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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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: ________________________________