Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
July 28, 2015
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; Bev Pearce. Absent: Councilmembers Wekenman, Langsett, & Estes. All had notified staff of their pending absences. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson, to excuse their absences. Motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Police Officer Joe Handley; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of July 14, 2015. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
Councilmember Pearce reported the drinking fountain is broken at the park and the one near the library isn’t working well. She’d like them fixed. A citizen reported one of the slides at the park is very wobbly. All three items will be reported to Public Works.
Music Festival was this weekend. There were no problems.
The PD has 75 helmets ordered for the bike rodeo August 27 @ 10 am by the Police Department. There will be a raffle for a bike.
BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:
There are four houses being built currently. There is a manufactured home going in on South River Road. There are a few re-roofs and a few mechanicals.
The deadline for Scott Storch to unhook his mobile home from city sewer is July 31st. Dan Gladwill gave him a temporary certificate of occupancy on the new build, meaning it’s safe for occupancy but not complete.
JFB REPORT (2nd council meeting of month only):
No meeting last week due to early harvest. Chief Bagott and Annie Pillers are working on the Fire and EMS budgets.
There have been a few spooky fires due to dry weather and wind. Equipment and people are performing well. Burn ban is still in effect for the City and Fire District 4 and likely will be into September unless there is a dramatic change in the weather.
We’ve already exceeded our budgeted revenue of $9,000 for 2015 at the RV Park. It still remains very popular and people are very happy with it.
We budgeted $2,500 revenue for building permits and we’re at $7,000+ already thanks to the four new homes. And there are a few more new homes coming so that figure will still go up. The building permit money helps bridge that gap between now and when those properties are added to the property tax roll.
Pool donations were budgeted for $500 and we’re at $1,100.
City Assistance revenue from the State was budgeted at $19,000 in 2015. After reviewing budget preparation guidance from MRSC and City Assistance forecasts from DOR, CT Bagott thinks it’s conceivable that City Assistance could hit $26,000+. Again, there’s a nice cushion for when property and sales tax are low. CT Bagott feels very good about the revenue side of things. No causes for concern on expense side yet.
Regarding the energy program we’ve been working on with Apollo and the Department of Enterprise Services. We ran the contract with DES through our city attorney’s office and our attorneys don’t like the contract. Attorney Hansen spoke with the DES representative and still has concerns with the contract. Due diligence dictates we pay the attorney for a reason and we need to heed their advice. CT Bagott will keep working on this.
State Representative May Dye – council visit: Representative Dye said Palouse is a very bright spot amongst all the smaller communities in the state. When she sees the pictures of where we came from, we offer hope to other small towns. Representative Dye said that, until she took office, she didn’t truly appreciate the impact that the 2008 economic downturn had on the State at its cities and towns. She was impressed that Palouse had been able to continue to move forward through this downturn and the one in 2001. She said Palouse is deserving of a great deal of praise. She is looking forward to working with the City and pledged to fight to ensure funding that is allocated for projects in eastern Washington stays in eastern Washington.
Ordinance No. 935 – amending 13.20.080 wording regarding late fees:
Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This ordinance codifies the policy of adding late fees only on delinquent bills with a balance in excess of $10.00. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 935 as written. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2015-08 – street improvements and road oiling levy:
Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This resolution places Proposition No. 1 on the November 3, 2015, General Election Ballot, to be voted upon by the voters of the City of Palouse. Proposition No. 1 funds street improvements and street oiling in the levy amount of $44,000. It is an estimated $0.820 per $1,000.00 of assessed value in the year 2015 for collection in 2016. Council had decided to leave the dollar amount the same as last year even though the need is higher. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to pass Resolution No. 2015 -08. Councilmember Ossinger seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2015-09 – swimming pool levy:
Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This resolution places Proposition No. 2 on the November 3, 2015, General Election Ballot, to be voted upon by the voters of the City of Palouse. Proposition No. 2 is for the purpose of funding the operation and maintenance of the swimming pool in the levy amount of $28,000. It is an estimated $0.522 per $1,000 of assessed value in the year 2015 for collection in 2016. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2015-09. Councilmember Ossinger seconded. This is the same amount as last year. Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2015-10 – creating a Police Department confidential informant fund:
For the payment to informants to purchase narcotics for the purpose of drug interdiction. Drug issues have arisen and they need this resolution to pass in order to address this. CT Bagott worked with City Attorney Bishop and a representative from the State Auditor’s Office with regards to the language of the resolution. As ominous as it sounds, we’re developing a strictly monitored and regulated petty cash fund for their use for this purpose. This doesn’t increase the dollar amount in the Police Budget. It doesn’t authorize any extra expenditures, Chief still has to stay in the confines of his budget. The auditor was thrilled the City called in advance. The biggest thing is the city has to monitor the funds and this resolution dictates how that’s done. CT Bagott said frankly we’re talking about a fund of $500, not thousands. The money isn’t recoverable; it’s just the cost of doing business. The money comes out of the PD budget as it’s expended.
Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. The resolution outlines in specific detail exactly the procedures for dispensing funds for confidential investigative expenses and the reconciliation, etc. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2015-10. Councilmember Ossinger seconded. Councilmember Hanson would like to see Garfield contribute ½ ($250) toward this fund. CT Bagott explained Garfield’s portion is covered with their contract. Motion carried unanimously.
Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Still working on the sidewalk repair letter to residents.
Personnel & Pool, Chair Pearce- Had a meeting last week to discuss pool operations. It was a good meeting.
Sewer Plant upgrade planning. DOE is requiring us to have a plan by 2017 to lower our effluent temperatures and our inorganic nitrate levels. Effluent is an asset. We need technology. Representative Dye commented about an algae based system that is being used at Inland Empire Paper Company in Millwood to remove inorganic nitrates. We will look into this. The Palouse sewer plant didn’t change from 10 years ago when DOE gave us an award for our sewer plant operations; DOE just changed the rules on us. Mayor Echanove would like to put together a blue-ribbon committee made up of citizens for input and information dissemination. It would be an advisory committee only. We did this with our Brownfield site and it worked great.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Ossinger MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:29 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. #6753-6765 $2,614.40
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________