Palouse City Council
Continued Public Hearing followed by Regular Council Meeting
September 23, 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; Bev Pearce; Christopher Langsett. Absent: Rick Wekenman is on vacation. Councilmember Estes MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Councilmember Pearce seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; & C-T in training Mike Bagott. Public present: Donna Langsett; Roy Druffel; Debbie Druffel; Lynne Nelson (Planning Commission); Jay Iverson (Planning Commission); Sharon Tharp (Planning Commission); Aaron Flansburg (left at 8 pm).
Open the Public Hearing at 7:02 pm: Continuation of public hearing to review proposed changes to Palouse zoning map and the updated Palouse Comprehensive Plan. The bottom left quadrant on the zoning map is being proposed as Agriculture (AG). Deputy Clerk Thompson spoke with Dave Harlow, the owner of the land and Mr. Harlow was fine with changing the zoning from low density to AG. The skatepark area will be zoned R2. No public or council comments on the Comp Plan. City council and the planning commission approved both the map and the Comp Plan. Once we get Title 17 back from our attorney, council will adopt the zoning map, the comp plan and Title 17 at the same time. Public hearing closed at 7:12 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 9, 2014. Councilmember Langsett seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
Ben & Judy Finch are going to request a street opening to build a new house. They are going to send a written request for council discussion. It will open about 150’ of Houghton St. They will build the road to city specs, at their own expense.
Wall Street is ready for gravel. People should be able to drive on it in a couple days. Poe Asphalt will pave as soon as they can get here.
No issues during Palouse Day.
Special thanks to the FFA Advanced Ag class for cleaning up the graffiti on the West Main Street bridge.
Palouse is having dog issues on the north hill with very irate dog owners vs. very irate dog neighbors. It is an ongoing barking dog complaint. Chief reminded the public to either train their dog to not bark, put it inside, use bark collars, or move it out of town. After three citations, we’re mandated by ordinance that the dog be removed.
Bo, Rick, and Chris attended the JFB meeting Sept. 15, 2014.
9 fire calls in August, 23 YTD.
Chief Bagott is working with Whitcom to clear up some paging issues.
Survey bureau may change Palouse’s city rating. The rating affects insurance rates for everyone. Palouse has been a class 7 town for numerous years. The lower the rating the better. Last rating we went to a class 6 but that could change with the new rating. Chief Bagott will report any changes or lack thereof at next JFB meeting.
Palouse Federated Church had annual Harvest dinner and honored the Palouse FD. Any leftover money may get passed on to the PFD.
7 EMS calls in August, 56 YTD.
EMS will be present at four home GPHS football games.
Ordinance No. 916: establishing a Special Capital Projects Fund: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. It establishes a fund to be used for those portions of capital projects funded by the tax imposed by PMC Chapter 3.10. All proceeds received from the real estate excise tax authorized by PMC 3.10 shall be deposited into this fund. Such proceeds shall then be allocated only to those portions of capital projects being funded by the REET. We’ve been collecting this tax since 1988. The state has made it clear to municipalities they’d like to see REET money isolated from other funds because it can only be spent on certain things. The money is currently in capital project funds, but by having a separate REET fund, council can create the project, write the budget for it, and close the project. It will be much easier. This year we’ve collected approximately $10,000 so far. Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adopt ordinance no. 916. Councilmember Ossinger seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Planning Commission’s findings of facts for Palouse Cove Development: PC Representatives Sharon Tharp, Lynne Nelson, & Jay Iverson were present. Sharon Tharp reported the meeting was very positive. There was strong public support. All proponents, no opponents. Based on the public testimony, comments, and findings of fact, the Planning Commission voted in favor of the preliminary proposal for a planned development by Sand Road Land. The PC appreciated the openness of the discussion. Lynne Nelson said this is a very good example of what people want to see in Palouse. The developer and his engineer have been very cooperative and helpful and open to working with the city.
The city council now has three options: decide whether to 1) approve the preliminary proposal; 2) approve the proposal subject to certain conditions; or 3) reject it. Currently the water system has been submitted to an independent engineer and they‘re modeling the infrastructure, the flow, etc. Mr. Druffel is paying for that. The engineer is an unbiased third party. Based on the Planning Commission’s findings, Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept the approved preliminary planned development, allowing it to go to final design. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Joyce reminded Roy Druffel that prior to working in the city right-of-way his contractor must be approved by council.
Roy inquired if, once the flow model comes back approved from the engineer, he can begin constructing infrastructure before the final planned development is approved because the infrastructure won’t be affected one way or the other from the final planned development. Joyce will check with our attorney.
Policy & Administration, Chair Hanson- Discussion on possibly removing obsolete Chapter 6.04 (Animals At Large) from PMC. PMC 6.04 was written in 1921. It talks about the city and police department selling impounded animals and putting that money in the general fund. It also says the city will sell any livestock found picketed or tethered inside the city limits. The city does none of these things. Councilmember Hanson MOVED to begin the process to remove chapter 6.04 from our PMC. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Animals running at large are addressed in the specific chapters (i.e. Dogs 6.08). Motion carried unanimously.
On her own, as a citizen, Doreen Hanson contacted two salvage companies to look at removing the non-livable, nuisance mobile home on Mohr Street. The salvage company will keep the profits. The owner has agreed as long as she has no expenses. This is not a city project.
Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- Councilmembers Langsett, Wekenman, & Ossinger met with Chief Neumann to review a couple complaints against the police. They found them unfounded. Both complaints stemmed from dog issues.
City received a letter congratulating us on the completion of our street light program. TIB is closing the project and final payment will be made.
The river gauge at Potlatch for emergency preparedness gives the city about 8 hours notice on the rise of the river flow. The city’s share of next year’s contract for the river gauge is $104, down from $1,500. Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Estes, to authorize the Mayor to sign the year contract with the Dept. of Interior.
Joyce has begun writing the 2015 budget. To start the process we need to close: Sick Leave Reserve 310, Building Maintenance Reserve 305, and Vehicle & Equipment Reserve 304. They no longer work well with the State’s budgeting and accounting manual. Now that we have a dedicated fund for REET revenue and projects, she’s going to put together what we need to close the three funds and transfer the residual equity where it belongs. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to allow Joyce to close the three obsolete funds and transfer money to the REET fund. Councilmember Hicks seconded. Motion carried unanimously. She would like the finance committee or any three councilmembers to look over her method of tracking these funds.
City staff received 8 PRR’s from Nicole Wood yesterday (9/22/14). Each one is very involved. Mayor read aloud one in particular because it concerns information about Palouse residents:
“Please document all City of Palouse water bills, in their entirety, sent to customers for the month of August 2014. Include customer’s name, address, account number, and gallons used.”
Deputy Clerk Thompson spoke directly with our attorney’s office and, under the Privacy Act, we are required to provide them with that information. The only information that can be withheld is: phone number, email, & mailing address. RCW 42.56.330 subsection 2.
C-T Beeson asked council to consider going back to releasing our draft minutes. A couple years ago council voted to not disseminate minutes until they were approved two weeks later at the next council meeting. However Joyce pointed out that by the time the minutes are released, the information is old and often the business at hand is over. The public needs to know information in a timely manner. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to release the DRAFT minutes with a watermark prior to council review or approval. Councilmember Estes seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Langsett MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Ossinger seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Langsett seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:31 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. #6000-#6021 & EFT $18,563.22
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________