April 24, 2012

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
April 24, 2012

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Alison Webb; Bo Ossinger; Tim Jones; Cecil Floyd; Rick Wekenman; Norm Schorzman; Connie Newman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: David Hertz; Martha Hertz; Janet Barstow; Heidi Keen; Miss McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 10, 2012. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. The new lawnmower wiring issues are under warranty.

POLICE REPORT: Tremendous turnout for the bike race; no injuries to anyone.
Had some solicitors in town trying to sell insurance; instructed them of rules regarding going door-to-door.

JFB REPORT: Prior to normal JFB meeting, there was a capital improvements meeting to discuss how we might be able to afford new equipment in the coming years. In the next 5 to 8 years one of our pieces of fire equipment will be pushing 30 years old which is reaching the maximum age for reliability and trustworthiness. Bottom line is there is no money in coffers at this point. Used purchases cost approximately $150,000, new cost upwards of $250,000. This was just discussion, no decisions were made. Grants are very hard to come by anymore.

There were five fire calls in March, 11 YTD, which is more than half of what we had all of last year. Pump on pumper tanker is still being repaired in Spokane. We’ve come across some tires that need to be replaced on some of the vehicles so we’re doing that. Pullman’s new fire chief has visited with our department and is eager to work with us. There were six EMS calls in March, 18 YTD.

Q1 2012 Financial Report: There are no issues or budget concerns this quarter, with no budget amendments. Councilmember Newman MOVED to cancel and not reissue the check from March 2011 to UCR&D for $150. UCR&D underwent administrative restructuring and are no longer a viable business. Councilmember Schorzman seconded. Motion carried unanimously. REET money is from the sale of real estate; the city gets a percentage. The laws have changed for spending REET money and the state has suggested cities open a fund just for collection of the tax. Once council develops a project, it can be transferred to the fund as needed. REET money can be spent on certain capital projects such as park improvements, building improvements. This year it has made approximately $1,000 (actual to date $1,600). The city doesn’t have to spend it every year; we can save it for bigger projects.


Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Norm Schorzman. Chair: no report

Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: no report

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Re the Mohr Street project the paperwork is underway with TIB, Taylor Engineering, and Joyce. Construction should begin sometime June or July. We’re considering an application for another project to TIB. In the past we’ve discussed a walking path from downtown up Cove Road to Union Street. And the next year do the second half from Union Street to city limit. The $18,000 matching funds would come from our arterial streets fund and is for the WHOLE project.

Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: Pool opening date is set for June 20. Last day of school at Gar-Pal is June 13. Pool closing date is yet to be confirmed but approximately August 20. Swim lesson session dates have been determined.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Submitted a written report. The Water System Plan (WSP) is in its final stages. The wellhead protection piece is currently being reviewed by Don and Dwayne. Once reviewed it will be sent back to Taylor Engineering. Plan is to have the WSP submitted to the DOH by the first week of May. WSP will be available for community review sometime in July. The fee for DOH review of the WSP will be $2,280.

Our next order will be developing a Sewer Extension Policy (SEP). We hope to have that ready to present to council for review and approval by June. Additionally w/s committee will be meeting with DOE this summer to begin the process of preparing for the new wastewater treatment permit which is due June 2014. We are currently compliant with all of DOE’s sewer system requirements.

Councilmember Newman wanted to discuss an administrative issue we’re having with Jim Farr and/or Nicole Wood. Councilmember Newman and staff have spent multiple hours each week and each month for a few years now to answer their questions and concerns pertaining to water and/or sewer business. The w/s committee’s goal is helping Ms. Wood find a solution and answering her questions satisfactorily. Connie read aloud a letter she wrote advising city staff on how to proceed with this issue from here on forward. It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to come to this point but Connie feels it’s absolutely necessary, in an effort to come to a true solution. Much discussion ensued. Ms. Wood is reporting she’s not getting satisfactory answers via email, so we’ve offered to meet with her personally which she declined. Councilmember Wekenman thinks it’s unusual that they refuse to come to any meeting to address their issues, and that it’s unreasonable on Ms. Wood’s part and that she should make more of an effort to get this resolved in a public forum. The council and mayor agreed. Connie reiterated the need for a w/s meeting with them and to simply have a dialogue as emailing back and forth has not proven successful. Councilmember Newman has repeatedly asked Nicole to direct certain specific questions to Supt. Griffin and she refuses. Dwayne’s job is to maintain the integrity of Palouse’s water system. Councilmember Newman added that much of the email correspondence that she is receiving from Ms. Wood regarding w/s business has included personal attacks on city staff which in Connie’s opinion are unsubstantiated and potentially libelous. City staff handles all requests for w/s the same; these two haven’t received any different treatment than anyone else.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Attended another county hazardous mitigation meeting; we’re to the point now of summarizing our accomplishments since the last go round.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Alison Webb, Chair: none

Janet Barstow. On behalf of the PCC requesting permission for a beer garden, July 28th at the park, as part of the Palouse Music Festival. PW has no issues. PD has no issues. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman authorizing the Palouse Chamber to have their annual beer garden at the city park, July 28 for the Palouse Music Festival. Motion carried unanimously.

Heidi Keen. Would like to have permission to have the Barley Bar relay again in conjunction with Palouse Days. The Chamber was the sponsor last year. This year they would like permission to have the start of the race somewhere on Main Street. This is a fundraiser for the PCC. Discussion ensued. There are no objections to the race but the logistics still need to be worked out.

The steel building is gone from the Brownfields site; they were very conscientious about cleaning up the debris.
We have not received Department of Commerce executed grant agreements yet.
MFA‘s intent is to have the concrete building down by June 30th.
Committee assignments have yet to be determined. Mayor is going to continue working on it.
Go to www.AWC.net for training opportunities.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Webb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid, April 25, 2012. Ck. #3961-3979 $7,713.12

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________