August 26, 2008


August 26, 2008

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook. Absent were: Darcie Bagott and Rick Wekenman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann.  Public present were:  Pete Hertz, Caitlyn McGehee, Heather McGehee, Diane Meecham, Steve McGehee, Carol Towne, Bryan Bryngelson, Diane Carpenter, and Kirk Burnham.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 26, 2008.  Councilmember Snook 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.
Kirk Burnham introduced himself, stating that he lives on the east end of the Breeding’s sewer extension.  He explained to council that it is not practical for him to hook-up to city sewer until the main is extended further up Fairview Ave. another 50 feet or so.  He illustrated with a drawing that the line would have to go through the private property west of him and through a drainage creek.  He asked for council to consider making his property exempt of Ordinance No. 839.   Councilmember O’Neill asked council to allow him to review the ordinance and Kirk Burnham’s situation.  He thought that perhaps the ordinance could be amended to include the word “practical” for situations like this.  This will be reviewed by the Water & Sewer committee and Attorney Bishop and they will bring back recommendations to the next meeting.
Steve McGehee asked why the city is not sending police logs to be published in the paper as has been done in the past.  Chief Neumann stated that this is something that can be looked at and possibly beginning again.  Mayor Echanove asked Councilmember Bailey to look into a policy to follow for submitting police logs.  Steve McGehee offered to provide information of how it was done in the past.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported that the pool is closed, cleaned and winterized.  Regular maintenance is being done throughout town.  The sewer to the RV Park is complete and water will be done next.  Steve McGehee asked Supt. Griffin when the map of the Breeding’s sewer extension would be complete.  Supt. Griffin stated that MD+A is still entering the information and will provide it as soon as it is done.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that there have been dog complaints and normal business.  The Chief reported that the civil service process is well underway and a policy manual is being considered and will be considered by the board once they are appointed.  The deadline for having a board in place is 90 days from hire of the third officer and we should be ahead of schedule.  Mayor Echanove asked that copies of the preliminary manual be provided to the parties that have expressed interest in serving on the civil service board.  It is the mayor’s hope that he will have letters of interest to consider before the next meeting.  Councilmember Milano asked Chief Neumann if he is planning school patrol.  Chief Neumann said they are creating a schedule for extra patrol around the school.

JFB UPDATE :  Councilmember Snook reported 1 fire and 6 EMS calls in July.  Chief Bagott has been looking into the purchase of a used fire truck to replace the old Dodge.  He will need to confirm that each entity will be able to budget money in 2008 for the purchase.  Councilmember O’Neill stated that rural board would like to wait until more funds are available for them to budget.

OLD BUSINESS Mobile Home Park Update – Mayor Echanove read minutes of the last discussion at the August 12 meeting and asked if anyone had new thoughts on negotiations with Carol Towne for the purchase or relocation of her trailer.  Carol Towne asked if she could stay in the park.  Mayor Echanove replied that after checking with Attorney Bishop, it was confirmed that as per the Ecology grant agreement, it would not be practical.  Carol asked for a decision of the last proposal of either paying her an $8,000 relocation fee or the city purchase the trailer for $10,000 and either sell or dispose of it.  Both Mayor Echanove and Carol stated that they would be happy with either solution.  Carol’s daughter Diane Carpenter stated that her mom needs an answer quickly as this has been a very difficult situation for her.  Mayor Echanove suggested offering Carol the $8,000 relocation fee and giving her 60 days to either sell the unit herself or donate it back to the city.  After discussion, Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to offer Carol Towne $8,000 relocation fee and 60 days to either sell, relocate, or donate the trailer to the city.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Mayor Echanove noted for council that as of September 1st monthly park rent ceases.
Update on H Street sidewalk grant application with TIB – Mayor Echanove explained that when the H Street Sidewalk grant was first developed an  initial cost estimate of  $120,000 was developed. The city contributing 10%,($12,000) would be paid through the Arterial Street Fund.   Munir Daud, city engineer, refined the project last week and cost estimates look to be at $145,000. The mayor also reported that the Palouse School District is excited to be partnering with the city on this project and is contributing $5,000 towards the local match.  Steve McGehee asked why the project estimate went from $120,000 to $145,000.  Mayor Echanove explained that a closer examination of the entire project  and review of other sidewalk projects outside Palouse factored into the updated estimate. Superintendent Griffin will be working with the school on storm water issues in conjunction with this project.  The mayor then passed around pictures of storm water problems taken during the last heavy rain.  He also noted that it is the city’s intent to replace the guardrail on H St. and Alder St. independent of the TIB project.  Steve McGehee asked if the Small Works Roster would exempt the city from having to go out to bid.  Answered yes, the threshold is set in RCW and that will be considered. The mayor informed Mr. McGehee that we are developing costs estimates, not bid documents.  The application deadline is August 29 and notice of award should be published before Thanksgiving.
Bid opening for Surplus item – 1966 Trailer – Mayor Echanove read the ad for surplus and opened a single bid that was received.  The bid was for $500 from Debbie Hellinger in Garfield.  Mayor Echanove suggested to council that if this bid is acceptable, a condition of approval by Attorney Bishop to legally move the trailer into another community be included in the motion.  Discussion followed as to whether or not legal council should be required.  After consideration, Councilmember Milano MOVED to award the bid of $500 to Debbie Hellinger pending legal approval.  Without legal approval the bid would not be awarded.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported the new swing set is scheduled to be installed on Friday.  A groundcover is still being researched but they will probably use engineered cedar for this unit and consider ADA tested wood fiber for future projects.  Milano requested $1,000 in the 2009 budget for groundcover and will be applying to the city’s insurance provider for additional support.  Councilmember Milano continued by updating council on his grant application for new playground equipment at the park.  Word came in that of the 76 projects presented, Palouse came in at #6.  The council and mayor congratulated Milano on his great success so far.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported that the county has an operator for the chipper and it is scheduled to be in Palouse on October 6 – 8.  They will need one city staff person to assist.  Bailey asked Superintendent Griffin to begin planning how to open up more space around the compost site for citizens to leave material for chipping.  Griffin requested that the city find money in the budget for the purchase of about 20 more ecology blocks to make the area more efficient.  Councilmember Bailey added that there is still about $500 available through the county grant, leaving about $2,000 that the city would have to find.  Bailey reported that a revised Interlocal Agreement is being looked at that would help fund solid waste reduction projects throughout the county.  A site is still needed for the junk car crush this October.  It was suggested that the area across from Pauline Ave. should be considered.  The site must be either city or county owned for the program to work.  Whitman County fall clean up week is set for September 15 – 20 with a reduced fee of $35 a ton.

PERSONNEL & POOL :  Councilmember Snook reported that the pool is closed and he is scheduling an exit meeting with manager Kasey, city staff and himself. 

WATER & SEWER Councilmember O’Neill will be working on changes to the Breeding’s extension ordinance.  He asked if the city has a policy for public records requests.  C-T Beeson answered no, but it is important that the city have such a policy and they are currently researching what other cities have adopted.  This is one of several policies that we should have in place.  We will be working with Councilmember Bailey.

MAYOR’S REPORT : Mayor Echanove explained to council a web program set up by the city of Spokane Valley called “Myth or Fact” in which citizens are encouraged to submit questions to city hall regarding the validity of topics or rumors they have heard. He asked council to consider setting up a similar program through our website.  Council agreed.  Councilmember Bailey expressed concern on whether or not the program would be maintained up to date on the website. C-T Beeson asked if funds should be budgeted in 2009 for overall Information Technology related expenses.  The mayor reported that Superintendent Griffin has had meetings with the school on the F Street – Ag shop drainage issues.  Griffin said that if the school district would purchase the culvert and provide engineered plans the city would install it.  Budget work will begin in September and all committee and department heads are asked to turn in their budget requests.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill 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 8:35 PM.


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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________