August 23, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 23, 2016


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


ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett.  Councilmember Estes MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Langsett, to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence.  Staff present:  Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 9, 2016.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


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


POLICE REPORT:  First Step Internet is updating the contract with the city for the services they provide for free to the city in exchange for them placing their antennas, routers, and other equipment in Palouse and at City Hall.  The new contract will include the fire hall, sewer plant, and a few other newer installations, as well as a wireless router to help with our new camera system.  The one-time fee for equipment is $320 for equipment.  Council is authorizing Chief Neumann to move forward with First Step on that.


Each officer is required by the state to take some training classes every year.  There is an internet training that costs $435 a year for a 3-officer department.  Chief Neumann would like the training budget increased to accommodate the internet training.  Mayor wants the PD to absorb the cost within its existing budget without a budget amendment.  Chief agreed.


Palouse PD is now able to administer CPL’s again.  For about 6 or so months we didn’t have the technologic capabilities for background checks.  But we now have that capability using WhitCom services.  The officers went through the training.  A rep from Olympia was just on site to perform our audit on the system and we are good to go.


Chief is revisiting the ATV ordinance he initiated a few years ago.  It needs to be put into ordinance form still.  It will be for using ATV’s on roads designated as less than 35 mph.  There are specifications to the equipment and they have to be inspected, etc.


Chief reminds the public that school starts Monday.  With the exception of the highways, all the city streets are 20 MPH, except a 2-block radius around the school in which the speed limit is 15 MPH. 



Mayor Echanove has appointed Councilmember Wilcomb as the council liason to the JFB.  Councilmember Estes MOVED to affirm the Mayor’s appointment of Councilmember Wilcomb to the JFB.  Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


On the financial end things are on target.  There will be 2017 budget increases due to increased personnel, which therefore increase trainings, communications, utilities, maintenance and repair, insurance, and pensions.


Upcoming future purchases:  1) airpacks & bottles and new compressor for them.  The current bottles are nearing their 15-year lifespan.  The cost may be around $80,000-$100,000.  Chief Bagott and Annie Pillers are exploring funding options and grants.  2)  Our pumper truck turns 30 in 2017 and our tanker truck turns 30 in 2020.  We’re looking into options for our 30-year truck replacement schedule; there are ramifications of a 30-year replacement cycle:  software issues, availability of parts, advantages of buying 10 year old truck vs 20 year old truck, etc.


Moses Boone led a new driving course for both EMS and the fire department.


FD responded to the Wawawai canyon fire.  The fire truck ended up having to be towed to Jess Ford as the hydraulic line had a hole burned into it.  The repair cost $1,500 but Chief Bagott is looking at a state mobilization fund to pay for some or all of the repair.


1 fire call in July, 21 calls YTD.

13 EMS calls in July, 66 YTD.


Looking to put the EMS levy back on the ballot in 2017 for collection in 2018.  Last levy was in 2011.




We had the final submittal from Apollo for our solar panels.  It should take 2 or 3 weeks to be completed once work as begun barring any unforeseen problems.


The bond sale for our grant will be finalized Aug. 30th and will be used to pay upcoming invoices for the Solar Array project through the water fund.


A short-term revolving line of credit for the West Whitman Street project through Banner Bank will be finalized shortly.  It’s part of the whole project.  It’s only a one item line of credit from when the contractor submits a bill we can pay them until TIB and WSDOT reimburse the city.



Speed reduction request on hwy 27 to Pullman:  Last year John and Chris Bofenkamp approached the city and WSDOT to have the 55 mph moved from in front of their house to past their house so people didn’t speed by their house until they got past their house.  In the process of the change, WSDOT also changed some other signs, which in the end made their situation worse than it was before.  Now the Bofenkamps say people are speeding more and the situation is dangerous into and out of their driveway.  They would like the city to see about changing the signage so that their situation is addressed better.  This is a gray area because yes they live in the city limits, but it’s a state highway which is controlled by WSDOT.  The city will look into adopting an ordinance with WSDOT to allow the city to be in charge of the speed determination and see about making this better.  Chief Neumann stated that WSDOT will most likely do some kind of study to determine the necessity and practicality of allowing a speed change.


Resolution No. 2016-04 – sidewalk repair lien:  Mayor read aloud the resolution by title only.  This resolution is the follow-up to the letter sent to some property owners Dec. 11, 2015.  This resolution is required by code to enforce PMC 12.04 which requires property owners to repair the sidewalk abutting their property.  By code, if the property owners don’t make the repairs by Oct. 31, 2016, Public Works will report to the council on Nov. 8, 2016, an assessment roll showing the lot or parcel of land directly abutting on that portion of the street so improved, the cost of the work, and the name of the owner.  The City Council will then assess the cost of such improvement against the property and fix the time and manner of payment thereof.  Such assessment will become a lien upon the property.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, Councilmember Wilcomb seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.


Shoreline Master Plan update:  Dept. of Ecology just completed the public comment period June 8-July 16, 2016 for Palouse’s portion of the SMP.  They received from DAHP (Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation) 8 minor change requests.  Our consultants determined that these changes were negligible and Kyle has forwarded updated SMP response to the Department of Ecology.



Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-Spoke with Avista about the electric car program but hasn’t heard back.


Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb-  Asked about barking dogs and other loud noises.  Barking dogs fall under the city’s nuisance code.  But in regard to loud music and other noises for example coming from events at the Grange Hall, Palouse Days, Haunted Palouse, etc., much discussion ensued about the pros and cons of limiting noise for these occasional events.  This is not a black and white issue so there is much to be considered.  Councilmember Wilcomb will look into it further.



West Whitman Street Project – waiting for okay back from TIB so we can go out to bid hopefully this week.


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


The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      8/23/16             Ck. #7664-7684 & EFT               $11,378.76


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:46 PM.




APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________