Month: October 2016

October 11, 2016

 

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

October 11, 2016

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb.  Councilmembers Estes, Langsett and Hanson were absent.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse all their absences.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard wants the chemical name (imidacloprin) added in the pine beetle report under New Business.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 27, 2016, as amended.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

Solar Panel project is going full-bore.

 

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann met with the Police, Fire, and Safety Committee to discuss his request for salary increases for his department.  He used Colfax PD salaries for his comparison wage study.

 

Officer Merry is retiring Dec. 31, 2017.  Chief would like to start a replacement search in August of 2017.

 

ATV ordinance is still with our attorneys for review.

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

3rd Q Treasurer’s Report:  No red flags.  CT Dixon gave a copy of the budget to each council member for review.

 

Credit/debit card utility payments:  Many utility users in Palouse have expressed a desire for an option to pay their w/s bill online using their credit or debit card.  CT Dixon has been researching this option in-depth with www.govpaynet.com.  There is $0 cost to the city for their services nor does the city make any money.  It’s just another option to pay w/s bills in addition to the normal way of paying with cash or check.  Only those people who choose to pay online will pay a service charge directly to the company for the convenience.  The average service charge for a $75 w/s bill is $1.75.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow CT Dixon to move forward with getting this set up with www.govpaynet.com pending legal review of the contract.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

West Whitman Street project update:

PW Supt. Griffin and CT Dixon met today with railroad engineers, UTC, Munir Daud, WSDOT, etc., to review plans and discuss start dates, signage and construction timeline. UTC approved the plans and will file a petition to allow for Munir Daud to go out to bid in January.  Initial project completion date was set for 2016, but due to delays and weather this late in the year, the project is tabled until next year to begin as soon as weather and ground conditions will allow.

 

2017 Budget discussion:  Mayor, staff, and council reviewed line-by-line the current expense fund (001) using the 2016 budget position to aid in the 2017 budget projections.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-  Avista is considering putting in two electric vehicle charging stations for free and may also give the city $2,000 incentive to do it.  The parking area to the west of Heritage Park would be an ideal, central location.  There are still a lot of unknowns so Councilmember Slinkard will continue researching with Avista.

 

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-  The sidewalk repair project is ongoing.  Chair Hicks has been in contact with a few remaining properties to discuss plans.

 

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman-

Chair Wekenman would like council to consider a 7% wage increase for all city staff.  As part of long-term budget planning, he’d also like council to consider implementing annual staff wage increases (vs sporadic pay raises).  Next year the Garfield police contract is up for negotiations and the committee wants to ask Garfield to help cover more of the expenses so salaries are sustainable in the long-term.

 

Councilmember Wekenman would like $400 added to the PD training budget.

 

The city received from a Palouse resident a complaint of harassment against Chief Neumann.  Committee met to review the complaint and agreed the complaint was unfounded.  Mayor also reviewed the complaint and sent a letter to the complainant.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

CT Dixon and Mayor Echanove are going to an IACC conference in Wenatchee next week.

 

Mayor commended PW staff on their water use efficiency; last month the city accounted for 97% of all water used.  That’s astounding.  PW staff have worked hard over the years on infrastructure.

 

CT Dixon, Mayor, and Councilmember Wekenman are attending the Mayor’s Roundtable in Colfax later this month.

 

City received a liquor license renewal for the Bank Left Bistro.  No council objections.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      9/30/16             Ck. #7779-7796, 7798-7800 & EFT          $45,664.40

Ck 7798 replaces lost payroll ck. #7700 from 8/31/16

 

Claims Paid      10/11/16            Ck. #7797, 7801-7832 & EFT                  $51,247,68

Ck 7797 replaces lost claim ck. #7651 from 8/9/16

 

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

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 23, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 23, 2016

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett.  Councilmember Estes MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Langsett, to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence.  Staff present:  Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 9, 2016.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:  First Step Internet is updating the contract with the city for the services they provide for free to the city in exchange for them placing their antennas, routers, and other equipment in Palouse and at City Hall.  The new contract will include the fire hall, sewer plant, and a few other newer installations, as well as a wireless router to help with our new camera system.  The one-time fee for equipment is $320 for equipment.  Council is authorizing Chief Neumann to move forward with First Step on that.

 

Each officer is required by the state to take some training classes every year.  There is an internet training that costs $435 a year for a 3-officer department.  Chief Neumann would like the training budget increased to accommodate the internet training.  Mayor wants the PD to absorb the cost within its existing budget without a budget amendment.  Chief agreed.

 

Palouse PD is now able to administer CPL’s again.  For about 6 or so months we didn’t have the technologic capabilities for background checks.  But we now have that capability using WhitCom services.  The officers went through the training.  A rep from Olympia was just on site to perform our audit on the system and we are good to go.

 

Chief is revisiting the ATV ordinance he initiated a few years ago.  It needs to be put into ordinance form still.  It will be for using ATV’s on roads designated as less than 35 mph.  There are specifications to the equipment and they have to be inspected, etc.

 

Chief reminds the public that school starts Monday.  With the exception of the highways, all the city streets are 20 MPH, except a 2-block radius around the school in which the speed limit is 15 MPH. 

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 

Mayor Echanove has appointed Councilmember Wilcomb as the council liason to the JFB.  Councilmember Estes MOVED to affirm the Mayor’s appointment of Councilmember Wilcomb to the JFB.  Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

On the financial end things are on target.  There will be 2017 budget increases due to increased personnel, which therefore increase trainings, communications, utilities, maintenance and repair, insurance, and pensions.

 

Upcoming future purchases:  1) airpacks & bottles and new compressor for them.  The current bottles are nearing their 15-year lifespan.  The cost may be around $80,000-$100,000.  Chief Bagott and Annie Pillers are exploring funding options and grants.  2)  Our pumper truck turns 30 in 2017 and our tanker truck turns 30 in 2020.  We’re looking into options for our 30-year truck replacement schedule; there are ramifications of a 30-year replacement cycle:  software issues, availability of parts, advantages of buying 10 year old truck vs 20 year old truck, etc.

 

Moses Boone led a new driving course for both EMS and the fire department.

 

FD responded to the Wawawai canyon fire.  The fire truck ended up having to be towed to Jess Ford as the hydraulic line had a hole burned into it.  The repair cost $1,500 but Chief Bagott is looking at a state mobilization fund to pay for some or all of the repair.

 

1 fire call in July, 21 calls YTD.

13 EMS calls in July, 66 YTD.

 

Looking to put the EMS levy back on the ballot in 2017 for collection in 2018.  Last levy was in 2011.

 

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

We had the final submittal from Apollo for our solar panels.  It should take 2 or 3 weeks to be completed once work as begun barring any unforeseen problems.

 

The bond sale for our grant will be finalized Aug. 30th and will be used to pay upcoming invoices for the Solar Array project through the water fund.

 

A short-term revolving line of credit for the West Whitman Street project through Banner Bank will be finalized shortly.  It’s part of the whole project.  It’s only a one item line of credit from when the contractor submits a bill we can pay them until TIB and WSDOT reimburse the city.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Speed reduction request on hwy 27 to Pullman:  Last year John and Chris Bofenkamp approached the city and WSDOT to have the 55 mph moved from in front of their house to past their house so people didn’t speed by their house until they got past their house.  In the process of the change, WSDOT also changed some other signs, which in the end made their situation worse than it was before.  Now the Bofenkamps say people are speeding more and the situation is dangerous into and out of their driveway.  They would like the city to see about changing the signage so that their situation is addressed better.  This is a gray area because yes they live in the city limits, but it’s a state highway which is controlled by WSDOT.  The city will look into adopting an ordinance with WSDOT to allow the city to be in charge of the speed determination and see about making this better.  Chief Neumann stated that WSDOT will most likely do some kind of study to determine the necessity and practicality of allowing a speed change.

 

Resolution No. 2016-04 – sidewalk repair lien:  Mayor read aloud the resolution by title only.  This resolution is the follow-up to the letter sent to some property owners Dec. 11, 2015.  This resolution is required by code to enforce PMC 12.04 which requires property owners to repair the sidewalk abutting their property.  By code, if the property owners don’t make the repairs by Oct. 31, 2016, Public Works will report to the council on Nov. 8, 2016, an assessment roll showing the lot or parcel of land directly abutting on that portion of the street so improved, the cost of the work, and the name of the owner.  The City Council will then assess the cost of such improvement against the property and fix the time and manner of payment thereof.  Such assessment will become a lien upon the property.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, Councilmember Wilcomb seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Shoreline Master Plan update:  Dept. of Ecology just completed the public comment period June 8-July 16, 2016 for Palouse’s portion of the SMP.  They received from DAHP (Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation) 8 minor change requests.  Our consultants determined that these changes were negligible and Kyle has forwarded updated SMP response to the Department of Ecology.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-Spoke with Avista about the electric car program but hasn’t heard back.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb-  Asked about barking dogs and other loud noises.  Barking dogs fall under the city’s nuisance code.  But in regard to loud music and other noises for example coming from events at the Grange Hall, Palouse Days, Haunted Palouse, etc., much discussion ensued about the pros and cons of limiting noise for these occasional events.  This is not a black and white issue so there is much to be considered.  Councilmember Wilcomb will look into it further.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

West Whitman Street Project – waiting for okay back from TIB so we can go out to bid hopefully this week.

 

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.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      8/23/16             Ck. #7664-7684 & EFT               $11,378.76

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:46 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 27, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

September 27, 2016

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse councilmembers Hanson and Wekenman’s absences.  Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Attorney Eric Hanson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 13, 2016.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT: 

Palouse Days went off without any problems.

The PD is dealing with the usual ongoing complaints.

 

JFB REPORT

On finance end we’re under budget. FD had a planned structure fire training in Potlatch Sept. 24.

There were 7 fire calls in August, 29 YTD.  There were 8 EMS calls in August and 74 YTD.

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

CT Dixon is at a training workshop in Tenino, WA.

Our 2013, 2014, & 2015 audit is scheduled for Oct. 10-21.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Fiber-optics in Palouse:  Jim Kusznir of NW Fiber is looking to bring fiber-optic internet, TV, & telephone to small communities in eastern Washington.  He envisions, as market demand increases, homes, businesses and schools having state of the art speeds up to 1Gbps.  He is licensed, bonded, and insured to install the fiber-optics.  100% underground network, no overhead lines.  It will connect into the Port of Whitman’s fiber feed.  Discussion ensued.  Jim said it is exempt from occupational taxes.  He believes Palouse having fiber-optics will lure more residents and businesses.  Mr. Kusznir still needs financial backing.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Mr. Kusznir/NW Fiber to proceed with and develop a deployment plan.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Steve VanFleet of WSU Extension Office to discuss the pine beetle infestation in Whitman Co:  Temperature and climate haven’t been conducive to the health of the trees locally.  Pine beetles have done significant damage to the Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs in Klickitat Co.  These pine beetles are moving north.  They are borers.  If you see small holes in your tree with sap coming out, there’s a good chance your tree is infested.  The infested trees die from the top down.  Those are the trees you want removed and taken away and burnt.  There are different treatments/remedies to help eradicate the beetles.  There are systemic pesticides available that work.  Beetles attack weaker trees so healthy, well-watered trees stand a better chance of resisting attack.  Education is key.  Palouse Librarian Bev Pearce will aid Mr. VanFleet in arranging some community talks/trainings for homeowners/residents.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

 

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-  Councilmember Hicks is pleased to report that the majority of people who received the letter to repair their sidewalk have done so or are in the process.  The deadline is October 31.

 

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Langsett-  Councilmember Langsett met with CT Dixon, Mayor, and former CT Bagott to go over the 2016 budget position and upcoming budget 2017.  Our 2016 revenues are up some.  Related, in the 80’s there was a federal program (CDBG Community Development Block Grant) that gave homeowners 0% loans to get home improvement work done.  Homeowners had/have to pay it back via house liens.  Fast forward 30+ years and one of those CDBG houses just sold and the city received $14,000 from that sale.  There are still four or five houses left in that program.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      9/27/16             Ck. #7754-7764 & EFT               $3,600.01

Voided checks                          Ck. #7748-7753

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:17 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 13, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

September 13, 2016

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse Councilmember Slinkard’s absence.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 23, 2016.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT: 

~The First Step Internet agreement which council authorized Chief Neumann to move forward on is ready for the mayor’s signature.  This is the agreement to install the camera equipment at the sewer plant.  They’re shooting for the week of Sept. 26th for installation.

~The invoice and agreement for the police department internet trainings has arrived.

~Resident Tony Wright is requesting a speed reduction on the highway coming into Palouse from Potlatch.  He would like the speed to be set at 25 MPH at every entrance into the city limits.  Mayor is going to contact WSDOT about trying to get the city the permission to set the speed limit.

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

~Budget season is upon us.  CT Dixon is meeting with Mayor Echanove, Councilmember Langsett, and former CT Bagott just to lay the groundwork on forecasting, etc.

~The groundbreaking for the solar project begins Monday, Sept. 19.

~We still have $20,500 remaining from a grant with Commerce for testing at the Brownfields site that is set to expire 12/31/16.  We are working with consultant from Maul Foster on a 12-18 month extension from ecology so we can test two more times using that money. Two more successful tests will greenlight that area for potential future public/commercial use from ecology.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

CT Dixon and Mayor are attending the IACC conference in October in Wenatchee.

 

Regarding the West Whitman Street projects, engineer MD&A wants a 90-day construction period and if weather turns bad there will be a grace period until a set date in June at the latest.  But the railroad has an approximate 8 day maximum window of closure.  The Utility and Transportation Commission is having a meeting with all parties on 10/11/16 in Palouse to work out/approve details.

 

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.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      8/31/16                         Ck. 7686-7711 & EFT                             $46,867.28

Claims Paid      8/24/16 – 9/13/16            Ck. 7685 & 7712-7747 & EFT                  $49,036.13

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:46 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________