April 24, 2007

April 24, 2007

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 (arrived 8PM); Andy O’Neill; Jeff Snook (arrived 7:10); and Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Bev Pearce, Deputy City Clerk; Dan Gladwill, Building Inspector; Dale Tronsen; Cory Bakeman; Katrina Shelton; Dennis Griner; Marvin Pillers; Marc VanHarn; Nyna VanHarn.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Mark Bailey MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 10, 2007.  Darcie Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


  • A.      Nyna VanHarn-river cleaning project: Nyna told council that she began her 8th grade cumulative project with a Palouse River Clean-up.  After talking to family and friends she decided to make it an actual working project.  She presented to council a 3-page project plan.  She commented that people throw trash into the river and she would like to form a committee to clean it up.  Initially her plan was to ask the council for about $50 to begin the project, but after being put in touch with the Palouse Conservation District, they have agreed to support her project and will donate the needed materials.  She would like to clean the area from the F Street Bridge to the Grain Elevators.  She would like to meet with volunteers in July or August.  Council Member Wekenman said that after the 1996 flood a big clean did occur, but nothing has been done since.  The Mayor spoke to the Palouse Conservation District about the project and he told Nyna that they will give 100% support.  He suggested she inform the emergency services in Palouse on the dates the clean up will occur, so they are aware that people will be working along the river’s edge.  Byron told Nyna that for the past two years the city has been working on spraying the noxious weeds along the river’s edge, he will have city staff contact her about the type of weeds and spraying times.  Council Member O’Neill asked Nyna how she would bring this project to the public.  She said that she would post notices around town and advertise in the Boomerang.  Council Member Bailey MOVED to endorse and support the Palouse River Clean Up by Nyna VanHarn.  Council Member Bagott seconded the motion.  Council Member Snook abstained, as he missed the discussion.  The motion carried with four votes.
  • B.      Marc VanHarn-Rat Rod Show:  Marc updated council on his progress for the Third Annual Spring BBQ and Hot Rod Gathering, June 2, 2007.  He has arranged with Will Thurman and Police Chief Neumann the street closures that will allow for better traffic flow and parking for area businesses.  The Palouse Chamber supports this event.  There are many more participants this year, four bands will be playing, and there will be a lot more publicity.  A well-known publication will be sending a photographer to record the event.  The streets will be reopened by 6 PM.
  • C.      Burn Ordinance: Chief Bagott informed council that between the fire department and the police department they have responded to 6 disposal waste burn calls.  The chief told council that the disposal burning must stop.  A 4x4x3 burn pit can put out a lot of smoke and flames.  He understands why people burn, its easier than taking debris to the dump.  With the city making a good faith effort to provide alternative solutions, there should be no need for any further disposal waste burning.  It cost the fire department $9.75/per call/ per volunteer.  It can be a drain on the budget if the department has to respond to each disposal burn that is reported.  Calls such as these are bad for department morale and puts the fire department in an uncomfortable position, if they are responding to a call that has been reported because of neighbor conflict.  Council Member Bailey reported that the ordinance is sitting on the city attorney’s desk and it may be the middle of May before a final ordinance can be presented to council.  The Mayor reminded council that the state is mandating a no-burn ordinance for larger cities by December 2007; this is the wave to the future.  He fully supports Fire Chief Bagott on this issue.  Public education will be needed when the new ordinance takes effect.  The department’s current stand on the open disposal burn issue is, if the department is called out, the offending fire will be put out.  Katrina Shelton asked council about recreational burns.  Council Member O’Neill said if the burn is clean and purely recreational, there should be no problem.  Council Member Wekenman commented that the most offensive burns are fireplace and wood burning stoves in homes.  There can be more smoke from what people burn in their homes than what is burned outside.  Chief Bagott agreed, but there is no control over what people burn in their homes.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges reported that the city crew has been busy cleaning the streets and intersections in preparation for the bicycle race this weekend.  There has been an infestation of Knap Weed in the city and he is doing his best to get it under control.  In order to spray the noxious weeds along the river banks, the crew is required to obtain a special license.  Byron currently is licensed and the new public works superintendent will need one as well.  The crew has been grading the area for the new compost area.  It will be ready for concrete soon.  Don has begun to read meters for the season.  The city received 4,000 tons of gravel from Wesmar.  The new lawn mower’s magnetic clutch went out.  The old lawn mower that was used for trade in is being used while the new lawn mower is being repaired.  The crew will start to pull well #3, the clean up will take two days.  Byron and Don worked on updating the city sewer and water maps and hope to put the changes on AutoCAD.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported that animal complaints are down. He and the building inspector are continuing to work on cleaning up the home on Bluff street.  Notices and fines will be posted and handed out.  The city attorney will be looking at the legal issues of this situation.  There have been no serious crimes – an NOI citation was written, one harassment complaint, and the city police department assisted the sheriff’s department with an alarm at McGregor’s.  The evidence room has been upgraded and completed.  In general all is well.  There will be four uniformed officers in place this weekend for the bicycle race.

BUILDING INSPECTOR: Dan Gladwill reported permits on the following: 2 houses, 3 barns, 1 deck, 2 mobile homes.  He has passed the building official examination.  His next goal is to become a fire inspector.  There are more permits and questions now that it is spring.  He will be attending the WABO conference in Leavenworth for the county and will be representing the City of Palouse as well.

  JOINT FIRE BOARD AND EMS UPDATE: Council Member O’Neill reported that the new public safety building is working out great.  There is a need for paving the area in front of the vehicle bays.  The cost is estimated at $13,000 and hopes that each entity can begin reserving funds for this.  The department sent Chief Bagott to Las Vegas for a grant writing seminar.  He came back with new tools and knowledge on the grant writing process.  Council Member O’Neill MOVED to ratify the JFB motion to allow Chief Bagott to prepare a grant for a new fire truck.  The motion was seconded by Council Member Bailey.  Andy explained the following funds will be needed: $9750/City; $9750/Rural Fire District; $2,000 non profit.  The amount of the fire truck around $230,000 to $240,000.  The department would like to exceed the standard 5% matching, as to assure a better chance at receiving the grant.  The chief has until May 4 to submit the grant.  The announcements will start in the fall.  It will be early part of 2008 before funds could be spent.  The city equipment fund has the money and the rural district is ok with the dollar amounts.  The motion carried unanimously.  Chief Bagott thanked the council for their approval and support of the JFB.


  • A.      Engineering contract for Breeding’s Addition sewer extension-Munir Daud provided to council a boilerplate contract.  The cost of engineering is estimated at $6500 for engineer and design work.  The flyover for aerial photos has not been done as of Saturday, April 21 because of weather.  Council Member O’Neill said that this first cost is very fair.  Council Member O’Neill MOVED to authorize the Mayor to enter into contract negotiations with Munir Daud for the engineer contract.  Council Member Bagott seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  There was further discussion on the flyover, and project dates.

The Mayor requested an executive session, lasting no longer then 10 minutes on a Real Estate matter.

Council Member Snook MOVED to go to executive session, lasting no longer then 10 minutes on a Real Estate matter at 8:12PM.  Council Member Wekenman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

Regular council resumed at 8:25PM.

  •  B.      SR27 MH Park Project-The Mayor reported that he is working on the FCAAP Flood Hazard Management Assistance 2007-2009 funding grant for the MH park project.  He read a letter from the Palouse Conservation District pledging their support of the project.  They have dedicated $10,000 in-kind contribution of staff and other resources to assist the City of Palouse.  They also plan to contribute resources after the project for the next three years.  They point out that the proposed site change accomplishes implementation actions identified in the North Fork Palouse River Fecal Coliform Bacteria TMDL.  The Mayor feels that there is community support and is fully aware that this is a tough issue to deal with.  Council Member Snook MOVED to allow the Mayor to apply for the FCAAP grant.  Council Member Milano seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Mike Milano reported that he attended the .08 sales committee presentation this evening.  As there were no other presenters, Mike was able to spend a lot of the time with the committee.  The committee voted to recommend the Palouse RV Park project in the amount of $37,000.  Mike pointed out that if in the future the city decides to sell the park to private enterprise, the $37,000 would then be returned to the .08 funds.

PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook – Public Works Job Update: Council Member Snook reported that all the applicants for the Public Works Superintendent position were well qualified.  Dwayne Griffin was chosen for the position.  Jeff has been talking to Toshia Berend, pool manager, about the upcoming season.  There are two groups, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts that will be using the city park and pool this summer for their day camps.  Toshia is working on details for those groups.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-absent
POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman-No report
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey-provided update in open forum
STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott reported that she has received complaints about folks riding their horses around town and leaving debris on city streets and sidewalks.  She asks the riders to be courteous and clean up after their animals.  Council Member Snook pointed out that there is the same problem on Shadylane.

Darcie reported that the funding has been approved by the state in the amount of $210,000 for the repair of the railroad tracks along the Whitman Street project. The project is now 100% funded.  The railroad consultant recommended that 300 feet of track on each end of Whitman Street also be repaired.  The Mayor said the best strategy for the project would be to wait until the Governor signs the bill and then move forward and meet with all the parties involved.  Council Member Bagott pointed out that the railroad lines have been used a lot more lately.  Council Member Wekenman said that was because the state removed the high surcharge rates, thus allowing the rail companies to actually afford to operate.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill-No report

MAYOR’S REPORT : The Mayor reminded council of the AWC conference in Tacoma June 13-15.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Andy O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.

Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN: Darcie Bagott MOVED to adjourn. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:45PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 12333        through # 12349 Payments:  $8,272.84

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________