Month: May 2021

May 25, 2021

Regular Palouse City Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing
May 25, 2021

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper; Bill Slinkard (7:17 pm). Staff present: Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; incoming City Administrator Brad Coughenour; incoming Deputy Clerk Misty La Follett.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of May 11, 2021. Councilmember Fielder seconded.  Motion carried.

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

We have enough chlorine to get us through the season (during this current national chlorine shortage).

Councilmember Welcome praised Public Works for the condition of the cemetery.

PW Supt. Wolf will discuss with Mayor Cook next week the possibility of hiring a seasonal helper.

Thanks to resident Monty Nearing for all his volunteer work caring for the nature walk.

PW Supt. Wolf thanked Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson for everything all these years.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

DEPUTY CLERK REPORT:

-DC Thompson submitted the April 2021 Treasurer’s Report. Everything is balanced. No red flags at this time.

-The reservations are really starting to pick up at the RV Park for the upcoming summer.

-DC Thompson began training her replacement (Misty La Follett) yesterday (5/24). Ann is optimistic and confident that Misty’s skills will prove beneficial to the city.

-This is DC Thompson’s 277th and final council meeting as an employee of Palouse. Her last day is Thursday.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Michelle Bly of TD&H gave an update on Water System Improvements: Luke and Morgan from TD&H met with PW staff and went through the project with them and after that submitted the report and plans to DOH for review. We’re hoping to get comments back soon so we can address them before our contract expires. The PWTF loan expires June 30, 2021. The city needs to submit requests for reimbursement before this deadline. TD&H did not use the full amount of the contract. Moving forward from there it has been TD&H’s intent to help Palouse find funding for construction for the Church Street, Culton Street, and H Street looping main. Costs are escalating for materials. When pursuing construction funding it would be the recommendation of TD&H to pursue funds where the construction funds requested are in excess of 40% greater than the construction estimates. Michelle doesn’t believe Palouse will need all that funding but it’s a placeholder so the city isn’t put in a cash-poor position if the city wants TD&H to find funding for city. There is an opportunity with PW Board for construction funding. Councilmembers Sievers and Slinkard think the time is right to move forward to get an application in and see what happens. Michelle will proceed with application with the PW Board and should come before council at second meeting in June. In meantime she will be working with PW Board on city’s behalf to work toward closing out the preconstruction loan city has.

 

Ordinance No. 1007 – adopting K Street vacation: This is the formal adoption of the K Street vacation previously discussed at the May 11, 2021 public hearing.  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1007. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 1008 – Budget Amendment to Water System Reserve Fund 412:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adopt Ord. No. 1008. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

 

Resolution No. 2021-06 – New salary schedule to add the salaries for the new City Administrator and the new Deputy Clerk. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2021-06. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

Executive Session – Council adjourned at 7:28 pm to go into Executive Session to discuss Building Inspector position. Council reconvened at 7:41 pm.

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome

-We have ready our recommendations for the allocation of our Cares Act funding. We’re anticipating the arrival of those funds mid-June and when they’re distributed there will be a new set of guidelines. Councilmember Welcome will ensure that the spending will be in compliance with Dept of Commerce and that the expenditures are a sound use of the funds.

-At the request of outgoing Deputy Clerk Thompson, Councilmember Welcome will be doing an exit accounting of the city’s petty cash funds.

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers-

-DC Thompson met last week with Councilmember Sievers and pool manager Beck Meisel to try, before her departure, to go over everything pool-related. Councilmember Sievers took a lot of notes in hopes of moving forward.

 

Personnel, Chair Snyder– *See Mayor’s report.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

-Committee met to continue discussion about ways to address the feral cat problem in Palouse. The committee is toying with idea of putting into city code a requirement that outdoor cats have to be spayed or neutered. There is still a lot of discussion to be had.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Council took a moment of silence in recognition of former councilmember Steve Alred who passed away earlier this month.

 

Appointment of Mayor Pro-Tem: Councilmember Cooper is stepping down from the position effective May 27. Councilmember Welcome MOVED to nominate Councilmember Sievers. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

Hiring of new City Administrator and new Deputy Clerk:  Misty La Follett was hired as the new Deputy Clerk and began training yesterday (5/24/21) with outgoing DC Thompson. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to confirm the hiring of Misty La Follett as DC. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.  Brad Coughenour was hired as the new City Administrator to begin work tomorrow (5/26/21). Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to confirm the hiring of Brad Coughenour as City Administrator. Councilmember Akin seconded. Motion carried.

 

Mayor Cook thanked Deputy Clerk Thompson for her service to Palouse. Mayor Cook has requested to retroactively increase DC Thompson’s salary to that of the City Administrator salary effective from date of CA Dixon’s departure until her departure because she has been fulfilling the role of both positions by herself. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to retroactively increase the salary of DC Thompson to the salary of City Administrator from the time of CA Dixon’s departure date until her departure date. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. Councilmembers thanked DC Thompson for her years of service to Palouse.

 

The only bid received for the Palouse Cove sidewalk project came in high. Mayor Cook spoke with TIB to see about getting some additional funds for this project. He also spoke with the bidder, White Diamond Concrete, to see if they could cut back on their bid. There was a $40,000 increase in this bid from previous bid.  Engineer MD&A isn’t happy with the bid and how this is unfolding. He is of the opinion that unless TIB and White Diamond Concrete pick up those costs, the city should consider a different project. Discussion will continue. Mayor Cook will notify council when he hears a response.

 

Youth Advisory Board update. Councilmember Akin and Mayor Cook held an informational meeting last week with interested students in the Youth Advisory Board. They have received four applications so far. Other teens in the Palouse area are still welcome to apply. Councilmember Akin will keep council informed of the progress.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  There was some concern over an invoice from Hemphill Electric for $850 to install a 20-amp circuit so the vending machine could be relocated from inside the pool house to outside the pool house (check #11626). Discussion ensued about the project. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED that, with the exception of check #11626 for Hemphill Electric, the remaining bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Fielder seconded. City staff will hold check #11626 until Mayor Cook discusses the cost with Hemphill Electric and advises staff how to proceed. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 5/25/2021               Ck# 11622-11632 & EFT            $53,820.01

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Akin MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Welcome seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:24 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

May 11, 2021

Public Hearing to decide Kyle Waterhouse’s petition to vacate a portion of “K “Street
followed by Regular Palouse City Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing
May 11, 2021

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Cook called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf.

 

PUBLIC HEARING: Council received last month Kyle Waterhouse’s paid application for a petition to vacate a 30’ wide x 250’ long portion of “K” Street. The land is at the dead-end of street and the abutting land is not owned by the city. If expansion were to ever happen then the city has access to build from “I” Street. Vacating this small portion on “K” Street would not result in any land denied access now or in the future. The existing Avista easement will remain in place. Mayor Cook opened the public hearing at 7:03 pm. Kyle Waterhouse added that the land is vacant and it’s a steep hill that turns into a marshland. The only affected neighbor is Monica Burleson and she signed her support of this. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the street vacation request. Councilmember Akin seconded. Motion carried. Public Hearing closed at 7:10 PM.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Welcome MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 27, 2021. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

DEPUTY CLERK REPORT:

DC Thompson reported she has balanced and closed April’s Treasurer Report.

Fast-Signs installed the new signs at the pool last week.

DC Thompson submitted her resignation letter on May 8. Her last day will be May 27, 2021.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Council went into executive session at 7:22 pm to discuss personnel. Council reconvened at 8:05 pm.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel, Chair Snyder- We are looking at filling three city positions: City Administrator, Deputy Clerk, and Building Inspector. On Thursday the Personnel Committee and Mayor Cook will be conducting a second interview with one of the CA applicants. The Deputy Clerk position is currently being advertised online. The city is going to look at combining the contract for Building Inspector services with other communities.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Bid closing for the Palouse Cove Sidewalk Project was May 4 at 2:00 pm. The city received only one bid. White Diamond Concrete LLC bid as follows: Alternate A – $240,550; Alternate B – $230,530. The city has $197,000 in TIB funds for the project. The project is currently in Mayor Cook’s hands awaiting more information on how to proceed and what kinds of funds might be available.to supplement either this project or perhaps to apply to a completely different project.

 

Councilmember Cooper has resigned her position as Mayor Pro-Tem effective May 27, 2021. Another councilperson will need to be appointed to that role.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 5/11/2021               Ck# 11601-11621 & EFT            $14,396.62

Voided Check                           Ck# 10607

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

April 27, 2021

Regular Palouse City Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing April 27, 2021

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Cook called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf. 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Welcome MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 13, 2021. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. 

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log. 

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Bids for the Palouse Cove Sidewalk are due next Tuesday, May 4th at 2PM. DC Thompson will be the city’s representative to open bids and award the project to the ‘apparent’ low bidder. Low bid will be presented for council consideration at our next meeting on May 11th

 

The City of Palouse will have simultaneous FTTH (Fiber to the home) installations for fiber internet access very soon. Inland Fiber Networks (formerly NW Fiber) is in the process of installing via underground microtrenching; Ziply Fiber will be going overhead using Avista Poles. These businesses, along with First Step Internet have inquired about how to get information about their product to our residents. Since the city cannot advertise for private business, we have encouraged these companies to connect with the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to get their information out. The city can work with the Chamber to get this information out to the public, with information possibly posted on the website when it becomes available.

 

CA Dixon is working on the 2020 annual financial report for the city. It is due May 31st. It would be a good exercise for the incoming Administrator to review, finalize and submit this report to the State Auditor’s Office.

 

Completed packets for the application to vacate the northernmost portion of K St will be sent to Mayor and Council tomorrow for the public hearing and council decision scheduled for May 11th

 

Mary Estes of the Palouse Rose Group has requested more planter space at Heritage Park and $120 for landscaping rock. They provide a very nice service to Palouse. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the Palouse Rose Group’s request. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried. 

 

CA Dixon’s last full day with the city is this Friday, April 30th. He thanked the residents, staff and leadership for welcoming him into the community and this role and will be forever grateful. He will consult and assist when possible until a new Administrator steps into the position.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Varela update on next steps for Wastewater Facility Plan: John Patrouch gave an update. City had provided a letter to ECY in February asking them to re-score our funding application for design phase improvements. They responded in April saying they weren’t going to re-score but they are providing a $100k forgivable principal loan for value-engineering to evaluate existing options and other potential solutions. Art Jenkins & David Dunn from ECY indicated they are a couple weeks away from finalizing agreement for the city at which time they will meet with city to go over work scope. John spoke to Art and asked to be part of finalizing the scope due to Varela’s history with this project. The funding agreement will require city to hire a third-party engineer who will then provide a report that confirms our current plan for improvements or provides another alternative for the city to consider. The earliest John believes we could get funding for construction is 2024 or 2025 if everything goes well. Follow up meetings with Varela and ECY will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Ordinance No. 1006 – Budget amendment for Current Expense and Arterial Streets funds:  This is mostly housekeeping. In anticipation of the Palouse Cove sidewalk project, to give us flexibility with those bid documents coming in next week, we’ve allocated an additional $20,000 for expenditure in Arterial Streets. In Current Expense, we’re allocating an additional $7,000 for an engineer’s structural inspection of the walking bridge over Palouse River. Another budget amendment will be needed when we get the COVID American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1006. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- Has created a budget recommendation spreadsheet for the incoming COVID ARP money. She will be following up for edits before submitting. 

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder- 

February 2021: Had two fire calls and three meetings/trainings. Also had annual fit testing for masks and equipment. Had ten EMS calls (7 city and 3 rural), and two meetings.

March 2021: Had two fire calls and three meetings. Had two fleet vehicles repaired. Had nine EMS calls. There were 32 EMS calls in first three months which could be a record-setting year if trend continues. 

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

Mayor Cook and Councilmember Akin presented to council their draft Youth Advisory Board application packet. Council had no changes, so they will continue to move forward with that. 

 

Last Thursday Councilmember Welcome and Mayor Cook attended the Mayor’s Roundtable meeting. Good meeting, in particular the discussion on various entities’ plans on spending their ARP funds. 

 

Council adjourned to Executive Session at 7:37 PM to discuss a personnel matter. Council reconvened at 7:56 PM  

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 4/27/2021 Ck# 11572-11584 & EFT $27,407.93

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________