is looking into joining up with TIB. TIB is ready to go, while Avista still has some issues to work out. TIB and the city could move ahead with the city owned lights on Main St. and Whitman St. Mill Street in Colfax has the new LED technology and they went from paying $4.00 a month per light to $.85. This is not a grant. Palouse is one of seven cities in the state selected for this pilot project. Talk of beginning the project in 2013 or 2014.

POLICE REPORT: No bids came in on the Harley. Officer Merry asked if we should lower the opening bid to $8,000. The bike can’t be purchased on the market for less than $13,000. Council wants to just be patient and maintain the price at $10,000.

Bike race was excellent. No injuries. Everything went well.

JFB REPORT:
6 fire calls in March, 7 ytd. Chief Bagott is putting specs together for equipment through the wildland equipment grant we were awarded. We could have gear by mid-June. On the city end of things, we need to start a discussion about new fire equipment. One vehicle is approaching the 30 year old mark which is the point we need to start replacing with newer equipment. Police, Fire, & Safety Committee will put a plan together.

3 EMS calls in March, 15 ytd. They need funding to try and obtain a new heart monitor device called an AED. AEDs are in the $25,000-$30,000 range for a good used one. The one they have currently is an antique. The newer version is standard equipment in all the regular ambulances. No major financial concerns at this point. Need to meet with Pullman this spring to hash out the new ambulance contract for 2014.

The retirement party for Gloria Hodges was a big success. She voluntarily served for 28 years. Her position as EMS Coordinator is going to be filled by three of the existing long-term volunteers: Lisa Fisher, Annie Pillers, & Terrie Teare. They’re looking for more local EMS volunteers.

OLD BUSINESS:
Regarding having a high school student on council, students can’t be an official councilperson unless they’re 18 and a legal, registered voter. Councilmember Newman is proposing a volunteer, six-month, student advisory council position (non-voting), from mid-June to mid-December. She thinks they could be a valuable asset with a unique perspective. The student could do this for a senior project. Connie will work with Attorney Bishop to write a resolution to get this program started.

NEW BUSINESS:
1st Q 2013 Treasurer’s Report: No surprises at this point and no budget amendments needed. The 2013 beginning balance in Fund 401 water is $25,000 higher than 2012’s beginning balance. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman, to adopt the 1st Q 2013 Treasurer’s Report as written. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Finance, Property, & Equipment-Tim Jones, Chair:

Streets & Sidewalks-vacant chair:

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Will be touring the sewer plant later this month.

Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair:

Personnel & Pool-Norm Schorzman, Chair: 2013 season was set. Lifeguards will begin work on the June 20th for a June 21st opening. Closing August 18th. Swim lesson dates were set. The third session will be based on guard availability. May 17th is deadline for lifeguard applications. Rachel Witthuhn will be returning again as manager this year. Based on pay cuts taken by city staff, no pay increases for pool staff.

The L & I rules and regulations to switch the chlorine tanks have become so restrictive that it just isn’t worth it so we switched from gas to pellets.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb, Chair: Skatepark update: There is no record of ownership, transfer of title, or deed of the vacated street between the tennis court and the school playground. City owns from the center of the vacated street to the east and the school owns from the center of the vacated street to the west. So both the school and the city could deed that for the construction of the skatepark. Aaron Flansburg is going to talk to the adjacent homeowners to see if they have concerns. The school board needs to realize that Aaron is building this and it’s independent of the city. There are city and Avista utilities in there so both will need access.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Committee met with Chief Neumann, Mayor Echanove, and the Mayor of Garfield, to discuss the Garfield police contract. We currently receive $70,000 annually from Garfield for policing services. Contract is being considered for four more years, with an 8% gradual increase: 2%, 4%, 2%, 0%. This raise basically covers the cost of living increase. This will go to the Garfield board before coming back to the Palouse council for final approval.

MAYOR’S REPORT: Liquor Board request for a wine tasting tour June 22, 2013, at three different homes. Event is a fundraiser for the Palouse Community Center and runs from 11 am – 8 pm. By default this passes unless council objects. There were no objections.

Street closure agreement with WSDOT for annual Rat Rod show June 1, 2013. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to sign the agreement with WSDOT. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor is meeting tomorrow with DOE, Public Works, and Water/Sewer Chair to discuss water temperatures above and below the wastewater treatment plant. Mayor read aloud the abstract of what the meeting is about.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. #4811-4829 & EFT $10,245.69

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

April 9, 2013

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
April 9, 2013

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Connie Newman, Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Alison Webb; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Tim Jones. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann & Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson. Public present: Elizabeth Boyd. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to excuse the absence of Councilmember Jones. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 26, 2013. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Superintendent Griffin submitted a written report, adding that they finished the water/sewer extension for a new build on Union Street.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann reported there have been two inquiries about the Harley, with no sealed bids in yet. They are continuing their school presence. There are some issues to work out with the intercollegiate cycling event. The organizers have requested an added event to their schedule. This will make a longer and more stressful day for PD and volunteers who are working with them. He will continue to work with the organizers.

OLD BUSINESS: Councilmember Newman offered her thoughts on filling the open council position. She would like council to consider a Resolution that would allow a High School student to serve on Council. This is being done in other communities and she believes is a good way to fill a temporary position like the one that is now open which would run through December 2013. AWC has a scholarship program available for training students. This could be a benefit for the student and for the City gaining a different perspective. Mayor Echanove reminded council that the application period ends April 19 and encouraged Councilmember Newman to continue with her research on this and what we would have to do to get it going.

NEW BUSINESS: No report

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: The committee met and discussed with Supt. Griffin the water and sewer needs for keeping up with operating, equipment and infrastructure needs now and in the future.
Sewer Pump – The highest priority currently is to purchase an extra sewer pump to have on hand in case one fails. It is thought that these pumps have been in service since the plant was new about 18 years ago. They have done their job but are definitely close to the end of their life span. The cost is not known but estimated to be $8,000 to $10,000 each. Council recommended that Supt. Griffin continue working toward the purchase of a new sewer pump.
Backhoe Replacement – The next priority is to replace the backhoe which is also running toward the end of its life span. It has been well cared for, but with 6,000 hours on it the costs to keep it running will be too great. Supt. Griffin estimates the replacement cost with trade-in to be $60k to $70k, which would be split out to various departments according to percentage of use. He would like this to be considered as part of the 2014 budget as more time is needed to gather information. Council approves continuing the effort to replace the backhoe.
Water and Sewer Budget – The last increase to water/sewer rates was in 2011. The committee is considering a 1% increase in water to keep up with current needs while reserving for future needs as above and listed in the draft Water System Plan. Sewer will need a greater increase to keep up with costs and allow an increase in reserve balances for future needs such as the backhoe and maintaining the sewer plant to name a few. The committee is considering an increase of $1. The committee will continue to meet to discuss rates.
Councilmember Ossinger asked Supt. Griffin if there are other types of pumps available that would work better than the ones currently being used. Supt. Griffin said he would research other options to keep up with technology.

MAYOR’S REPORT: Mayor Echanove explained to Council that our Brownfields granting agencies are preparing amendments to the current grant agreements that include extending the closing dates of the grants and for the BRLF II grant, de-allocating unspent funds. Current and future requests cannot be paid until the amendments are signed. The Mayor asked council for approval to sign the amended agreements once all parties come together and our needs are met. After discussion it was decided that the amended agreements should come back to council to consider for approval.

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

Councilmember Wekenman asked if anyone knew what is happening with the Palouse Arms Apartment building. Mayor Echanove said that as he understands, once the building is vacated, the owner will consider his options but that it would likely be demolished.

ADJOURN: Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Webb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:07 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid Ck. #4768-4787 & EFT $37,870.20
Claims Paid Ck. #4788-4810 $13,051.17

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________