Month: September 2019

September 24, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

September 24, 2019

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper. Absent: Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Cook MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of September 10, 2019 as written. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT:  Palouse Days went well. No problems.

-Looking into purchasing a couple solar-powered speed signs next year. One will go on HWY 27 coming into town from Pullman and one on 272 from Potlatch into town. Will look into some traffic safety grants to help with the purchase. Would eventually like one for each entrance into town.

– The Chamber is paying $25/hour for extra policing during Haunted Palouse. We want 3 or 4 extra officers both weekends, depending on crowds.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Budget is looking good.

6 EMS calls in August: 2 city, 2 rural, 2 non-resident.

3 Fire calls in August.

Got fire insurance rating back and Palouse kept Class 6 rating which is good.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Sept 18, CA Dixon, Mayor Echanove, and Councilmember Cook spoke with Varela to discuss next steps for WW Facility Plan. Plan has been delivered to DOE and it will take until at least November for them to review and provide comments. Anticipating comments and additional review, which creates a tight window to take advantage of funding opportunities with DOE that are due in mid-December. Echanove, Cook and Dixon directed Varela to put application together to hopefully take advantage of this funding opportunity with the hope that the plan can be finalized by the December deadline. Next year we will move into design phase and it will be very beneficial to have funding options in place for us to proceed.

In June we received a $2,500 grant to have a professional review and update items in our Critical Areas Ordinance. CA Dixon will send it to council and have it available for public review. This is mandated to be periodically updated. Public Hearing will be at next council meeting for anyone who wants to review it.

Improvements to Shady Lane are almost complete. CA Dixon met with City Insurance Rep to walk it. Will put in some fencing along steep side of access points and a caution sign. Benches will be ordered this week as well. Work by Palouse Hills Excavating looks great.

Budget season is on us. CA Dixon will meet with Finance Committee in October to discuss needs for next year.  Would like to see budget passed by second meeting in November.

Port of Whitman is in design phase of Fiber to the Home project in Palouse.

First Step needs council approval to relocate some equipment from roof of St. Elmo bldg. to roof of City Hall. Supt. Griffin has no concerns with it. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to allow First Step to move their equipment from St. Elmo roof to City Hall roof. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

Sealed bids are due tomorrow at 2 pm for surplus fencing and surplus street light equipment. Minimum bid of $50 for each.

CA Dixon, Supt. Griffin and w/s committee met last week to discuss some potential fee structure changes. More meetings to come. It is ongoing.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2019-10 adopting the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan for 2020-2025: This gets updated every year. The goal is to complete one from the list every year. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2019-10. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Councilmember Cook completed his pool summary report and reviewed it with council.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-

Committee met with CA Dixon and Supt. Griffin to discuss utility fee structures. Still gathering information and hoping to have a full report within a month.

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      9/24/19             Ck. #10342-10355         $34,072.92

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:09 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 10, 2019

Special Palouse City Council Meeting

PUBLIC HEARING #1 – 2020 Revenue Sources

PUBLIC HEARING #2 – Six-Year Street Plan

followed by Regular Council Meeting

September 10, 2019

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook (7:40 pm); Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.             Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING #1, 2020 Revenue Sources at 7:04 pm:

CA Dixon discussed current and proposed levies.  Standard General Levy increase is 1% unless we do a levy lid lift.  Palouse does not need to pursue a levy lid lift at this time. 1% increase will be brought to council for approval in November.  EMS levy remains at $.50/$1,000 of assessed valuation, as approved by voters last year.  County updates on assessed values were briefly discussed, City will receive those numbers next year.  Neither of the dollar amounts for the special street levy or the special pool maintenance & operation levy will change.  Total proposed taxation for all levies is $4.81/$1,000 of assessed value.  Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:14.

 

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING #2, Six-Year Street Plan at 7:14 pm:  We update this every year and submit to DOT so it’s documented when we apply for funding.  Supt. Griffin does a good job of tracking the needs for the city streets.  Closed hearing at 7:19 pm.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 27, 2019 as written. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

There is a house going in on Sumner Street and public works doesn’t have the time or manpower to extend trenching to that house.  Supt. Griffin is requesting council permission for Boyd & Boyd Construction to do that work on city right-of-way. Property owner pays for it all.  Supt Griffin inspects the work. As a general rule of thumb, public works doesn’t do that work for property owners.  This is just a right-of-way issue.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to allow Boyd & Boyd Construction to do work in the city right-of-way.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

POLICE REPORT: 

-Chief met with Spokane ATF last week to pick up more evidence from that weapons case out of Garfield.  The suspect is still in custody and looking at about 40 charges.

-The police continue to patrol Cove Road and south Hwy 27 for speeders.

-Tomorrow is the 9/11 anniversary.  We’re thinking about all the lives lost in that tragedy.

-Ongoing dog complaints;

-Radar trailer isn’t working.  Might be cheaper to replace instead of repair.  Or perhaps this would be a good time to instead purchase the flashing, solar-powered, speed signs.

-Palouse Days is this weekend.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Varela Engineering dropped off the completed draft wastewater facility plan for review.  They will deliver it to DOE once council says ok and then DOE willl start their review of it.  DOE’s review could take months, so the sooner we can get this process started the better.  This is not a binding document; it can be revised during design phase if necessary.   We’re essentially looking at storage lagoons on city-owned property for 6 months out of the year.  The long-game environmentally is going the reclaimed water route.  This will be a phased approach. Council took some action last year and we need to continue with our incremental rate increases rather than a large increase every few years.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize Varela to submit this report to DOE.  Councilmember Cooper seconded.  CA Dixon will inquire with Varela about waterway cybersecurity being added down the road to the report.  It’s a thorough report.

 

Construction has started on Shady Lane improvements.  Should be done by end of month.  We will get some benches and fences ordered for that and we’ll invite our insurance carrier to take a look at it from a liability standpoint. Project is paid for by a $26,000 grant from .09 money that CA Dixon applied for.

 

State auditors are wrapping up their work for our audit.  We should have results by end of September.  No red flags at this point.

 

Budget season is upon us. CA Dixon will meet with finance committee in October.

 

City will post notice later this week to accept bids for surplussed fencing and street light equipment that has been stored in the flathouse for years.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2019-09 salary schedule amendment:  This resolution makes the changes approved at the last council meeting: increasing the third officer pay (to be hired) to $4,300, and increasing the reserve officer pay to $24/hour. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2019-09.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Information Technology needs and assessment plan for City Hall:  City had Mark Bailey of PSTech come last month to diagnose ongoing computer and technical issues. We quickly realized we are seriously lacking in our security and equipment policy.  We’ve been erroneously operating city-wide on an “absolutely as-needed only” updates for technology and equipment.  In his assessment, Mark Bailey prioritized the city’s needs. Finance Committee will review and bring forward for 2020 budget.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-  Finishing up the annual pool report.  Now that we have a baseline, this report will provide a year-by-year comparison so we can see trends.  Will finalize and send out to council.

 

Policy & Administration, Councilmembers Sievers & Cooper–  Moses Boone will be unveiling the new city flag Saturday after the Palouse Days parade.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Liquor license renewal for Palouse Lions Club.  No objections.

 

The city has received an inquiry about the council vacancy left from the resignation of Councilmember Wilcomb.  The city hesitates to temporarily appoint someone because the general election is three council meetings away. Council wants to continue with six councilmembers until the election so as not to show favoritism to anyone running in the election.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Snyder 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      8/30/19             Ck. 10285-10309, 10311-10314, & EFT              $56,740.13

Claims Paid      9/10/19             Ck. 10284, 10310, 10315-10341, & EFT             $35,414.63

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 27, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 27, 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; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; PW Asst Mike Wolf; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson; BI Dan Gladwill; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.  Mayor Echanove read aloud Councilmember Wilcomb’s resignation letter dated Aug. 5, 2019.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 23, 2019.  Councilmember Sievers seconded.  Motion carried. The August 13th meeting was cancelled due to no quorum.

 

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

 

POOL MANAGER REPORT:  Noah Hopkins gave a brief report on the season.  Had one minor incident that resulted in an EMS call (all was fine).  Maintenance went well.  Staff was good.  Patron count was normal for a colder year.  He thanked city for the job opportunity. Councilmember Cook praised Noah on his job performance and we are hopeful he returns next year.

 

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:  Palouse is a busy little town, doing great.  Palouse keeps BI Gladwill busy with inspections.

 

OPEN FORUM:

Zane Rivers, Troop 455 Boy Scout.  For his Eagle Scout project, Zane wants to renovate the kiosk at the Eden Valley Cemetery.  Previously it was done with paper and plexiglass and laid horizontally, resulting in snow and water damage and leaving it illegible. This cemetery is unique because the majority of the graves are from the 1800’s with a lot of history.  Zane plans on installing an approximate 4’x3’ vertical sign with a donated metal roof.  Materials include lumber and printing on a vinyl-wrapped aluminum sheet. Sign will contain a cross-reference of all the buried with a site map of where they are located in the cemetery.  It will also include a summary of what life would have been like for these people.  Budget for the project is $500 and he is requesting $300 from city.  He has a couple adult mentors helping with the design process. Councilmember Cook MOVED to donate $300 towards this project.  Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Mary Estes and Janet Brantner representing the rose ladies. The rose gardens need 5+ hours of direct sunlight a day to thrive and the rose garden on Whitman Street doesn’t get enough light due to two plum trees.  The ladies are requesting having those two trees removed.  Supt. Griffin looked into moving them but they’re way too big.  There is also a plum tree next to the Police Station that is growing into the building that needs removed.  And there is a locust tree on corner of Whitman and Hall Streets that is growing into the street light.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize Supt. Griffin to remove the three plum trees and one locust tree. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Jim Fielder of the Planning Commission gave an update.  156 community surveys were completed. Overall people like the town. They are hoping to crunch the survey numbers and have a formal presentation to council in a couple months.  They currently have a full commission which is nice.

 

POLICE REPORT:

-The police had a situation a few weeks ago in Garfield with an unstable man.  What started as an assault call-out resulted in verbal threats against Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson.  Chief has had dealings with this man over the years.  The man was taken into protective custody. A cache of weapons was found including 1500+ rounds of ammunition, numerous weapons, a homemade loaded cannon, homemade silencer and a homemade grenade.  ATF and bomb squad from Spokane cleared the scene without incident and confiscated everything.  The man is being held in Colfax.  ATF stressed the urgency to keep him behind bars. Chief is meeting with prosecutor this week.

-PD also had an arrest of a Garfield resident for gas thefts, ongoing dog complaints, noise complaints.

-School starts tomorrow.  Please slow down and watch for children.

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Councilmember Cooper reported.  Budget looks like it should. They adopted the 2020 draft budget. Expected increases include the ambulance contract, insurance policies, and slight increase for maintenance & repair.  Two fire calls in July and 10 EMS calls in July.

National Night Out was a success.

Ongoing trainings.

With Mark Wilcomb’s resignation, another councilperson is needed on the JFB.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Met with contractors on Shady Lane donated land.  Construction should be done by end of September.  Being funded by .09 money from the county. There will hopefully be continued access during construction.

 

Varela has almost completed with our Wastewater Facility Plan. Kyle will forward plan to water/sewer committee for their review.  Should be wrapped-up by end of next week and delivered to DOE.

 

EV Charging Station is up and running over at Heritage Park.

 

CA Dixon will be working with Chief Neumann on identifying and notifying properties around town that don’t conform to existing nuisance ordinances.  City gets fairly frequent complaints about property appearances.

 

Following the $5 on-call pay for police department which council authorized at July 23, 2019 meeting, council received an email from Supt. Griffin requesting the same for Public Works, also retroactive to June 15, until a formal on-call policy is adopted. Public Works is on-call as well.  This will cost city $6,632.50 for June 15 to August 31 for Public Works, to be split between Water and Sewer funds.  In an effort to treat all employees equally, the Policy Committee is recommending to approve the on-call pay for Public Works.  The PD staffing shortage that began in June has brought to light what they feel is a rather restrictive and unfair on-call policy in our interlocal policing contract with Garfield.  CA Dixon said the city can absolutely accommodate continued OT but cannot recommend continued on-call pay.  It’s KD’s opinion that if we approve a continued on-call policy for the PD, we have to extend the same offer to Public Works.  They have always responded to after-hours emergencies.  CA Dixon’s recommendation to Policy Committee is, effective September 1, cease all on-call pay and implement a minimum two-hour call out at overtime rate.  This is a standard policy seen throughout the state.  Two-hour minimum call-out applies to both departments.

#1 – Councilmember Sievers MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Cooper, to pay $5 on-call from June 15 to Aug. 31 to Public Works. Motion carried;

#2 – Sievers MOVED to increase third officer salary to $4,300 monthly effective Sept. 1.  Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

#3 – Sievers MOVED to increase Reserve Officer Snead’s pay from $22/hr to $24/hr effective Sept. 1.  Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

#4 – Sievers MOVED to notify City of Garfield of our intent to terminate our contract in 180 days, with intent to renegotiate the contract with staffing and on-call issues addressed.  Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

#5 – Sievers MOVED, effective Sept 1, the city eliminates the $5 on-call pay for both PW and Police Dept. and go to the minimum two-hour call out at overtime rate for both departments. Cooper seconded. Motion carried.  The Police Dept.’s Admin Leave will be reinstated effective Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, pro-rated, as it has already been paid out through June 15th.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2019-08, adopting official City of Palouse flag:  Policy Committee researched various ordinances and resolutions and met to discuss.  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt the resolution.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Amberly Boone stated that she and Moses will donate funds towards having some flags made.  Motion carried.

 

Continued discussion on PMC 8.12. Public Nuisances and Palouse Welding:  Mayor read aloud from the January 28, 1997 minutes.   “It was decided that Bagott Motors and Ed Anderson (Palouse Welding) won’t need to install a fence around their businesses.”  Ordinance must still be enforced; he must continually keep it clean and tidy and not pile up scrap metal/junk, but fencing isn’t required.

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook–  Chris is working on finalizing the pool summary report.  53% of swim lesson revenue was from non-residents, keeping in mind that non-residents pay more for lessons. City received $1,000 in pool donations.  Full report at next meeting.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor passed on condolences for former Dayton, WA, Mayor George (was mayor for 16years) who passed away last week.

 

CA Dixon and DC Thompson just completed the three-year state audit.  Auditors were here for about a week. There will be an exit interview with the results and final report.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      7/31/19             Ck. #10192, 10210-10236, & EFT           $58,105.23

Claims Paid      8/13/19             Ck. #10237-10269, & EFT                      $25,771.93

Claims Paid      8/27/19             Ck. #10270-10283, & EFT                      $  3,013.84

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:49 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________