Month: January 2017

January 24, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
January 24, 2017

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; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; Officer Joe Merry.

INTERVIEW COUNCIL APPLICANTS:
The city received 3 applicants for vacated council position No. 7: Tim Sievers, Bob Stout, & Greg Hooper. Council interviewed all three applicants separately with the same set of questions. After the interviews, council went into executive session at 7:38 pm. Council returned at 7:50. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to appoint Bob Stout to council chair #7. Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

SWEARING IN OF NEW COUNCILMEMBER: Mayor Echanove swore in new councilmember Bob Stout.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 13, 2016. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. January 10, 2017 council meeting cancelled due to no quorum.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Storm drains at corner of Main and Mary on north side of street are in bad condition regarding odor. Council has received several citizens’ complaints. Odor is caused by neighboring business pumping into storm drain.

POLICE REPORT: No Report. Left meeting to respond to a police call.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 4 calls in December. 37 for year. Overall very busy year. EMS had 8 calls in December. 110 for year. Slight increase in nonresident calls but varied causes for calls. Expecting another busy year, but maintained budget for 2016.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:
4TH Quarter 2016 Treasurer’s Report:
All funds came in at or better than budgeted for the year with the exception of the Joint Fire Board fund. Balance at end of year was $-2,550. This was due to a timing issue with reimbursement checks from the county coming January 4th, 2017 in the amount of $7,900. The auditor’s office in Pullman was made aware and the proper notes will be made on the city’s annual report for 2016. Telephone revenue continues to decrease, while permits, RV reservations, city assistance and sales/use tax revenues all came in well above their budgeted amounts for 2016. Snow/Ice control salary came in just under budget, which was a nice surprise considering how much snow the city saw this year. The snow blade for Dwayne’s truck will need to be replaced at some point before next winter. Initial quote was roughly $3,700. This purchase will likely be made some time during the summer. The state auditors held their exit conference with the city on Wednesday, January 18th. They reported that the city is in great shape financially and that city staff was quick and helpful in providing documents/information. The auditors did point out exit items that the staff will need to correct, but they were not material and will not be included in the audit report, which is scheduled for release on Thursday, January 26th. CT Dixon researched mileage reimbursements from cities across the state and found that Palouse was near the bottom at .40 cents per mile. State average is .54. Council discussed. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to raise the city’s mileage reimbursement rate from .40 to .54 cents per mile. Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously. CT Dixon will finish filing tax reports to the IRS for 2016 by the end of the week.

OLD BUSINESS:
Approval of Water/Sewer Committee’s consultant recommendation: Councilmember Slinkard made a motion to accept the water/sewer committee’s recommendation to proceed with TD & H Engineering as the city’s consultant for our Water System Plan update. This includes Church street upgrades and reservoir/water tower by Greenwood cemetery. Seconded by councilmember Hanson and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2017-01 salary schedule: Mayor Echanove read the resolution which includes a 5% pay raise for city staff and accounts for the statewide minimum wage increase to $11/hour. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt resolution 2017-01 with the updated mileage reimbursement rate. Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson- No report.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- See “Old Business”.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Brought up public works’ need for new snow blade on truck. Council discussed the success of the sidewalks project and possible directions it will go.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Estes- No report.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- No report.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- No report.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair- No report.

OPEN FORUM:

MAYOR’S REPORT:
WSU cycling club will be coming to town on April 15th. This will be the 14th year. Councilmember Estes MOVED to allow the WSU cycling club use of the park and public amenities. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
West Whitman street engineers and WSDOT met at city hall on Friday, January 20th to iron out minor details regarding supplies and funding. The city is waiting on TIB approval to go out to bid.
Brownsfield site contract has been extended and updated to allow for further required testing. 3 more ground tests are scheduled using the remaining $20,405 of grant funds to achieve desired results to deem site safe for future economic use/development. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept/sign contract extension. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
5th Annual Palouse Cabin Fever Brew Fest fundraiser for the Community Center will be Saturday, February 11th.
Appointments to Planning Commission: Mayor Echanove appointed Palouse residents Carly Schoepflin and Katie Cooper to fill the two vacated Planning Commission positions. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to ratify planning commission appointments. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Echanove read a letter from Palouse School District commending Public Works and notably Supt Griffin for his work this winter clearing city streets of snow and ice and helping with stuck buses.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 12/31/16 Ck. #7998-8016 & EFT $45,407.19
Claims Paid 12/30/16 Ck. #8017-8029 $24,272.69
Claims Paid 01/10/17 Ck. #8030-8040 $11,562.83
Claims Paid 12/31/16 Ck. #8041-8064 & EFT $17,787.95
Claims Paid 01/24/17 Ck. #8065-8073 $ 1,348.95

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

December 13, 2016

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
December 13, 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; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett. 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 Public Hearing & Regular Council Meeting of November 22, 2016. Councilmember Langsett seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT:
Garfield is keeping them busy with some domestic violence calls.
Not too many snow-caused traffic issues yet.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:
2 fire calls in November, 35 YTD.
Had an excellent mass casualty drill/training.
11 EMS calls in November, 104 YTD.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:
Things are coming in right at or better fund-wise.
We’re wrapping up our 3-year financial and accountability audit with the state auditor’s office. No red flags, findings, etc. There will be an audit exit conference within a couple weeks.
Years ago when interest rates were close to 8% the city opened a sweep account with a monthly service charge. At the time it was well worth it. However with interest rates at .03%, it has been actually costing money in bank fees so we’ve closed the sweep account.

OLD BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 950 – Authorizing the operation of off-road vehicles within the city
Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to take from the table Ordinance No. 950 discussion. Councilmember Hansen seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Chief Neumann thinks it would be a great opportunity for Palouse, not to mention provides actual black and white rules on their usage and allowance. The city needs to either allow them or not; we can’t have it both ways. Some concerns of opponents are that users aren’t required to carry insurance, noise, disturbances, and the volume of traffic if legalized. The state does not require insurance on ATV’s or motorcycles but it is the Chief’s belief that most owners of ATV’s insure them because of their value. Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Hansen MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 950. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Up to this point there have been no complaints regarding ATV’s so we have a baseline to reevaluate the success or failure of this ordinance. Councilmember Slinkard abstained. Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 951 – Adopting the 2017 budget:
Left to discuss before adopting the budget is Chief Neumann’s proposal for police officers to have the option to cash out their unused admin leave. If all three police officers choose to cash out their comp time it will be approximately $4,500 out of current expense. CT Dixon and Mayor Echanove cautioned that we need to be careful of sustainability. Councilmember Wekenman thinks it will be sustainable especially with the several new houses being built which will improve our tax rolls. He also believes the amount cashed out will be less than half of the projected $4,500. If the city is going to do this administrative policy, it has to apply to city staff too which would bring it to $6,900 if all so chose. Councilmember Hansen MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb to allow an end of year cash out of administrative leave effective in 2017. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Echanove read aloud Ordinance No. 951 in its entirety. Estimated resources for each separate fund and aggregate expenditures for all such funds were set forth in a summary and read aloud. Councilmember Hansen MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 951. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- Water & Sewer committee along with Mayor Echanove, CT Dixon and Supt Griffin will be holding interviews with 4 engineering firms to update our Water System Plan. This updated plan will greatly improve the city’s chances to be awarded grants to improve/upgrade our water infrastructure. Dec. 21 with JUB, TDH, & Dec. 22 with Century West & Parametrix.
MAYOR’S REPORT:
Mayor thanked city staff and council for their service in 2016. Likewise, council thanked Mayor.

Council authorized staff to close the office on Dec. 23rd.

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:
Payroll Paid 11/29/16 Ck. #7935-7946 & 7948-7958 & EFT $42,822.15
Claims Paid 12/13/16 Ck. #7959-7997 & EFT $18,231.75
Voided Check 11/29/16 Ck. # 7947 for $661.67. Councilmember Hanson donated back her yearly paycheck.
Stop Payment on lost claim Ck. #7921 replaced by Ck. #7959

ADJOURN: Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:08 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________