Month: November 2014

November 25, 2014

Palouse City Council
Final Public Hearing – proposed 2015 budget
Followed by Regular Council Meeting
November 25, 2014

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bo Ossinger; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce; Christopher Langsett. Absent: Councilmembers Hanson and Hicks called in their absences last week. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to excuse their absences. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Heidi Fluegel; Patti Green-Kent; Dana Anderson; Keiona Zachow; Eric Hansen; Donna Langsett.

FINAL PUBLIC HEARING: 2015 proposed budget: Opened public hearing at 7:03 pm. No verbal public comment. Jim Farr dropped off three questions prior to council and requested them be read aloud at public hearing: Q1. “Why did the city pay for Druffel’s water review?” A. It’s how the process works. It’s a pass-through expense. Because the review is done by an engineer of the city’s choosing, the city pays the bill which is then reimbursed by the developer. Q2. “Have any capital improvement funds been used for any water or sewer projects (installation or repair) on the South Hill since the 6-Year Capital Improvement Plan was adopted 10/9/2012? And if so, which funds and how much?” A. No the city hasn’t done any of those plans listed. Q3. “Do any employees or elected officials of the City of Palouse (including immediate family members), hold now or in the past, a financial interest in land developed by Sand Road Land Corporation, projects 1-4? If so, who?” A. The land was formerly owned by the Beeson’s but they sold it. Public hearing closed at 7:08 pm.

Councilmember Langsett MOVED to instruct Joyce to write the ordinance adopting our 2015 budget. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of November 11, 2014. Councilmember Pearce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. We’ve talked about getting repairs done to the parapet on the PD which is in desperate need of repair. CTI submitted a bid and we’re awaiting one more.

On Saturday (11/22/14), a valve broke off the 8” main on I Street. There were a lot of people without water for a while. Dwayne and Marc spent Saturday fixing it. When water lines are being worked on, sometimes the water is temporarily brown and, if so, you should run water until it clears. Councilmember Wekenman asked if all our meters in town have back-flow preventers. No, they do not.

With all the water/sewer issues being brought forth from Nicole Wood and Jim Farr, Supt. Griffin would like a w/s committee meeting with the mayor and atty. present to come up with a solution to address all these. We’ve answered their questions over and over but they won’t accept the answers.

POLICE REPORT:
Officer Merry was involved in a collision with another vehicle on Sunday. The other vehicle lost control. No one was seriously injured. Officer Merry will be on light-duty for a little while until the soreness subsides. The PD’s Durango’s damage estimate was over $10,000. We are working with the insurance companies. They are providing a rental PD vehicle available to us next week until we can replace the Durango. We may need a budget amendment for purchase in 2014.

There was a complaint in Garfield last week of a dead baby moose in someone’s yard. When Fish & Game came to remove the dead baby moose the mom moose charged the officer and it had to be put down. The large moose was processed and provided meat to the Garfield Food Bank. Fish and Game is doing a necropsy on the calf.

JFB REPORT:
Councilmembers Langsett, Wekenman, and Ossinger attended the JFB meeting Nov. 17. There were 5 FD calls in Oct., 33 YTD. Fire Chief Bagott attended the County Chief’s meeting and met the new Moscow Fire Chief. Chief Bagott has not seen the tavern fire report yet to provide a copy or even comment on it.

8 EMS calls in October. Annie gave kudos to Mike Bagott for doing a superior job as both incident commander and EMS responder on a call in October when no EMS personnel were available. It was a very bad accident and he may very well have saved a life that night.

District 12 (Pullman Rural FD) donated Jaws of Life to Palouse FD.

OLD BUSINESS:
Continued discussion of PMC Title 6 Animals: Discussion continued regarding how best to write the chicken portion of Title 6. Atty. Bishop will draft the ordinance but needs a council decision first. Ideas were discussed in-depth. At last meeting, 10 was determined to be the maximum allowed, however that brings up more issues: If someone has 15 chickens, do they get to keep that many forever, or as they die, do they fall back to 10 max? Normally, non-conforming uses continue only so long as it’s not altered but once it changes it has to comply with the current code. For example, you may have a 100-year-old house on a 4,000 sf lot (which is too small by current code). However, if the house burns down, another house can’t be built there because the lot is too small. Along the same lines, if we were to allow current chicken owners to keep however many chickens they have, once they die off (or get eaten, etc.), they can’t be replaced. Should responsible chicken owners be able to maintain the current size of their brood? The discussion kept coming back to nuisance: odor, noise, environmental hazard. Regardless of the number of chickens, owners must still abide by the minimum enclosure requirements, minimum setbacks, care requirements, and not create a nuisance. Ultimately, council directed Atty. Bishop to write Title 6 allowing for up to 20 chickens, so long as all the above guidelines are met. For those wanting more than 20, they would have to first obtain permission from city council.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Water & Sewer, Chair Ossinger-
Committee met with C-T Beeson and Mike Bagott to discuss the financing side of water and sewer. DOE has taken steps to increase the testing requirements of the plant and the river. In order to meet new testing demands, we need to raise sewer operating by $1.00 a month effective with January 2015 bill. This change is to pick up the slack from increased testing costs. We don’t like this but we have to pay the bills. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to ask Joyce to write an ordinance to put in effect the $1.00 sewer operating increase. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
TIB announced their funding recipients for 2015 and the second part of the Whitman Street project was sadly not on it. Previously the DOT approved $30,000 for design and planning of the railroad portion on West Whitman.

The city hired Varela & Associates at our Oct. 14th meeting as our consultant on the sewer plant project for 1) project planning; 2) application to DOE; & 3) negotiate permit with DOE. The basic plan is that Ecology will set the base requirements of the effluent going into the river. The city will have to develop a plan and implement it no later than sometime in 2024. This all boils down to stricter and more demands on the city from Ecology. There are currently, no grants available to the city for planning and design. Varela put together an application to Ecology for up to $200,000 in loan money. Mayor felt in good conscience he couldn’t sign the application because to pay that off, we would’ve had to raise our rates immediately by at least $8.00. Ecology hasn’t even decided what our final goals will be. He discussed it with Mayor pro tem Wekenman and Councilmember Pearce. They called Varela and let them know the decision to not send in the loan application. In 2014 council authorized up to $15,000 for planning and it’s going to be about $6,000. In 2015 we budgeted another $15,000 for 2015. We must explore other funding opportunities.

Jim Farr and Nicole Wood are sending requests in for water meters without going through the Water Extension Policy. We keep giving them answers and they say that’s not acceptable. Since August of 2014, the city has received numerous PRR’s from Nicole Wood/Jim Farr:
Approximately:
Nicole Wood – Aug. 2014 – 10 PRR’s in 1 email
Sept. 2014 – 15 PRR’s in 8 emails
Oct. 2014 – 38 PRR’s in 13 emails
Nov. 2014 – 64 PRR’s in 8 emails
Jim Farr – Aug-Nov 2014 13 PRR’s in 9 emails

If an employee wants to use more than 40 hours of vacation leave at one time, city code requires council permission. Marc Arrasmith has requested to take about 80 hours vacation in December. Councilmember Pearce MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Ossinger, to authorize Marc’s time off. Motion carried unanimously.

Every year we pay a $1,000 broker fee to Steve Witthuhn (at HUB Insurance) and the FD pays a $500 broker fee. That fee is included every year in the budget. However, Mayor Echanove wanted to read aloud the agreement and get council approval prior to signing the broker agreement. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to accept and sign the broker agreement. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Langsett seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:48 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. #6137-6174 $95,373.41
Payroll Paid 11/25/14 Ck. #6175-6197 & EFT $38,813.20

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

November 11, 2014

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
Palouse City Council
Public Hearing: 2015 preliminary budget
Followed by Regular Council Meeting
November 11, 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; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Clerk-Treasurer in training Mike Bagott. Public present: Donna Langsett; Laurie Cortright; Darcie Bagott; Emily Bagott; Richard Styer; Leia Placke; Charlotte Omoto; Brad Pearce; Patti Green-Kent; Jens Hegg; Katie Cooper; Berlyn Hegg; Aaron Flansburg; Heidi Fluegel.

PUBLIC HEARING: 2015 preliminary budget & message –
No comments.
The city will know in a few weeks whether or not we’ll receive TIB funding for the west portion of Whitman Street.

Close public hearing & open regular council meeting: 7:08 pm

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 28, 2014. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
The October 2013 Avista bill for Main Street lights with only HALF the lights on was $291.15; October 2014 with ALL the lights on was $190.08. October 2013 Whitman Street lights was $95.30; October 2014 $53.53. The savings from the LED light program are paying off.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Merry reported:
Quiet in both towns; working later patrols in both towns.
Charlotte Omoto inquired about the city police department using horse or bicycle patrol vs. using patrol cars; she thinks it might be more cost-effective and horses can go places that vehicles can’t. Councilmember Pearce responded that the response time alone wouldn’t work.

OLD BUSINESS:
Continued Discussion of PMC Title 6 Animals: The policy committee met after last council meeting and took into consideration everyone’s comments and thoughts. Councilmember Hanson reviewed Title 6 aloud. Conditional use permits are no longer required for animals as long as all the parameters of Title 6 and setbacks from Title 17 are met. Roosters are prohibited outright. Minimum pasture size isn’t changing from the existing code: 10,000 square feet of pasture for each cow, mule, donkey, and horse, and 5,000 square feet for each sheep, goat, llama, and alpaca, not including young less than six months of age at their mother’s side. Patti Green-Kent urged council to go by the American Vet Assn. recommendations for pasture sizes. Councilmember Wekenman pointed out to Patti that the AVA recommendation is approximately 13,000 square feet so that’s more prohibitive than our code. The city is in the process of working on an agreement with the school for their sheep pasture. A maximum of one pot-bellied pig per household and under no circumstances are market swine, breeding pigs, or pig litters allowed. Pigs must be licensed, just as dogs are licensed. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to set the maximum number of chickens at 10 per household. Councilmember Pearce seconded. This was a compromise that the committee felt was fair. Two nay votes. Motion carried. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to allow current chicken owners to be grandfathered in and maintain the number they have as long as there are no nuisances. Council discussion followed and the motion was subsequently removed from the table. Deputy Clerk Thompson will take to attorney for his recommendations.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 919 budget amendment:
Mayor read the ordinance aloud in its entirety. This reflects updated cost estimates in the Street Fund and Sewer Facility Reserve Fund. The Street Fund is being increased to reflect higher payments to Avista for street lighting as the streetlight project took longer than estimated to complete. The Sewer Facility Reserve Fund is being increased to reflect pre-planning costs for upgrades to the sewer plant. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt Ordinance 919 as written. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 920 adopting property tax increase for Emergency Medical Services for collection in 2015:
Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. The dollar amount of the increase over the actual levy amount for the previous year shall be $272 which is an increase of one percent. Mayor read it aloud a second time by title only. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 920. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 921 setting the regular and special levy amounts for 2015 budget year:
Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Special street levy (estimated $.761/$1,000); Special pool levy (estimated $.484/$1,000); voted regular EMS levy (estimated $.471/$1,000); general levy (estimated $3.10/$1,000). Total amount to be raised by taxation is approximately $280,751. Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 921. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 922 adopting PMC Title 17
Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Estes, to suspend the reading of the ordinance (it’s 45 pages). Mayor read aloud Ordinance No. 922 by title only. Attorney Bishop finished approving Title 17 and wrote Ordinance No. 922 adopting Title 17. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Ossinger, to adopt Ordinance No. 922. Motion carried unanimously.

At the September 23, 2014 public hearing, city council approved both the zoning map and the comp plan to be adopted at the same time as Title 17 is adopted. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to adopt the zoning map, seconded by Councilmember Hansen. Motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Pearce MOVEDto adopt the Planning Commission’s Comprehensive Plan. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 923 amending PMC no. 676. Councilmember Wekenman read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Amends PMC 18.04.050(B) and 18.04.060(B) establishing new minimum lot sizes of 7,000 square feet to reflect the changes initiated by the adoption of Title 17. Councilmember Pearce MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson, to adopt Ordinance No. 923. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2014-13 amending the fee schedule: removing the fee for police reports as per the advice of CIAW. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Estes, to adopt Resolution No. 2014-13. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2014-14 adopting the 2015 salary schedule:
Councilmember Wekenman read aloud the resolution in its entirety. These salaries reflect a 5% increase for Don Myott, Dwayne Griffin, Jerry Neumann; 8% increase for Marc Arrasmith; 9.7% increase for Ann Thompson; and 10% increase for Officers Snead and Merry. Councilmember Langsett pointed out that in 2010 there was a 0% increase to salaries; in 2011 there was a 3% pay-cut to all salaries to help with the decreased city budget; 0% increase in 2012; 0% increase in 2013. In 2014 the 3.1% pay-cuts were restored. Council agreed that the city needs to work diligently to get our staff up to at least the starting wage for state averages. Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt Resolution 2014-14. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
No committee reports.

OPEN FORUM:
Aaron Flansburg had a couple Haunted Palouse concerns: power usage at the apartment building on corner of Whitman & Beach; and where the liability falls when damage is done to city property. Councilmember Pearce told Aaron that these are concerns he needs to bring to the Palouse Chamber of Commerce.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Rick and the Mayor met with the Shoreline Master Plan county-wide committee in regards to the shoreline management plan update occurring throughout Whitman County. Of that plan, Palouse will have a separate annex. Each possible use of the shoreline gets marked as either: use is permitted outright; conditional use required; or prohibited. This plan is mandated by the legislature and is due by December 2015. It is an overlay map on all properties within 200’ of the high-water mark of the North Fork of the Palouse River.

Public Works got a quote from CTI of the Palouse for repairing the sidewalk elevation difference on the north side of Main Street by the library and St. Elmo’s Building. It poses a trip hazard. As per PMC, sidewalks are the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. The city will look into this further.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Langsett seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:36 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 10/31/14 Ck. #6091-6109 & EFT $36,651.33
Claims Paid 11/12/14 Ck. #6110-6136 & EFT $20,881.93

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________