Month: March 2020

March 10, 2020

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 10, 2020

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; Public Works Supt Dwayne Griffin; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 25, 2020 as written. Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried.

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

Facility upgrade for public works. The old wooden shed at base of H Street is city’s equipment shed, (used for equipment storage, sand pile, signs, barricades, etc.) is in disrepair. The brick building next to the shed is the current public works shop, subject to yearly flooding. The city can look at replacing the shed in existing location or relocating altogether. Supt. Griffin would like to see a new shed & shop go up by well #3 on the city-owned 5 acres NE of the solar panels. Pros would be out of the flood plain and would allow all three public works to be in same shop (currently Mike Wolf works out of a different shop on Whitman Street). Supt. Griffin would like to have two buildings at the same site: one with an office and 5 bays for storage and the other one a pole building to use as a shop. Lots to consider: pole building vs metal building, etc., security, etc.  Mayor Cook wants Supt Griffin to meet with committee and get some bids for both locations.  It’s important to maintain good equipment and provide good work space for our public works. There is money in that fund and REET money contributes to it. If council decides to relocate, city could surplus the property if so wanted.

POLICE REPORT: 

-In last 14 days there were 10 calls in Palouse, 5 in Garfield.

-Equipment is fine.

-Officer Snead’s last day is Thursday.

-Still waiting for info back from WASPC on grant for flashing speed signs.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-Started our Level 2 operator search for our WWTP. There is one outfit that will come to Palouse and provide service and they are $100/hour. We’re looking for something closer to $50/hr. We have until August so will keep looking. We need to find somebody that also offers a training component for Walter.

-TD&H engineers will be here on the 24th for an update on water system improvements.

-Sale of Brownfields site was already voted on and approved by council however our lawyer is requesting a resolution by council to sign the deed. To have a completed conveyance we need an exact condition of the planned build, therefore, based on available plans, new language will contain “2,160 square foot vet building”. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to have Resolution 2020-03 read-in. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution 2020-03. Snyder seconded. Motion carried. Official closing paperwork will be completed tomorrow at Bishop Law.

-Spoke with Pullman Fire Marshal about the Palouse Arms Building. Area fire inspector doesn’t have regulatory authority but the state fire marshal does. CA Dixon will put him in touch with our fire chief and our BI. Our fire code states that these buildings can be subject to inspection yearly so this gives us some authority to move this forward.

-CA Dixon read aloud a letter from Vandal Cycling Club. The club is having their annual race in Walla Walla instead of Palouse this year. There has been concern from city staff in the past about the challenges of hosting the race and the labor and costs the city incurs without a clear economic benefit to the city. Mayor Cook hopes that the cycling club in the future reaches out to Palouse sooner to collaborate. There are a lot of options for them including finding an alternate route, paying Palouse for our services, and/or providing their own flaggers, set-up, and tear-down. Student organizations don’t typically have a lot of resources at their disposal. This will be up for council consideration if they intend to return.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome-

Councilmember Cooper asked committee to consider installing diaper changing stations in park restrooms.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-

Wastewater Facility Plan update: Mayor Cook, CA Dixon and Bill Slinkard had a follow up meeting with ECY and Varela Engineering to verify the city’s direction to maintain permit compliance. Varela has been negotiating with ECY to determine specifics and a strategy to accommodate their desires. We’re looking at mixing groundwater with the effluent to bring the temperature down to an acceptable level and the means to do that. That is a short-term, as well as lowest-cost, strategy to get us into compliance with ECY. The long-term plan is moving to lagoons which will address both the temperatures and the nitrates. The plan has to be in by end of this month. We’re right on target with their schedules. Supt. Griffin reminded council that regardless of the path taken with ECY, the city still has to comply with DOH on their Water Use Efficiency requirements and this short-term strategy could negatively impact that. Completed facility plan will be to city for final review in the coming days.

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Councilmember Cooper is still looking through the ordinances to establish historic preservation committee. She and CA Dixon will be meeting soon with the Planning Commission.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

City received a letter of interest from Michael Echanove for the Planning Commission vacancy. We have received no other interest in the position. Mayor Cook appointed Michael Echanove to Planning Commission.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      2/27/2020         Ck. #10697-10712 & EFT          $42,344.32

Claims Paid      3/10/2020         Ck. #10713-10739 & EFT          $39,374.08

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:01 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 25, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 25, 2020

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

CITY COUNCIL POSITION #5 APPLICANT INTERVIEWS:

The city received two applicants for the vacancy: Jim Fielder and Andres Sena. Both applicants were asked a set of questions, separately. Council went into executive session at 7:31 pm. Council reconvened at 7:41 pm.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to appoint Jim Fielder to council position #5. Councilmember Alred seconded and the motion carried.

SWEARING IN OF NEW COUNCILPERSON: Mayor Cook swore in Jim Fielder to city council position #5.  This term ends Dec. 31, 2020.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 11, 2020 as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT:

-Chief Neumann reported there were 20 calls for service in last two weeks: 13 in Palouse and 7 in Garfield.

-Reserve Officer Snead is done at the end of March.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Councilmember Cooper reported. Finances are all good. The new JFB secretary is Susan Lopez. There were four fire calls in January and 3 trainings. There were 14 EMS calls in January (which is high); hoping that number goes back down.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-TD&H was initially scheduled to provide council an update on water system improvements at this meeting. They are still waiting to finalize their deliverable so they will instead be invited to our March 24th meeting.

-CA Dixon, Mayor Cook, & Councilmember Slinkard as well as our wastewater engineers will be attending a mtg with ECY in Spokane on Thursday to tidy up our wastewater facility plan. We are looking for concurrence that we have an approvable facility plan.

-CA Dixon is corresponding with ECY regarding compliance of our permit with having a Level 2 operator. We are doing everything in our power to get Walter Fealy trained up but it realistically takes about three years. We had zero interest from certified Level 2 operators when our longtime operator Don Myott retired last year. ECY said we need to contract with someone to satisfy that permit obligation. They’re comfortable with our education plan but are taking a firmer position on oversight of that position. Deadline to get Level 2 operator is August 20th. The Level 2 operator will have to be on-site “regularly scheduled” as per our permit states and that person will work directly with Walter to further his training and education.

-CA Dixon is working on a USDA application for pedestrian foot bridge as a secondary piece to the Complete Streets grant providing pedestrian access from south end to downtown and city park.

-Looking at fencing for Shady Lane improvements and further leveling pad nearest foot bridge. Will get some concrete footings for fencing. Should be done by end of March if weather holds. We have funds from Whitman Co to cover this.

-Public Works is proceeding with mower upgrade for the park and cemetery as discussed during budget season last year. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to surplus the 2016, 54” Badboy mower via sealed bid with a $3200 minimum bid. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. Money from the sale of the mower will be applied to the purchase of new mower.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 990 eliminating grave liner fees: The city does not sell grave liners thus that sentence was removed from PMC 2.48.050. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 990. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 991 clarifying that 2.48.050 is for burial costs and 2.48.060 is for cemetery plot costs: This is just a housekeeping issue to fix an error from 2001 in which the fees for burials were erroneously put in PMC 2.48.060 instead of 2.48.050. This ordinance sets everything back to rights and keeps the burial costs in 2.48.050 and puts the cost for cemetery plots back in 2.48.060. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 991. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers-  Committee met to discuss various items:

-Committee would like to purchase City of Palouse flags to fly downtown (there is currently one flying outside of City Hall along with American flag). Councilmember Sievers thinks it will be about $500 for those flags. There was discussion about flag-flying etiquette/laws. Councilmember Snyder MOVED to purchase up to seven City of Palouse flags. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

-Met with FastSigns to finish signage for the pool.

-Committee is going to have our Fire Chief & Building Inspector do another assessment on the condition of the Palouse Arms Building. Another letter needs to then be sent to the owner because it seems to have stalled. If we’re consistent with our timeline given to owner, then we need to be prepared to take the next step. Our last letter didn’t accomplish its intended goal for the building.

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Councilmember Cooper has investigated what it takes to become a Certified Local Government (CLG). It is a lengthy process, beginning with an ordinance from the city establishing a historical preservation committee and their bylaws. If Palouse gets delegation as a CLG, then qualified owners are able to apply for funds for historic preservation, surveying, etc. The hope is to have this be an empowerment tool for private owners and give them more resources to preserve their historic buildings.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

-Mayor Cook is optimistic that we will get good direction at the ECY meeting on proceeding with our WW Facility Plan.

-Had a staff meeting with city supervisors about the staff evaluation process. Evaluation form is now with the personnel committee for finalization.

-Garfield Police Contract. Garfield elected to not renew the contract for policing services with Palouse. The current contract ends February 29, 2020.  However, Garfield has requested a one-month contract extension through March while they get their own policing services set up. They would pay for the additional month.  Mayor Cook would like Chief Neumann and his department to put personal differences aside and aid Garfield and its citizens for this additional month.  Chief Neumann outlined his concerns and some reasons he doesn’t want to honor their request including cost and lack of personnel. He reminded council that in 2019 Garfield said they wouldn’t be renewing so they have had 6 months to find personnel. As Chief of Police, he requests council honor the contract end date. Much discussion ensued.

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to extend the contract through March 15th for half of Garfield’s proposed dollar amount for the month, as a measure of good faith to Garfield. Councilmember Snyder seconded. 6 ayes, 1 nay vote from Councilmember Alred.  Motion carried.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      2/25/20             Ck. #10676-10696         $52,139.71

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

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________