Month: October 2018

October 23, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

October 23, 2018

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon are attending the IACC conference in Wenatchee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 9, 2018. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

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

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: A couple new houses in 3rd quarter. $500,000 building valuation in 3rd Q, netting city approximately $4,700 in fees.

POLICE REPORT:

-HP went well, no issues. Had extra help from reserve officers.

-10/22/18 Officer Handley submitted his letter of resignation on good terms and in good standing. Officer Handley has taken a position in Colfax. Chief Neumann has accepted his resignation. Joe’s last day will be October 29th. Chief Neumann thanked him for his service. Joe has requested, in lieu of city buying him out of his sick leave etc., that he get to keep bulletproof vest, vest pouch, police jumpsuit, custom holster, and flashlight. Before that can be decided, CA Dixon needs to first determine from state auditor if that’s allowable. Officer Snead will fill in any staffing shortfalls in the schedule through January, pending word from Garfield and what we are going to do with the Garfield contract.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

-EMS wants community to know that when picked up in Palouse via Pullman ambulance (as per interlocal agreement for ambulance services), the patient still has the option of being taken to either Moscow, Colfax or Pullman hospital.

-Had an unexpected radiator repair on Engine 416 but it is back in service.

-More wildland fires this time of year than usual. Rain and cool weather are needed. A little over 8 acres burnt in McKenzie Butte wildfire on Cove Road last Friday night. Had an incredible response from about 10 or 11 agencies.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman read aloud CA Dixon’s written report.

-Councilmember Sievers and Wastewater Engineer John Patrouch from Varela met with owners of land northeast of town and seemed to have a productive and encouraging meeting. Varela is preparing site analysis for several areas that were discussed and will have an update for us at one of our meetings in November.

-Public Works Trust Fund just completed underwriting for $250,000 pre-construction loan for water system improvements. Paperwork should be available for review at the next council meeting.

-CA Dixon is preparing the 2019 preliminary budget for the first council meeting in November. Goal is to have this completed and distributed to council by Tuesday, November 6th. Two public hearings for the 2019 annual budget will coincide with both council meetings in November.  

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook– Chair Cook provided council and staff last week with an in-depth written report on pool stats for 2018 summer usage.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- Councilmember Sievers reported he had a three-hour tour of various land options in the city for the WWTF. Came away with three potential sites, two more favorable than the others. Engineer was encouraged by the locations and thought they were workable but he has to do preliminary assessments before we can dive into or even discuss price. All parties felt good about the meeting. Will know more in November.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Councilmember Wekenman would like to see discussions resume on a new building for public works.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper- Sewer rate increase still needs to be discussed. Councilmember Wekenman doesn’t think the $3 increase is enough for city’s needs. Discussions will continue.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Liquor license renewal for Bank Left Bistro. No objections.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 10/11/18 Ck. #9558 replaces lost ck. # 9499.

10/23/18 Ck. #9558-9597 & EFT $22,280.68

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:37 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

October 9, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

October 9, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse absence of councilmember Wekenman. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under “Mayor’s Report”, amend the minutes to say “The ISP will be Noel Communications” not Noah Net. Councilmember Cook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of September 25, 2018, as amended. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

Public Works staff are working on plans to upgrade sprinklers at park. All the sprinklers there are currently manual. Hoping to put in a full, regular automatic system.

POLICE REPORT:

Will continue ongoing school patrols. Trying to be more consistent with Garfield school patrol.

There has been some illegal removal of campaign signs from yards.

Neighborhood patrols continue.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

3rd Q Treasurer’s Report – CA Dixon is pleased with our budget figures.

Streets budget will be affected by fact that the $80,000 credit from Avista LED Streetlight project back in 2011 has run out. Rather than going to the public utilities commission for a rate change, Avista issued Palouse the credit about 5 years ago for being a trial for the LED street light program. Avista has since set the rate as many other cities have since switched to LED. That was an approximate $1,800 credit a month. It was a great opportunity that Palouse was able to take advantage of. There will be 2 budget amendments in the last quarter of this year to account for added street light costs and PD staff turnover from earlier in the year.

Met with both department heads to discuss 2019 budget. No surprises. Public Works has the sprinkler replacement project and purchase of a pool filter and possible extra seasonal worker, among other smaller items for next year. PD needs to replace a police vehicle early next year; looking at approximately $37,000 for that.

Preliminary 2019 budget will be presented at first meeting in November. This will be second year of the employee raise format approved by council last year.

CA Dixon heard back from Public Works Trust Fund. City was approved for $250,000 pre-construction loan for proposed water system upgrades. CA Dixon will present loan paperwork and terms for council approval once available.

Mayor and CA Dixon met with some private landowners last week to discuss city purchasing land for wastewater facility plan. It was a positive meeting. Mayor explained city is going to arrange a meeting with engineers and landowners to meet onsite. Engineer will then do some scientific work to see if site(s) would work for sewer discharge.

Last council meeting we had a public hearing to vacate an alley/easement which was approved. However, circumstances related to the vacation changed shortly afterward and as a result the applicants have withdrawn their request. Approval of alley/easement vacation is null and void as Ordinance wasn’t yet passed and payment for vacated area was not collected.

CA Dixon will be attending auditor’s roundtable next week and regional finance meeting later this week. Mayor and CA Dixon will be attending IACC (annual infrastructure funding conference) meeting in a couple weeks; as a result they won’t be at next council meeting. CA Dixon will confirm that Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman can attend in Mayor Echanove’s absence.

Palouse is facing a monumental burden in the coming years regarding our wastewater treatment facility and what the Department of Ecology is requiring of us. The city will do everything it can to mitigate the extraordinary costs of updating the facility to maintain compliance. DOE has a loan/grant program for these projects, but to qualify for grants, city must have sewer rates at or above $80/month JUST for sewer (determined as a “hardship” rate). Those rates are absurd, especially considering the condition of our existing facilities and what Ecology is demanding of us. Our current monthly rate for sewer is $34. By comparison, Garfield’s sewer rate is $52/month and Rosalia’s is $50/month. We have to be proactive and build our sewer reserve fund as much as possible so we don’t blindside our utility customers with exorbitant rate increases. With our current rates, other state agencies will also require increases to qualify for any grants. CA Dixon is proposing a monthly sewer rate increase of $3 (to $37/month), all of which will be applied to our sewer reserve fund. Preparing financially for this project now will show DOE and other agencies that we’re taking measures to comply with their demands. Proposed increase would take effect in January of 2019. There will be two public hearings in November to discuss the 2019 annual budget.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 975 repealing PMC chapter 5.04 – Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Chapter 5.04 is an outdated code on alcohol sales in Palouse. This ordinance does away with the city code and city will just follow state law on alcohol sales and consumption. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt as written. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper– Had a committee meeting with CA Dixon.

OPEN FORUM:

John-Mark Mahnkey, candidate for Whitman County Commissioner, gave a brief introduction.

Chief Neumann requested to discuss personnel/policy matters. At 7:45 pm Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn to executive session. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. Council resumed at 8:32 pm.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Cook 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 9/30/18 Ck. #9516-9535 & EFT $58,486.87

Claims Paid 10/09/18 Ck. #9536-9557 & EFT $ 7,800.24

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:39 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

September 25, 2018

Palouse City Council

PUBLIC HEARING

Followed by

Regular Council Meeting

September 25, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Eric Hanson; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse the absences of councilmembers Sievers and Wekenman. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING for Steve and Cindy Alred’s request for alley/easement vacation- Mayor Echanove opened the public hearing at 7:02 pm. Mayor Echanove outlined the request. The Alreds want vacated the alley between lots 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 of Block 23, Wiley’s 2nd Addition in Palouse. The Alreds own and reside on lots 5 & 6. If alley is vacated, the Alreds want to purchase lots 3 & 4 and fence in entire yard. If granted vacation, Alreds will pay ½ the appraised value of $1,500 (so $750). The city has never exercised their right to the alley; that doesn’t mean the city won’t ever, they just have not yet needed to. PW Supt. Griffin submitted in writing his concerns about vacating the alley. Discussion ensued. Councilmember Cook MOVED to vacate the alley as presented. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried. Mayor Echanove closed the public hearing at 7:35 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The September 11, 2018 council meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 28, 2018. Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: No real issues for Palouse Days. A great turnout.

Had a slow-speed pursuit with an RV which ended in Latah County.

Skatepark is getting busier; have had a few issues with language, inappropriate behavior and clothing, some minor graffiti, some thefts of decorative fencing and some disrespect towards police. Aaron Flansburg has been very responsive in assisting with and monitoring these issues. Graffiti has already been removed.

Chief stated over the next three years the PD will be needing $90,000 in vehicle fund for replacing the fleet. Officer Handley’s vehicle has just crossed 90k miles and has a tic. PD will look at grants to maybe help offset the costs.

Chief wants to update their duty firearms next year. He wants to replace the four existing 40-caliber Glocks with four, 9mm Glocks. He will trade-in the 40-calibers. Their duty holsters will still fit the 9 mm.

Will have reserve officers Snead and Wright assisting us with Haunted Palouse. They assisted with Palouse Days as well.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Reviewed and approved the budget for 2019.

No serious injuries or fires during harvest which is great news.

Chief Beeson is off to a great start.

SCBAs have been ordered.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Kyle submitted a Complete Streets grant to the Dept. of Commerce for a sidewalk from west side of South Hill down Palouse Cove, crosswalk across highway by McGregor’s, and footbridge across river near Lions Club Park to city park. Goal is to provide for pedestrian access to connect that area of town to parks and downtown. Grant is funded by TIB. TIB calls on 11 state agencies to provide nominations. Award amounts are generally $100,000-$250,000 for smaller cities. Decisions are made in January.

September 4 we had a wastewater advisory committee meeting to continue discussions about our wastewater facilities plan. Committee agreed with council that it is worthwhile to further explore the option of eliminating river discharge entirely. City has identified two preferred sites just out of town that can accommodate the requirements for this option.

Kyle and TDH Engineering completed application to Public Works Trust Fund for pre-construction loan for water system improvements. Awards should be announced sometime next month.

City didn’t receive any proposals for Brownsfield site. MFA, our environmental engineers aren’t concerned. We aren’t under any big rush to release the site, with the primary goal to transfer the property to a developer that will integrate it back into the community. City had three parties that had initially expressed interest, but timing wasn’t right. Brownfields Committee will meet again before the end of the year to discuss a timeframe for the next RFP.

Kyle will be meeting with department heads and finance committee prior to next council meeting to discuss 2019 budgeting needs.

Kyle met with parks committee to discuss some concerns that contractors had expressed regarding the proposed riverwalk trail below shady lane. Project is funded by grant from county. Kyle is in contact with DOE and county planner on self-permitting procedures for light shoreline development that enhances visibility and use of Palouse River in town. City may request an extension to expend grant funds to complete project in summer of 2019 if necessary.

Avista electric vehicle charging station is still in the works. Just waiting on site agreement liability verbiage change from Avista.

City surplussed our snow plow for $2,500.

OLD BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 973 — First Step Internet franchise agreement: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to suspend the rules of reading the ordinance in its entirety. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried. This ordinance grants First Step Internet, LLC the right, privilege, authority, and nonexclusive franchise for ten years to construct, maintain, operate, replace, and repair a fiber optic cable network, in, across, over, along, under, through and below certain designated public rights-of-way in the City of Palouse. City Atty Hanson wrote and proofed the agreement. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 973 as presented. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 974 – changing speed limit on south Hwy 27 in city limits: Beginning in 2015, Palouse residents John and Chris Bofenkamp requested from the city and WSDOT setting the speed limit to 25 MPH on highway in front of their home. As a result, WSDOT conducted engineering and speed studies. City and Bofenkamps both have contacted WSDOT a number of times since 2015. Fast forward three years, WSDOT got back to city last week and said they were going to change speed limit and signs but need an ordinance first. Mayor read aloud Ordinance 974 in its entirety. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED, and Councilmember Cooper seconded Ordinance No. 974. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:

Hold Harmless Agreement – Atty. Hanson wrote this agreement. Officer Handley is now Uniontown’s police dept. It’s in addition to his work for Palouse and Mayor Echanove gave him his support. This agreement states both Uniontown and Palouse each agree to hold the other party to this agreement harmless from any claim for damages arising from Handley’s actions. Councilmember Cook MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement with Uniontown. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. This agreement covers the city, and the department. Chief Neumann is unhappy with the agreement calling Handley the “chief” for Uniontown because it gives Handley more clout to gain training over other legitimate chiefs. Chief Neumann thinks agreement should call Handley Uniontown’s “Town Marshall” otherwise he’s falsifying reports as far as title. Mayor Echanove and Atty. Hanson explained Uniontown codified the title as Chief and not Marshall. It’s Uniontown’s code and Uniontown can call him whatever title they want. Much discussion ensued. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Still working on pool statistic data and will report when complete.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Press release today announcing that Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board is investing $2.9 million toward rural broadband infrastructure. Included in that is $750,000 loan and $250,000 grant to the Port of Whitman County to bring broadband to five rural communities in Whitman County including Palouse and Garfield.

The ISP will be Noah-net from Tri-Cities. This means another choice for Palouse for internet service.

Liquor license renewal for Lions Club private beer & wine license from Wa St. Liquor & Cannibis board. No objections.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Cooper 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 8/31/18 Ck. #9448-9474 & EFT $42,800.54

Claims Paid 9/11/18 Ck. #9475-9502 & EFT $30,175.43

Claims Paid 9/25/18 Ck. #9503-9515 & EFT $ 5,058.14

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

August 28, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 28, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse absences of Councilmembers Wekenman and Slinkard. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Snyder MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 14, 2018. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: Officer Handley reported that Reserve Officer Snead will be back Sept. 1 and will be helping the PD with Palouse Days and various other duties.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Chair Wilcomb reported. Finances are good on both the FD and EMS sides. New breathing apparatus has been selected; the process was exhaustive. We are now in the process of transitioning between outgoing Fire Chief Mike Bagott and incoming Fire Chief Scott Beeson.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Wastewater Citizen Advisory Board will meet next week with water/sewer committee, CA Dixon, Mayor Echanove and engineers to provide update and seek advice regarding next steps to finalize an updated facility plan to submit to Dept of Ecology next spring.

CA Dixon attended budget conference last week in Leavenworth. Palouse is far overdue for utility increases. Raising rates is the last thing we want to discuss or do but it’s a fact of life and we have to keep up. The city needs to be proactive in addressing this issue to avoid eventual rate spikes down the road. Need to be sure we have the rates in place that can ensure we are eligible for the grants to pay for these utility requirements.

3-year financial audit is coming up next year. No concerns. City of Palouse has a very good track record for the last 20+ years on these financial audits.

Avista put together a site agreement for electric car charging station. Agreement is with our attorney for review.

Franchise agreement with First Step Internet is with our attorney for review as well. Should be ready to present to council at next meeting.

CA Dixon will have meeting soon with streets committee on what we want to present to TIB for Complete Streets grant. We’ve had our eye on this for a couple years. They’re accepting nominations through December. Grants up to $250,000 will be awarded in spring of 2019. These grants are for multi modal access in cities. We essentially present a plan to nominating agencies and if our plan gets picked TIB will fund the project up front. There is a lot more freedom with this grant vs almost any other program in the state.

OLD BUSINESS:

Palouse Builders final plat for Amber Ridge: In the spring Palouse Builders presented to city their preliminary proposal for that last seven acres on Palouse Cove Road towards Moscow. They’ve been working with Public Works the whole way. Supt. Griffin has been working with them the last few weeks with w/s infrastructure, inspections, etc. They’ve done all their requirements on city’s end. There are eight, ½ acre to ¾ acre lots. Additionally, there are the four, ¼ acre lots at the end of Harvest Loop. Water, sewer, gas, etc. have all been put in. Paving is done. As-builts have been submitted as well. Street signs are all in and waiting to be installed. At the onset of preliminary plat, there was some language on first phase that required them at 50% development mark (10 houses) that they do an assessment to determine if existing lift-station could support all the new development. Phase 1 developer Roy Druffel hired TD&H Engineering for assessment. Report came back recommending that city acquire from the developer a back-up pump for the lift station. Palouse Builders paid for their portion of pump and Roy Druffel is paying for remainder. Pump is on order. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approved the final plat for Amber Ridge. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2018-09: setting a date to hear petition to vacate alley/public easement: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This vacation is for the alley between lots 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 of Block 23 in Wiley’s 2nd Addition. Steve and Cindy Alred are the petitioners of above alley vacation. A public hearing for above vacation will be held on September 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Palouse City Hall. Petitioners are required to pay for 50% of value of vacated property. The only thing this resolution does is set the date for the public hearing. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, Councilmember Cook seconded, to adopt Resolution No. 2018-09 as presented. Motion carried.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor worked with Canfield & Associates on a dog complaint. Portions of the complaint were founded.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Cooper MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 8/28/18 Ck. #9431 – #9447 & EFT $3,964.95

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:54 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

August 14, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 14, 2018

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Officer Joe Handley (until 7:15 pm); City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse the absences of councilmembers Wekenman and Wilcomb. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 24, 2018. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT: Music Festival and National Night Out had no problems. We’re ready for Palouse Days and already readying for Haunted Palouse.

Officer Handley is participating in the county-wide DUI patrol the next two weekends.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Kyle is still looking into an electric car charger station in Palouse. Chamber of Commerce and local businesses have expressed interest in possibly covering the cost of the electricity. If the city wants to foot the bill for it, we would need to pass a resolution declaring it a public benefit. Kyle would like permission to submit an application. No money will be spent without first agreeing upon it at council. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to authorize Kyle to submit the application. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Kyle is submitting an application to TIB for the very last part of West Whitman Street project. We want to pave the hill where it connects to Fir Street. A lot of that is gravel and TIB doesn’t historically fund them but they do like to see continuity in their projects so we will try. Kyle should get authorization tomorrow. He’ll update council later.

City has received one bid so far for the river walk trail. We would like at least one more.

Planning Commission approved the Hodges short-plat on north side of town. More buildable lots are always good to see.

No proposals received yet for Brownsfield site. Deadline is September 5. If we don’t get any proposals it’s not the end of the world, we can let it sit and relist it later when contractors are less busy.

OLD BUSINESS:

USDA funding update for water tower project: Been working with TD&H for 18 months or so on this project. City was waiting for news on funding package. Have to get funding figured before we move forward with any project decisions. TD&H submitted the funding application to USDA months ago. USDA emailed the funding package Friday am for $1.5 million loan and $1.2 million grant for the project plus other parameters and said it had to be signed and submitted by noon on same day. $68,000 a year for 40 years at 3.2% interest rate. Mayor told them he couldn’t nor wouldn’t sign without council discussion and authorization. Kyle spoke with Michelle Bly (TD&H) in depth Friday. We were anticipating closer to 1 or 2% interest rate and signing something on this short of notice would have been irresponsible. It was very unfortunate how it played out. Head of USDA Peter MacMillan had Kyle on conference call with rest of USDA trying to broker a deal prior to Feds sweeping their account last week but Kyle told them that the city will not proceed with proposed funding package.

Michelle Bly added to discussion that it was very disappointing how Rural Development (RD) presented the funding package. They were scrambling. State funds get swept back to D.C. if not all spent. RD has not been as aggressive in Washington state spending so they had their money swept last year and they didn’t want it swept again this year. Thus they were hard-selling to Kyle. In perspective, when funding falls apart, it happens for a reason. We now have an opportunity to look at another funding source for pre-construction (design only) from PWTF. Deadline is September 14 and awards go out in October. It’s an online application. We can use a lot of the same data as RD’s application. Interest rates are 0.84% if it’s less than 5 years, 1.68% over 5 years. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to authorize TD&H to submit an application for pre-construction funding package for our water system analysis. Councilmember Sievers seconded. This does not bind the city in any way. If awarded, the city would decide at that time whether to accept. Essentially this would cover the preliminary design, further hydraulic analysis, and further design to get project ready to bid. It would also include some work sessions with Palouse Public Works. Motion carried unanimously.

Varela & Associates update on Wastewater Facility Plan due 4/1/19: Dana Cowger outlined the project. City discharges effluent into the Palouse River. We have an NPDES permit issued by DOE with state of Washington. It is updated every five years. In around 2014 the DOE told the city they were changing the parameters to TMDLs (temperature and inorganic nitrates). The new mandates could not/cannot be met with currently available treatment technologies. It resulted in the city having to get out of the river May – October each year. They gave us until April 2019 to get us plans. Has to be constructed by summer of 2024. So……city HAD to hire an engineer in 2014 to comply with new standards. Varela & Associates has been the project engineer. About a year ago, the city and advisory committee evaluated conventional and non-conventional alternatives. Ultimately, they selected the preferred alternative of storing wastewater during low-flow months (May – Oct) then discharging into river during normal to high flow. Where then does the city store the discharge? There are three determined options for storage, two of which are on city-owned 20 acres near the solar plant & well #3 and cost between $8.9 million to $11.2 million. The third option would be on other non-city property between 1 and 3 miles from Palouse and would cost from $10-$15 million depending on pipelines, pumping, appurtenances, crossings, etc. There are also the options of city pushing-back to DOE but it’s likely not a viable route long-term and may draw potential enforcement action by DOE. Varela now needs direction: continue with current preferred alternative vs. evaluation of other options. Council wants to have city advisory committee meet again to discuss new/other options. Perhaps meet with environmental attorney to discuss options. Much discussion ensued. Mayor wants to see about available land to pursue where landowner is interested in talking.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2018-08 sole source purchase of air packs for Fire Dept. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This resolution allows Fire Chief Bagott to forego the competitive bidding process to purchase required SCBAs for the Palouse FD because the purchase is clearly and legitimately limited to a single supplier. The Palouse FD has performed an objective review of the SCBA’s to be purchased and can clearly justify why only one source exists. Chief Bagott was present to explain. They looked at three different airpacks from three suppliers and Chief Bagott outlined why LN Curtis’s SCBA’s stood out as the best for department’s needs as it has the necessary type of thermal imager the others don’t have. The city has appropriated a maximum of $34,000 to cover half of the purchase price for 6 SCBA’s, with the other half provided by Whitman County Rural Fire District 4. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2018-08. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried anonymously.

First Step Internet Franchise Agreement Ordinance – FIRST READING – No action: First Step Internet (FSI) has connected fiber to City Hall, library, and PD as well as throughout town. They are looking to expand fiber to Amber Ridge (new development). They need a franchise agreement with the city to locate it in the city right-of-way. Our city attorney Hanson drafted this ordinance. They will expand from Amber Ridge and collocate. It is great to see them investing in Palouse. This is very expensive for them. Kyle will find out if the city can be compensated for allowing them to use city right of way. Council will review ordinance in depth.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard– Committee had an informative meeting to discuss water tower project.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- City has an anonymous donor of a shade sail for area near the pool. Committee will discuss with PW Supt Griffin as to logistics and any concerns.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper– Chair Cooper met with Kyle just to get up to speed on the budget and finances. Plans to meet with committee during the fall to discuss 2019 budget items.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor read aloud four various thank you notes to different city staff.

Mayor is getting some supervisory skill assistance from Canfield & Associates.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Slinkard 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 7/31/18 Ck. #9358-9385 & EFT $55,747.01

Claims Paid 8/14/18 Ck. #9386-9430 & EFT $41,953.21

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:36 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________