Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
February 25, 2014
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bo Ossinger; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce; Christopher Langsett. Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; & City Attorney Stephen Bishop (7:10). Public present: Aaron Flansburg; Heather McGehee; & GPHS student liaison Tylor Wilson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 11, 2014. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
No serious in-town collisions this winter.
The wildland grant money has now been received. Financially things are fine. Two fire calls in January, and 7 EMS calls. That puts us on a record pace for EMS in 2014.
Skatepark Update: Aaron Flansburg- Mayor first updated the new council on the history of the skatepark referencing discussions in past minutes and motions that have been passed. The Mayor then gave the floor to Aaron Flansburg. Aaron has been in contact with PCD; in 2008 the city received grant funding from DOE for plantings on the south side of the sewer plant where the skatepark is proposed to locate. The terms of the grant were that they remain in place for 10 years or the funds may have to be paid back. The dollar amount was $272. In 2006 & 2007 there were plantings down there as well. Aaron has been in contact with Chad Atkins at DOE as well and hoping to meet with him on-site to discuss the feasibility of using that site for the skatepark, the plantings, relocating the plantings, buying out the grant and any other options they might have. There was discussion about the square footage of the skatepark: it was published in the newspaper to be a 15,000 sf design yet the designs presented to council were for less than 5,000 sf. For perspective, Councilmember Wekenman pointed out that the footprint of the swim pool area, including the concrete footprint, is 10,000 sf. Aaron said that the overall size of the skatepark has not been proposed but is going to be determined by what fits, what’s appropriate, what they can afford. Other discussion included liability – all skateparks are “skate at your own risk” but are included on the city’s insurance policy. Aaron was told by the city carrier that it would be no more than $100 a year. Skatepark committee is responsible for cleaning graffiti and such. There has to be a substantial buffer zone between the sewer plant and the skatepark and around the eastern end/cistern. Aaron is thinking a minimum of 15’ buffer. After meeting with DOE, Aaron will begin the SEPA process and anything else that is required as it’s in the 100-year flood plain.
Update on ATV ordinance- Policy committee met last week to discuss the proposed ATV ordinance and a few points of concern. Our ordinance will only encompass the city of Palouse streets and city limits. The state and county have different regulations/requirements/laws. Chief would like a group of local enthusiasts to work with the county to get them on board with this. We can still move forward with our ordinance but it would be nice get the county on board. The policy committee will continue working with Chief Neumann and Attorney Bishop.
Ordinance No. 914: Accepting the regular levy amount for Budget Year 2014-
The Mayor reported to council that the city’s levy lid lift on the ballot actually passed with 59%. We were initially told that it needed 60% to pass. To meet levy certification deadlines, the County Assessor worked with us and set the levy amount at approx. 2.94/1,000. This amount is about $.16 less than capacity. The difference will be included in the 2015 levy. Ordinance 914 accepts the 2014 general levy amount of $172,127. Mayor read aloud the entire ordinance. Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adopt Ordinance 914. Councilmember Pearce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Honoring what was presented to the voters, the Mayor would like to see the Fire Equipment fund get 10% of the levy for future equipment needs, 30% to the Street Fund with the remainder staying in the general fund, Current Expense. Councilmember Langsett read a portion of a sample resolution that would set the percentages allowing the direct receipt of a portion of the levy to the Street Fund and the Fire Equipment Fund. After discussion, Councilmember Langsett MOVED to set the percentages at 30% to the Street Fund and 10% to the Fire Equipment Fund. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Policy & Administration – Doreen Hanson, Chair: Committee met about the ATV ordinance as already discussed.
Water & Sewer – Bo Ossinger, Chair: Hasn’t met yet. He made the full Water System Plan available to his committee.
Streets & Sidewalks – Mike Hicks, Chair: Had a meeting planned with Supt. Griffin but had to cancel, will reschedule.
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings – Senja Estes, Chair: Committee has not met yet but will soon.
Police, Fire, & Safety – Rick Wekenman, Chair: Committee met regarding the effect of the passage of the levy lid lift to the Police Department’s officer position. The hope is to bring the position back from ¾ to full time. He would also like to see increases to all of the staff positions. The timeline considered for bringing Officer Dentler back to full time is September or October. The approximate year-end cost to bring the position back to full time is estimated at $3,750. Restoring the full time status would be great this fall for coverage through the various fall events. The committee will continue to discuss this.
Personnel & Pool – Bev Pearce, Chair: No committee meeting yet but spoke with Ann about the timeline for hiring a manager.
Finance, Property, & Equipment – Christopher Langsett, Chair: He attended the Police, Fire, & Safety committee meeting. He will work with the clerk on how restoring the officer position to full time will affect the budget.
OPEN FORUM: No topics
MAYOR’S REPORT: The city received a corrected liquor license application for the Brick Wall Bar and Grill. The address and name were corrected. No objections. Multiple public record requests were received from Jim Farr; feel free to review them at city hall. The Planning Commission has set their public hearing for the proposed Comprehensive Plan and Title 17, Zoning for Tuesday, March 4th. Garfield Mayor McGowan will be attending a council meeting to introduce himself.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Ossinger MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Estes MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Pearce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:27 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. #5519-5533 $2,380.77
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________