April 22, 2008

April 22, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  Absent were:  Councilmember Andy O’Neill.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were: Mary Estes, Jon Fleischman, Jana Mathia.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 8, 2008.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  The Mayor states that the council will not entertain any comments regarding personnel issues of city staff.
Mary Estes asked to incorporate a small rose garden in Palouse, possibly at Heritage Park or Hayton Greene Park.  There are 4-6 volunteers who want to put it in and work along with the city to keep it maintained.  They will purchase and plant the roses.  It will start with only 5 or 6 roses, then possibly add additional roses if it is successful.  Councilmember Milano will work with Mary and PW Marc Arrasmith on this.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin submitted a written report.  Mayor spoke with A & R Construction and they should be in town May 1st.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that the PD will be going into the school with the internet safety program and a bicycle safety program.  The city-wide clean-up went well.

JOINT FIRE BOARD UPDATE :  Councilmember Snook reported that FD had two calls last month.  The burn ordinance seems to be working.  EMS had 5 calls; 19 YTD.  There is a blood drive at the PSB on May 19th.  Mike Bagott is working on updating the policy manual for the FD.  We have one new EMT.

Clerk Beeson presented the 1st Quarter Treasurer’s Report and asked for council comments and questions.  Mayor Echanove noted that the budget is right on track.

Resolution 2008-03 :  Adopt Critical Areas Handbook:  This handbook was developed by Studio Cascade with a grant through CTED with Palouse as the lead agency of a consortium of 5 other communities.  It sets the procedures when a building permit comes in.   It is simply a guide and does not change the critical areas ordinance.  BI Gladwill and Councilman Bailey both thought it would work.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to approve Resolution 2008-03.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Law Enforcement Agreement with Garfield and Resolution 2008-04 :  We got our contract from Attorney Bishop and it has been reviewed by office staff and Council.  Chief explained that the flexibility of scheduling staff would mean a great deal to the officers.  We would go from working a 10 hour shift with 14 hours on call, to working a 12 hour shift with only 2 hours on call.  We’re trying to work the schedule so officers will never be on-call on days off.   With the addition of the third officer on the force we will have to establish a civil-service board made up of three Palouse community members appointed by the Mayor.  Under civil service rules, you cannot have the residency requirement but can still have a minimum response time.  Councilmember Bailey recommended a change on page 2, line 4 – the words “at least” changed to “for an average of” to allow for the 911 call outs.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to hold an open public meeting about this.  Motion failed for lack of a second.  Council stated that this council meeting was an open public meeting.    Discussion continued on the contract agreement with Garfield.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the Mayor to enter into an agreement with the town of Garfield for law enforcement services as described in the contract before us and amended by Councilmember Bailey.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried with one nay vote by Councilmember Schorzman.
Resolution 2008-04 : Salary adjustment for Chief of Police.  The salary will change to a range from $3,650 – $3,840 per month.  The increase to #3.840 will compensate for the added responsibility and work hours if and when the contract for police services to Garfield goes into effect.  The third officer’s salary will fall into current range for police officer.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-04, changing Police Chief Neumann’s salary to a range of $3,650 – $3,840 per month.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Palouse River MH Park Acquisition Project Update :  Volunteers and city staff have begun cleaning up the grounds.  PW wants to be able to mow and begin weed control.  Two homes have been purchased and one more is in the works.  We will begin working with the remaining owners.  Atty. Bishop has requested that authority be given to the Clerk-Treasurer to write warrants outside of regular council meetings for the purchase of property within the guidelines.    Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize the Clerk-Treasurer to issue warrants for the purchase of trailers between council meetings.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The Mayor reminded everyone that they need to keep a log of hours and expenses at the MH park for reporting in-kind contributions.
Whitman Street Update ;  Award bid for construction.  Senator Schoessler and Representative Hailey joined us on speaker phone.  Mayor reminded council that one year ago in January Senator Schoessler worked hard for us to get a $210,000 line item in the Senate budget and Representative Hailey, once it got into the House, really worked for us.  Senator couldn’t be happier with all the progress that’s happened in Palouse since he first visited in 1992.  Representative Hailey said it’s very rewarding to watch a project come to fruition.  He is still working on getting the railroad on the west part of Whitman St. done.  Councilmember Bagott read the bids as follows:  Motley & Motley, $632,356.85; M.L. Albright, $643,165.35; Spokane Rock, $570,570.00; Western Construction, $640,914.05.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to accept the bid from Spokane Rock for $570,570.00 for the construction phase of Whitman Street.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Wekenman stated that the right of way at Whitman and Beech Street still needs to be cleared for this project.    Mayor Echanove reported that the landowners will be working have this area cleared including the building before June 1st.


RV Park Electrical Bid :  Councilmember Milano reported that he is ready to award the bid for electrical work at the RV Park.  He has only one concern to address to the lowest bidder and that is to assure us that they understand that this is a prevailing wage project.  He read the bids –   M&M Harrison, $21,950.00; Strom Electric, $24,970.00; Pullman Heating & Electric, $32,000.00, Greg’s Electric, $13,274.00.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to award the bid to Greg’s Electric for $13,274.00 pending the prevailing wage question.   Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Playground equipment project .  Councilmember Milano discussed the plans the local playground committee has put together.  They have $14k to purchase equipment.  It is hoped that this will be matched by a 50/50 grant from the state.  Options are being considered, with the goal of quality, safe equipment for 2 to 5 year olds in the area where the small slide and circular swing currently are.  The group wants to find funding for fall zone material as well.  Essentially this is a $20,000 project including $6,800 for excavation and groundwork.  Installation goal is summer 2009.

Jon Fleischman stated that the Lion’s Club would like to build a gazebo at the park and asked council if this is anything the city would be interested in allowing.  The Lion’s Club would take this on 100%.  It was brought up by council to take care to preserve open space.   Mayor Echanove told Jon to go ahead and develop a plan and bring it back for consideration.

Joyce suggested shaded bleachers for the pool watchers for a future project.  Councilmember Milano said there are recreation improvement grants available.  In regards to the MH Park, Councilmember Bailey reminded everyone that anywhere there is state funding supplied, ONLY native plant materials can be used.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey inquired what the city thinks of the county’s offer of Gnaedinger’s rock quarry for the junk-car site.  The council agreed that the rock quarry would work well.  There is still no word on the chipper.

PERSONNEL & POOL :  Councilmember Snook reported that we have received six applications for lifeguards.  He will be contacting Kasey (pool mgr.) soon to start scheduling interviews.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS:   Councilmember Bagott spoke with DOT regarding signage on HWY 27.  They plan on changing the pedestrian crossing sign with a bigger sign, to include the distance warning.  They are going to change the striping on the crosswalks before school is out in June.  If this works, they’ll leave it, if it doesn’t they’ll look into including curb bump-outs.  

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The city received two letters last week from attorneys on two separate homeowner issues.  Our attorney is investigating and responding.    

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


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:43 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid
Claims Paid
Payroll Paid

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________