April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Norm Schorzman, Jeff Snook and Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin.  Also present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Dixie Reber

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 14, 2009.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin is at a training so he submitted a written report.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported Garfield’s council met last week to go over the current contract with Palouse for police services.  They have offered a 3% increase effective May 1, 2010.  They would also like to see the contract extended until 12/31/2010.  Chief Neumann thinks it’s reasonable given the economic times.  He would also be in favor of extending the contract out to 12/31/2010 and get us on the fiscal year.  In October 2010 we’d start negotiations for 2011.  This is the recommendation of the Police, Fire & Safety committee.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to extend the police services contract with Garfield to December 13, 2010, with a 3% fee increase effective May 1, 2010.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Officer Merry attended two days of training in Lewiston.

The Bike Race was a success.  There are some kinks to work out with signage, etc.  Councilmember Milano brought up looking into having a national race take place here.

The Palouse School Bike Rodeo is set for May 8th.  The school has asked to have the intersection of H & Alder Streets blocked off during the rodeo.  Through an obstacle course, the bike rodeo helps to teach kids bicycle safety.

Chief Neumann reported that Columbia Harley Davidson is discontinuing their lease program based on financial hardship.  Columbia will let us know what the buyout would be.  We have until the end of July to decide whether or not to develop a purchase agreement or let the bike go back.  Chief Neumann said he would look into funding if council wants to go that direction.  The value of the bike is around $14,000.

Chief Neumann gave a special thanks to Palouse Blockwatch for funding the safety flag crossing at Bridge and Main Streets.


Brownfields Project Update:
We will begin our professional services selection May 5, 6, & 7, at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.  We will be interviewing USKS on Tuesday, PBS on Wednesday, and Maul Foster Alongi on Thursday.  These are environmental engineers to discuss clean-up strategies, reuse options, and other aspects of the Integrated Planning Grant.

Mayor spoke with FEMA regarding the stimulus funding opportunities for the purchase of the Brownfield property.  They indicated a letter of intent would be turned down if we had any thoughts of building a permanent structure on the property.  The mayor reported he did not submit a letter of intent and that opportunity is not available to us.  All of Ann and Joyce’s time on the Brownfields project is billable and reimbursable.

H St. Project Update:   We’re still on schedule to start construction in June.  There’s a 5’x15’ piece of school district property that Munir is working on to develop an easement.  Munir is close to going out to bid.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED and Councilmember O’Neill seconded authorizing the mayor to approve going out to bid with the H Street Project when all the final paperwork is complete and approved by TIB.


PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported on proposed revisions for the RV Park contract for extended stays.  Proposed revisions include a maximum 14 day stay prepaid with a 7 day extension to keep the city under the leasehold excise tax provision.  The suggested rate will be $25/night with a maximum of 4 adults and 2 pets per site.  There will be a number of situations that will arise that the city will deal with at that time; the RV Park policies and contracts can be revised as needed.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY :  Councilmember Wekenman reported they had the police, fire, and safety meeting to discuss the Garfield contract.  The committee also discussed possible funding for updated turnouts for the firefighters.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to allow Fire Chief Bagott to represent the city to apply for the firefighters assistance grant.  It’s about a $50,000 grant with 5% local match which would be split with rural fire.  The purpose of that grant would be to obtain about 25-30 new turnouts at approximately $1,800 each.  The ones we have now are about 20 years old and don’t meet the current safety standards.   Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

The JFB meeting update report includes – Two calls in the last month which is on par with last year.  They are repairing pumps on some of the trucks to get them back into service.  They had some fire shelter practice for forest fire type work. There are other situations when the knowledge would be valuable.

Last night Palouse Fire hosted a water use symposium.  Departments from Moscow, Pullman, Colfax, Colton, and Potlatch all attended.  They summarized what equipment they all have and which equipment and adapters would be needed in a joint fire call.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported the level of brush at the compost/chipper site is out of control.  The man hours required of our public works department is beyond expectations.  Regular city maintenance and street work is being put off while public works is managing the chipper pile.  The amount of yard debris is not diminishing as hoped.  Options need to be looked at to both help recoup costs and lessen the work load for public works.  The county may start charging cities for the chipper service.  Some options to consider may be

  • $25 a year permit fee and key to the locked gate.  Each year the lock changes and a new permit would have to be purchased.
  • Look into the dumpster program.  They would deliver to the city an extra large dumpster for yard waste and we would call for pick-up when it’s filled.  The costs associated would be determined and charged back to the users as a permit fee.
  • Dixie Reber suggested delivering the yard waste to the UI who will pay for burnable chips.  That still leaves the issue of chipping the debris.

Ideas need to be brainstormed and brought back to consider.

The Planning Commission met last night to discuss codifying the proposed zoning changes.  By the next PC meeting they hope to have a good portion of it ready to go to the attorney for review.

Mayor would like to appoint Cecil Floyd to the planning commission.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Bailey seconded authorizing the mayor to appoint Cecil Floyd to the planning commission.  Motion carried unanimously.

PERSONNEL & POOL :  Councilmember Bagott reported she met with the personnel committee and city staff to hire the pool manager.  Annie Manning accepted the position.  They will meet with Annie this Thursday to discuss expectations and hiring the guards for the 2009 season.

Councilmember Milano suggested discussing with pool manager the new RV Park and monitoring users from the RV Park.  For safety reasons, RV Park users may be asked to check in with pool staff with their site number.

WATER & SEWER :  Councilmember O’Neill stated that if the city has any requests for info on in-place grinders or lift pumps, he now has a contact.

There will be four council positions coming up for renewal this year.  Councilmembers Bagott, Bailey, Milano, and O’Neill will need to file to be on the ballot for their position.  The filing period is some time this summer.

Mayor Echanove encouraged council and city staff to attend the AWC conference June 23-26 in Spokane.

FEMA met with City Clerk Beeson, Chief Neumann, and PW Supt. Griffin to discuss possible reimbursements for winter emergency expenses.  They met to discuss what expenses may qualify.  It may be worthwhile.  One of the first things we’d need to do is a resolution stating that we are going to participate and naming Clerk-Treasurer Beeson as the administrator for this.  It’s a statewide declaration of emergency from Dec. 12, 2008 to Jan 5, 2009.  FEMA allocates up to $60,000 per municipality.  Based on the meeting their main points of interest are damage to city owned buildings/property.  Damage to street curbs, delineators, etc., and payment for emergency responses like by police and public works.  It makes good business sense to pursue this.   Joyce will have a resolution ready by the next meeting.  FEMA will pay 75% of the eligible costs.
Joyce would like to talk to FCAAP about funding our share of the river gauge monitor.  We pay $1,300/year for that river gauge.

2009 Budget Position as well as the Treasurer’s report for the first quarter is available for viewing at City Hall.

Mayor read a proclamation stating that May 2, 2009 is Bagott Motors Day in Palouse, Washington.  We’re recognizing 80 years of dedication, volunteerism, creativity, and service to the city of Palouse.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion.  Councilmember Wekenman asked about the bill for Strom to repair the clock.  PW Marc Arrasmith decided to incorporate Strom Electric in fixing it rather than sending it off for repair, in hopes that having a local connection for repairs would be more cost-effective plus there would be some sort of guarantee of work.  Motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:26 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                             $15,433.60

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________