Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
June 10, 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. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Donna Langsett, Loren Estes, Aaron Flansburg, Scott Storch, Ardis Wraspir.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 27, 2014. Councilmember Ossinger seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
The city gets inquiries about the availability of the compost material. The city’s stance is that the public can help themselves, however it’s use at your own risk; we have no control or knowledge of what chemicals are in the compost. There is also compost near Pauline Avenue which is behind Bofenkamp’s off Spokane Avenue. Also, in regards to helping yourselves to the chipped material, it’s the large pile right next to the compost. Please don’t mistake our purchased “good” chips for the free stuff.
WSDOT is grinding off and resurfacing Bridge Street Bridge. They’re also going to chip-seal 8 miles from Palouse towards Pullman.
POLICE REPORT: Officer Merry reported the hot rod show went great as did the GPHS all night grad party. No incidents.
Lions Club Lease Agreement: Loren Estes liked the agreement, but for next year’s contract renewal, change 7.3 (c), and have the city responsible (not the Lions) for taking reasonable efforts to protect all water, sewage, heating and other pipes so they don’t freeze or become clogged. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the Lions Club Lease Agreement for the 2nd story at 120 E. Main Street. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Echanove signed the agreement and Loren Estes will bring back after the Lions Club president signs.
City’s property/liability insurance coverage choices: Every few years we review our policy to make sure we’re getting the most for our money. Our current carrier is CIAW. The FD has the same carrier. We received a quote from the insurance pool AWC Rick Management: $53,169. CIAW’s 10/1/2013-9/30/2014 fee was $54,504. From a monetary standpoint AWC is $1,335 cheaper. However, we have a wonderful track record with CIAW for 20+ years. HUB Insurance in Palouse is the broker for our current policy for an extra cost of $1,000 a year for the city. CIAW has represented us in court a few times; provided dozens of free trainings and processes claims. If the city stays with the policy of using a broker the same broker fee would probably apply. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to retain our current insurance carrier CIAW. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Skatepark update: Aaron Flansburg had a public forum meeting May 29th in regards to the new location option for the skatepark (just to the east of the police station, on the north side of Whitman Street). Approximately 17 people attended. Good discussion. The opposition was concerned about the noise of the skatepark. Aaron maintains that skateparks aren’t inherently loud and there are ways to mitigate sound through vegetation buffers and types of construction. Regardless of the location, noise concerns are just inevitable; the downtown is full of noise as-is: trains going by, trucks, when the tavern was open music could be heard throughout neighborhoods. The support for this sight is fairly robust. The people opposed seem to be small in number compared to the opposition to the sewer plant site. Aaron hopes to meet soon with the Dillards (current owners of the proposed site) and see where they’re at with their offer to donate the land. One of the advantages to this site, it’s currently zoned for high density use which allows park and recreation facilities. That lot has been for sale for years and at one time it was pursued for development for a storefront and multi-resident dwelling, which would’ve been out of the neighbors’ control.
Mayor asked if Aaron watched the video of the presentation DOE gave to city regarding all the new required regulations for the sewer plant (WWTP). The city now has to develop a WWTP improvement plan by 2017. It would not be prudent for us to develop a skatepark at that site. Mayor thinks Aaron should do a better job of explaining to the skatepark supporters that there is this larger issue at hand; city residents have millions of dollars invested in their sewer plant. Councilmember Pearce thinks this Whitman Street site is a gift and with all the issues at the sewer plant, this is a golden opportunity. She’d like the skatepark group to work with that site. Aaron really likes the Whitman sight except the proximity to the neighbors. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to remove as an option the sewer plant location that was previously approved. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Aaron reiterated that he considers the Whitman Street location is a great option. He would appreciate council support for this new location and consider helping with the sound mitigation. Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2014-05: amending the 2014 fee schedule charge for non-resident private swim lessons: This was decided at the last council meeting. All fees are the same except the private lesson rate for non-residents went from $15 to $20. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to approve the resolution. Councilmember Estes seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Water & Sewer, Chair Bo Ossinger- Read aloud the Request For Qualification (RFQ) calling for engineers to submit their Statement of Qualification for the WWTP upgrades. Closing date will be July 10, 2014. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to authorize C-T Beeson to send out the RFQ. Motion carried unanimously.
The city has a policy that forbids hooking RV’s to city sewer unless inside a mobile home park. Scott Storch has been building a house on 8th & B since last August and using and paying for city utilities, however city hall staff just learned last week that the sewer was hooked to his RV not the new house. He has been told to disconnect the city sewer from his RV. Scott Storch requested an exception to the policy because they’re living in the RV during construction. He hopes to have the house livable in the next couple months. Bo is inclined to allow his use of sewer to his RV for two more months. Councilmembers Wekenman and Pearce explained why the policy is in place and that he needs to use his RV’s waste reservoir and haul his RV to the RV dump when necessary. Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to allow them to keep their RV hooked up to the city’s sewer until August 10, 2014, with no extensions beyond that date. Councilmember Langsett seconded. By a vote of 4 to 3 the motion carried. Committee is going to review the policy to perhaps amend it for special circumstances during construction. It was noted that Storch will continue to be billed for water and sewer.
Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Mike Hicks- Met with Supt Griffin to go over the six year street plan (STIP). Mike reviewed the plan with him to get an idea of the prioritization of the street projects. Discussed equipment needs with him as well. The 1973 5-ton dump is on its last leg, but its running. It’s not used a lot. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to set July 22, 2014, as the date for the public hearing for the six year street plan. Councilmember Estes seconded. Motion carried.
Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Chris Langsett- Supt. Griffin submitted a request to Councilmember Langsett for a salary increase for public works. Chris is going to meet with his committee.
Councilmember Langsett MOVED to set July 8th, 2014, as the date for the 2015 revenue sources public hearing. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried.
Rick and Mayor are attending the Mayor’s Roundtable this week in Pullman.
Through the State Treasurer’s Office we are required to update our authorization to invest monies into the Local Government Investment Pool (LGIP). A resolution will be presented at the next council meeting.
There’s a new law that goes into effect June 12, 2014, requiring the offering of two unpaid holidays for reasons of faith or conscience. They do not carry over from one year to the next. Joyce will have a policy to review at next council meeting.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Langsett MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Councilmember Pearce MOVED to go into executive session for less than 15 minutes for a personnel issue. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Council adjourned to executive session at 8:44 pm. Mayor called the meeting back to order at 8:56 pm with no further business.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:58 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid Ck. #5685, #5731 – #5749 & EFT $38,360.29
Claims Paid Ck. #5250 – #5277 & EFT (replacing voided 5/27/14 Ck #5712) $42,344.01
Voids Ck. #5683 & #5684 & #5712
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________