Month: July 2017

July 25, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.
Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
July 25, 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; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hanson asked the minutes be amended to include that discussion was had on the property issue between Duran’s and Roger’s.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 11, 2017.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:

There is a lot of new construction in Palouse right now.

BI Gladwill has spoken with owner of the old Palouse Arms apartments regarding their condition.  Owner said he’s looking towards the fall to get working on it.  His plans are to demolish a portion and remodel the rest into apartments.  The old dilapidated part in back will supposedly come down.

BI Gladwill will contact again the owner of the dilapidated mobile home on Mohr Street.  The owner assured Dan that she is awaiting finances but will have it out by end of year.  He will contact her to button up and secure the lower portion.  She has not been given a deadline yet.  BI Gladwill will give her a deadline to remove trailer upon council’s direction.  No council direction yet.

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

Had the generator serviced at the sewer plant today.

Will begin cleaning and repairs on the roof of City Hall this week.

Palouse pool passed the county’s annual inspection.

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann is looking into a camera system that will zoom in closer to park to help identify suspects for vandalism, etc.

Councilmember Stout would like to see some kind of educational thing implemented to educate residents on door-to-door solicitors.  Residents don’t have to answer the door and can ask to see their solicitation permit from the city.  Any solicitors in Palouse are required to first obtain a permit from City Hall which consists of a PD background check among other things.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

The JFB voted to approve the surplus of the current pumper tanker as soon as the new one arrives and is in service.  They need council approval.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to surplus the old pumper tanker once the new one is in service.  Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The new radio tower was approved by the Board of Adjustment so construction will begin shortly.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

PCI Renewables (subcontractor for Apollo) finished the additional row of solar panels needed to expend the remainder of our loan balance with the state treasury.  This added roughly 7Kw to our generating capacity and will help further offset the city’s electrical consumption and cost.

West Whitman Street is progressing as planned.  The first invoice from ML Albright is in tonight’s bills and the Arterial Street fund has been preemptively reimbursed by WSDOT and TIB to allow for this payment.  They’re installing the rubber interface on the tracks this week.  Water pipe is done.  Tire tracks from construction crew through lawn of Kramer’s Funeral home will be addressed upon completion of project and decorative blocks along the Mayhan property will be replaced.

Ken Harper, attorney contracted through CIAW (city’s insurance broker), sent a letter to the Duran’s in regard to the alley issue.  He has given them his opinion and they can proceed accordingly.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering update on water tower/reservoir on South Hill in Palouse-  Michelle Bly & Gwen Ellis of TD& H updated council.  They have completed their preliminary engineering report to submit to Rural Development for the siting of water reservoir, Culton Street improvements, and Church Street improvements.  They would like to upload their report as part of our application and they also need authorization for mayor to sign forms and approval to upload with report.  Council will review preliminary report and CT Dixon will submit any revisions prior to next council meeting.  TD&H will be at next council meeting.

Varela & Associates update:  Dana Cowger from Varela gave a progress report.  They’re still working on the feasibility of the lagoon site for the sewer plant discharge.  They’re seeing the need to get DOE back involved in the project because DOE has to approve anything we do.  The Palouse Wastewater Advisory Committee is planning to hold a meeting some time during the third week of August, date and time TBD.  Varela is on track to complete final wastewater facility plan for submittal to DOE by their December 1, 2017, deadline.  Improvements to our wastewater treatment infrastructure, mandated by DOE, will have an impact cost-wise and will require sewer rates to be raised.  Eligibility and availability of federal/state funding packages will determine rate increases.

McKinstry Engineering here to discuss possible water system and data collection upgrades:  Jack Knudsen and Dan Funk from Pullman office discussed the possibility of upgrading the city’s water meters and data collection system.  They’ve done a no-cost preliminary audit on city’s water meter system and will email it to CT Dixon for revisions/review.  Kirsten Wilson from DES was present.  DES is a state agency that works on behalf of government agencies in contract discussions and invoicing with Engineering firms relating to energy/water conservation projects. It’s in the RCW as an energy project for DES.  Council had many questions and much discussion ensued.  McKinstry will get some more information and numbers for council to review.  They would like to come to a council meeting next month.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2017-07: setting a one-year excess property tax levy of $44,000 for street improvements and street oiling to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  Finance committee met this week to discuss the levies.  Last year we discussed a possible 10% increase to our arterial streets levy to account for additional street improvement projects.  However, at this time, considering the estimated balance of the arterial streets fund at the end of the year, the committee decided not to increase the levy by 10%.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, to adopt Resolution No. 2017-07.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2017-08 setting a one-year excess property tax levy of $34,000 for maintenance and operation of the swimming pool to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  With the passage of I-1433 last November, minimum wage in Washington rose from $9.47/hour to $11/hour and will rise to $13.50/hour by 2020.  As a result, this year’s pool salaries will be up almost $5,000 over last year and will continue to rise.  The city pool is mostly funded from levy dollars, but the cost of operating the pool each year exceeds this amount, which the general fund absorbs.  City council voted to increase the proposed levy last year to $31,000, an increase of $3,000 from the prior year to help offset the cost of painting the pool.  The pool is still scheduled to be painted after the season ends.  Potential levy increases in the years to come may be necessary if the residents of Palouse wish to keep the pool open, due wholly to minimum wage increases.  A proposed $3,000 increase from last year to $34,000 will still have the pool operating at a loss, but CT Dixon believes it is one of the many small steps needed to keep the pool from becoming too much of a burden on the general fund in the years to come.  When we tried charging for entry years ago, we made only $7,000.  It doesn’t work and it doesn’t pay the bills.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2017-08.  Councilmember Hicks seconded.  Supt. Griffin reminded council the pool was built in 1965 and repairs may be needed in the years to come.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2017-09 setting the six-year Emergency Medical Services property tax levy to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  This levy comes once every six years.  It is $.50 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation for each of six consecutive years.  This levy helps keep our EMS running and ambulance  contract going.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson to adopt Resolution No. 2017-09 as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 958 adopting a Complete Streets policy to be incorporated into the city’s Comprehensive Plan:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  CT Dixon has been working on this ordinance for a while.  The passing of this ordinance makes Palouse immediately eligible for a TIB Complete Streets grant of up to $250,000.  The final draft sent to Complete Streets Director Chris Workman has been given his approval for content.  Once the ordinance has passed, 1 of 9 nominating agencies must select us to receive an award.  The next award cycle is slated for 2018.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Stout, to adopt Ordinance No. 958.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Stout–  Committee met this week to discuss tonight’s resolution dollar amounts  and discuss 2018 budget adoption timeline.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

The city received one letter of interest for the vacated Board of Adjustment opening.  Mayor Echanove appointed Palouse resident Jim Fielder to the BOA.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to ratify the mayor’s appointment.  Councilmember Hicks seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

RV Park is doing fantastic.  One of the most common suggestions from users is adding picnic tables at the RV Park.  Mayor has instructed DC Thompson to investigate costs for concrete pads and picnic tables.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Hanson 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:

Claims Paid      07/25/17            Ck. #8442-8466 & EFT              $170,580.75

STOP PAYMENT                      Ck. #8289                                 $       680.22

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:32 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 11, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting

July 11, 2017

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Mike Hicks; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse the absences of Councilmembers Slinkard, Estes and Wekenman. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present:  Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of June 27, 2017.  Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT: 

The digital, citation-writing equipment has been installed in one of the vehicles and in the office.  It will be installed in another vehicle soon.  This will be huge when it comes to record keeping and report writing and gets the Palouse PD up to speed with most other PD’s.

The announcement for hiring of new officer is ready to go out.  We will post on state websites, city website, and various newspapers in Idaho and Washington.  The city is hiring one full-time lateral entry police officer to replace Officer Merry when he retires later this year.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

2nd Q Treasurer’s Report –   No red flags.  Critical revenues are where they need to be year to date.

A couple highlights:  RV Park has already receipted over $14,000 and we budgeted to receipt $13,000 for whole year.  Building Permits have already receipted $11,000 and we budgeted to receipt $6,000 for whole year.

West Whitman Street update:  Overall progress is going well.  No major setbacks.  Should wrap up in the next month barring any setbacks.

PCI, a subcontractor for our solar project has begun some groundwork for the last row of solar panels going in at solar site.  This was necessary to expend the remaining funds from loan with State Treasurer’s Office, which is required, since initial project came in more than $40,000 under budget.  Should be done in three weeks.

CT Dixon has spoken in-depth with CIAW’s attorney (city’s insurance company) about the alley issue between two Palouse abutting property owners.  CIAW attorney is going to write a letter to both parties addressing this in further detail, which should be delivered within the next week.

John Patrouch and Jeff Moran of Varela & Associates were in town today.  They scouted a possible lagoon site for the sewer plant discharge as a possible solution to satisfy Dept of Ecology permit mandate.  They’re looking at city land near our existing biosolids site and solar farm.

TD&H will be here on July 25th to give us an update on the USDA Rural funding application for a water tower/reservoir on the south hill in Palouse.

McKinstry will be here on July 25th to discuss possible water system and data collection upgrades and costs involved.

The state passed the 2017-2019 operating budget.  Cities fared pretty well. No major cuts or unexpected outcomes to report.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 957, Budget Amendment to water fund for pipe replacement on West Whitman Street project-

Ordinance was read aloud by the Mayor.  West Whitman St. has some old transite water pipe that needs to be replaced for approximately $25,000.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance 957 as presented. Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTSNo committee reports.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Varela and Associates met with Mayor to discuss their initial observations for the WWTP lagoon.  They’re going to evaluate the site and see if it’s feasible because there’s a river, railroad tracks, streets, infrastructure, and a hill to navigate under/through.

Mayor also speaks frequently with Munir Daud to discuss West Whitman Street and various topics that come up.

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      6/30/17             Ck. #8395-8419 & EFT                          $49,664.66

Claims Paid      7/11/17             Ck. #8393-8394 & 8420-8441 & EFT      $14,653.11

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Stout seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:07 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

June 27, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 27, 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; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; City Attorney Eric Hanson.

PUBLIC HEARING 1 OF 2 – 2018 Revenue Sources – Hearing opened at 7:02. CT Dixon discussed the standard 1% increase in the General and EMS levies for 2018. No public comment. Hearing closed at 7:08.

PUBLIC HEARING 2 OF 2 – Six Year Street Plan – Hearing opened at 7:08. Councilmember Hicks outlined work to be performed on Spokane St. later this year and into next year as well as other subsequent projects. No public comment. Hearing closed at 7:16.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 13, 2017.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. The city received two bids for road oiling. Low bidder was BST Surfacing out of Spokane. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept BST Surfacing’s bid for road oiling. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Water leak detected and fixed under West Main St. bridge. Construction on West Whitman is progressing without any major setbacks to date.

POLICE REPORT:  Cameras at RV, sewer, compost and park are linked to city hall and recording. New orange crossing flags were ordered for the bridge and main crosswalk. Meth lab discovered during routine traffic stop in Garfield. Open officer position will be advertised in July through August. Goal is to have interviews scheduled for September until filled. Councilmember Wekenman inquired about the handicap access at the skate park that was discussed at a previous council meeting. Council discussed the potential safety issues of having the skate park merge with the sidewalk, parking lot and street. Council tabled topic until further discussion with Aaron Flansburg, possibly at next council meeting.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:  CT Dixon has completed draft for a “Complete Streets” Ordinance. It has been forwarded to the Complete Streets program director at TIB for review and critique before we proceed with adoption. Once adopted, the city is immediately eligible for a grant of up to $250,000 for approved street/sidewalk/walking path projects in the city. CT Dixon and Supt Griffin have been working with McKinstry regarding an update of the city’s water data collection system. They will present upgrade options to the city at the next council meeting. The city is in the process of purchasing a fire truck currently located in Tennessee. Purchase should be finalized by the end of July. CT Dixon asked permission from council to close city hall on Monday, July 3rd in addition to the July 4th federal holiday on Tuesday. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to close city hall on Monday, July 3rd. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: From the Fire Chief: 1 call in May, 6 YTD.  Two training meetings in June, including some wildlands training.  Agreement has been reached with the seller for a replacement pumper-tanker for the city.  Final cost will be $98,500 which is exactly on budget. Cost includes taxes and staff travel and fuel to bring the truck to Palouse.  Truck is low mileage and in excellent condition.  The JFB voted unanimously to authorize the Fire Chief to sign the reservation agreement for the new truck and begin the purchase process.  The City of Palouse has approved its share of the purchase cost, and funding approval from rural is expected shortly.  From the EMS Coordinator:  Number of calls is down this year.  30 YTD, down from 50 this time last year.  EMS personnel attended a training at Moses Boone’s farm on combine evacuation.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance 956 – Budget Amendment 412 Water System Reserve for TD&H Preliminary Engineering Report-

Mayor read the ordinance aloud to council. CT Dixon discussed the need to increase the expenditure line item to allow for the $10,000 cost of the preliminary engineering report required to apply for a funding package to construct a water tower on the south hill in Palouse. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance 956 as presented. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2017-06 Adopting Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan-

Discussed in Public Hearing #2 above. Hearing no further comment, Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept Resolution 2017-06 adopting the Six-year Transportation Improvement Plan as presented. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Streets and Sidewalks Chair, Councilmember Hicks – No update on alley issue between the Roger’s and Duran’s property. CT Dixon has a consultation with insurance provider Clear Risk Solutions tomorrow on how to proceed and will have an update at the next city council meeting.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Whitman County Mayor’s Roundtable will be held on Wednesday, June 28 at 7:00PM in the Community Center.

Alcohol permit received by the city for a beer garden during the Palouse Music Festival in the park on Saturday, July 29th. Council has no objections.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      6/14/17-6/27/17    Ck. #8382-8392 & EFT           $50,977.49

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:32 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

June 13, 2017

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 13, 2017

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; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmembers absent:  Doreen Hanson & Bob Stout.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse their absences.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 23, 2017.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

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

Saturday, June 10, there was a plug at the Union Street lift station.  One handkerchief and one dishrag were flushed which stopped the pumps.  This lift station services the new development and the senior center.

The painting of the pool has to be postponed until after the season because there is/was too much groundwater with the potential for pool damage if pool was emptied too soon.

POLICE REPORT: 

Garfield has an ongoing drug-related, unattended death investigation.

Equipment is all working well.

The PD is actively contacting Palouse residents with vehicles with out-of-state plates.  As per Chief Neumann, “If you are driving an out of state plate and living in Palouse, you will be contacted and expected to comply.  The penalties are expensive.”

Officer Handley is now a certified range master for rifles and pistols.

On June 3, there was a minor crash of a smaller, home-built airplane on HWY 27 between Palouse and Garfield.  Pilot hit an overhead wire and lost a propeller.  No injuries.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

There will be two public hearings at next council meeting:  one on 2018 revenue sources and one on the six-year street plan.

No start or completion date yet from Apollo for the expansion of our solar project.

Work on Whitman Street is progressing, with no issues yet.

The library is postponing their new carpet project until next year so the city’s financial portion can now be part of 2018 budget.

The city received no bids on the leftover sand pile located at 200 E. Whitman Street in front of the skate park.  The city took due diligence in trying to surplus it and now anyone can help themselves.

City staff met today with AWC regarding health insurance plan options for 2018.  CT Dixon will bring staff’s recommendation at a later council meeting.  Across the board the coverage won’t be as good but premiums will be down a little to reflect that lesser coverage.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering update on water tower/reservoir on South Hill in Palouse-

Michelle Bly and Gwen Ellis gave an update on the project.  They met at City Hall last week with Supt. Griffin and CT Dixon.  They’re working through the preliminary engineering report to determine different alternatives.  One option is using city-owned property at the cemetery and construct an elevated storage reservoir.  In order to get into the existing pressure zone, we need approximately 45’ height, possibly closer to 60’ depending on reservoir size.  The land is already city-owned.  Ballpark estimate is $2-$2.5 million depending on whether it’s a 300,000 gallon reservoir or a 500,000 gallon reservoir.  Second option would be to the SE of town, which would put us in the existing pressure zone.  Ballpark estimate is 1.8 million but does not include cost of acquiring some needed farm land and easements.  Based on discussion, TD&H will continue working on funding and grant applications with the first option as the priority.  All applications will include as a priority the Church Street improvements.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2017-05: authorizing Fire Chief to purchase fire truck under special market conditions–  A used 1995 fire truck that meets the fire department’s specs is available in Tennessee.  Fire captain Bruce Beeson went back and inspected and test drove the fire truck and gave his recommendation to purchase.  Recognizing that when a used piece of equipment is available which meets specs and is at a favorable price, it would likely be sold before the usual bidding process could be completed, this resolution authorizes Fire Chief Bagott to negotiate and purchase the fire truck outside normal bidding procedures.  The City of Palouse has appropriated a maximum of $52,000 to cover half of the purchase, with the other half provided by Whitman County Rural Fire District 4.  The truck, if purchased, should be in Palouse in six weeks, depending on when rural pays their portion.  Truck will be 3rd party certified to guarantee water pressure before we purchase.  This truck would replace the current 1985 which doesn’t have a lot of value in it but will be sold.  City of Farmington has expressed interest in purchasing the 1985.  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2017-05, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman.  Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

City received the Office of Financial Management’s preliminary population estimate for Palouse.  The population in 2017 is 1,050.  In 2010 the population was 998.

Liquor license renewal for McLeod’s Palouse Market.  No objections.

CT Dixon is attending a TIB meeting in Davenport Thursday and he is attending the AWC workshop the 21-22 in Vancouver.

Mayor’s Roundtable is June 28 in Palouse.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Hicks 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      5/31/17 Ck. #8325-8340 & EFT              $40,285.11

Claims Paid      6/13/17 Ck. #8341-8381 & EFT              $47,264.95

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

May 23, 2017

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 23, 2017

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 9, 2017.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Had a water leak on South River Road, a galvanized piece of pipe that rotted out.  Public Works got it fixed in a couple hours.

West Whitman Street project has begun.

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann reports that the Diane Main’s garage burglary case from last month is closed.  Our report has been forwarded to Boundary County where the suspect is in custody.  We still have one, ongoing, unrelated burglary case in Palouse.

Six security cameras have been installed: two at compost/sewer plant, one by park bathrooms, one by swim pool, and two at RV Park.  The cameras record 24/7.  City staff will be able to monitor from City Hall.

Garfield May Day was quiet, uneventful.  No issues.

Officer Handley attended training last week on Sector ticketing program.  Officer Merry and Chief Neumann will attend same training in August in Lewiston.  The program is cloud-based and uses very minimal data.  Tech stuff is ongoing via Whitcom.

The plan is still to begin the search for Officer Merry’s replacement in August and interview in September.

The spring Hot Rod Gathering is June 3.  Main Street will be partially closed and re-routed.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

West Whitman Street construction is underway with a scheduled completion date of August 19.  Barring any setbacks, contractors believe it will be completed well before that date. When WSDOT is done with the rail on the West Whitman Street project, depending on how much money they have left in their pool, they’re going to repair the rail bump on Bridge street in front of the bank.

TD&H is going to proceed with the Rural Development application for a funding package to construct a water tower/reservoir on the south hill in Palouse.

The Palouse Library is replacing carpet and painting this summer.  Librarian Bev Pearce said the total cost will be roughly $3,200 and is asking council if the city can donate half of budgeted total.  CT Dixon said the $1,600 would come from current expense 001 fund.  Mayor explained years ago we went from Palouse City Library to a branch of the Whitman Co. Library.  It’s run by the county, but the city is still responsible for providing the facility: building, utilities, safe environment, etc.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested we look at getting an estimate for City Hall at the same time.  The City Hall carpet was replaced in 1996 after the flood, making it 20 years old.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to approve up to $1,600 for new carpet and paint for the library.  Motion carried unanimously.

The leftover sand pile has been surplussed.  The pile can be viewed at 200 E. Whitman (in front of the skatepark). Minimum bid of $25.  Sealed bids are due by 2 pm, May 31st.

JFB REPORT:  No JFB meeting because no quorum.

The pumper fire truck Chief Bagott has been searching for to replace the 1997 truck is available again at the same price as before.  Chief is taking measures to get Fire Lieutenant Bruce Beeson to Tennessee to look at it and perhaps purchase.  It will be right around $100,000, ½ coming from the city, the other ½ coming from rural.   A new one like this would cost between $300k-$350k.  The 1997 will be sold which Councilmember Wekenman thinks will get approximately $20,000.

OLD BUSINESS:

Building Inspector contract amendment:  Up until 2012 our BI was paid $500/month plus a $30 monthly phone stipend.  In 2012 he voluntarily took a 20% pay-cut to help the city with its tight budget.  He has requested to have his pay increased to $600/month with no cell phone stipend.  CT Dixon cautions council that the city would be hard-pressed to replace a BI for that price. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to approve the BI pay increase to $600 a month with $0 for cell phone reimbursement, effective June 1, 2017.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Mayor Echanove gave a building department revenue and expenditure report for years 2010-2016, outlining how much the city makes more or less than the BI, depending on the year.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Apollo/PCI Renewables solar project extension:  The city came in under budget on our solar farm. Since part of our funding package included a loan that resulted from the sale of a bond, the IRS requires us to spend the entirety of the loan to avoid a penalty.  So that we don’t go down that road, we are going to expand our solar farm by adding one more row of solar panels to satisfy the requirements of the loan. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement with Apollo/PCI Renewables to add another row of panels to our solar farm.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

The solar farm is already producing more than was guaranteed.  In May 2016, Avista’s bill for well pump #3 was $397; in May 2017, Avista’s bill for well pump #3 was $19.08.  We are also banking kWh each month that will be transferable to other city accounts to help further offset the city’s electricity costs.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson-

Pool committee met last week along with pool manager Holly Leendertsen and Deputy Clerk Thompson.  Due to the shortage of staff this summer the pool will be closing at 7 pm instead of 8 pm.  If we get another lifeguard we may be able to revisit opening that last hour.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-  The city received a letter from Pamela and Nelson Duran regarding the alley issue.  They want the city to open the alley from street to street, east to west.  The Duran’s letter stated they will consider taking legal action against the city if not.  The City Attorney was given a copy of the letter   Atty. Hanson stressed that the city is under no obligation to open it and just because adjacent property owners are using it for their gain, it’s not “gifting”.  Public Works nor the Fire Chief want access to that alley, however it is city property and if the city ever decides they want access then they’ll take it and any obstructions or development in the alley will be removed.  Much discussion ensued.  The city attorney is drafting a response letter and CT Dixon is going to consult with city’s insurance carrier Clear Risk Solutions.

Regarding the sidewalk letter from 2016, only one property owner has not complied.  As was outlined in a letter to all parties, Supt. Griffin has contacted a concrete company and they are scheduling it for repair.  The property owners will be sent the bill.  If left unpaid a lien will be put on the property.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Three of the five council positions that will be on November’s ballot have been filed for.

West Whitman Street Consultant Agreement from TIB for Munir Daud & Associates is ready for signature. This agreement approves Munir Daud to be project engineer for construction phase of project. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, authorizing the mayor to sign the agreement.  Motion carried unanimously.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      5/23/17             Ck. #8307-8324 & EFT                          $27,302.67

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________