Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
September 22, 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; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce; Christopher Langsett. Councilmember Hicks was absent. Councilmember Estes MOVED to excuse his absence. Councilmember Langsett seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 8, 2015. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
Bid results for new public works pick-up: CT Bagott sent out bid requests to 10 area Dodge dealers for a 2016 Dodge Ram 3500. In response, the city received three sealed bids: Wysup Dodge – $33,791.41; Dave Smith Dodge – $34,993.45; & Kendall Dodge – $39,333.21. CT Bagott had $36,000 budgeted for the pick-up, distributed between the general, water, sewer, & cemetery funds. We’re good budget-wise. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to accept the low bid of $33,791.41 from Wysup Dodge. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Palouse Day was great; had three alcohol-related incidents in the evening.
Chief Neumann requested permission to get rid of a bunch of old scanners, printers, etc. which are probably 20+ years old that have been sitting in the PD basement. Council advised him to look at recycling them prior to dumping them. There are also a bunch of old bicycles which Chief Neumann will try to donate.
JFB meeting was 9/21/15. Councilmembers Wekenman, Langsett, & Ossinger were in attendance.
Annie Pillers reported that things are good financially. Maintenance and repair line item for the fire department is a bit over budget but overall the budget is coming in under estimate. There were 7 fire calls in August, 25 YTD. Due to much better conditions, the fire ban was lifted September 17th. There were 5 EMS calls in August. EMS is actively recruiting EMT candidates and has a number of people that are interested. Scheduling conflicts will prevent any of them from being able to attend an upcoming local course. They may try to get some of them certified as Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) instead. The requirements for EMR vs. EMT (emergency medical technician) are substantially different: 62 hours vs. 160 hours. Officer Handley is interested in becoming EMT certified if training funds can be allocated. He is interested in an online class, but it is much more expensive ($1200 vs $500-$700) than the classes that are held locally. They will continue looking into options.
CT Bagott will have a preliminary budget for review at the next meeting. He expects next year’s budget to be very similar to this year’s. Capital expenditures will be lower as PD vehicles and the Public Works pickup will be purchased this year. Public Works will be looking at the purchase of a new mower and a utility locator, but these are relatively minor expenditures compared to purchasing vehicles.
Deputy Clerk Thompson shared a comparative revenue report for months 1-9. Most revenue funds are status quo with the exception of pool donations which were up over $400, and building permits which are up over $7,000 from last year. 52% of our swim lesson revenue comes from non-residents. The telephone B&O tax revenue is down over $3,000 and will continue to decline due to loss of land-lines. There’s nothing we can do about that; it’s just a sign of the times.
Shoreline Management Plan update: The city submitted on Aug. 18 the required SMP documentation to the state and other stakeholders. We sent out the 60 day Department of Commerce notice, the Determination of Non-Significance, the SEPA, etc. We can’t do anything until the 60 day review process passes. We will plan to hold a public hearing on this at the first meeting in October. Assuming there are no issues, we will most likely approve the final draft at the end of October. The Colville Tribe was the only stakeholder who has responded thus far and has some wording regarding artifacts, etc. The city received an inquiry from a resident asking if the city has to do this SMP. Yes, we have to. If we don’t opt in, the state will do it for us and then we have no say, no control. We’d be at risk for losing some of our setbacks, etc. The Planning Commission reviewed the SMP draft in August.
Wall Street paving project – revised pricing: To recap last meeting, we received only one bid for paving Wall Street. There was concern that the bid amount of $18,260 (880 sy at $20.75/sy) could put our arterial street fund over budget when combined with the other anticipated street projects we have going on. So Supt. Griffin asked Ken Ailor at Motley & Motley if they would consider 710 sy of paving instead of 880 at same sy price and they said no. Ken Ailor offered a few other options: 710 sy at $21.50/sy for $15,265; 710 sy @ $20.75/sy but use some of Palouse’s equipment and man hours for $14,732.50; or 800 sy at $20.75/sy for $16,600. Supt. Griffin and CT Bagott think it best financially to go with 710 sy at $21.50/sy. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to go with 710 sy at $21.50/sy for $15,265. Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Dept. of Ecology’s 2014 Performance Award presentation to Don Myott and the Palouse WWTP:
Ellie Key, Palouse’s permit manager and facility engineer from the Department of Ecology presented Don Myott and the City of Palouse with the award. The hard work and dedication it takes to achieve this award is huge. To achieve this recognition, a facility has to have perfect compliance for a year, no effluent violations, all reports provided on time, etc. She really wants to recognize Don and the dedicated city staff. This is the second time the city has received this award.
Resolution No. 2015-12 – Authorization for submittal of CERB planning grant application for WW Facility Plan:
Ecology is requiring us to submit to them by Dec. 2017, the plan on how we’re going to meet their new permit requirements. There are different funding mechanisms: USDA RD, CDBG, DOE & CERB. CT Bagott has been working to complete the CERB grant application which is due Monday. He has consulted with Dana from Varela and has developed a subset of plan that CERB grant funding will apply to if received. CDBG isn’t even an option because of the City’s median income level. We’ll qualify for loan funding from DOE but because Palouse’s median household income is slightly over their threshold we are most likely locked out of all DOE grant funding. Rural Development will be a more applicable partner in the design phase of the project. Their grant funding is normally tied in with a loan. Former CT Beeson always tried to avoid USDA funding because the applications and reporting are very difficult. We know we’re going to end up with debt on the sewer plant; there’s just no way around it. The rough estimate is a $3-$4 million project. Our hope is to get through this initial phase without taking on much debt. CERB awards in November so the immediacy is awesome; we can start at the beginning of the year if we receive the grant. We won’t know about DOE funding until mid year 2016. This funding opportunity will allow Varela and us to spend some time on the economic impact on the plant and remedies that provide an economic good to the city.
The Community Advisory Group (CAG) met last week. Bruce Baldwin is the chair of the CAG. All six CAG members, Dana from Varela, Mayor Echanove, Don Myott, Councilmember Ossinger and CT Bagott were in attendance. The meeting began with Don giving a tour of the WWTP. The committee was very impressed with both the WWTP and with Don. All six CAG members are passionate about this project and represent a great cross-section of our community and all offer good input. There is potential to partner with other jurisdictions in our efforts.
Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. The DOE is requiring the City to submit a WW Facility Plan by December 1, 2017, and Varela and Associates has estimated the cost to complete this plan to be $167,670, and the city isn’t able to fund this planning project from reserve funds and will need to seek loan and grant funding. This resolution authorizes CT Bagott to submit a planning grant application to CERB to assist in funding a WW Facility Plan. Phase 1 of the project will be $64,150 so the grant request amount will be $48,113 and will require a $16,037 match from the city. Bottom line is we HAVE to have a plan and we need money to get it going. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2015-12. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. If the city gets this grant we won’t be incurring any kind of debt which is great news.
Since the deadline is Monday, Councilmember Estes MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Langsett, to authorize the Mayor to sign the planning grant application to CERB. Motion carried unanimously.
Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- Had a committee meeting last week to discuss Phil and Jamie Gaber’s official complaint against the PD and the Mayor for his lack of response. The earliest complaint to the Mayor was received July 7, two months ago not four as indicated in the Gaber’s complaint. The time frame doesn’t seem valid. Rick has since received a letter from one of the Gaber’s neighbors explaining their side. Rick appreciates the Gaber’s voicing their concerns but there are concerns from a lot of people, not just from them. In order to make an informed decision on the Gaber’s complaint, the situation is ongoing until the committee can hopefully meet with Phil Gaber and also with the other parties involved.
Also discussed were budget requirements for the PD next year. There will be some training requirements in regards to preparing Officer Handley to be the OIC (officer in charge) upon the retirement of Joe Merry. That will require training dollars above what we normally budget for that line item. We will also need two sets of snow tires because the two newly acquired used vehicles obviously had used tires. We would also like to make sure the fund for undercover work is maintained. Officer Handley’s one year probation will be up May 1 and committee would like to get him a pay raise at that time. If there is any kind of salary increase for any city staff, the PD would like to be included.
Personnel & Pool, Chair Pearce-
Bev reviewed the pool wish list from pool manager.
Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Langsett-
A citizen inquired about the safety of the vacant Palouse Arms Building. Buildings committee chair Senja Estes will look into that.
Mayor Echanove attended an excellent brownfield seminar last week hosted by SEWEDA. Also in attendance were the Dept. of Ecology, Dept. of Commerce, investors, and more. The group took tours of brownfields in Pullman and Palouse, and also toured a formerly nasty brownfield property next to the new transit building in Moscow.
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.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid 9/22/15 Ck. #6902-#6920 $15,941.99
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________