Month: October 2020

October 27, 2020

Palouse City Council

Public Hearing – 2021 Preliminary Budget

Followed by

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

October 27, 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. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

PUBLIC HEARING ON 2021 PRELIMINARY BUDGET:

No written comments received.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 13, 2020. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Wolf submitted a written report. Due to the unexpected snow and freeze, water meters won’t be read until April or May. Public Works will still winterize the meter boxes.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

2021 budget prep is ongoing. Major expenses in the budget include new a PD vehicle, replacing the old, red PW truck, various PW shop equipment, and a spring-cleaning event to address some properties in town that violate junk/health/safety/nuisance ordinances. The spring-cleaning will be a jumping-off point with the intention to then start cracking down more on violators. Junk yards were the biggest concern received on the city survey.

 

The city will continue to solicit written public comment on the 2021 preliminary budget up to the November 10th council meeting.

 

The brick building (old gymnasium) on Main Street between the Brownfields site and the Palouse Health Center sold last week. New owners would like to present their ideas for the building at an upcoming council meeting.

 

CA Dixon along with Mayor Cook and W/S committee will meet with ECY and various other funding agencies in November to discuss options for funding wastewater improvements. After that time, CA Dixon will make recommendations for any 2021 water and sewer rate increases.

 

Water system sanitary survey report from Dept of Health was received last week. Two items noted in their report were:

-Seal access port used to track the groundwater level in the well

-Begin tracking regular inspections of the reservoir interior and exterior. Annual inspections recommended.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2020-06 – renaming “H Street” to “Sgt. Jacob Demand Way”: “H Street” from Main Street north to Mohr St. is being renamed “Sgt. Jacob Demand Way” in honor and recognition of Sgt. Jacob Demand, a graduate of Palouse HS. Jacob served in the US Army from 1995-2004 and received both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Jacob gave the last full measure of his devotion while serving our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2020-06. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ord. No. 996 – amending 13.20.100, so that the reconnection fee is set via fee schedule instead of via ordinance.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Ord. No. 996. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Ord. No. 997 – This is a housekeeping item for code consistency. It combines 15.34 “Mobile Home Installation” into PMC 17.16 “Mobile Homes”. Both chapters cover mobile homes (includes manufactured homes). Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 997. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

Ord. No. 998 – repealing PMC 15.34.  PMC 15.34 was moved into PMC 17.16, thereby making PMC 15.34 unnecessary.  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adopt Ordinance no. 998. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome– encourages people to submit in writing any 2021 budget concerns or recommendations.

 

Personnel, Chair Snyder-  Met last week with Palouse PD in regards to their compensation. Councilmember Snyder thought we had some things worked out but more questions have since arisen. He will bring committee suggestions to the next meeting.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper- Met with local veterinarian Andi Edwards regarding the feral cat problem in Palouse. Committee will investigate possible solutions.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

In September there were 11 fire calls: 7 were mutual aid to other cities and 4 were local (2 were false alarms).

There were 12 EMS calls in September, 99 for the year so far.

The ambulance contract with Pullman is pending.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      10/27/2020        Ck. #11183-11196 & EFT           $20,254.80

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:34 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

October 13, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

October 13, 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; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Snyder MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 22, 2020. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

New lift pump for sewer plant should be here this week. Irrigation systems almost winterized. Asphalt patching and crack fill prep ongoing.

Supt Wolf would like to grant Nagle Construction permission to work in city right of way to install water and sewer utilities at the corner of 8th and C St. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to grant permission. Councilmember Fielder seconded and the motion carried.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log. Furnace in PD is being repaired this week. PD ordered a replacement printer.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

ECY has reviewed our latest facility plan submittal and has only minor comments. Varela will address those comments by next week and we will have an approved facility plan. We received one public comment on the SEPA process that we will address in the final plan as well.

 

ECY funding application for design phase of wastewater facility upgrades was submitted today. ECY will publish results of this round of funding by mid-January.

 

Preliminary budget should be completed by early next week. CA Dixon is still gathering information. City will still solicit written public comment on the proposed budget on October 27 and November 10 council meetings. Preliminary budget will be available upon request once completed.

 

Palouse Chamber of Commerce is seeking council approval for a maximum of $14,500 of the city’s $49,000 allocation of CARES Act COVID Relief Funds. This money will be put toward program and communications development for the Palouse business community in response to COVID-19 and the subsequent changing landscape of local business. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to approve Chamber request. Councilmember Sievers seconded and the motion carried. Councilmember Welcome abstained.

 

RV revenue has bounced back some from loss of revenue due to COVID cancellations. It is at 63% YTD

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- Will be meeting next week to discuss budget.

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- Putting forth a proposal to rename ‘H Street’ to ‘SGT Jacob Demand Way’. Chair Sievers will welcome feedback leading up to next meeting. Public may request copy of proposed resolution by contacting CA Dixon.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Discussed messaging from city regarding safe Halloween practices with CA Dixon. City will send out info and post flyers promoting best practices.

 

Chair Cooper and CA Dixon will meet with TLC Animal Care owner Andi Edwards next week to discuss feral cat population in town and how the city may help mitigate growing numbers. Chief Neumann said local businesses can certify as authorized feral cat catchers, set humane traps, and send cats to vet to get fixed.

 

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Bank Left Gallery up for liquor license renewal. No objections.

 

Mayor Cook provided update on water task group. Doug Willcox and group have had ongoing discussions with Keller Associate’s Angela Taylor and will consult with additional regional engineer to vet concepts prior to bringing any recommendations to council.

 

Items acquired by law enforcement grant received by Garfield/Palouse PD back in 2009 will potentially be split between the two departments. Currently with Atty Hanson for review.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      9/30/2020          Ck. #11129-11149 & EFT           $48,810.85

Claims Paid      10/13/2020        Ck. #11150-11182 & EFT           $42,772.87

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Alred seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 7:32 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 22, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

September 22, 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; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 8, 2020. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

DOH did their inspection on our reservoir and it needs some repairs. They will send us a written report and we will pursue options. Depending on scope of work, the repairs might get tied in with the water project.

 

Councilmember Fielder will notify the skatepark committee that the tree on east end of skatepark needs trimmed again; it’s blocking street light.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

The Wastewater Facility Plan was submitted again to ECY with responses to comments from their initial review. Major change to the plan was the elimination of the short-term potable water blending alternative with a goal to have lagoons constructed by 2024. Permit Manager Diana Washington indicated that they will not be able to begin their review of this latest submittal until the end of October. We are still proceeding with an application for design funding assuming the facility plan is approved.

 

The post for the radar speed sign requires a 5’ hole drilled with an auger. The city does not have this equipment, but our local Avista rep has agreed to assist us with this hopefully by the end of next week.

 

2021 budget prep continues. Mayor Cook will present a rough draft budget document at the next council meeting that will be amended and fine-tuned leading up to budget adoption at the second meeting in November or the first meeting in December. The city will solicit written public comments on the proposed budget that will be shared during the public hearing portions at the October 27 and November 10 council meetings.

 

Quote from Ziply Fiber representative to Port of Whitman regarding fiber buildout in Palouse: “In Palouse we have finished our design and submission to Avista. I am hoping to see an approved joint pole agreement from them here shortly.” …… “Looking to move the crews in mid to late October, with service before the holidays.”

 

We are anticipating next week a completed building permit application for the vet clinic from the owners of the Brownsfield site. It will be stick-built with an elevated, slab concrete foundation because it’s in the flood plain.

 

TDH submitted a written update regarding status of water system improvements. Phase 1 is for the replacing and upsizing of mains under Culton and Church Streets. Phase 1 is moving forward.  Phase 2 is for the full water system improvement upgrade. Phase 2 is on hold right now because we have other more pressing projects on the sewer side. There is a citizen workgroup still looking at options and alternatives for Phase 2. We will reach out to them regarding their timeline for presenting recommendations.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers– Committee will have an official resolution up for consideration at the next meeting for the renaming of H Street (school house hill) in honor of Sgt. Jacob Demand, a Palouse native who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The city will solicit written public comment on the proposed resolution between the October 13 meeting and the October 27 meeting. No one lives on H Street so no addresses will be affected.

 

Councilmember Sievers is still working with FastSigns about modifications to interior pool signage. Should be finalized before winter.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Ordinance No. 995 – adding Patriot Day to the flag policy:  This ordinance adds September 11 (Patriot Day) to the existing list of designated dates for flying the flags. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 995.  Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

FD had three regular meetings and two special meetings in August. We have three new firefighters and three retired firefighters came back on crew.

FD had seven fire calls in August: 6 mutual aid & 1 in-district.

EMS had 11 calls and 2 trainings in August.

The FD voted to purchase equipment for fit-testing EMS N95 masks and FD airpacks. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the purchase of the fit-testing system out of COVID funds, not to exceed $12,500. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. The city received a $32,400 CARES Act distribution for the purchase of COVID supplies and will be receiving another one for $16,800 shortly. The city has worked with the Fire Dept., EMS, the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to purchase COVID-related supplies.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

All the park bathrooms were reopened Sept. 4.

 

Liquor License Renewal for Palouse Lions Club. No objections.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      8/22/2020          Ck. #11113-11128 & EFT           $14,352.07

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:41 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 8, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

September 8, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse Councilmember Welcome’s absence. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 25, 2020. Councilmember Alred seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

A reminder to watch for elementary kids walking to and from school.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Varela & Associates is finalizing our Wastewater Facility Plan for submittal to ECY later this week. A meeting is tentatively schedule for the 3rd week of September to discuss with us, Varela, and ECY to solidify path forward for design phase and application for funding.

 

CA Dixon is getting estimates for wireless water meter reading devices. Going wireless will provide a host of benefits to our system, but the conversion is costly. We will be investigating funding options with the hope to have the majority of the project funded by grants. The goal is to have enough information by the end of the year to develop a cost estimate for the 2021 budget.

 

The rail line that services the tracks through town was recently acquired by a new company (Spokane, Spangle and Palouse Railway). We have received complaints about the storage of the PROCOR tanks in city limits. CA Dixon has reached out to them and they confirmed that there is nothing in the tanks and that their plan is to have them removed by the end of the month.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ord. 994 – NWFiber, LLC franchise agreement: The city is authorized to grant non-exclusive franchises for the maintenance of fiber optic cable networks. This agreement is identical to First Step’s agreement. It grants NWFiber LLC, the right, privilege, and authority to construct, operate, maintain, replace, acquire, sell, lease, and use all necessary facilities for a fiber optic cable network in Palouse. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 994 as written. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

Resolution 2020-05 amends the 2020 salary schedule to reflect the changes to the new Public Works Supt’s pay, the new Public Works Assistant’s pay, and to add the Entry Level Public Works Assistant position and pay. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2020-05. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel, Chair Snyder- Working slowly and steadily on the pay and promotion model. We will take to city staff for feedback and then present it to council.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder- In the last three weeks the Palouse FD has responded to 10 mutual aid fire calls including two last Saturday (8/29/20). There were multiple serious fires in Whitman County yesterday (9/7/2020). A total of 14 firefighters were either deployed or on call for 12 straight hours. They were at three different scenes concurrently. During the Malden fire the water tender truck suffered a breakdown; it has since been repaired. Our gratitude to all the firefighters and EMS.

 

OPEN FORUM:

GPHS student Christian Burt is seeking permission and funding to paint 17 of the city’s fire hydrants as part of his Eagle Scout project. He will be painting all the yellow hydrants which are part of the FD’s color-coded hydrant system. He estimates $500 to cover supplies and paint. Councilmember Alred MOVED to fund up to $500 towards supplies to paint the 17 fire hydrants. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. He will return any usable leftover tools & supplies to Public Works.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Native Plant Walk is looking great and people have been seen enjoying it this week.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      8/31/2020          Ck. #11075-11093 & EFT           $50,042.47

Claims Paid      8/08/2020          Ck. #11094-11112 & EFT           $18,451.12

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Cooper seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________