April 25, 2017

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 25, 2017

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout.  Mike Hicks MOVED to excuse Bill Slinkard’s absence.  Mark Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 11, 2017.  Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.


Officer Handley and Chief Neumann had a high-speed pursuit with a stolen car that originated in Garfield.  The school went into lockdown just as a precaution.  Eventually the two perpetrators got stuck in a field and were apprehended.  They had several stolen items in their possession from Idaho Rigging.  They are now in jail awaiting trial.

Chief Neumann reports that about 90% of the state uses Spillman computer-based reporting and he would like to see Palouse use them.  WhitCom has proposed a package for $5,500 which they will let Palouse pay over four years.  Maintenance would be an additional $1,200 every year.  Councilmember Stout MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, to authorize this purchase.  Mayor Echanove believes this should be planned for and stay within the police budget.  Motion carried unanimously.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:  BI Gladwill reported on BP receipts:  in 2012, we receipted $2,750; 2013- $5,083; 2014- $3,684; 2015- $11,630; 2016- $11,473.  In the 1st Quarter alone in 2017 we’re already at $7,000.  The steady increase is partly due to the new housing development.  In the last month, Palouse has 5 new houses going in around town.

In 2012 Dan voluntarily took a 20% pay-cut to help the city out in tough budget times and his pay has never been reinstated.  He went from $500 a month + $30 monthly phone stipend to $400 + $30.  He is requesting his salary be increase to $600 a month with no phone stipend.  Council will discuss.



Our solar production output is now live.  So far we’ve generated 22,000 kw hrs.

Clerk Dixon attended a TIB workshop on Complete Streets.  Small cities get awarded on a yearly basis with either a 125k or 250k grant.  100% funded.  Complete Streets covers things like walking trails, crosswalks, bike lanes, updated sidewalks, etc.  Kyle will draft an ordinance which is the first step.  Application isn’t due until the fall.

Clerk Dixon attended a State Auditor’s Office workshop in Pullman today to review the Annual Report process.  Our Annual Report is due the end of May.


Update on water tower from Michelle Bly of TD&H Engineering:  Michelle submitted a pre-construction grant application to update our water system plan (WSP) for a new reservoir.  She was not successful in getting the grant.  DOH received 35 apps and only funded 6.  Palouse ranked #17.  It wasn’t ranked high because the new water reservoir wasn’t treatment-related nor a violation order.  DOH said we would be able to work an update to WSP in the funding package for the fall application for design and construction but we’ll still have the same issues of applying for a new reservoir that isn’t a treatment issue, nor a violation order, etc.  And it’s going to be another lean year for funding.  Another option is Rural Development Washington and they’re extremely motivated to fund projects.  Their interest rate is 2.75% but expected to rise in July.  Discussion on the process, finances, and feasibility ensued.  Council will make a decision by May 9 meeting on whether or not to have TD&H try for that.

Notice of award for West Whitman Street project:  Got our notice of award back from ML Albright (the winning contractor).  Completion date is 90 days from the Notice to Proceed which is signed after a pre-construction conference between the city, MD&A, ML Albright, WSDOT.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the contract with ML Albright.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 954 – amending PMC 17.04 to include wireless communications section:

Councilmember Estes MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Stout, to suspend the rules to read the ordinance in its entirety.  Motion carried unanimously.   Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hicks, to adopt Ordinance No. 954.  Motion carried unanimously.



Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Stout-  Held a budget meeting with committee and Clerk Dixon to get caught up on protocol and budget.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks–  Regarding the alley dispute between neighbors on Church St. and Alder St., Councilmember Hicks met separately with both parties.  Chief Neumann also met with both parties separately.  It is Councilmember Hicks belief that both parties will be able to come to a mutually-agreeable decision and he will continue to work with them.


Cascade Computing would like to expand broadband services to Palouse. If council agrees, they would like an agreement put together by Bishop Law Office between City of Palouse and Cascade Computing authorizing them to expand here.  The city would receive services from Cascade much the same as and in addition to those First Step provides.

The Whitman County Historical Society donated a 7” graft of an apple tree from the “Lost Apple Tree” project, a centuries old apple trees thought to be extinct.  It is being cared for at City Hall until public works plants it when weather warms up.

Mayor Echanove appointed Tim Sievers to the vacated position on the Palouse Planning Commission.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to affirm the appointment of Tim Sievers to the Palouse Planning Commission.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      04/25/17            Ck. #8248-8266 & EFT                          $9,962.49

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:29 PM.




APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________