Month: May 2019

May 14, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 14, 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; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper; John Snyder (8:00).  Staff present: Police Officer Leighton Cox; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of April 23, 2019.  Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT:  Officer Cox reported all is well.  Nothing to report. There were no problems with the bike race.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: 

-CA Dixon provide a written report.  All is well.  No major updates to report.

-Varela will be at next meeting to discuss a contract amendment to get us to a completed wastewater facility plan.  CA Dixon will provide council with a draft of that amendment this week.

-TD&H is finishing up the water model and evaluating fire flows. They should have an update for us at next meeting.

-The Brownsfield Committee is meeting this week to discuss proposals and how to proceed. Mayor updated council on the two proposals the city received for the Brownsfield site. Neither proposal had ideal terms. The city has gone out for proposals two times without the response we were anticipating and hoping.  Mayor thinks the city has been going about the process wrong. There is a lack of retail space in Palouse and the public wants a solution. Why not consider developing it ourselves? Over the years the city has gotten involved numerous times in real estate projects all with a stellar track record: Heritage Park, mobile home park conversion, Brownsfield site, Congress Hotel & Oasis café property, our RV park, fire station. The site already has all infrastructure and we already own the site. Much discussion ensued about various ideas the city could do there that would provide retail space, river access, etc.  There are three ways it could be approached: city can operate it (like RV Park), form a Public Development Assn PDA (like Dahmen Barn), or even a private LLC.  If we do it as a city, we become eligible for funding.  Property is already ours.  City will have to of course discuss with city attorney.  There is a lot of potential.

-Council decided to move forward on installing the charging station at Heritage Park, as previously voted and approved. Paul Kimmel from Avista and CA Dixon will move forward with that.

NEW BUSINESS:

Jamie Gaber presented her ideas for new plantings and ongoing volunteer maintenance at Native Plant Walk. The donated plants from Palouse Conservation District (PCD) have arrived and she wants permission to plant this Friday.  She has three Americorps volunteers from PCD coming to help with plotting and manual labor. Regarding sustainability of upkeep, she is recruiting locals and is also talking to PCD about writing us into their grants so we get attention. Dennis & Vickie Griner who have been tending the area will continue to help. There is a desire to have a manicured look to the Native Plant Walk.  Next Friday she, along with high school ag students, will re-chip the path.  Jamie went on to discuss the various plants she will be using including: iceberry and elderberry, edibles, Hawthorne, roses, mock orange. She is also looking for boulders if anyone has any. Council gave Jamie their blessing.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook–  Cliff Knauff has begun work at the pool building: power washing and priming and minor repairs.  Weather permitting, we are hoping the painting will be completed within a couple weeks.

OPEN FORUM:

Paul Kimmel dropped off brochures on smart grid project, changing all electric and gas meters to “smart meter”.  This technology will provide instant information to customers on their specific account usage, etc.  This is a $170 million project for state of Washington.  Radio Frequency is substantially less than microwave, tv, cell phones, etc.  Pullman is hoping to go to smart meters for water meters as well, which is something Palouse has been discussing for ourselves for a few years.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

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

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      4/30/19             Ck. #10001-10023 & EFT           $60,024.57

Claims Paid      5/14/19             Ck. #10025-10056 & EFT           $83,733.64

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:46 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

April 23, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 23, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook (7:15); Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of April 9, 2019. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: PW Supt. submitted a written report. CTI Construction is requesting permission to work in the public right-of-way on Harrison Street to install a water line. He’s a licensed and bonded contractor. He’ll do the digging and public works will help install the pipe. CTI has completed the water service extension application. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Sievers to authorize CTI Construction to work in the public right-of-way on Harrison Street. Motion carried.

Tyler Furchtenicht is on his second day of work with the city. He was hired to be Don Myott’s replacement. He will train to become a certified WW1 operator as required. Certification and training will take a couple years.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Cox has completed his Field Training. He is Level 2 access certified now for report writing and accessing state computers. Officer Snead’s last day was Sunday; we will continue to use him for special events.

Mayor commended Chief Neumann’s diligence with watching monitoring the river during flood risk.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: First quarter permits valuation at $350,000 which includes a new house. We are anticipating a couple new residential permits and one large commercial build within the next month.

No Palouse Arms update.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Mark Wilcomb reported. Financials look good. There were two fire calls in March. Ongoing trainings including training on pumps & water hoses. Avista provided some in-depth natural gas safety training. Finished hose testing: 4 need new collars and one needs an o-ring replaced. This testing is critical to ensure fire fighter safety. Truck 416 is finally repaired. Chief Beeson is retrieving it from Seattle area Thursday. Vehicle acquisition from Pullman is still in progress. There were six EMS calls in March. The unit completed EMS Connect training this past month.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

CA Dixon is attending state auditor workshop in Pullman tomorrow. He will be submitting the annual report to the state auditors soon. It’s due end of May. Everything is looking good. No red flags to report.

City interviewed three candidates for WWTP Operator (Don Myott’s replacement). One candidate was Wastewater 2 certified but not willing to relocate to Palouse. City hired Tyler Furchtenicht. Tyler will have two years of ongoing training and service time to certify as Wastewater 2 operator. Until Tyler is certified, the city will work with DOE to start process of contracting with a Wastewater 2 operator to keep us in compliance which should cost the between $500-$700 a month.

Mayor and CA Dixon had a conference call with Varela to discuss a contract amendment. Expenditures will exceed current contract amount by a significant margin. Several alternatives that were vetted and ultimately not deemed not viable have accounted for these overages. Council has some concerns with a contract amendment in light of these overages so are requesting an advance copy of the amendment.

The city received two proposals for the Brownsfield site. Committee will meet for Q&A with both parties and then make their recommendation.

We are holding off on charging station project until the Brownsfield situation is decided.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering update on water system improvements: Michelle Bly & Luke Antinoch gave a very in-depth report on the water system update. Based on past input from Mayor, council, and city staff, there were three priorities for the water service plan, project report, and design of system improvements: 1) provide redundant storage capacity on the south side of the Palouse River with a reservoir capable of maintaining system pressures throughout the city if the northern reservoir had to be taken off-line; 2) boost system pressure on the south side of the Palouse river; 3) provide additional fire suppression storage and improve fire flow. Ultimately, we ended up with five alternatives which TD&H discussed in depth. Some of the options don’t meet all three priorities. At this point a decision is critical; TD&H can’t start design of actual plans, geo tech, etc until site is chosen. They also need to know scope of work and what they’re constructing so they can apply for funding. They can’t provide more accurate estimates short of knowing where the tank is going to go. Council wants to first complete testing on our pressure reducing valves (PRVs) because those results may provide information to help determine which way to go: booster pump or water tower. Maybe the city won’t need all three of those priorities. Once the PRVs are tested the information will go to TD&H.

New water main line on Church & Culton Streets has to be contracted out. It’s on a state highway, has traffic, etc., and the scope of work is too big for our public works staff.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-

Councilmember Cook was approached for an out-of-cycle salary increase for PW Supt Griffin due to increased duties with evolving public works staff. 5% raise was requested, roughly $3,000 a year plus benefits. This is in addition to the existing salary increase plan. Councilmember Cook looked at the salary comparisons across other similar sized cities and Supt. Griffin’s pay is at the bottom of the bell curve for salaries. Don Myott has been his right-hand man and with his departure, Dwayne’s workload is increasing. Don has forever been the weekend sewer plant guy and now it falls on Dwayne until other PW staff is trained, at which time they will rotate weekend sewer work. The sewer plant gets checked 365 days/year. Based on these facts the personnel committee thought it was a good idea to bring this salary increase forward. Councilmember Cook MOVED to award Supt. Griffin an out-of-cycle salary increase of 5% effective May 1. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. CA Dixon is in full support. Motion carried.

Going through this process has brought up some issues from an HR evaluation standpoint. We don’t have a standardized staff evaluation for merit-based salary compensations as well as a market place equity piece to implement. The city needs to stay relevant on salaries. Councilmember Cook would like Personnel Committee to come up with a policy that promotes consistent raises, and also wants job descriptions updated for all staff.

Also, Councilmember Cook would like Policy & Admin Committee to develop a strategy to compensate staff who fill in for vacated positions. City needs to have a plan to financially compensate those taking on the extra work while vacancies are present. Its no additional cost to the city because the position is vacant.

Cliff Knauff is ready to go regarding the painting job at the pool house. He is going to start with power washing.

OPEN FORUM:

Logan Estes, working towards his Eagle Scout project, is building benches around fire pit at RV Park site 1. He is removing sod and requesting approximately 3 CY of gravel from city to put around the 18’ diameter area. He has been working with PW Supt. Griffin. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Cooper, to allocate 3 CY of gravel to RV bench project. Motion carried.

Resident Jamie Gaber wants to renovate the native plant garden by the car wash. The area was initially established by Palouse Conservation District. PCD is willing to donate plants and Jamie has other resources to acquire most supplies but is looking at perhaps financial assistance in acquiring river rock. She wants to plant in May. She plans to enlist help from high school students as well as Americorps volunteers. For the long-term care she is hoping for a type of community involvement project, similar to the ladies who care for the Palouse rose gardens. Council wants to see her vision on paper before deciding. Jamie will bring to next meeting.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

NW Collegiate cycling championships are this Saturday. There was a snafu in their notice to Palouse; UI just contacted us last week. There is some disagreement among council and staff as to whether this race should be continued; does it benefit Palouse? It costs money in staff labor and equipment. Chief Neumann and PW Supt Griffin will do what is required to prep for the race as well as traffic control at intersections the day of the race.

The Planning Commission has completed the preparation of the community survey. The survey will be distributed via a link and code printed on April’s water/sewer bill. An email will also be sent out on city list serve.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Sievers 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:

Claims Paid 4/23/19 Ck. #9983-10000 & EFT $16,535.91

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

April 9, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 9, 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. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officers Joel Anderson and Leighton Cox; City Administrator Kyle Dixon. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse councilmember Cooper’s absence. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried.

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

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT:

Swearing in of new police officer Leighton Cox: Officer Cox has been with the department for a week now. Lots of training and state-mandated material to get through.

River is at 14.5 ft right now and gauge is predicting that we will crest at 16ft tomorrow. Prediction is that it will fall but if it keeps raining at this rate it could pose a problem.

Chief Neumann swore in Officer Cox. Officer Cox told the council a bit about himself and that he is excited to go to work.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

1st Quarter Treasurer’s Report:

All is well. Streets fund was hit pretty hard by excessive snowfall in February. Met with Finance Chair Cooper last week to review funds in greater detail.

Deadline for submittal of RFP’s for Brownfields site is next Monday, April 15th.

CA Dixon met with engineer to discuss the river trail project and planning for the Complete Streets project. Initially, the city will explore options to get additional funding for a full build out, including a bridge across the river to the park.

City is still in the process of hiring a replacement for Don Myott, who is retiring at the end of the month.

NEW BUSINESS:

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Confirmed with painter that we are on target for late April/early May completion of pool painting project. City is in good shape on staffing for lifeguards this summer.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Bird problem at Lions club has been dealt with. Concerns regarding state of older buildings in town has been discussed. Further info to come.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- Fire Truck is not back yet. Mechanics are still having issues finishing up repairs.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 3/31/19 Ck. #9932-9952 & EFT $48,119.69

Claims Paid 4/09/19 Ck. #9953-9981 & EFT $23,656.10

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:22 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________