Month: September 2013

September 24, 2013

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
September 24, 2013

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Senja Estes; Tim Jones; Connie Newman, Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Alison Webb. Absent: Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Estes to excuse Rick’s absence. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Kelsie McGraw (WSU student); RJ O’Farrell (WSU student); Kelly Dow; Todd Dow; Jeff Baldwin; David Mayhan (7:36).

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 10, 2013. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin reported they finished the Wall Street sewer line. Work on the street portion has begun and it will be ready to pave in a few weeks. Had a few days of prep and clean-up work for Palouse Days. No Palouse Days issues.

POLICE REPORT:
Chief Neumann is still working on an ordinance to allow off-road vehicles/all-terrain vehicles be driven in town, including minors with adult supervision.
Still going forward on the Mohr Street property clean-up. Our plan is to have that done before winter.
The Garfield police services contract is still on Atty. Bishop’s desk.

JFB REPORT:
9/16/13 was a JFB meeting. FD had 4 calls in August, 17 ytd. FD had training at the park. The wildland grant update: received new liners in their helmets which didn’t work with the goggles so sent them back for correct ones. They also received their new boots for wildland fire fighting.
EMS had 8 calls in August, 39 ytd. They’re working on a training program through 2014.

OLD BUSINESS:
Assn. Of Washington Cities Employee Benefit Trust Interlocal Agreement: The city is a member of the employees benefit trust fund for our employee’s medical/dental insurance. AWC-EBT has moved to being self insured vs. fully insured. If we’re going to stay with AWC for 2014, we have to adopt the Interlocal Agreement by resolution. AWC says there will by a 0% rate increase to the 2014 premiums. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman to adopt the Interlocal agreement with the AWC regarding the employee benefit trust. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2013-09: accepting terms of AWC EBT Interlocal Agreement: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. Discussion ensued about other options. If we sign this Interlocal agreement, we’re avoiding some of the federal assessments that will follow with the new health mandates coming in January. Council wants more information. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones, to table this discussion until our Oct. 8 council meeting.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: NO REPORTS
Finance, Property, & Equipment-Tim Jones, Chair:
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair:
Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair:
Personnel & Pool-Norm Schorzman, Chair:
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb. Chair:
Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:
Streets & Sidewalks-Senja Estes, Chair:

OPEN FORUM:
David Mayhan: Inquiring about why police get overtime pay to patrol water and sewer facilities (which they don’t). Started talking about homeland security. Started talking about a number of things which council was unclear about.

Kelly Dow (Palouse resident): Came to last meeting because she had concerns about having a skate park built within our city park. Since a survey wasn’t feasible she drafted a petition to gauge how people felt about the location. She read the heading of the petition “Petition to Save Our Park – By signing below I acknowledge that while I may or may not support a skatepark, I oppose a skatepark be built anywhere within our beautiful Palouse City Park”. She put this together to allow the other side to have a voice. In four hours on Palouse Day she collected 93 signatures, 63 were Palouse residents, 30 non residents. She felt certain if she had given it more time she could have gotten many more signatures. She included non-residents because not just residents use our park (as evidenced by the car show, Music Festival, etc.). Kelly Dow stated that the significance this petition shows is that there is overwhelming proof that not everyone is on board with locating the skate park in the Palouse Park. She included that it was enlightening hearing ideas, concerns, questions, suggestions, etc. It was evident that not everyone is/was aware of the plans to have it built so large and at the park. Not everyone was as polite as they should have been. She was accused of being prejudiced and a non-resident. It is possible to have a civil, spirited discourse, without being rude and insulting.

David Mayhan: Thinks the skatepark should be at the tennis court. It never gets used as a tennis court; it has a security fence; lighting, etc. Can be closed and locked up if necessary. Or put it on the north side of West Whitman Street near the 300 block in that vacant lot. Mayor Echanove explained that the tennis court area was considered and ruled out doe to various concerns. They will look into the vacant lot on West Whitman.

Todd Dow: Has it been considered to use a vacant lot or an unimproved lot for the skate park? Perhaps west of the Community Center or other vacant lots? It could add life to an unused lot. Councilmember Jones explained that private lots have high commercial value, so the skate park would have to come up with much more money vs. having city land dedicated. Chief Neumann asked Mr. Dow (a Pullman police officer) how it is policing Pullman’s skate park. There are a few more incidents of theft and juvenile problems.

Councilmember Webb thanked Mrs. Dow for her work, pointing out its importance. She also reminded everyone that nothing has been decided and no site has been dedicated or guaranteed.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
TIB reclassified West Whitman Street an arterial. So the city will be eligible to apply for grants to improve West Whitman much like the improvements on East Whitman.

Our audit begins Oct. 2. This will be a three year audit.

PSC retainage was paid for Brownfields project. The 4th groundwater sampling event occurred. In summary, the four quarters of monitoring indicate hazardous material have decreased. They recommend sampling be decreased to twice a year in 2014 and potentially decrease testing to every 18 months after that.

Fund 304 Vehicle & Equipment Reserve budget discussions. We want to buy a backhoe in 2014. We have $63,000 in the draft budget but don’t know if that will be enough to buy it. If we need more we will consider an interfund loan from water. The term for that loan can be set for no longer than three years. The backhoe has 6000 hours on it and has met its useful life. The backhoe is a vital part of public works and needs to be reliable. We’ve pushed it farther than we should have trying to be frugal. The $63,000 includes a $15,000 trade in value.

Next agenda will have budget discussions.

Water Summit – Oct. 1st from 4:30-8:30 at SEL. Is hoping Don Myott can attend as part of his workday.
Oct. 8 some Avista people are coming down to meet with Mayor, Public Works, Clerk Beeson, and Councilmember Estes.

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 Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. #5160-5176 & EFT $31,944.65

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

September 10, 2013

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
September 10, 2013

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Senja Estes; Connie Newman, Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Alison Webb. Absent: Tim Jones & Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman to excuse both absences. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Public Works Assistant Marc Arrasmith; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Scott Beeson; Kelly Dow; Heather McGehee; Mike Kammeyer; Daniel Eastner; Debbie Arrasmith; Aaron Flansburg; Ami & Daniel Kramer; Jens & Berlyn Hegg; Mary Estes; Kari & Garrick Watkins; Robin Rilette.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 27, 2013. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
Award of Wall Street paving bid. We received two bids: Poe Asphalt – $23 sy = $12,052; Motley & Motley – $22.25 sy = $11,659. We’d like permission to award the bid to Motley & Motley. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to accept the Motley & Motley bid of $11,659 for the Wall Street paving project. Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT: Reserve Officer Snead will be helping out for Palouse Days Friday and Saturday nights. There are active nuisance property clean-ups going on. We continue to get barking dog complaints; dog owners need to be responsible. Even if your barking dog doesn’t bother you, it bothers others. Chief has been working on an ORV ordinance to allow ATV’s to be ridden into and out of town as access points. With adult supervision, juveniles 14 and older would be able to ride ATV’s into town. There are certain types of rules, equipment, etc. required. Councilmember Webb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Estes, authorizing Chief Neumann to continue to investigate and bring forth more data. Motion carried unanimously.

The Palouse-Garfield police contract is in Atty. Bishop’s hands. It is a four-year contract (2014-2017) with 2%, 4%, 2% & 0% increase over the next four years. Councilmember Newman MOVED to authorize Mayor to sign the contract once it comes back from the Attorney. Councilmember Schorzman seconded. Motion carried unanimously. In 2013-$70,019, 2014-$71,419, 2015-$74,276, 2016-$75,726 & 2017-$75,726. Per person, Garfield residents pay about the same as Palouse residents for police services.

OLD BUSINESS:
Skate-park – Aaron Flansburg: review drawings of proposed skate-park at Palouse’s city park. As per the July 9 council meeting Aaron was instructed to come up with a set of drawings. At the July 9 meeting the skatepark was approved for preliminary development. He would like feedback. Much discussion ensued. Following are some of the comments:
The elevations don’t align with existing sidewalks, etc. Why weren’t dimensions, elevations, etc provided? 48” elevation gain. 6” difference between the sidewalk at pool. The bank at the parking lot end is 5’ high. There could be a short fence along pedestrian area to catch loose skateboards. Skateboard traffic will mostly be in a north-south direction. There will be a visual impact to the park aesthetics. There is certain to be a monetary impact to the city even if it is built with outside funding. There have already been cuts to city services. The insurance company will need to approve the design.
PW Supt. Griffin pointed out that there are water, sewer, and gas lines directly under the park plans. The skate park won’t work as drawn.
Mary Estes: Who are you looking for to use this park? He’s hoping the youth of Palouse and Garfield will use it.
Mike Kammeyer of Potlatch, owns a skate shop in Moscow said Pullman and Moscow skateboarders are supporters because they’re feeling their cities are missing the boat. The current skate scene in Palouse is small because there’s nowhere to go.
Mary Estes: 30 years ago we went through this same process for the need of a tennis court and unfortunately it has fallen on its nose. Why are we giving up green space and a beautiful park that is very serene? I cherish it. I don’t want to have a skatepark there that languishes like the tennis court. She asked about usage and intended hours of operation. Aaron – It’s up to city to decide use and hours of the park but his intent is that it is for daylight use since it will have no direct lighting.
Jens Hegg: There are three local skaters here tonight so he thinks it shows interest.
Scott Beeson: Regarding the location, that spot is one of the most used spots of the park. And it’s right next to the swing set and pool. Is there a better location than this? Scott isn’t against a skate park, but doesn’t think it should be at the city park. On the other side of Main St. below the sewer plant comes to mind for Scott. Aaron likes the idea of it being at the park. He thinks it will augment the use of the park.
Councilmember Webb: How can we talk about adding another park when employees haven’t been reimbursed for the pay cuts they took and we’re cutting city services?
Marc Arrasmith: This is huge and it’s jammed between the pool and playground equipment. Too much concrete jammed in there. He never envisioned it looking like this.
Robin Rilette: Admires Aaron’s perseverance but dislikes the location. What about the space behind the pool, between the pool and river? PD said that didn’t work because of the low visibility and PW was concerned about access into the pool pump house.
Garret Watkins: Thinks by the school it’s a hiding place for drug dealers.
In a neighborhood it decreases property values, creates noise, etc.
Aaron will have to get a performance bond and will need engineered plans. He will also probably need a building permit. He will need to factor in all those things and the fencing into his budget. He is looking to raise $20,000 for this plan. Idaho Beverages will donate $2,000 towards his project with the understanding that it will be at the park and there be signage acknowledging the donation. Mayor informed Aaron that isn’t his decision to make.
Kelly Dow: inevitable there will be a cost to the city when this is built. The lighted signs are turned off, we reduced a police officer, and you’re trying to build a skate park? There is an eyesore of a skatepark in Spokane dealing with graffiti and litter. Right now the Palouse Park is open to everyone. She feels the skatepark is exclusive to a very small minority. The park belongs to all the city residents. Pullman and Colfax skate parks aren’t in their main parks for a reason; because they know it will attract non-family crowds. Kelly believes many truly don’t want this to happen. Also, what about EPA erosion concerns? Can this be voted on by the public, just to see what the interest is? A vote isn’t feasible. A survey was suggested but that would cost approximately $400. Councilmember Newman doesn’t support the money being spent on that. People can come to council meetings or send in their thoughts. Councilmember Webb MOVED to spend the money to send out a survey to see what the public’s opinion is on the skatepark. Motion failed for lack of second.

Aaron has debated about the cost to the city. Pullman hasn’t spent a dime outside of trash collection. The Spokane park, with the graffiti, is a unique situation since it is under the freeway. It’s a far different city than Palouse.
Debbie Arrasmith asked when the graffiti hits the skatepark, who cleans it up? Once the park gets built, the skatepark committee can do it. Yes, there will be upkeep. 20 years from now Aaron can’t say who will care for it. Mike Kammeyer said Lewiston’s skate park is graffiti free.
Kari Watkins wants a safe place for her son to skate. She is seeing more kids trying to skateboard in unsafe areas.
Councilmember Newman suggested that Aaron continue to work with PW and the Parks Committee, specifically locating utilities. She would like to see the measurements and dimensions written into the drawings. Make sure PW, PD, and Councilmember Estes’ concerns are addressed. Perhaps give a Powerpoint presentation next time so everyone can see what he’s talking about.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Regarding the city council student liaison position, Mr. Bishop is currently writing a resolution for that. The student will be allowed to sit at council table, participate in discussion, but it is a non-voting position. For this position to be available, a councilperson has to mentor the student. This will be primarily for a senior student to fulfill their senior project. If no senior student is interested, it can be open to other grades.

Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: Had a meeting to get Councilmember Estes up to speed with the poultry issues.

Personnel & Pool-Norm Schorzman, Chair:
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb. Chair:
Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:
Streets & Sidewalks-Senja Estes, Chair:
Finance, Property, & Equipment-Tim Jones, Chair:

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Our health insurance carrier, AWC, is transitioning from being fully-insured to self-insured. Their data shows whatever plan the employees’ take, with the self-funded plan there is a 0% increase whereas if it’s fully funded they’re showing a cost increase. The city will send to our attorney to look over and we’ll learn more about the difference between fully-insured and self-insured.

The TIB, LED street lighting project is still moving forward. It will convert both the city and Avista-owned street lights to the LED technology. It’s 100% funded. Once underway, it will happen fairly quickly. We currently spend about $25,000 per year on street lighting. These LED lights will save us thousands.

Mayor, Clerk-Treasurer Beeson, met with Finance Committee (Councilmember Ossinger was only one in attendance) for a budget meeting. Mayor instructed Joyce to include the following in the 2014 budget: city employee 3% increase; the purchase of a backhoe; $5,000 for new, updated city maps. Joyce showed the budget with and without the levy lid lift. We will present the budget without the lid lift and will make the adjustments if it comes through. If the lid lift passes, it will be approximately $30,000 increase to the budget and we will send 60% to CE, 30% to streets, and 10% to Fire Equipment reserve.

Between the levy, donations, & lessons, the pool is within a couple hundred dollars of breaking even this year. The new pellet chlorinator uses half the chlorine so we saved about $800 on chlorine this summer. Pool payroll stayed right where we needed it to stay.

Cemetery budget has been cut too close. Joyce has bumped that up a little for 2014. We’re trying to restore that budget. We’re more than likely going to have to do a budget adjustment before the year is up.

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

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 8/31/13 Ck. #5111-5136 & EFT $40,347.84
Claims Paid 9/11/13 Ck. #5137-5159 & EFT $91,044.82

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________