Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
August 11, 2015
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bo Ossinger; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Bev Pearce; Christopher Langsett. Council members absent: Doreen Hanson and Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Langsett MOVED to excuse their absences. Councilmember Pearce seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 28, 2015. Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
To follow up on the drinking fountains and slide issues from last council meeting: The fountain by the library is working fine. Supt. Griffin ordered parts for the fountain at the park. The bottom of the slide portion of the toddler slide wiggles because it isn’t secured to the ground. Supt. Griffin said perhaps a weight limit is in order because it’s meant for small children.
Public Works finished metering the cemetery. That leaves only the Lions Club park left to meter. The whole city is required to be metered by 2017. This will be awesome for our water use efficiency report.
PW has about one more week on the Wall Street water line then they’ll move to working on the actual street.
The city received a few inquiries/complaints about a suspicious bad odor in a neighborhood on the north hill. Upon investigation, a residence was discovered with four pigs, roosters, and a lot of chicken waste. Pigs were removed immediately and roosters were removed within 48 hours. The smell has subsided.
Equipment is working fine.
The air conditioning in the PD went out last week. It was repaired by Redinger.
Kids’ Bike Rodeo is coming up August 27. New helmets will be distributed. The hope is if the helmets look cool, the kids will want to wear them.
CT Bagott received the May sales tax revenue report from Dept. of Revenue. He was very encouraged by what he saw for the one day in May the Palouse Caboose was open; it should be a sizable impact on sales tax revenue.
Representatives from Berk Consulting and the Watershed Company are coming for a meeting next week with CT Bagott and Deputy Clerk Thompson to discuss the Shoreline Management Plan procedures.
CT Bagott attended a Palouse RTPO meeting in Colfax on 7/31. Mike will look into how the RTPO interfaces with Palouse and how the City can benefit.
Authorization for Mayor to sign the TIB application for West Whitman Street: The application for the West Whitman Street Project is due next Friday. Mayor Echanove requested engineers MD&A freshen up the numbers from last year’s estimate. Last year MD&A estimated $360,000 for the TIB portion: road bed, sidewalk, curb, gutter, and lighting. It will probably be a little higher this year due to inflation and the economy overall. Numbers aren’t firm, just ballpark. The legislature pledged a firm $280,000 for the project. DOT pledged $30,000. The city will be requesting approximately $375,000 from TIB to reconstruct and improve West Whitman Street, including railroad, sidewalk on one side, remove both existing street sections and RR tracks that bisect the street. There will be drainage pipe collection system and possibly two LED standard street lights, and ADA ramps. The City contribution to the project is estimated to be $21,000 for a $700,000+ project. If everything comes together, this project will begin next summer 2016. DOT wants to hire their own engineers and contractors for the railroad part. DOT is ready to begin engineering right now. They’re also doing some work by the Palouse Grain Grower elevators so DOT is proposing fixing the railroad all the way from the funeral home to the grain elevator. So the city stands to gain a whole bunch of new rail line with this project. TIB awards in November. There are approximately five property owners who will be directly affected so once the city knows if we get this award, a letter will go out to them. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the TIB application for West Whitman Street. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Water & Sewer, Chair Ossinger-
The city received three letters of interest for the Citizen Advisory Group for the wastewater discharge process and WWTP upgrade: Bruce Baldwin, Tony Wright, and Carie Saunders. Mayor hereby appointed all three to the Citizen Advisory Group. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to ratify the Mayor’s appointment to the Citizen Advisory Group. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-
We’re considering putting a bid out for a new one ton. CT Bagott thinks the money can be there for the purchase if the price comes in where he suspects. DG forewent extra summer help so he has extra funds for this purchase. CT Bagott is trying to get fairly solid numbers and specs.
DG still wants to look into a new locator too.
Councilmember Hicks is still working on drafting the sidewalk letter.
Personnel & Pool, Chair Pearce- Pool is closing August 20th.
Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Langsett-
Councilmember Langsett attended the DOE meeting regarding the river and the dissolved oxygen levels, etc. He was very disappointed in DOE’s attitude regarding the financial end for the City of Palouse. The DOE rep’s attitude was basically “just get a loan” for $5 million every twenty years for a new sewer plant. Is today’s 20 year plant going to only be good for 10 years tomorrow? Councilmember Langsett did some research; this is a global issue all because of global warming. Increased temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen content is affecting ALL bodies of water. Mayor Echanove, Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator Myott, Clerk-Treasurer Bagott, and Dana Cowger from Varela spoke about the City’s concerns. The City just received another award for having one of the top performing plants in the state; we aren’t changing what we’re doing; they keep changing the rules. Our plant is only 20 years old. The city is proud of the fact that we have very little debt; but that may be a negative when looking for grant funds. Local cattle producers are also dealing with DOE water quality mandates. Debbie Snyder, representing local cattle producers, contacted City Hall to advise that they are collecting river data and will be happy to share their data with ours to see how it compares to DOE’s. The City has roughly two and a half years to deliver to DOE our plan. Last year, Palouse’s median income was too high and the sewer rate was too low to qualify for grant funding. Dana Cowger is going to go to the DOE funding meeting next week to see if funding thresholds have changed or there are any new funding opportunities. We will also be looking into planning funding from the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB).
Phyllis Montgomery. Can anything be done about her neighbor’s nuisance weed and trash infested yard. Mayor asked Chief Neumann to follow-up on that. Perhaps the city can send a letter to ask him to address these concerns.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Estes MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Langsett seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 7/31/15, 24 employees Ck. #6767 – #6794 & EFT $49,638.59
Withdrawal 7/29/15 Ck. #6766 $ 500.00
Claims Paid 8/12/15 Ck. #6795 – #6825 & EFT $21,205.50
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________