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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: ________________________________