April 27, 2021

Regular Palouse City Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing April 27, 2021


CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Cook called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.


ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf. 


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Welcome MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 13, 2021. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. 


PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Wolf submitted a written report.


POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log. 



Bids for the Palouse Cove Sidewalk are due next Tuesday, May 4th at 2PM. DC Thompson will be the city’s representative to open bids and award the project to the ‘apparent’ low bidder. Low bid will be presented for council consideration at our next meeting on May 11th


The City of Palouse will have simultaneous FTTH (Fiber to the home) installations for fiber internet access very soon. Inland Fiber Networks (formerly NW Fiber) is in the process of installing via underground microtrenching; Ziply Fiber will be going overhead using Avista Poles. These businesses, along with First Step Internet have inquired about how to get information about their product to our residents. Since the city cannot advertise for private business, we have encouraged these companies to connect with the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to get their information out. The city can work with the Chamber to get this information out to the public, with information possibly posted on the website when it becomes available.


CA Dixon is working on the 2020 annual financial report for the city. It is due May 31st. It would be a good exercise for the incoming Administrator to review, finalize and submit this report to the State Auditor’s Office.


Completed packets for the application to vacate the northernmost portion of K St will be sent to Mayor and Council tomorrow for the public hearing and council decision scheduled for May 11th


Mary Estes of the Palouse Rose Group has requested more planter space at Heritage Park and $120 for landscaping rock. They provide a very nice service to Palouse. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the Palouse Rose Group’s request. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried. 


CA Dixon’s last full day with the city is this Friday, April 30th. He thanked the residents, staff and leadership for welcoming him into the community and this role and will be forever grateful. He will consult and assist when possible until a new Administrator steps into the position.



Varela update on next steps for Wastewater Facility Plan: John Patrouch gave an update. City had provided a letter to ECY in February asking them to re-score our funding application for design phase improvements. They responded in April saying they weren’t going to re-score but they are providing a $100k forgivable principal loan for value-engineering to evaluate existing options and other potential solutions. Art Jenkins & David Dunn from ECY indicated they are a couple weeks away from finalizing agreement for the city at which time they will meet with city to go over work scope. John spoke to Art and asked to be part of finalizing the scope due to Varela’s history with this project. The funding agreement will require city to hire a third-party engineer who will then provide a report that confirms our current plan for improvements or provides another alternative for the city to consider. The earliest John believes we could get funding for construction is 2024 or 2025 if everything goes well. Follow up meetings with Varela and ECY will be scheduled in the coming weeks.



Ordinance No. 1006 – Budget amendment for Current Expense and Arterial Streets funds:  This is mostly housekeeping. In anticipation of the Palouse Cove sidewalk project, to give us flexibility with those bid documents coming in next week, we’ve allocated an additional $20,000 for expenditure in Arterial Streets. In Current Expense, we’re allocating an additional $7,000 for an engineer’s structural inspection of the walking bridge over Palouse River. Another budget amendment will be needed when we get the COVID American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1006. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.



Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- Has created a budget recommendation spreadsheet for the incoming COVID ARP money. She will be following up for edits before submitting. 


Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder- 

February 2021: Had two fire calls and three meetings/trainings. Also had annual fit testing for masks and equipment. Had ten EMS calls (7 city and 3 rural), and two meetings.

March 2021: Had two fire calls and three meetings. Had two fleet vehicles repaired. Had nine EMS calls. There were 32 EMS calls in first three months which could be a record-setting year if trend continues. 



Mayor Cook and Councilmember Akin presented to council their draft Youth Advisory Board application packet. Council had no changes, so they will continue to move forward with that. 


Last Thursday Councilmember Welcome and Mayor Cook attended the Mayor’s Roundtable meeting. Good meeting, in particular the discussion on various entities’ plans on spending their ARP funds. 


Council adjourned to Executive Session at 7:37 PM to discuss a personnel matter. Council reconvened at 7:56 PM  


ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Akin MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried. 


The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 4/27/2021 Ck# 11572-11584 & EFT $27,407.93


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.


APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________