April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Cameron Jester; Bekah Miller MacPhee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Zehm asked for the minutes to be changed under his committee report.  It should read “…to demolish the damaged portion of the building”.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of April 13, 2010.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (ATVP): Bekah and Cameron briefly explained what they do.  ATVP serves all of Whitman County; they will drive anywhere within the county to meet anyone.  They focus on sexual and domestic violence and offer legal advocacy for victims.  They have a 24-hour hotline 332-HELP (4357).  For those in a dangerous situation, there is a confidential shelter where they can be safely protected.  ATVP.  They don’t push services on anyone; they just want to be accessible to everyone.  Their business line 332-0552.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
They finished putting the chips around the new playground.
The parts came in for well #3 so they will begin the repairs.

Councilmember Milano is meeting with the rep from Playworld to do a final safety walkthrough on the new playground equipment.  The Little People’s Park Project is going to buy a couple other small individual pieces to finish the project.  They also have enough funds left to replace the pea gravel with chips under the other older playground areas.


  • Last week we had our audit with the Dept of Commerce for the police motorcycle grant.  Everything was good and a report will be sent to us.
  • We had the annual UI/WSU cycling event throughout town.  The event took longer than anticipated but there were many great volunteers to help with traffic.
  • The yearly vehicle and handheld radar certification was done today and all our equipment passed.
  • With spring coming, the junk vehicles are becoming an issue again.  Keep in mind if you are going to work on a car in your yard/driveway, it’s limited to one vehicle.
  • The PD is going to begin an active approach in identifying non-licensed dog owners in Palouse in an attempt to get them to comply.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT :  Dan Gladwill reported things are starting to pick up in Palouse.  He has come out a number of times to review people’s projects.  He checked out the city’s flathouse and discussed how that is to be repaired.  He reviewed the plans for the community center which he thinks will be a great addition to Palouse.
2008: 6 permits – $25,000 valuation
2009: 2 permits – $150,000 valuation (included a new house)
2010: 8 permits – $25,000 valuation
Regarding the abatement on Culton St – it is now out of Dan’s hands.  Councilmember Zehm is going to meet with his other building committee members to discuss this further.

JFB REPORT :  Chief Bagott got the news that they were awarded the $38,200 grant from Homeland Security.  This grant has a 5% match to be split between City and County.  That money will purchase about 24 new turnouts for the firefighters.  The ones we’re replacing are about 20 years old and out of current compliance.  The new ones are much safer and about 35% lighter.  We should have those by the fall.

Fire calls have been low; a few assists in the Potlatch area.  With a dry year expected it could be a high fire risk season.

Discussion on w/s refund & adjustment policy:
Deputy Clerk Ann explained that w/s customers with one meter for multiple users, i.e. apartments, duplexes, trailer courts, etc., are on an honor system for reporting current occupancy.  It has been common in the past to allow a credit adjustment on one previously mailed billing period.  It is also the owners’ responsibility to notify the city when vacancies have been filled; not notifying the city could be considered theft of services.  The city will charge for uncharged months of w/s usage.  Councilmember Marcus MOVED to adopt a policy that states our position on w/s refunds and adjustments.  Seconded by Councilmember Wekenman.  Having a written policy will make it very clear.  Motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Wekenman also thinks it would be best if landlords were responsible for w/s bills rather than the tenants.  It is believed that Moscow and Pullman both do that.


Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair:   New playground dedication this Saturday, May 1, at 6 pm at the park. The Little Peoples Park Committee will provide hot dogs & burgers.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair :  Jeff spoke with Pool Mgr. Annie Manning.  They’ve received about nine applications.  They are going to interview lifeguards the week of May 17th.  There is going to be a staff meeting with city staff, Annie, and the pool committee.  Jeff still wants to purchase the safety steps for the pool (it’s about a $2,000 item).  It will be money well-spent.  The steps allow the elderly, disabled, injured, and very young a safe entry and exit from the pool.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize Jeff to spend up to $2,500 to acquire the new industrial safety steps for the pool.  Seconded by Councilmember Marcus.  Motion carried unanimously.

Jeff read aloud the letter to be emailed to residents and posted about town regarding the pool opening June 25th.

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :  Meeting with Andy O’Neill on May 3 to discuss the progress being made on the water use efficiency.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  The Q1-2010 budget looks good, with no apparent issues.  Joyce developed the first narrative report and hopes it helps people better understand.   A budget amendment for the FD grants for the turnouts will be presented at the next meeting.  Mike Milano stated he would read the narrative report and get together with the finance committee.

“Honor Them Foundation” Mayor’s trophy golf tournament.  4-person teams are encouraged to participate.  The Honor Them Foundation is a Colfax charity that supports local returning servicemen and servicewomen and their families.

So far 79 chipper/compost permits have been sold.  When PW chipped last week it cost the city $260 + their time + the backhoe.

Mayor is meeting with the WSU landscaping class tomorrow for their presentation on landscaping along the Brownfield site in Palouse.

Mayor read aloud a letter of resignation from Councilmember Darcie Bagott effective tonight, April 27th, 2010.  She will be a huge loss and big shoes to fill.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Snook seconded to reluctantly accept Darcie’s resignation.  Motion carried unanimously.  We will have an open call to members of the community to fill the position.  It is the council’s decision to select.  Signs will be posted about town and emailed out inviting people to apply, due by May 25th.

The AWC conference is in June this year in Vancouver.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:23 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     Ck #2221 – #2235       $3,039.33