Month: March 2019

March 26, 2019

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 26, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson and City Administrator Kyle Dixon. Councilmember Cook MOVED to excuse councilmember Sievers’ absence. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of March 12, 2019. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. The city lift station just north of the Beeson home has been experiencing issues related to automated pump switch. Should be resolved soon.

POLICE REPORT: All is well in Palouse and Garfield. New hire has completed polygraph and psychological evaluations and passed both. Background checks out as well. Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson are excited to bring him aboard. New hire will be starting full time in April. Normally polygraph test is roughly $550. Polygraph administrator in Alaska offered to perform new hire polygraph for free. As such, Chief Neumann and Councilmember Wekenman are proposing to provide a travel stipend to new hire as moving expenses will be costly coming from Alaska. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to have new hire Leighton Cox reimbursed $550 for travel expenses after completion of first day of work. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 1 fire call and 4 EMS calls in March. Financials are good. The shop performing repairs on pumper truck will need another week to finish up. Vehicle acquisition from Pullman is still in progress. Once Pullman completes their approval process they will provide an invoice to the JFB and the FD can then take possession of the vehicle. State Ratings Bureau will conduct equipment tests at the FD sometime soon. Palouse has historically rated very well. This speaks to the dedication of our volunteers and excellence of our training program.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: We have received interest in the open WWTP Operator position and CA Dixon is confident that applications will continue to come in. The goal is to bring someone on board sometime during the early or middle part of April.

Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon traveled to Olympia last week to chat with our state representatives and several state agencies about what Palouse is working on and how they can help. Keeping these folks in Olympia informed about our successes and needs is a huge benefit.

TIB (Transportation Improvement Board) announced their Complete Streets awards for this year on Friday, March 22nd. Palouse was chosen to receive a $200,000 grant for sidewalk infrastructure leading from Palouse’s south hill and the two new developments down to Main St and eventually the city park via bridge access.

CA Dixon attended Avista’s 130th anniversary celebration in Lewiston. They announced some additional funding opportunities at this event that we believe the city may be able to take advantage of later on this year.

OLD BUSINESS:

Update from Varela Engineering on Wastewater Facility Plan:

Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon met with the Director of the WA State Dept of Ecology in Olympia to discuss different options regarding the future of our wastewater treatment facility. Project costs for all current alternatives are extremely high. We discussed all possibilities and the best alternative seems to be water reclamation for irrigation and use in city green space. Also discussed what benefits our project could see for the Palouse River. Ecology is very interested in working with Palouse to improve the health of the river while also helping us meet permit requirements. This could prove highly beneficial when it comes to fund procurement for this project. Mayor Echanove believes that we need to perform upgrades to improve the quality of our effluent and proceed with a lagoon on city property for seasonal storage and winter discharge for the time being. Varela & Associates gave an outline of all current alternatives to council. They are seeking official direction from council to complete the wastewater facility plan. Purchasing land suitable for municipal wastewater use has proved to be difficult. High-tech alternatives are also not feasible due to high project costs as well as high ongoing maintenance costs.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to proceed with option 4 (plant upgrades/reclaimed water) with option 1a (seasonal storage on city-owned property and river discharge) as a secondary option. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Project timeline for pool painting should be finalized shortly. Job posting for lifeguards has been prepared.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Toured the Lions Club regarding bird infiltration and other potential structural concerns. Will have full report at a later meeting.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper- Meeting to be scheduled in early April to review 1st Qtr financials.

OPEN FORUM:

Linda Jovanovich to discuss meeting the challenges of climate change:

Citizens Climate Lobby discussed some concerns regarding climate change and praised Palouse for some of the projects we have done in the past to address these concerns. They would like city council to acknowledge the effect of climate change in our area and perhaps pass a resolution advocating for state and national policies that will protect Palouse residents from events that could negatively impact their health. Measures include a tax on carbon emissions. Council will consider the matter.

The Bofenkamps are grateful for the HWY 27 speed zone changes just south of town. They inquired about a post near the tracks just as you leave Palouse that is currently without signage that may have been meant for another 25 mph sign. CA Dixon will inquire with WSDOT.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon met with Grangemaster in Olympia to see what a collaboration could do to save the building. Mayor Echanove sent pics of the grange in its current condition and relayed facility concerns. They will see what avenues are available to rehab the building to avoid a potential sale of the property. The city needs 3 additional members to keep the grange in good standing. Interested parties can inquire with city hall.

Meeting with DAHP resulted in rep looking at engineering report to provide a 2nd opinion on required upgrades to rehab the St. Elmo building.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Wilcomb 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 3/26/19 Ck. 9916-9931 $20,993.82

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 12, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 12, 2019

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; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of February 26, 2019. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: DG submitted a written report. Of significant note, Don Myott will be retiring April 30, after 34+ years of service to the city.

POLICE REPORT:

A new battery was put in Journey #1 (Officer Anderson’s vehicle).

Chief Neumann, the Police, Fire, Safety Committee, and the Civil Service Commission all interviewed via Skype a potential new police officer from Wasilla, Alaska. He holds officer certifications for WA, AK, & Washington Tribal Police, all in good standing. He still has to take and pass polygraph and psychological evaluation as well as be approved by Mayor Echanove. He found opening on Criminal Justice Training Commission website job board where the position was listed.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

CA Dixon has listed Don Myott’s position, WWTP Operator II, on the AWC job search engine as well as on the city web page. The posting is already getting a lot of attention. The sooner we can hire the better so new person can cross-train with Don. It will be difficult to find someone who is not only certified but also able and willing to do street maintenance, snow plowing, grave-digging, w/s cleanouts, meter reading, etc., etc., etc.

Varela Engineering will be attending next meeting for an update on the wastewater issue. A lot of frustrating developments in the last year. We’re not gaining any traction nor solving any problems, and we’re still spending a lot of money. CA Dixon and Mayor are meeting in Olympia next week with DOE Director to discuss all the difficulties with this project.

While in Olympia, CA Dixon and Mayor will also hit TIB, AWC, Commerce, WA St Grange, DAHP and district reps to discuss projects and learn about different programs and funding that could benefit Palouse.

CA Dixon is gathering numbers for paving the Community Center parking lot. There’s a grant that will cover a minimum of 75% of cost. Once numbers are in and we know city’s cost, council can decide whether they want to help with that.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering update on Water System Improvements: Working on reservoir tank design, and system updates to the water distribution system under Culton and Church Streets. As we go through updates, more areas may be flagged. Water Model Update and Water System Plan Update should be done in about a month. Should have a 60% design completion in mid-summer and will review with council at that time. In the summer Michelle will try and find funding opportunities. Final review is anticipated late September. The final location determination has to be made before TD&H can move too far on the water tower design. City needs to do what is best for the majority of its residents.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Chris gave his recommendations for upgrades at the pool. For 2019 he recommends having painted the exterior, interior, and floors of the pool-house. Additionally, there will be some wave & kid templates ordered for painting on exterior. Estimated costs for these upgrades will be $6,500. CA Dixon said we will need to appropriate an additional $3,500 to cover the costs. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve Councilmember Cook’s spring 2019 pool upgrade recommendations. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- Held interview with potential new officer. Councilmember Wekenman was happy with how he interviewed.

OPEN FORUM:

Jim Fielder from Planning Commission. The PC is almost done preparing the community survey and hoping it is ready to go by end of April. It will be available via computer and completely anonymous. Residents will be receiving survey instructions via April utility bills as well as via the city’s listserve. The PC feel confident that they will reach a large majority and good cross-section of the population.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Wilcomb 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:

Payroll Paid 2/28/19 Ck. #9877-9893 & EFT $44,267.10

Claims Paid 3/12/19 Ck. #9894-9915 & EFT $28,742.37

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:21 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

February 26, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 26, 2019

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; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse the absences of councilmembers Cooper & Cook. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of February 12, 2019. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann is cautioning the public about phone scams and is asking people to warn their parents, kids, neighbors, etc.

A few weather-related calls recently. Slick roads will continue for a few weeks.

Still no applicants for third police officer position.

Equipment is all good.

A reminder that dogs running-at-large or off-leash with owner is not allowed in Palouse.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: BI Gladwill presented his 4th Q 2018 report. Total permit valuation for the year was almost $1.6 million. Palouse had 6 new houses in 2018 and 8 new houses in 2017.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

New airpacks went into service February 1st. Within 36 hours they were put to the test for a structure fire and worked wonderfully.

Fire Dept is going to purchase a new air compressor so they can quickly charge air brakes on emergency vehicles so they can get on road faster.

Looking at doing some upgrades to station: exhaust fans, new carpet, painting, drywall, etc.;

The pumper truck is still in repair for damages sustained in its engine’s electrical fire.

Fire & EMS are both on budget.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

TD&H will attend March 12 meeting to discuss water system improvements. There will be a w/s committee meeting prior.

CA Dixon has been working closely with Varela on our wastewater project. We are still trying to develop a feasible plan. The most recent option of putting lagoons on county land fell through as county code does not currently allow for construction of wastewater lagoons for municipal purposes. As a result, we’ve directed our engineers to redirect their efforts to higher-technology solutions. The city needs to send to Ecology another request for an extension until April 1, 2020 for our Wastewater Facility Plan. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize the Mayor to send the extension request. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried. Varela will be at March 26 council meeting.

Brownfields site update: CA Dixon is optimistic; he has sent out three RFP packets so far. Proposals are due April 15.

Complete Streets grant with TIB update: CA Dixon applied for a grant that would construct a sidewalk from the north side of town (down Palouse Cove) to our city park. Word came back from TIB that the bridge portion of application that was going to connect pathway from Palouse Cove Rd across river to park is not eligible for funding. However, the rest of the project is eligible and hopefully some other agencies will help us with the bridge portion. TIB makes their selection the end of March.

OLD BUSINESS:

Avista electric vehicle charging station site selection: There is another possible site for the charging station on Main Street in front of Brownfields site. There is already electrical infrastructure in place for what was years ago going to be a light pole. This comes in at a price of $1,233 vs $4,218 to put in at Heritage Park. Another bonus is this new possibility won’t be blocked off during events. There was discussion on how this new location might impact potential Brownfields developers. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to table this discussion until first council meeting in May. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2019-04 adopting interlocal agmt with Whitman County 2019-2024 Solid Waste Management Plan:

Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. RCW states each city has to have their own solid waste management plan in place. We defer to Whitman County the planning and subsequent updates required by DOE. Ultimately Whitman County has the only permitted solid waste site in the county and Palouse has no plans of putting in a solid waste site. We will continue with this interlocal agmt. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Resolution 2019-04 as presented. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- Councilmember Wilcomb is following up on the city’s personal vehicle policy. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt a new city policy that states

In the event that a City employee is driving their personal vehicle on approved City business, and the vehicle suffers damage through no fault of the employee’s actions, the City will reimburse repair expense not covered by the employee’s vehicle insurance, up to a maximum of $500.  Reimbursement policy does not apply to the employee’s normal daily commute to and from their place of work.

Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 2/26/19 Ck. #9860-9876 $6,910.70

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:08 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________