April 12, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 12, 2016

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett. Councilmember Langsett MOVED to excuse Councilmember Hanson’s absence. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Mayor Echanove called a moment of silence for Councilmember Ossinger who passed away last month. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 22, 2016. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Councilmember Wekenman has some concerns about a citizen taking it upon himself, with good intentions, to mow the nature walk (by the car wash) without permission. He understands there are citizens who want it to be manicured but it’s not supposed to be; it’s meant to be a natural area with plants that are meant to go to seed and propagate like Kamiak Butte or Glacier. Also it’s City property and there are liability concerns. Much discussion ensued with pros and cons of both.


Officers Merry and Handley completed their access training. Officer Handley will continue more training to become TAC (terminal access coordinator) certified for the keeping of the records database. He is also going to attend range officer training to become certified.

PD is still dealing with a couple nuisance yards.


1st Q Treasurer’s Report: Nothing unusual about our finances at this point. By comparison to Q1 2015, sales and use tax are up 14.3%, City Assistance revenue from the State is up 34.6%, liquor excise tax revenue is up 113%, and RV Park revenue is up by 55.1%. Property tax payments are coming in a little later than normal from the county.

1st Q Police Confidential Fund: No activity so still $500 in that fund.

Munir Daud submitted a written project report on West Whitman Street project. CT Bagott attended a TIB funding training meeting in Oakesdale this afternoon.

CT Bagott advised the Mayor and Council that he is intending to resign within the next few months. He will meet with the Personnel Committee and the Mayor to set a formal resignation date and make plans for transitioning to a new CT.


Street Opening request from Ben & Judy Finch: Mayor read aloud the Finch’s street opening request. The guidelines for street openings were followed. Supt. Griffin submitted a written report outlining the scope of the opening, etc. of which a copy was mailed to the requestors and abutting property owners. ALL costs incurred including the street work is the responsibility of the requestor. Requestors must follow all construction standards as per the Palouse Municipal Code. Any trees/plantings removed must be those owned by and on the requestor’s existing property only. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to grant the Finch’s street opening request of Houghton Street from Mary Street west, as per city’s specifications. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.


Water & Sewer, pro-tem Chair Langsett– Committee members as well as Supt. Griffin and Mayor Echanove met last weekend to discuss another complaint received from Nicole Wood against city staff in regard to the city’s infrastructure maps. The committee determined that her complaint against city staff were unfounded and that city maps are informational only and not a blueprint and their corrections were duly noted. Maps are intended as a guide for the Public Works Dept. Ms. Wood has since sent an email to the individual Council members to complain about the handling of her complaint and to advise that she filed a complaint with DOH about the maps the City provided to Taylor Engineering for completion of the Water System Plan.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Councilmember Hicks went up to review again the sidewalk of one of the properties sent a repair notice. After reviewing, he has determined that the damage was likely not a result of negligence caused by PW Supt. Neil Myott over 20 years ago nor PW Supt. Byron Hodges over 7 years ago, as the property owner alleges. We are in contact with our attorney awaiting his response letter.

Councilmember Hicks is going to look into putting in one or two shelters to protect kids from the elements while awaiting the school bus.


The Palouse Community Center is requesting permission for a beer garden July 30th in the city park during the Palouse Music Festival. The Police Dept. has no concerns. Supt. Griffin has no concerns. Councilmember Langsett MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hicks, authorizing the PCC to have a beer garden at the Palouse Music Festival.

April 30th is the collegiate bicycling race here in Palouse.

DOT will pay their own bills for their portion of West Whitman Street project vs. going through the city for reimbursement. TIB has given permission to proceed with the project in 2016 (vs. waiting to begin in 2017).

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 3/31/16 Ck. #7358-7376 & EFT’s $41,659.79

Claims Paid 4/12/16 Ck. #7377-7409 & EFT’s $24,299.17

ADJOURN: Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________