Month: October 2014

October 28, 2014

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
October 28, 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. Absent council members: Chris Langsett. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse Councilmember Langsett’s absence. Councilmember Hanson seconded and motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & C-T in training Mike Bagott. Public present: Daryl Goertzen, Shelly Goertzen, Heidi Fluegel, Dick Styer, Kaye McGehee, Andra Edwards, Deanna Orr, Dana Anderson, Patti Green-Kent, Shirley Sandoval, John Harrison, Schurie Harrison, Keiona Zachow, Leia Placke, Eric Hanson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of Oct. 14, 2014. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
A bathroom stall door at Heritage Park was damaged on Saturday night during Haunted Palouse. Dwayne is preparing a repair estimate to present to the Chamber for reimbursement. No other Haunted Palouse problems were noted.

POLICE REPORT:
All went well with the first weekend of Haunted Palouse. The new portable radios purchased by Chamber worked great.
Citation forms need to be updated to current standards. Chief Neumann applied for a grant to produce citations electronically. Paper forms will be updated later this year or early next year.

JFB REPORT:
No report

NEW BUSINESS:
Discussion of PMC Title 6 Animals:
Mayor outlined the process and need of rewriting Title 6. Current code (PMC 17.12.040 A.) requires a conditional use permit for the raising of animals (rabbits, poultry, horses, cattle, sheep, goats). Planning commission has rewritten Title 17, which removed specific animal code. The council policy committee is working to revise code to bring all animal codes into one area and simplify the process for the public and staff. City has been receiving noise complaints about dogs and roosters.

Councilmember Pearce read the rough draft of Title 6 and referred to the current code it would be replacing. Councilmember Hicks asked what the number of chickens allowed under current code is. Current code does not specify. He stated that he believes that 6 in the draft is too few. Councilmember Hanson stated the other cities’ policies were reviewed in developing proposed changes and 6 was a common or average number. Councilmember Pearce stated that in 2012 the requirement for chicken owners to have a conditional use permit was explained. Councilmember Pearce asked the audience for their input and what they thought was a fair number of chickens.

Deanna Orr: Wants clarification as to what is a nuisance. Chief Neumann stated that only one complaint is needed for them to respond. Chief Neumann indicated that the Police Department tries to work with animal owners and if the problem continues, it is a nuisance. They try working with owners before citing them or removing animals. She asked about barking dogs. Chief Neumann said that it is understood that dogs will bark, but the problem arises when dogs bark continuously. She stated that she believes that 96 square feet is a huge area for a pet pig. It was clarified that in the case of mini pigs, their domain could possibly include the owner’s house.

Daryl and Shelly Goertzen: Asked why the number of chickens or other animals should be restricted if they are properly cared for and not causing a nuisance, and that other cities’ policies should not influence Palouse’s policy. He stated that he believes that the conditional use permit was too invasive and therefore he didn’t apply. Shelly Goertzen stated that they talked to the City about their concerns with the permit application. She stated that 6 chickens are not enough for having different breeds to keep it interesting, 12 would be an appropriate number. They have found a home for their rooster. She believes that complaints should be written and not verbal. Believes that the community survey indicated that respondents wanted the community to go in a rural, farming direction. Councilmember Pearce read an excerpt from the survey results that barking dogs are an issue in Palouse.

Schurie Harrison: Has a family of 3 and needs at least 8 chickens to provide eggs to eat each day. What about raising chickens for meat? Councilmember Pearce stated the proposed code deals with chickens as pets but that could be considered.

Dana Anderson: Has a rooster, chickens, and four ducks. Has consulted with neighbors and they don’t have problems. States that Chief Neumann threatened to fine and remove rooster in front of 9 year old son. Believes that son should be able to have rooster for 4H and not being allowed to do so will hurt property values and goes against how town was founded. Ianna Woltering (his neighbor) then stated that she complained because their rooster crows all throughout the day and that she should be able to enjoy her yard and have her windows open without being subjected to that. Dana requested that the Council give him an extension until tomorrow evening to remove his rooster from town. Council said they do not act for the police dept. Chief Neumann told him that was acceptable.

Andi Edwards: As a vet, hears complaints about animals in town. Pet owners are concerned that complaints from one person who is easily annoyed or overly sensitive could cost them their pet. Who decides what a nuisance is? Also would like to have a review of what is considered an exotic pet. Andi will take roosters at her house (lives in the county).

Kaye McGehee: Believes that there are places in town where you are less likely to have issues than others. Believes blanket approach is not appropriate and that the space required for certain animals is too large. She has more problems with cats than other animals.

Dick Styer: Has had chickens for 50+ years. Has five to ten roosters at times. Says that he was told that he didn’t need a conditional use permit because his chickens were grandfathered in. He also has horses. Hasn’t had complaints from neighbors.

Patti Green-Kent: Asked if the code being discussed is proposed rather than law. Would like to have an animal science student or vet consult on size of enclosure required for different animals. Believes current sizes are extravagant.

Shirley Sandoval: Thinks many people don’t know that conditional use permits are required and assume they can have animals because of what they see around town. Councilmember Pearce agreed and explained that’s one of the reasons the city is trying to address this issue and make the process simpler.

Mayor Echanove and the council policy committee thanked all who attended and offered their input. The committee will continue working on Title 6.

OLD BUSINESS:
3rd Quarter Treasurer’s Report:
Street fund may need a budget amendment before the end of the year. Second half taxes will be received soon. Councilmember Hanson MOVED to approve the third quarter treasurer’s report. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

2015 Budget Discussions:
Having gone through discussions at the last meeting for the General Fund (001) and the Street Fund (101), this meeting we will try to get through the rest of the budget since the next meeting will be the first of two public hearings. He asked C-T Beeson to begin the discussion with the remaining funds. Beeson outlined each fund, pointing out any significant changes from the 2014 budget and answering questions along the way. Generally, the changes include increases to salaries, purchase of a used PD vehicle, 1-ton PW vehicle, and the Wall Street project.

NEW BUSINESS (continued):
Ordinance No. 918 budget amendment:
Mayor Echanove read aloud the proposed ordinance which allows for the transfer of funds from the four funds that were closed by ordinance at the last meeting. Councilmember Pearce MOVED for approval of Ordinance No. 918. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Policy & Administration, Chair Hanson-Will need another committee meeting to consider discussion from tonight’s meeting.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Had a quick meeting with Dwayne today about upcoming needs. Things are in pretty good shape but will begin planning to replace the dump truck.

OPEN FORUM: No comments.

MAYOR’S REPORT: Joyce would like to get Council approval of salary increases discussed previously. Resolution will be ready for next meeting for council to consider.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:23 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid 10/28/14 Ck. #6076-6090 $4,415.90

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

October 14, 2014

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
October 14, 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. Absent: Councilmembers Langsett and Estes are out sick. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse both councilmembers’ absences. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Dana Cowger of Varela and Associates (left at 8:16 pm); Susan Cowger (left at 8:16 pm).

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing & Regular Council Meeting of Sept. 23, 2014. Councilmember Pearce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT:
The police department is gearing up for Haunted Palouse. The PD purchased communication radios for use during the event which should provide a clearer line of communication between the haunted houses and trail. The radios are in and programmed. The FD will be on the same channel as well. Chief Neumann asked HP staff to contribute funds for that purchase. All three police officers will be working.

Over the last couple weeks we’ve had numerous dog complaints (more than usual). We issued one citation and impounded two dogs just today. Along with that is the ongoing chicken issues; new complaints from new victims. If a chicken owner isn’t responsible, it makes it hard on all the neighbors and the city hears about it.

OLD BUSINESS:
WWTP Update: every five years we get our NPDES permit from DOE to operate our sewer plant. About 18 months ago DOE told us they were going to change the parameters of the discharge into the river. As a result, the city had to hire an engineering firm (Varela & Associates) to help us with planning and compliance. Two immediate things that need to be addressed: 1) the upcoming review assistance for the new NPDES permit being issued by DOE; and 2) DOE’s funding application due 11/7/14. At the IACC conference a few weeks ago, Mayor, Mike Bagott, and our engineer Dana Cowger met with DOE and other funding partners. They helped look at the big picture and how we should proceed. Dana spoke at council tonight to address the project timeline/initial task list, scope of work, compensation, schedule, and authorization to proceed. The engineering contract is with our city attorney for review. Much discussion ensued about the DOE findings, etc. There is always the chance the city doesn’t get funding from DOE, but that would just mean postponing things for a year. DOE’s funding is 100% loan. They also offer 50% principal forgiveness to communities whose median household income is below 80% of the state average household income. Palouse’s is at 80.4% (.4% over) which makes us not eligible. The city needs to consider whether or not we should do a community income survey. It would be managed by a third party such as RCAC. There are costs involved as well as a great deal of work. It would be a gamble as to the outcome. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize Joyce to draft a budget amendment adding $5,000 to the existing budget of $10,000 for 2014 expenditures for the project. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow the mayor, pending legal review, to sign the contract with Varela for the funding procurement, NPDES permit assistance, and project management. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) inter-local agreement:
In May we passed Resolution 2014-03 authorizing membership in the Palouse RTPO. The inter-local agreement is the formal ratification of that resolution. Councilmember Hanson MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 917 – closing funds 304, 305, 310, & 315: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. All funds held in Fund 304 Vehicle & Maintenance Reserve, Fund 305 Building Maintenance, Fund 310 Sick Leave Reserve, and Fund 315 Park Improvements will be transferred back to the contributing funds. They will be closed effective December 31, 2014. These funds are no longer fitting the definitions set by the state. Many of the bars numbers that were used in those funds are becoming obsolete. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt ordinance No. 917. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. A budget amendment will come before the council at the next meeting which will allow the funds to be moved.

2015 Budget Discussions:
Fund 001 current expense was reviewed line by line. Discussions will continue.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Policy & Administration, Chair Hanson – Regarding PMC “Title 6-Animals”. The committee has met to discuss potential changes/updates/rewrites to Title 6 including swine, livestock, birds/poultry, and dogs. They will bring suggestions to the next meeting.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
The city has received numerous, overwhelming, public records requests (PRR’s) in the last few weeks from Steve McGehee, Jim Farr, & Nicole Wood. Councilmember Hicks spoke with Bruce Reim at Canfield & Associates regarding all the PRR’s we’ve been getting and how to handle them all. Some cities are budgeting money for extra staff to handle PRR’s. Bruce gives workshops to city councils and we will schedule one.

The city got the results back from the Washington Surveying & Rating Bureau. We were able to maintain our fire rating of Protection Class 6. Chief Bagott and the full department are commended for their efforts.

The Dept. of Commerce sent a letter stating that based on our current size and rate of growth, our critical areas update will become due June 30, 2020.

Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to set the preliminary budget public hearings on November 11 & November 25. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 9/30/14 Ck. #6022-6041 & EFT $ 40,360.63
Claims Paid 10/14/14 Ck. #6042-6075 & EFT $110,420.76

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________