April 8, 2008

April 8, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  Absent were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  Garfield Mayor Jarrod Pfaff; Bruce Gage; Marc VanHarn; Pete Hertz; Heather McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 25, 2008.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  The Mayor states that the council will not entertain any comments regarding personnel issues of city staff.
Marc Van Harn wanted to make sure the city doesn’t have any last minute questions or requirements for the Spring Hot Rod gathering on May 31, from 11-6.  Main St. from Hwy 27 to west end of Thurman’s Market will be closed.  He has spoken with all the business owners to make sure they’re aware.  It is sponsored by the Chamber again.  He has taken care of the permitting with the DOT.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to allow Marc VanHarn to have his car show on May 31, 2008.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Bruce Gage would like to work out an arrangement with the city to empty the car wash pits in exchange for unlimited use of the car wash for city, police, and fire vehicles.  Attorney Bishop will write an agreement.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize Attorney Bishop to draft an agreement between Bruce Gage and the City of Palouse to exchange car wash tokens for emptying the car wash pits of gravel and debris.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  In addition to his submitted written report, Dwayne Griffin added that the trees at the park are down and they are hauling off the debris.  Marc VanHarn voiced concern about the beavers taking out trees along the river.  Superintendent Griffin reported that we screen the trees we want to save.

We ordered the radar from the radar grant.  Our cost is only $117.00 for a $1,400.00 system.  Last Thursday Chief Neumann and Councilmember Wekenman attended a public meeting with Garfield to discuss combining police services.  Mayor Pfaff said Garfield really wants this.  They are working toward a one-year contract for $66,000.00, with a 6-month option out.  The contract includes a 3-man department, (our two plus one more to be hired), 5 hours a day, 7 days a week coverage, plus 24/7 on-call.  Councilmember Wekenman sees it as a win-win situation.  It’s very unrealistic to expect one officer to be on call 24/7, it leads to burnout.  This way, officers are guaranteed time off every week.  $66,000.00 annually is just slightly more than what the town of Garfield had in their budget for just one officer.  If they were to contract with the county, the amount would be approximately $81,000.00 per year.  If the county did cover, they would NOT enforce ordinance type calls (junk cars, barking dogs, etc.).  Mayor Pfaff said there will not be a residency requirement.  The third officer must be academy trained with hopefully a minimum of 5 years experience.

JFB REPORT :  Andy O’Neill reported that the fire department will be focusing on DNR grants in the upcoming years.  DNR monies are offered yearly.  FEMA Grant monies are becoming extremely competitive and the likelihood of securing such funds appears to be limited.  EMS has secured a 100% grant, with no money from us, to replace batteries in our hand-held radios.

NEW BUSINESS:   The city clean-up is April 18th & 19th.  Sign-up at City Hall to schedule pick-up.  Volunteers with pick-ups and trailers are needed.

Palouse River MH Park Acquisition Project:   We’ve begun the process of working with the individual mobile home owners.  Councilmember Snook MOVED for an executive session on contract negotiations.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Council moved to executive session at 8:15 p.m. and was done at 8:27 p.m.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED for council to authorize the Mayor to be the negotiating party for the sale price of the MH park trailers.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Whitman Street Project Update:  The city opened bids last Friday.  Spokane Rock was the apparent low bidder.  We will be following the TIB process before awarding the bid.  It is hoped the project will start June 1, 2008 and be completed for Palouse Days in September.  The bids were all within the engineer’s estimates.  The architectural improvements on Whitman Street will mirror Main Street.

Whitman County Car Crushing Project:   The city considered using the old dump site but there were concerns so Councilmember Bailey asked Cindy Lepper if there was any county ground available.  She said possibly the Gnaedinger quarry on Tidwell Road.  Councilmember Bailey is still working on it.   


Councilmember Milano talked with the playground committee regarding what they want to purchase with the money they have.  The state grants from the Recreation Conservation District can only go to city/county entities so we (the city) will have to serve as the sponsor on the playground group.  The playground committee has groundcover questions which Mike will discuss with public works.  Councilmember Milano explained that he is about 80% through the proposed Comprehensive Park Improvement Plan.  It will be on the agenda for council approval sometime in May.

Councilmember Snook talked with the new pool manager, Casey Manning.  We’re awaiting lifeguard applications.  Public Works will be working on the pool facilities.

Councilmember O’Neill reviewed a water compliance report from DOE.  He asked if public works made any decision on whether or not to purchase some kind of sight alarm for generator power loss?  Public Works doesn’t think it’s necessary as it is not a requirement.  The warning system is currently adequate.

A & R Construction should be back at work next week.

Clerk Beeson reported that City Hall will be closed April 24th because she and Deputy Clerk Thompson will be attending a training in Spokane.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the 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 8:41 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid
Claims Paid
Payroll Paid

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________