Month: April 2018

April 10, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 10, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook, Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Rick Wekenman. Councilmembers Snyder, Wilcomb and Stout absent. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse the absences of Councilmember Snyder, Wilcomb and Stout. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carries. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann & City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 27, 2018. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. Preparing for work to replace cracked/crumbled sidewalk on west main street near the city park.

POLICE REPORT: All 3 internet signals in Garfield are up and running. Signals in Garfield are actually boosting signals in Palouse.

Had several reports of a vicious dog on 8th street. Dog was ordered removed from the city.

Recent hire Officer Anderson is doing great. Reserve Officer Snead’s last day will be Saturday, April 21 which is the weekend of the WSU/UI bicycle race in town.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: CA Dixon and Councilmember Slinkard, along with our Wastewater engineers Varela & Associates, are meeting with a property owner tomorrow to discuss a potential land transaction that would allow the city to proceed with our preferred alternative for wastewater disposal.

Our recent interest in expanding our current solar array up at Well Pump 3 is on hold for now. Last week, Avista’s billing department handed down a ruling regarding how excess kWh production can be used by account holders with more than one meter. New rules state that excess kWh must be spread evenly over all meters on one account, which triggers a monthly minimum charge for each meter of $19.08. The city has 20 meters on its account. This equates to an extra $350 per month in minimum charges that Avista would charge the city. We are currently grandfathered in to their old system of billing and we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize our current agreement with Avista. If they ever reconsider their billing model, the city will look into expansion at that time. The solar farm provided the city a net savings of $3,120 in 2017 and is projected to save the city in excess of $150,000 over its lifespan as currently constructed.

Dixon is working with BI Gladwill and Atty Hanson on next steps regarding the Palouse Arms building. BI Gladwill gave the owner a deadline of April 4th to install fencing around the building and May 31st to show significant progress on rehabbing building. Follow up letter will be sent once drafted and update will be provided at next meeting.

The library and city are looking into replacing carpet and painting (library only) this summer and we will have quotes for council to review if we receive satisfactory numbers.

Dixon submitted a grant to construct a walking path off Shady Lane toward the river. This land was recently donated to the city. We will have an update on grant status at the next meeting.

The city received an annexation proposal last week. Owners of land to be annexed and their engineer will be invited to the next council meeting to discuss their plans.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Met last week to address issues of recruiting and retaining lifeguards. Discussed several different approaches to resolve this growing staffing problem.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Palouse Community Center is requesting permission from the city to install a handicap space and ramp in the parking lot of the community center, which is city-owned property. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to allow, Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

Mayor and Chief had meeting with Clear Risk (city’s insurance company) to discuss how to streamline operations between Mayor’s office and the Police Department.

Small city connector in Palouse is May 29. City council and staff are encouraged to register and attend.

WSU/Idaho bicycle race is April 21st in Palouse.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 3/31/18 Ck. #9079-9098 & EFT $46,931.02

Claims Paid 4/10/18 Ck. #9100-9132 & EFT $16,057.19

VOID: Ck. #9099

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 27, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 27, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout (7:10); Chris Cook (sworn in). Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Snyder’s absence. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Chief Neumann swore in new Officer Joel M. Anderson to the Palouse Police Department.

Councilmember Sievers MOVED to appoint Chris Cook to city council. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Echanove swore in Chris Cook to Palouse City Council position #1.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 13, 2018. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT:

New officer Anderson has begun training and Chief Neumann is very pleased so far.

Cascade Computing is going to get all three police vehicles set up for wi-fi, at no cost to city in exchange for setting up their equipment at City Hall.

PD personnel have been attending a number of trainings with more to come.

Chief Neumann wants to look into new hand-held radios for police dept.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Mark Wilcomb reported JFB finances look good.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

Leonard Koepke, owner of the former Palouse Arms building was sent a certified letter last week informing him of what has to be done on the dilapidated portion of building, by when, and consequences if not.

Tracts of land just south of Palouse River and north of Shady Lane are being deeded to the city with the hope that a riverside trail can be developed to enhance the city’s parks and trail system. Whitman County Commissioners are taking applications for grants and CT Dixon will submit a proposal to them by the end of the week.

CT Dixon met with Apollo about phase 2 of solar project, adding 25 kW to existing solar site. They’re preparing their grant applications and we should have more information sometime later this summer.

City sold the dump truck for $1,500.00

The possible second site for WWTP is no longer an option as the property sold. CT Dixon has set up a meeting with Varela and the owner of the land by Well Pump #3.

OLD BUSINESS:

Michelle Bly and Gwen Ellis of TD&H gave update on water tower: The cultural report from Plateau should be done any time and will then go to Rural Development to complete their environmental process so they can officially present a funding package to the city. Gwen explained the scientific reasons why a water tower is necessary over a concrete tower. Any storage area which is under existing water level is dead space and as a result won’t be contributing to the pressure in the system. If city decides to move forward with project they will do a more in-depth water evaluation. Discussion ensued.

Council decision on Palouse Builders preliminary proposal:

Palouse Planning Commission voted on March 7, 2018, to approve the preliminary proposal for the planned development. Neil O’Keefe, of Palouse Builders, LLC, and his realtor Connie Newman, answered questions for council. Lift station was evaluated by TD&H at Roy Druffel’s expense last fall. Results were 1) lift station was adequate as constructed and there are two pumps in it but no redundant pump; 2) TD&H recommends the purchase of a backup pump and retrofitting hour counters within the existing pump control panel. Can the current system handle all the existing development plus the 12 new lots being proposed? Answer was yes, and then some. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to approve preliminary proposal. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 969 changing Clerk-Treasurer job title & description:

Councilmember Wilcomb explained that current RCW definition of clerk-treasurer doesn’t outline what Kyle does. His role is more complex and more in line with the description of city administrator. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 969 as written. Councilmember Stout seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:

Tyson & Elisha Palmer. Inquiring about solar panels being put up next to their property by Gary and Angie Cochrane. The Palmers plan on eventually developing their property and have an issue with those panels being put within the alley. Mayor explained that the city doesn’t own alleys; city just has right-of way. Alleys where city doesn’t exercise their right of way can be used by the property owner with the knowledge that if the city ever does need to use the alley, the property owner must remove any obstructions at their own expense. Three separate attorneys have verified this. Mr. Cochrane wants to put those solar panels behind his home on corner of alley, all in his half of the alley. Short of the city opening it, it’s a civil matter between Palmers and Cochranes. The Palmers are free to improve their half of the alley as they see fit.

Doug Wilcox spoke about Brownfields meeting. He suggested to council to remind ourselves of what Brownfields is about. Concept is a process that EPA and DOE have established for the cleanup of these environmentally-blighted sights and their eventual return to economic vitality in the community. There’s still one test well site that hasn’t cleared but Michael Stringer of MFA said its location will still allow for construction. MFA is currently researching whether or not the consent decree drawn up for the city can be transferrable to any potential developers for the site. This would be a big plus, as it would mitigate almost all liability for any future owners of the site.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

AWC Conference is June 27-29 in Yakima. Mayor encourages any councilmembers to attend.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Wekenman 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 3/27/18 Ck. #9065-9078 & EFT $5,681.05

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 13, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 13, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Slinkard to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Motion carries.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 27, 2018. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann made a conditional offer to officer candidate. Chief thinks he will be a great fit in Palouse. Official start day will be March 27th.

Busy day yesterday with several arrests in Garfield for warrants and license suspensions.

Cascades Computing has ordered equipment for wi-fi access in police vehicles.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT: BI Gladwill has drafted a letter, reviewed by Atty Hanson, to the owner of the old Palouse Arms building on Main Street addressing the city’s concern regarding its condition. To proceed with an abatement of dangerous buildings, Atty Hanson is requesting council approve funding for a litigation guarantee, which is roughly $500. A litigation guarantee protects the city against any lien holders of the property should the city order the building be demolished. Chief Neumann discussed an alternative of issuing citations for public nuisance in an attempt to rectify the situation. Councilmember Stout MOVED to allow Atty Hanson to proceed with a litigation guarantee for the Palouse Arms property, Councilmember Stout seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ord. 968 – Budget Amendment: This budget amendment accounts for revenues and expenditures for the West Whitman Street project, in the Arterial Streets fund, that were receipted in 2018 for work performed in 2017. Mayor Echanove read the Ordinance in full. Councilmember Stout MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, to approve Ordinance 968 as presented. Motion carried.

Review Planning Commission’s recommendation to approve preliminary proposal: The Planning Commission held a public hearing on Wednesday, March 7th, at City Hall to obtain comments from the public on a proposed 12-lot subdivision on the south end of town off Palouse Cove Rd. After the hearing and subsequent review, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval by city council of the preliminary proposal brought by Palouse Builders LLC. Their recommendation of approval is subject to staff report conditions. The city has sent the environmental checklist to the Dept of Ecology. After a 14-day comment period, the city will then vote on whether to approve, approve subject to conditions, or deny the proposal. This vote will take place at the next council meeting on March 27th. The Board of Adjustment also held a public hearing on March 7th to hear comments about a conditional use permit submitted by Palouse Builders LLC to allow duplexes and/or adult family homes on 4 lots in the proposed subdivision. The conditional use permit was approved.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

No reports

OPEN FORUM:

Caleb San Miguel read a report about an issue he had with Jerry Neumann regarding removal of a dangerous tree and street closure. He presented paperwork to council regarding the tree removal service used by Neumann. Neumann offered rebuttal. San Miguel would like the city to adopt an ordinance to address safe tree removal and he would also like to contract with the city for all tree/limb removal on city-owned property. This issue will be forwarded to the policy and administration committee for further review.

Doug Willcox submitted a written report to council indicating his concerns with the TDH water tower agreement. Mayor Echanove discussed the various reasons why the city is proceeding with this project. Council discussed. Topic will be further discussed at the next council meeting.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Councilmember Hanson submitted her resignation February 27, 2018. Mayor Echanove accepted her resignation and publicly thanked her for her service. A call for submittals of interest for the vacated position was emailed to list serve and is posted at Post Office and City Hall. Position is open until filled.

Mayor Echanove and CT Dixon will be attending a conference in April to speak to other local governments about our solar project.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 3/13/18 Ck. #9037-9064 $13,552.65

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________