April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Jeff Snook and Norm Schorzman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Dixie Reber, Jeslyn Lenke, Steve McGehee & guest.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 24, 2009.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  Mayor explained that he had been mistaken regarding disallowing public comment regarding city personnel.  From now on the public can comment on city staff.

Ann Thompson, representing Palouse’s own Relay for Life team “Palouse Hope”, part of the American Cancer Society, requested permission to have a cancer survivor parade the evening of June 19th (date not firm).  Main Street will be lined with simple, beautiful luminaries while the survivors walk through.  Council approved the parade and Chief Neumann will assist with traffic safety.  She asks that everyone come watch this beautiful moving tribute to our fellow cancer survivors (date & time announced later).  Palouse Hope has a few fun fundraising events planned for the next couple months so watch for signs around town.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal spring work.  The park restrooms are now open.  The chipper will be here on the 20th.
Supt. Griffin has 3 project bids to review and select:

Pool furnace boiler specs :  Equivalent of 500,000 BTU boiler with minimum 80% efficiency; Include prevailing wage requirements; include sales tax and freight; Include the total cost:  Nolan Heating-$13,945.63; Redinger Heating-$9,800.52; Ackerman Heating-$12,336.63; & Pullman Heating-$14,278.11.  Supt. Griffin recommended awarding the bid to Redinger Heating.  Haul-away is included in the price.  There are no asbestos concerns.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , and Councilmember Bagott seconded to accept the bid from Redinger Heating.  Motion carried unanimously

Alder Street Project bid for sewer and storm drain materials :  Ferguson $2,203.03; HD Fowler $2,293.81; HD Supply $2,249.05.  Supt. Griffin recommends Ferguson.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED , second by Councilmember Wekenman to accept the bid from Ferguson for the Alder Street Project materials.  Motion carried unanimously.  Public Works will soon be soliciting bids for Alder Street paving.

Hand rail for South Hill sidewalk steps :  Specs are to build, powdercoat and install two 40’ sections of handrail.  Bids:  Bill’s Welding $7,430.92; Palouse Welding $4,527.60; Ed-Ka Manufacturing $2,790.63.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED , second by Councilmember Bagott to accept the bid from Ed-Ka Manufacturing.  Motion carried unanimously.

Palouse Conservation District (PCD) provided 160 trees which were planted April 11 at the Palouse River Walk Park (former mobile home park) by a number of Palouse citizens.  PCD also provided and installed a drip irrigation system for the new trees.  DOE doesn’t want any structures that will/can receive flood damage but irrigation is okay.  Supt. Griffin explained that once the trees are developed, the irrigation system will likely be removed.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann distributed the monthly police log which is also available for viewing at www.visitpalouse.com.

In regards to the flag crossing program at the intersection of Main & Bridge, Chief Neumann distributed some examples.  Funding for this project is being provided by Palouse Block Watch.  To help prevent theft, the flags will be marked with “property of Palouse PD”.  Studies show roughly 10% of people will use the flags at the crossing.  Councilmember Wekenman would like to think of something to entice the kids to use these.  Chief will speak at the schools and explain to the kids their purpose and how to safely use them at this dangerous intersection.

The Garfield contract needs to be agreed upon or approved by May 1st.  Garfield has penciled in a 3% increase to amount paid to Palouse.  Currently Garfield pays Palouse $66,000/year.

Chief Neumann would like to incorporate Garfield into Palouse’s existing Whitman County animal shelter contract.  It would/could be an opportunity for more humane treatment and there would be no more liability as far as job obligations.  We’re currently contracted for Palouse to be allowed to transport up to 10 dogs a year and we only average 2-3 dogs a year so adding Garfield shouldn’t be a problem.

The Police, Fire, and Safety Committee will meet to discuss renewing the Garfield contract.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember O’Neill authorizing the mayor to sign the Garfield contract pending approval by the Police, Fire, and Safety Committee.  Motion carried unanimously.

Brownfields Project Update :  The city has received all the necessary forms to move ahead with finding a consultant.  The Brownfields Committee will guide the project and everyone is invited to attend.  Any expenditures will come before council for approval.  The date for the next Brownfields committee meeting is April 20th, 7 pm at City Hall.

Because the City of Palouse participated in FEMA’s hazardous mitigation a number of years ago, there may be certain stimulus funds available to purchase the Brownfields property.  A letter of intent must be sent in to FEMA by May 1st.  FEMA will then determine if the project would be eligible.  If eligible, we would then apply for the grant.  The Mayor would like to send in a letter of intent to FEMA for funding for the acquisition of the Brownfields property.   Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Bailey authorizing a letter of intent to FEMA.  Councilmember Wekenman thinks it would help the letter of intent if the city had their consultant chosen by May 1st.  There’s not enough time to have the consultant hired by then but the mayor will definitely mention that we’re within a month of selection of a consultant.  Mayor Echanove thinks these funds are 70% grant and 30% match.  We might be able to use part of our IPG money on that.  Mayor Echanove stressed that this project has cost the city $0 so far; $0 for assessment, $0 for the Integrated Planning Grant.

H Street Project Update :  Councilmember Bagott, Supt. Griffin, Don Myott, Marc Arrasmith, and Bev Fox met with engineers Munir Daud and Bob Aberth to discuss any concerns with his first design.  Changes include having the sidewalk cross H Street at Whitman instead of at Main Street (the highway) due to the poor visibility and more traffic.  Plus it helps prevent ripping up the existing retaining walls; & improving the NW corner instead of the SW corner of Alder and H Street.  Supt. Fox seemed very pleased with everything.  All the storm drains will be underground.  The area where you drive into the daycare has to be raised about 6”.  The ramp on the SE corner will require an easement from the school which Supt. Fox sees no problem with.  Mayor spoke with Munir today about speaking immediately with the RR for UTC approval/permitting.  The project should be starting Monday June 8th.  There will be special accommodations made for the people accessing the daycare.

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported he has been searching for the paperwork that proves the City owns the park property, which dates back to 1910.  The county is sending him the documents.

RV Park Project:  Councilmember Milano handed out draft versions of the Rental Contract and Park Rules.  He pointed out that there are several items to consider and asked council to give it thought and come back with suggestions. The length of stay is one item; on the 30th day of stay at an RV park a leasehold tax would have to be paid to the State.  It is nearly 13% of rental income.  Therefore, the maximum stay is being considered at 28 days.  There are a number of revisions that will take place to these initial ideas.  We’re considering $25/night for the rate.  The city needs to look at w/s rates per site and see if it’s feasible.  We’re hoping to be up and running by June 1.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported they had a public hearing planned for the 27th but they need to put that off for now.  The proposals from the Planning Commission need to be in the form of an ordinance to amend PMC Title 17 – Zoning.  There will still be a planning committee meeting but NOT a public hearing.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:18 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     $23,658.91
Payroll Paid     $39,221.71