Author: Staff

January 24, 2012

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
January 24, 2012

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 10, 2012. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:
Submitted written report. Called Avista today to reschedule energy audit.

POLICE REPORT:
Got our first Avista bill since the energy savings changes to the P.D. Even with a colder average December temperature over last year, the PD had almost a 50% savings on this month’s December bill.

We found and purchased a 2007 Dodge Durango for the new police vehicle. It was purchased under budget for $18,700 with tax, license, and dealer prep. Majority of the police vehicle equipment should start arriving this week. We’ve already started dismantling the Intrepid.

Surplus police vehicle 2002 Dodge Intrepid: Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to declare surplus of the 2002 Intrepid. Motion carried unanimously. Chief would like to ask $1,500 for it. Anyone interested can contact the PD.

JFB REPORT: At the JFB meeting:

Chief Bagott talked about current condition of equipment and the depreciation rates. They need a capital equipment plan in place. The grants are becoming much more difficult to complete and obtain so they will have to seek out some other funding sources for that sort of thing.
They’re looking to surplus the old Dodge Pumper. It has some antique value. They continue to pay storage fees on it.
In the past there were statewide funds available for EMS trainings but now volunteers have to pay for their own training. It’s too bad volunteers have to pay to serve our community. Annie Pillers will draft a letter in opposition of legislature trying to remove that funding. JFB members will sign it once done.
There were 20 fire calls in 2011 and 56 EMS calls in 2011.
There are currently 19 active firefighters. The three most desired qualities in firefighters are capable, committed and available.
Councilmember Jones was appointed to the JFB.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair:

Avista is going to look at Heritage Park, old city shop, etc. for potential energy savings throughout the city.
NW Collegiate Bicycle Race is coming April 21st. There are some police costs associated with the race. Organizers need to be reminded to provide more consistent guidance to participants.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:
Submitted written report. We had a committee meeting mostly to fill in new councilmember Bo Ossinger. Outfitting of the new police vehicle will add probably $3,500 to the purchase price.

Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair:
Submitted written report. Met on the 19th. Discussed some of the policies on the to-do list. First on the list is Allocation of Shared Costs. The city has temporary resolution No. 2011-09, passed in August 2011. Bo will meet with Joyce for more information.

Planning Commission has questions regarding noise and odor; and light trespass; perhaps will require policy to be made.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Still on budget for the water system plan.

Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: PW is still working on the pool filter manifold and pump. Parts are ordered.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Gloria Bennett from TIB has indicated we can pick off the short list for the engineers for the Mohr Street project. Meeting planned for tomorrow to select an engineering firm. There will be a recurring committee meeting the first Wednesday of every month.

Regarding the street vacation request, the requestors were provided with a packet of information on how to proceed if they so decide. Supt. Griffin explained there are already water and sewer mains through this right-of-way and vacating it is not an option. Historically, public works does not support street vacations where utilities exist.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Brownsfield update: No new news. EPA and DOE are still handling their end of the paperwork.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid, 12/31/11 Ck. No. 3762 – 3769 & EFT $25,395.48
Claims Paid, 1/25/12 Ck. No. 3770 – 3781 $26,415.97

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

January 10, 2012

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
January 10, 2012

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Councilmember Milano. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman, to excuse Councilmember Milano’s absence due to illness. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Pete Hertz.

Swearing in of council members: Mayor Michael Echanove, Councilmember Bo Ossinger, Councilmember Tim Jones, Councilmember Cecil Floyd, Councilmember Rick Wekenman, Councilmember Norm Schorzman, and Councilmember Connie Newman, all read aloud their oath of office and were sworn in.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Amend the December 20, 2011 minutes to reflect that “Councilmember Floyd MOVED, and Councilmember Snook seconded, not to excuse the absences of councilmembers Milano, Schorzman, & Jones. Motion carried unanimously”. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 20, 2011. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Additionally, PW worked with Taylor Engineering to do hydrant flow and pressure testing as part of the WSP.
They found a storm drain near McGregor’s and cleaned it out. This will hopefully divert the large puddle that forms.
Continuing to go through the old Conoco station to clean it up.
The readerboard was disconnected Friday. Connie will meet with GPAC to see if they want to finance it.
Discussion on insulating the Heritage Park restrooms vs. replacing the doors. DG believes better sealing doors would be more cost-effective than insulation. He will still get advice from Avista.
Bob Brookshier has requested one of the street lights that was turned off be turned back on as he believes it’s a safety issue. Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to leave the lights as they are currently. For lack of second, motion failed. Councilmember Newman MOVED to grant the tavern’s request to turn the light back on because their business is open late into the night. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Councilmember Floyd voted nay. Motion carried.

POLICE REPORT:
Chief Neumann distributed December 2011 Activity log.
The vehicle purchase that was approved last year is moving forward. The increase in the budget has allowed us to find the vehicle that will work best for the Police Department. He is working with Bud Bagott and has found three vehicles that fit. All vehicles are under the $20,000 budget limit. Chief Neumann stated that this could happen quickly, possibly before the next council meeting.

There is a Washington law that came into effect stating dogs, cats, & ferrets must have rabies vaccination. At this time there is no enforcement, unless there is a rabies outbreak in the area. In the event of an outbreak, your animal could be confiscated and destroyed if it is not vaccinated.

NEW BUSINESS:
Surplus of steel building on Brownfields property: DOE and EPA funding is still in the process; they’ve received all the paperwork. The city has received several inquiries about the steel building on this site. We have the opportunity to surplus it, and solicit proposals from people who may be interested in salvaging it. It’s an opportunity to have it taken down at no cost to the city, and possibly make some money. The building has a salvage value. Councilmember Newman MOVED to declare the steel building on the brownfields site as surplus. Seconded by Councilmember Schorzman. Motion carried unanimously. After much discussion, Councilmember Newman MOVED that we put out for sealed bid/proposal the removal of the steel building and all its contents. We will work with Atty. Bishop to write the bid specs. Seconded by Councilmember Schorzman. Motion carried unanimously.

Selection of Mayor Pro-tem: Whenever there is a general election, we need to appoint a mayor pro-tem. The mayor pro-tem fills in for the mayor’s absence, has signing authority on all accounts and must come from current council. Our current mayor pro-tem is Councilmember Wekenman. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Floyd, to reelect Councilmember Wekenman as Mayor pro-tem. Motion carried unanimously.

Committee Assignments: Just a couple changes with the addition of Councilmember Ossinger. Mayor read aloud the committee assignments. Committee Chairs are as follows: Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings: Norm Schorzman; Personnel & Pool: Tim Jones; Finance, Property, & Equipment: Mike Milano; Police, Fire, & Safety: Rick Wekenman; Policy & Administration: Bo Ossinger; Streets & Sidewalks: Cecil Floyd; Water & Sewer: Connie Newman.

JFB and Planning Commission both still need to fill vacated positions. Cecil Floyd and Mike Milano are both on the planning commission.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Calvin George from Taylor Engineering was very impressed with our public work department’s knowledge base of the water system. The largest portion of the WSP is completed (reservoir and well analysis). The committee next week will begin reviewing Taylor Engineering’s recommendations for the Water Efficiency Plan. The committee will bring forward 3 or 4 plans for discussion. Next week the committee will literally start going through each chapter to proof before it is submitted to Ecology for approval by the end of March. Project is on budget so far.

Councilmember Wekenman shared knowledge of a possible grant opportunity for capital projects for things such as water and sewer.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Chairman Floyd is concerned about the selection process for hiring an engineering firm for the Mohr Street project. He wants guidance on his role in selecting an engineering firm. Mayor explained that the city, at the request of Gloria Bennett (TIB), submitted our most recent advertisement for Statements of Qualifications from engineering firms. Once Gloria approves our SOQ process, the city will be allowed to either negotiate a contract with Taylor Engineering or go back out for proposals from other firms. In 2009 the city advertised a request for engineering services with a list of potential projects planned for 2010 through 2012. The city is under no obligation to continue using Taylor Engineering through 2012. We are still awaiting TIB word that we can proceed.

OPEN FORUM: Pete Hertz updated council on issues before the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC). There will be a meeting to consider single stream recycling vs. source separating recycling. It will be held at the Public Works Building in Colfax on Jan. 18, at 1:30 pm. Also, there will be a public hearing on floodplain ordinance revisions February 1, 7:00pm also at the Public Works Building.

MAYOR’S REPORT: Mayor encouraged councilmember’s to sign up for the Mayors Roundtable, February 23 at the Bell Tower in Pullman. This is sponsored by Avista and SEWEDA.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:37 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid, 12/31/11 Ck. No. 3698 – 3716 & EFT’s $43,344.59
VOIDED Check Ck. No. 3717
Claims Paid, 12/31/11 Ck. No. 3718 – 3749 $14,048.62
Claims Paid, 1/11/12 Ck. No. 3750 – 3761 $28,990.95

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

December 20, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
December 20, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Connie Newman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson and City Attorney Stephen Bishop. Public present: Bo Ossinger, Doug Willcox, Mike Burkhart; Via telephone: Jim Darling and Michael Stringer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 13, 2011. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: PW Supt. Griffin reported that the pump at the swimming pool is in Spokane for maintenance and rebuild. The Palouse Tavern has requested that the street light at their building go back on for safety reasons. Bob Brookshire indicated that he would be willing to pay a donation toward the cost of electricity. Mayor Echanove stated that based on previous research, a donation of $100 a year should cover the cost. Dwayne recommended that the lights be turned back on at the crosswalks and council agreed.

POLICE REPORT: Chief thanked Councilmember Snook for his service on council.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE: Councilmember Snook reported the Fire Department had 1 call in November with 18 YTD. EMS reported 2 calls in November with 49 YTD. The truck repairs are done and the pumper is still being looked at.

OLD BUSINESS:
Brownfield site Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree (PPCD) and site acquisition approval. Attorney Bishop presented a resolution for council to consider and Mayor Echanove read it in its entirety. The resolution would authorize the Mayor to: (a) execute on behalf of the City a PPCD with respect to acquisition of the Palouse Producers site; (b) to accept delivery of a deed of conveyance and; (c) to execute such application and documents as necessary to secure grant financing to cleanup the property. Explanation and discussion: Two grants must be applied for to move ahead with the cleanup phase: a federal grant through the EPA and a state grant through Ecology. Acquisition of the property must be made before funding can be applied for. While the EPA and Ecology are vested in this project and everything is lined up and ready, there is no absolute guarantee that funding will be secured. Councilmember Floyd MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Resolution No. 2011-13. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Echanove explained that the next thing before us is the contract with Maul Foster Alongi for “Cleanup Design and Construction Oversight”. This contract is contingent on funding for the cleanup phase. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to move ahead with the contract for continued assistance from MFA on the Brownfields project. Discussion spoke well of MFA during this project and it was confirmed that the contract will not be valid if funding is not secured. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: With the decision to keep Heritage Park restroom open, Councilmember Floyd recommended getting estimates to insulate and winterize the building. Councilmember Floyd MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman to make Heritage Park restroom more energy efficient. Discussion: The doors open many times letting in cold air, but insulating may help. Motion carried unanimously. Dwayne asked how they should proceed. Councilmember Wekenman recommended that we ask Avista to look at it for their recommendations as well as a few contractors.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
With this being the last meeting for Councilmember Snook, the Mayor commended his nine years of service on city council and his service on the AWC Small Cities Advisory Committee.

Rick Wekenman stated that there is a request for renewal of liquor license for the Green Frog. With no objections by council, the request would be granted by default.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: With just one week since the last meeting, there were no bills presented for approval.

ADJOURN: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:53 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

December 13, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
December 13, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Bo Ossinger.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 22, 2011. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: PW Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. He has been talking with Avista about any unnecessary lights around the city that could be shut off or taken down. The city rents street lights throughout town from Avista. The only lights the city owns are the ones on Main Street and Whitman Street. There are two lights at the pool Dwayne will work with Avista on to sign over ownership to the city. We would then be able to turn them off during the months that the pool is closed. Greg Partch is getting some information about replacing street lights with LED lights.

City will put up barricades and a sign at the compost facility preventing people from using the chipper site.

The pool circulating pump is being sent to Spokane for an estimate. They will also be doing work on the pool manifolds and filters.

POLICE REPORT: Chief submitted the November Activity Log. The work on the police department is done. It took approximately 200 man hours between the officers and volunteers. Materials costs were right at $2,900. Time will tell the effects on the energy bills but a 30% savings is expected.

A reminder to all to be extra kind and careful with animals this time of year. Bring them in at night if possible or provide them with a heat source. Be sure water is kept available and unfrozen.

OLD BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2011-11: 2012 Fee Schedule. Mayor read aloud the resolution. No changes from the last meeting. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones, to adopt Resolution No. 2011-11. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2011-12: 2012 Salary Schedule. Mayor read aloud the resolution. This has been discussed at prior two council meetings. No changes. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Resolution No. 2011-12. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 895: Closing certain funds and transferring balance to new fund. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Fund 306 Police Car Reserve Fund and Fund 307 Police Equipment Reserve Fund will be closed and money transferred into one new fund 311 Police Car and Equipment Fund. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman to adopt Ordinance No. 895. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 896: 2012 Budget and Budget Message. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to suspend the rules of reading the ordinance. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor read the ordinance by title and the budget message. The 2012 budget as proposed is approximately 8.13% lower than 2011. Total budgeted expenditures for 2012 are $1,248,875, a decrease of $110,574. This decrease is primarily due to general budget cuts where possible and reductions in compensation and benefits to full-time employees. Councilmember Milano MOVED to approve the budget with one correction to the maturity date of our loan. Councilmember Schorzman seconded to adopt Ordinance No. 896. Motion carried unanimously.

In light of economic downturn, Councilmember Floyd MOVED to close Heritage Park Restrooms November through March. Councilmember Newman seconded. Much discussion ensued. If the vote goes to not close it, perhaps it would be wise to discuss insulating it. Councilmembers Newman and Floyd voted aye. Motion failed.

Regarding the Bridge Street reader board, we have not yet heard from anyone wanting to take on that expense. We need to decide by next council meeting whether or not to eliminate keeping that lit, or cutting the hours of running it. Currently there are many bulbs that need to be replaced by a professional which is an expense as well.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Committee will go to professional services roster and begin looking at engineers for the TIB sidewalk project.
Planning Commission (PC) is still working diligently on Title 17. Appointments to the PC should be coming up in January.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Committee and Taylor Engineering are continuing work on WSP and revising the maps associated. We have our existing service area which holds a duty to provide. Discussion on city’s water rights and how that impacts the future service area map will be continuing for the WSP. We are still defining the future service area which shows the capacity we could potentially serve over the next 20 years but holds no duty to serve. A draft copy of WSP should be submitted by March 2012 to the Department of Health. The WSP is not changing any city boundaries, codes or policies. Annexation will be required to hook up to city water if you are outside city limits. The infrastructure will eventually require a new reservoir. We have scoped out a site by the cemetery. Connie wants to apply for funding for this capital improvement project. Water demand forecasting is being done by the engineers.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Wattage use was calculated to run the Main Street holiday lights during HP and Christmas and the Palouse Chamber of Commerce paid $320 to cover those costs.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Next council meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 20th. We had a great Brownfields public meeting on Dec. 1st. Six people from DOE, three from MFA, numerous city officials were present. The Gazette had a great review of the meeting.

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 Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:13 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 3633-3657 & EFT $36,381.56
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3658-3697 & EFT $34,510.19
$70,891.75

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

November 22, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
November 22, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
Special Council Meeting: Final Budget Hearing
Followed by: Regular Council Meeting

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Cecil Floyd is on vacation. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to excuse Councilmember Floyd’s absence. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Pete Hertz; Bo Ossinger.

7:02 PM, Open final public hearing for 2012 Budget. No comments. 7:03 Close public hearing and open regular council meeting.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: We’ll be looking at all possible ways to increase revenue but forecast is bad for state assistance. Water/Sewer Committee will be making adjustments for reallocating funds to replace large equipment.

Discussion ensued about the pros and cons of keeping the chipper program. Raise fee or eliminate program? The savings if we eliminate program would be significant, between $4,500 and $5,800. Raising the permit cost to $40 still wouldn’t break us even, and there is an increased chance of not selling as many permits at the higher cost. How much would it cost to load into container to be hauled to county dump? The county is considering raising costs but they won’t have numbers until January. Supt. Griffin explained raw material will fill up a dumpster in just a few days and would be labor intensive. Plus it potentially creates another overtime situation by making PW dig through and sort debris just as they have to do now. Chipper is too expensive for now; we can revisit when times are better. After discussion, council decided to eliminate the Chipper program for all of 2012. City will still allow compost dumping with an annual permit fee of $15.00.

Swim lesson fee will go up to $35 for people residing outside Palouse city limits, and stay at $25 for those residing within Palouse city limits.
Police Department paper service and accident report fees will increase.
There are 42 lights on Main Street, plus two at Heritage Park. Only 19 are lit now as a way to conserve money. A citizen inquired about “adopting” a lamp post. City will look into how much it costs approximately per month per lamp post.
3% pay reduction for all staff. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook, to reduce pay by 3% for all city staff.
Mayor Echanove and PW Supt. Griffin both voluntarily gave up their city cell phones.
Individual, volunteer option for council and Mayor to defer all or partial pay.

Still discussing plans for the lighted sign at corner of Bridge & Main Streets. Sign averages $1,300/year to run/light. Councilmember Milano will speak with Avista, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Lions Club, about possibly sponsoring the sign. Or perhaps it could be used for paid advertising by others. For now the sign will be turned off.

Medical insurance premiums increased by 11%. Dental insurance premiums decreased by 5%.

An Event Impact fee is being considered. Certain private events such as Bluegrass Festival, car show, and Haunted Palouse require public works to empty garbage cans, clean restrooms, restock garbage can liners and paper towels, etc. on the weekend. Impact fee would help pay for those supplies and labor. This will be part of future discussions.

Discussion on public works’ shifts and the sewer plant and well pumps requiring maintenance 7 days a week. No changes were suggested. There was discussion of the elimination of overtime except on emergency basis. Mayor Echanove stated that snow events should be recognized as emergency since Palouse is situated on three hills and safety is an issue. It was decided that public works is left with the decision on safety.

Discussion about closing Heritage Park restrooms Jan, Feb. & March to save on the heating costs. Closing it could negatively affect commerce. It is used by many throughout the winter. It will go on consideration list for things to cut. Thermostat is down as low as possible without freezing.

The 2012 Budget Message was read and discussed. It details expenditures, revenues and changes that have been proposed.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman amended the minutes under w/s committee report to add “We “will” have a current, accurate city boundary map and a city zoning map.” Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 8, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Additionally, they turned off every other lamp post on Main Street for cost savings.

Was PW satisfied with the street oiling this year? The product isn’t oil-based so it doesn’t soak in as well, just kind of sits on top. Overall, PW is satisfied with the product and would use again.

Regarding the camera at the chipper plant, the hard drive is broken. They had a few successes using it to determine who was misusing the site.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann reported they have completed lowering the ceilings and adding insulation to 2 of 3 rooms at the PD. It should be completed by Tuesday. A special thank you to volunteers from the Calvary Chapel men’s shelter for all their hard work on the ceiling and insulation. PD replaced 50 gallon hot water tank with a 3 gallon tank. Chief put in for an Avista rebate. The new police software program is in and working great.

JFB REPORT: 17 fire calls YTD and 47 EMS calls YTD. Budget looks really good, mostly due to lack of fire calls. This was a good year, unfortunately they have to budget such in case you have a lot of calls. The pump on the pumper truck is having issues so they will probably have work done on it next year.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 894: Changing the date of the December 27, 2011 council meeting. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Changing the date of Dec. 27, 2011 council meeting to December 20, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano, to adopt Ordinance No. 894. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Anticipating completion of WSP by this spring.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Committee report is written above under budget hearing.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
We will need a councilperson to fill Jeff Snook’s vacancy on JFB beginning in January.

Staff would like permission to surplus two printers. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones to surplus the two printers. Motion carried unanimously. Signs announcing surplus will be posted at P.O., and sent out on city list serve. Is it possible to donate a printer to PCC? We can give to another government entity (like FD or PD) but not to private enterprise. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to go out to sealed bid for these two items. Motion carried unanimously.

December 1st, 2011, at 7 pm is our Brownfields meeting at Gar-Pal High School gymnasium.

TIB awarded us the Mohr Street Project which Councilmember Floyd applied for. The school and the city are each putting in $2,500, and TIB is putting in $88,000, for a total of $93,000.

Salary Schedule, Fee Schedule, & 2012 Budget will be ready at next council for adoption.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3596-3609 $3,293.06

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

November 8, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
November 8, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
Special Council Meeting
Public Hearing for 2012 Preliminary Budget
Followed by
Regular Council Meeting

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Mike Milano had medical absence. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to excuse Councilmember Milano’s absence. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Pete Hertz.

7:02 PM, Open public hearing for 2012 Preliminary Budget. No comments. 7:04 Close public hearing and open regular council meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 25, 2011. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. The new mower has been ordered. The fiber optic people have all their vaults in but still have a lot of work to do.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted the October Activity Log. A few minor HP incidents were handled. Reserve Officer Snead worked all four nights as a volunteer reserve officer. The PD banner is up and hoping to install the new sign soon. The first part of the building remodeling/lowering the ceiling has begun. Our PD’s reporting software program is version 1.5 from 2001 and it is outdated. The program is now on version 7.93 and they can’t help us anymore unless we upgrade because our version is obsolete. The total cost for new programming on P.D.’s main computer, with a 1 year maintenance agreement is $1,499.00. We can pay half now and half in 2012. The money would come out of the general fund. Councilmember Jones MOVED to authorize Chief Neumann to purchase the software. Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

With recent issues involving live traps, Chief Neumann would like to remind the public that they are to trap skunks, raccoons, and feral cats (as long as you abide by the feral cat program). The trapping of domestic animals (purposefully or accidentally) is not allowed and you need to release them immediately. It can be considered animal abuse to trap domestic pets.

OLD BUSINESS:
Atty. Bishop updated council on the timeline and tight schedule the Brownfields project will be on between now and the first of the year. The Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree (PPCD) will be going into the public comment period through Ecology – Nov. 17 thru Dec. 17. Ecology and the City will be hosting a community meeting at the high school gymnasium on December 1 to share information and build community input. On December 20, after Ecology’s public comment period, council will meet to vote on final approval to sign the grant application for clean-up funding. The application must be sent in before the end of the year. The cleanup action plan and scope of work are prepared, pending funding. Atty. Bishop explained that a great deal of time and effort has been spent on the PPCD. He is pleased that Ecology agreed to work with the City to develop this agreement. In short, Ecology says we must own the property before we can apply for funding the cleanup; the City holds that we have assurance of funding before we own the property. Hence, the PPCD. Bishop has been negotiating with Asst. Atty. General who is preparing the draft and they came to an agreement this afternoon. It will be prepared for their public comment period. The only thing that really remains is there’s going to be a gap between the funding and when we commit ourselves to this project. Bishop won’t tolerate a gap. Jim Darling, of MFA has proposed to the EPA that they go on ahead and issue a binding commitment to the grant so we have that available when we sign on to this.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 893: Establish a capital projects fund for police car and equipment. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This combines two current separate funds (Police Car 306 & Police Equipment 307) into one fund Police Car & Equipment (311). Funds 306 & 307 will be closed Dec 31, 2011. A budget amendment will come later to allow transferring funds from the funds which will close. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 893. Seconded by Councilmember Wekenman. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Went to planning commission mtg. Collaboration between WSP and PC is very fruitful. We have a current, accurate city boundary map and a city zoning map. Retail Service Area proposal will go to public for comment at some point. The PC made some good recommendations for the WSP.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Mayor Echanove met with Councilmember Milano to discuss budget. Proposed changes include:

3% pay reduction for all staff
elimination of spouse/family member dental insurance benefit
Building Inspector contract reduced from $500 to $400/month
Voluntary council and mayor pay deferment by percentage or dollar amount or permanent change to council/mayor salary.
increase to photocopy charges
increase chipper permit cost from $25 to $40 or eliminate chipper program
keep swim lesson cost at $25 for residents but increase cost to $35 for non-residents
increase PD paper service and accident report fees
adoption of an event impact fee to pay for such things as toilet paper, paper towels, & garbage sacks
charge for reservation of park shelters and gazebo
increase the pool levy from 28k to 29k for collection in 2013
reduce the number or lights on Main Street & perhaps put Whitman Street lights on a timer, or other options
Disconnect Bridge Street school sign saving the city approx. $1300 a year in electricity. Perhaps the school, Lions Club, or other civic group will want to pay to run it.
Close Heritage Park restrooms from Dec. through Feb. to save on high winter electricity costs

Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Newman MOVED to approve the BI contract reduction in pay effective January 2012, seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously. Forecasts from the state continues to be gloomy.

MAYOR’S REPORT: AWC is offering four $1,000 civic engagement scholarships. Each of Washington’s 281 cities and towns get to submit one nominee. Deputy Clerk Thompson will work with Palouse H.S. to get the word out.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Jones MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:59 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid: Ck. No. 3540-3556 & EFT $37,468.94
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3557-3595 & EFT $54,200.54

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

October 25, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
October 25, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & City Attorney Stephen Bishop.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman requested that under her report “38 states” be changed to “30 states”. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 11, 2011 as amended. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Superintendent Griffin submitted a written report. In addition – A stop line test strip was installed by the vendor who will be installing a STOP legend at Bridge & Main intersection this spring. This will be a good test on how often the material will have to be replaced. Water meters were read for the last time until April. The Mayor asked what could be done to help protect people from overage due to leaks that go undetected during the non-read months. Griffin stated that leaky toilets are the #1 culprit for overage. Also, they should look out for wet spots in their yard which could indicate a leak. Council asked if the meter could be opened up and read if a leak is suspected. Griffin cautioned against people opening up their meter since they are packed with insulation to prevent freezing. He suggested that we get the word out on how to look for a leak without opening up the meter in a freeze.

Superintendent Griffin presented 2 bids to council for the replacement of the old John Deere mower and attachments.

Columbia Tractor $8,677 less $3,285 trade in value for a total of $5,812.58 including sales tax
Arrow Machinery $8,671.45 less $1,000 trade in value for a total of $8,269.82 including sales tax

Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept the bid of $5,812.58 from Columbia Tractor. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann reported an incident of indecent exposure outside the school. They had an initial suspect based on incidents in other communities, but that suspect was clear of this offense. There have been no other instances reported within the county and they are staying vigilant. Chief Neumann notified the school district and the press to get the word out. Mayor Echanove asked that the Chief be allowed to use his judgment on whether or not he will use the email listserve as a tool.

Chief Neumann showed council his design for signage outside the Police Department as well as a two-sided banner that will go on the lamppost. After discussion, it was decided that 911 be listed first, the dispatch number second and office number third.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE: Councilmember Snook reported that Fire and EMS continue to be under budget for 2011. They are looking closely at funding needs over the next 7 to 10 years for equipment. The Fire Department presentation at the school was very well received and considered a success. There were 4 EMS calls in August and 12 in September with 46 YTD.

OLD BUSINESS: Councilmember Newman reported on her attendance of the Washington Public Records and Law Forum in Pullman. Progress is being made in addressing the statewide abuse and misuse of requests for public records. Connie will continue to serve on committee and follow this issue.

NEW BUSINESS: 3rd Quarter Treasurer’s Report – C-T Beeson presented a written narrative report through the third quarter of 2011. The Treasurer’s report for September was also available on the table for council review.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: The projected gap in revenues to expenditures continues to eat away at our reserves and the finance committee will be considering options. The chipper program continues to be a problem to manage as well as not coming close to meeting expenses. The operating budget at the swim pool is looking good for 2011 and 2012 with the changes that have been approved. The RV Park is holding its own. The committee recommends that beginning in 2012 the City no longer pay for dental insurance on spouse and dependents. Next, the committee will look at the current fee schedule for possible changes. Councilmember Milano MOVED that the city pays for only the employee dental insurance. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Avista has been contacted for energy audits and our telephone service provider is looking at ways we can reduce costs.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: Will be calling a committee meeting to consider budget issues.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: The committee met to discuss several issues
– 2012 preliminary budget review of water and sewer funds has no changes to suggest
– The committee for development of the Water System Plan (WSP) has put together a rough draft defining growth projections for water hook-ups. They are also comparing the existing service area (ESA) in considering boundaries for the retail service area (RSA). Currently, there are 27 water services outside city limits. These services were in existence when city code was adopted in 1972 which no longer allows residential connections outside city limits. The committee will continue to work with the Planning Commission to keep consistent with city code and/or consider possible changes.
– City administrators recently discovered that a household was connected to the city sewer in 2009 but not activated in the billing system. As a result they have not been billed for sewer service for the last 2 years and 10 months. Council discussion included options on how to proceed. Councilmember Newman pointed out that state code allows back billing as far as 6 years for errors. Attorney Bishop recommended that C-T Beeson speak with the State Auditors Office for their viewpoint. After discussion, Councilmember Newman MOVED to have C-T Beeson write a letter to the party informing them of the error and of the total amount of sewer charges they owe. A payment plan could be set up. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried with two nay votes, Councilmembers Floyd and Jones.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Councilmember Floyd commended the Community Action housing project on Cove Road for laying asphalt rather than the original plan of gravel.

OPEN FORUM: No topics

MAYOR’S REPORT: Mayor Echanove asked council to begin thinking about a master plan for the parking lot behind the community center, as this land was retained by the city so a public lot could be developed and maintained. He will take this to the PCC board with questions on how they would be willing to participate and any ideas they might have. Brownfields Project Update – Issues are being worked out and things are moving forward. A community outreach meeting is scheduled for November 29 at the School gym about this phase of the project.

The Mayor told council that he is thinking ahead to the second meeting in December. There is concern that given the holidays, it would be best to move the meeting night from December 27th to December 20th. Councilmember Snook MOVED that the date for the second regular meeting of the city council in December be moved from December 27th to December 20th. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3532 – 3539 $2,495.10

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

October 11, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
October 11, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to not excuse Councilmember Schorzman’s absence. Discussion about what legitimizes an excused absence. Councilmember Floyd voted nay. Motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 27, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. In addition, the rain gutter on the PD was originally installed incorrectly so PW repaired that along with the roof.

PW chipped again, using the county chipper this time so it went much quicker because their chipper is bigger and is operated by a county employee. It does cost more than renting Garfield’s. The chipper pile was in the worst condition ever; garbage, birdhouses, metal, clothesline, as well as compost being put in the chipper pile. Council voiced concern but offered no solution other than the risk of losing the chipper program.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann provided the September activity log. Chief spoke of credit card fraud taking place in Whitman County. He advises the public to check charges on credit card statement and work with your provider. By law, www.annualcreditreport.com provides a free annual credit report.

Reserve Officer Snead will be volunteering his time to work Haunted Palouse.

NEW BUSINESS:
Request for approval to purchase tractor mower with attachments: Marc would like to get bids to replace the old John Deere mower. The JD is 5 or 6 years old and it’s showing it’s age and wear. The attachments are worn out also. The JD is used for plowing snow, aerating, pulling fertilizer spreader, picking up leaves, and some mowing. They’re hoping to trade it in but it won’t be worth much with 1,500+ hours on it. One vendor has a used one for $4000 with 700+ hours on it. This would be for the mower only, not attachments. A new one is approximately $7500 + tax with new snow blade and attachments and a warranty. Attachments from the old JD won’t fit on the new one. Councilmember Milano MOVED to approve the purchase of a new tractor mower with attachments. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 892: Budget Amendment: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Amending Fund 304 Vehicle & Equipment Reserve and Fund 404 Sewer Fund. Fund 304 proposed expenditures include the purchase of two new tires for the backhoe; complete rebuild of sander which was purchased in 1990; and purchase of new mower. Fund 404 Sewer expenditures include increasing line items closer to actual expenditures, and adding a line for professional engineering services for dye testing at the river. Councilmember Milano MOVED to pass ordinance No 892. Councilmember Jones seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Approval for joint funding agreement for river gauge: The annual contract for joint funding for the river gauge under the Potlatch Bridge is up for renewal. This agreement is split with U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Anyone can access the data from the river gauge off the internet. The city started doing this in about 1997, the year after the flood. It gives our city approximately 6 – 8 hours warning on the height and flow of the river. Operation and maintenance of the gauge is contingent upon our sharing the costs. This contract is $1,475. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the agreement with the US Dept. of Interior for the Palouse River gauge. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Councilmember Floyd asked why the STOP legend for Bridge & Main St. hasn’t been installed. It was decided that it would be better to install the legend in the spring, giving it a longer life. Currently, the STOP painted on by PW is still bright and is in the same spot where the new one would be installed. Weather permitting, the company is going to apply a test strip next week to demonstrate how well it holds up.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Continuing to work on the WSP. Prepared preliminary report for the Planning Commission (PC). We’re currently defining our RSA (retail service area). Our existing service area (ESA) is anyone within the city limits including approximately 27 out of city limit hookups, which were grandfathered in 1972 when we adopted PMC 13.08.080. Since 1972 there have been no outside city limits water hookups approved. Our RSA will define the area where we as a city have a duty to serve. All costs of extensions would still be paid by the developer. A few of the options to be considered are 1) revise current city code and allow water connections outside city limits or 2) Allow extension outside C/L and require an annexation. The Water Extension Policy and city code will be reviewed. This is a multi-level thought process. If we annex in areas that want to take advantage of our RSA, it is advantageous to our tax base. There are both advantages and disadvantages to increasing our RSA and they will take careful consideration.

Reminder that tomorrow is WA Public Records and Law Forum in Pullman. Connie will be on the panel. Sponsored by League for Women Voters and also the WA Coalition for Open Govt. Currently 38 states have laws that address excessive public records requests; WA does not.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Ongoing budget conversations with staff about costs. We will be looking at revenue sources. Preliminary numbers are available to council for review. An updated BIAS software version is necessary and will cost $2,000, ½ paid in 2012 and ½ paid in 2013. Police Car and Police Equipment funds will be consolidated to simplify accounting and allow more flexibility. The SAO is working with Joyce on restructuring our funds with the chart of accounts to meet current state code. It was suggested that we open a separate special revenue fund to receipt REET money. A new law goes into effect 7/2012 redefining the use of REET money. Discussion ensued about various funds and how they are holding up through the economy. We are currently earning 1/3 of 1% in interest which is really hurting us. For example, the endowment fund used to make between $5,000 & $6,000 a year for cemetery operating, and now it makes around $300. Over the course of the last three years, the city is painfully feeling the effects. City assistance income from the state continues to decrease. All indications are that the state must continue to make cuts.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Liquor Control Board, request for Bank Left Gallery liquor license renewal. No objections.

Mayor attended AWC meeting in Pullman. Grim news from AWC regarding revenue for the state, which could continues for a few more years.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Jones MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:23 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claim Paid Ck. No. 3483 $ 1,758.75
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 3484-3503 & EFT $43,333.82
VOIDED Ck. No. 3504
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3505-3531 & EFT $38,945.74

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

September 27, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
September 27, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook. Absent: Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson. Councilmember Wekenman is still working harvest hours. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Pete Hertz and Tom Kammerzell.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 13, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT:
Chief Neumann submitted the activity log for last month. The police activity has increased this month.
The question of ADA compliancy for the PD building has come up again from a few citizens, with no formal complaint submitted. Chief Neumann reminded council of past research and meetings with ADA representatives. It was confirmed that the Palouse PD is not a manned facility (someone in the office at all times) so ADA access is not required. The telephone numbers are widely published and there is a buzzer at ground level. The chief said he would move forward with a sign on the building at street level with the phone numbers. Mayor Echanove agreed that a sign at street level is a good idea and they should move forward with that.

Palouse Day went well with no issues to report. Public Works agreed except that Steve Brink allowed power to be taken from his building for the carnival equipment since it overloaded the lamp posts and no generator was provided as planned.

JFB REPORT: No report because there was no quorum at the JFB board meeting.

OLD BUSINESS:
Revised Lease Agreement with the Palouse Community Center (PCC) – The Mayor explained to council that the original lease signed in 2004 was for only a portion of the land where the community center is being built. In short, the legal description is changed to include the full width of the city land going east and west and 110 feet going south to north. Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the mayor to sign the Lease Agreement with the PCC pending verification of the legal description. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion. After short discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: A worksheet was handed out showing the history of the general fund since 2000 and projections thru 2014. Councilmember Milano will be meeting with his committee to discuss the current financial trends and what can be done in the future. One thing being considered is increasing the cost of the annual Chipper/Compost permit from $25 to $40. This increase would bring the city closer to breaking even on the program. Another item being considered in the 2012 budget is retiring the debt at AWBank for the sewer extension completed in 2008. The principal balance is $12,000 which, if approved in the 2012 budget, would be paid out of the Sewer fund.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Councilmember Newman reported that she would be attending the water summit and encouraged others to attend as well. Water System Plan Update: The committee and staff have been kept busy doing our share of gathering data to keep engineering costs down. Deputy Clerk Thompson has logged over 35 hours on the project in the last two weeks. The committee will meet Thursday to talk about the possibility of extending the water retail service area. Expansion of the water retail service area does not obligate the city in any way financially to extend water to those areas; it simply would allow individuals the right to request a water extension to those areas at their own expense. The committee will be looking at both the advantages and disadvantages to extending the water retail service area. After the committee meeting, they will meet with the Planning Commission to talk about how this fits with current and proposed city code and comprehensive plan.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: No report except that his committee will meet to discuss future projects and applications for funding.

Policy & Administration-Norm Schorzman, Chair: No report.
On other business, Councilmember Schorzman asked that the city revise their letter granting him permission to have landscaping done within the city right of way along the new health clinic. He asked that he be given advanced notice when the city would be doing work within the improved right of way. Superintendent Griffin said that even in the event of an emergency, they always work with the property owner to minimize damage. After discussion, it was decided that since the request from the Schorzmans is already normal procedure for public works, a revised letter would not be necessary since the minutes of this discussion would be provided.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones. Chair: Councilmember Milano reported that the contract with First Step Internet has been signed and delivered for service at the RV Park. There is a one-time equipment charge of $1,800 with no monthly fees as per a previous agreement allowing installation of their hardware on city property.

OPEN FORUM:
Tom Kammerzell, candidate for Port Commissioner, introduced himself to council. He outlined his goals as a candidate and a commissioner, if elected.

MAYOR’S REPORT: No report

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:16 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3469 – 3482 $67,222.16

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

September 13, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
September 13, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook. Absent: Tim Jones and Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson. Public present: Sandra Schorzman and Scott Beeson.

Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse the absence of Tim Jones and Rick Wekenman. Councilmemeber Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 23, 2011. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Dwayne Griffin, PW Superintendent. The crosswalks and railroad crossings have all been painted. I Street is almost ready to pave while F Street still needs patching. This project was put out to bid and bid opening was done as scheduled. Griffin read the bids to council. Both bidders provided the required bid bond. Poe Asphalt – $25 SY for I Street paving and $25 SY for F Street patches for a total bid of $16,000 including taxes. Motley-Motley – $27 SY for I Street paving and $25 SY for F Street patches for a total bid of $16,694 including taxes. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to accept the bid of $16,000 from Poe Asphalt. Councilmemeber Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Ecology is mandating that dye tests be done on the river in preparation for the placement of temperature monitoring equipment. The crew is putting together a plan and this will be discussed later in the meeting.

POLICE REPORT: Jerry Neumann, Police Chief. They are gearing up for Palouse Day and all three officers will be on duty. As part of the intersection safety on Bridge and Main, the curbs will be painted yellow for a no parking zone to open up visibility. Work will begin this month on the Police Dept. building as planned to be more energy efficient.

OPEN FORUM: Scott Beeson, representing the Palouse Lions Club, asked council for permission to use the Shady Lane trail again this year for Haunted Palouse. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to allow access of the Shady Lane to the Lion’s Club for Haunted Palouse. Councilmemeber Schorzman seconded the motion. Discussion – GPAC will be taking over the creativity portion of the event. Councilmember Milano said the Chamber will participate in the costs to get the trail ready and help address any safety issues. The motion carried unanimously.

Sandra Schorzman reported updates on progress of the new Palouse Health Center. Pullman Regional Hospital has expressed interest in partnering with them. They asked Sandy to question council about any need they see in the community for services that could be provided through the clinic. The clinic may open as early as the first of next year. A doctor is lined up to fill the position and Sandy will continue as Nurse Practitioner. They will have X-ray equipment and plans for a pharmacy are in place. She asked council to consider other ideas that would meet community need. Councilmember Milano asked about extended hours for “Urgent care”. Sandy said that she would take ideas back to them and they may want to poll the community. Mayor asked about the pharmacy. Sandra reported that a pharmacist is interested in opening for early morning hours and perhaps include durable medical equipment such as crutches and braces, to name a few. Mayor and Council commended Sandra on her progress and contribution to Palouse. They will all consider future services that would enhance the community.

Cheryl Johnson, resident, asked council if roosters are addressed in current city code, stating that she is being bothered by one in her neighborhood. It was pointed that while poultry is allowed in city limits, there seems to be no language about roosters. Chief Neumann said that Garfield is currently working on an ordinance which would restrict roosters. Mayor Echanove stated that they would take a close look at current code.

OLD BUSINESS:
Joe Poire, Port of Whitman County, updated council on the Fiber Optics Project. Mayor read the past minutes allowing him to sign the Grant of Easement for placement of the portion of fiber going through city property rather than state right-of-way. The route will be staked out before construction and will be bored. The contractor doing the boring is well-equipped and will be able to handle the project even through the rock that Palouse has. Councilmember Floyd requested a drawing of the route through Palouse. Joe Poire said he would provide one as soon as he receives it. They will perhaps be in Palouse June of 2012.

NEW BUSINESS:
Contract for WWTP dye study: Ecology requires an engineer to sign off on the methodology used for the WWTP outfall dye tests done on the river and submission of the final report. The contract with Taylor Engineering is for a lump sum of $800 for assistance in the methodology of the dye tests and $1300 for development and submittal of the final report to Ecology as required. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the contract with Taylor Engineering for a total of $2,100. Councilmemeber Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Councilmember Floyd researched the STOP legend at the intersection of Bridge & Main. Given the amount of traffic, the product they will be putting down should last about two years. It was recommended that the sales rep does the application for at least the first time. The cost for the legend is $250 plus $150 shipping. Since it was previously voted to move ahead with the legend, City Hall was instructed to contact the sales rep.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Water System Plan (WSP) update – The committee will be meeting to start with their hands-on work to the WSP. As part of the contract with Taylor, the city will be gathering info on various things such as demographic projections, land development analysis, zoning and development issues the planning commission may be working on, and historical/statistical data.

Councilmember Newman asked for council permission to attend the conference put on by the Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council (IACC). This conference is highly recommended by state agencies involved in municipal infrastructure. The fee is $220 and may require 3 nights in a hotel. Council had no objection to her and other members that are able to attend.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: Councilmember Snook MOVED to take from the table discussion of the options presented at the last council meeting on the future of the City’s involvement in the operations of the Swim Team. Councilmemeber Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Summary: Over the years, the city involvement in operations of the swim team has evolved to coaches being paid for practices and meets (competitions) both home and away including travel time. The city does not receive any money from swim team participants. The city has always provided the facility to the team for practices and meets. Since swim team has never been a program actually sponsored by the city, paying of coaches and their assistants is something that needs to be addressed and clearly defined. The two options presented by Councilmember Snook were:

The swim team would become a formal program sponsored by the city. The time guards spend coaching and managing the swim team would be paid by the city. A typical week at the pool with lessons, swim team, and two meets cost the city approximately $2,250. Without swim team involvement the cost would be about $1900.
The city continues to provide the facility and guards for practices and meets but the coaches would be the responsibility of a separate swim team organization. This would be similar to other programs such as Little League and GPAC.

Councilmember Newman commented that it is good that the city provides lifeguarding during meets and practices. Years ago they were not provided. Councilmember Snook recommended Option 2. Discussion continued. Councilmember Snook MOVED to move forward with Option 2 with the city providing only the facility and lifeguarding as needed for swim team functions. Councilmemeber Newman voiced concern with community backlash of this option. Snook offered to send out a notice explaining. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Floyd and the motion carried with one no vote, Councilmember Newman.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: With shrinking revenues and increasing expenses the city will have to come up with ways to fill the gap. Some options that have come up are –

Combining park maintenance with the pool levy, increasing it from $28,000 to $40,000
No salary increases again
Council option to relinquish their pay, saving the city about $8,800 a year
Continuing to pay the employee costs of dental insurance but not the spouse and family cost, saving the city about $4,600 a year
Taking a closer look at revenue sources within the general fund with, perhaps, increasing fee for the chipper permit, more widely marketing the RV Park
Implement a fixed structure for incremental increases in Water and Sewer service. Given the large increase in 2011, this should possibly be considered for beginning in 2013.
Work toward solutions to turn back the trend of the declining balance in the Cemetery fund.

These budget discussions will continue through committee and brought back to council.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Encouraged council to attend the Mayors’ Roundtable in Uniontown later this month.
Passed around an article about Palouse that appeared in the magazine “Outdoor Photographer”
Read a thank you note to the city for use of the park for a wedding
Encouraged council to attend the Palouse Basin Water Summit at SEL on October 4
Thanked the Chamber of Commerce for the beautiful brochure being distributed highlighting Palouse as a destination

For the 2012 budget, the Mayor asked council to consider improvements to the city-owned parking lot behind the newly constructed Community Center. Councilmember Milano said that this may qualify for grant funding through the Washington State Scenic By-Ways. He will look into it and report back. Previous estimates were that it may cost around $30,000.

There is no update to the Brownfields project except that an archeological study will begin next week as required for federal funding.

Councilmember Newman explained that she will be participating in a panel discussion as part of the Washington State Coalition for Open Government. She would like to attend the panel discussion representing her as a councilmember and asked for council approval. Council had no objection.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:32 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3400 $ 7,031.86
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 3401 – 3429, & EFT $45,469.92
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3430 – 3468, & EFT $25,586.76

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

August 23, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
August 23, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook. Absent: Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman is on family vacation; Councilmember Wekenman is working harvest; and Councilmember Schorzman is working. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to excuse their absences. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Katrina Shelton

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under Brownfields Update, change wording as follows “….EPA has presented the opportunity for 100% financing…..” Councilmember Floyd MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 9, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: The stop sign at Bridge and Main has been extended out and the tree trimmed to improve visibility. Pool is closed. Chip Seal project on Church St. and Bridge St. went well. Have repaired some water leaks and replaced some valves.

Approval to apply to TIB Small Cities Pavement Preservation (SCPP) for Chip Seal in 2012. Supt. Griffin put together an application for a 0% match grant for $49,876 for three segments of chip seal next year. The county confirmed that they would do the work, which will improve the economy of scale. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones authorizing the Mayor to sign the application to the TIB SCPP Application. Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT: Will increase morning and afternoon patrols to get drivers back in the mindset that school is in. We’re hoping to begin the work on the PD by the end of August. We’ve put off the purchase of the replacement vehicle until January. The Mohr Street house is now sold and the former residents have moved away.

JFB REPORT: Councilmember Snook submitted a written report. The 2012 budget was discussed and approved. EMS expenses are high due to items with a limited shelf life. The federal grant program opened and Chief Bagott is working on a proposal for wild land turnout gear and structure fire helmets for a total of about $20,000 with approximately $2,000 match. 3 Fire calls in July, 10 ytd; 5 EMS calls in July, 30 ytd. They’ve been very busy with trainings.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution 2011-10: Authorizing the direct receipt of a portion of the general property tax levy in the Street Fund. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. Authorizes the receipt of 35% of the general levy directly into the Street Fund (101) where it can be appropriated to all other functions within the Street Fund. We’ve always done this but the auditors wanted to see it formalized as a resolution rather than part of the budget cycle. Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution 2011-10. Seconded by Councilmember Jones. Motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM: Katrina Shelton requested the speed limit on Union Street be dropped to 20 MPH. Councilmember Floyd MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano to continue discussion on this topic. Motion carried unanimously. Discussion ensued. The stop sign at Wall and Union has helped. During the PD’s emphasis patrols in the area, there haven’t been any documented excessive speeds, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen; it’s just not possible to be there 24/7. They are narrow streets with no sidewalks so pedestrians should also be using common sense. We’ve also received complaints of children playing in the streets. Options discussed: lowering speed limit, giving tickets, more signage, speed bumps, sidewalks. This will go to the street committee for review.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones. Chair:
Reminder that we’re having the Palouse Native Plant Walk dedication and river clean up this Saturday.
YTD we’ve sold 186 nights at the RV Park for a gross of $4,650.00. It’s on track at netting 60% for the general fund.
Discussion about the city shed. It’s 100 years old and beyond repair. Another problem being that it’s in the flood plain. Chairman Jones will look at the whole picture with Supt. Griffin.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair:
TIB grant application for Mohr Street Project is done and awaiting Mayor’s signature for submittal. It falls under the sidewalk preservation program which may mean a 0% match instead of 5%.

Regarding the Cove Road project, Taylor Engineering split the project in half for pricing. From Union Street up to city limits, which is the lower priority, is $143,000 with city match of $7,000. The portion from Union down to the bridge is $250,000, with city match of $12,000. The match is a concern for the budgeting; one possibility is a federal grant for a bicycle/pedestrian lane with TIB providing the match. Federal money liability is a concern because of high administrative costs. This is an option to consider since the cost of street projects has increased, reducing the reserve balance in the street fund. Councilmember Floyd will work on this for application next year.

Regarding the low visibility of the stop sign at Main and Bridge, there is a product called Pre-Mark which is a non-paint “STOP” legend to put on the road. WSU uses it. It lasts longer than paint. $240 for the legend, $150 shipping, and it requires a special torch to put down. Cecil will continue looking into it. Councilmember Floyd MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano, to authorize the chair to proceed with this project after first clearing it with Supt. Griffin and Clerk Beeson. Motion carried unanimously.

Cecil forwarded to Chief Neumann some complaints about speeding on Union Street and on Hwy 272 to city limits (Colfax highway). Chief Neumann noted all concerns.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: A personnel and finance combo meeting was held to discuss budgetary and organizational issues with the swim team. There are budgetary concerns with the payroll costs associated with the swim team. Over the years things have slowly morphed into the current situation of paying swim team coaches for practice, meet times and travel time to out-of-town meets. Also, there is an insurance concern that the city is paying paid staff while outside city limits and in their own vehicles.

Jeff presented two options:
The first option is to adopt a formal responsibility for swim team. The swim team would be set up as a program offered by the city. Fees would be paid to the city and those fees would go towards offsetting expenses.

The second option is the city would continue providing the facility and also lifeguards only for practice and home swim meets. The coaches and all other staff needs would be the responsibility of a separate swim team organization, similar to GPAC or little league baseball. This option represents a savings of approximately $2,000 a year to the pool budget.

The city is making a significant contribution, it just may be more of a contribution than originally intended and a decision needs to be made. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Jones, to table this topic for further discussion. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Grant of Easement from Port of Whitman. Mayor read aloud portions of the document. Atty. Bishop reviewed and, while he has not confirmed the legal description, the rest of the document looked good. In short, the port wants an easement going down the west side of the fire station, straight down over the hill to Whitman Street. Joe Poire from the Port will attend next council meeting to review the route. We need to pay particular attention to how the Port gets the line down Main Street to the health clinic and library. Councilmember Milano MOVED authorizing the Mayor to sign the Grant of Easement once Atty. Bishop is satisfied with the legal description. Seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously.

Clerk Beeson will be sending out her call for budgets within the next two weeks.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3388 – 3399 $5,962.00

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

August 9, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
August 9, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Mike Milano is on vacation. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman to excuse his absence. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Atty. Bishop; & Commissioner Greg Partch. Public present: Pete Hertz; Doug Willcox.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 26, 2011. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Finished asphalt patching on Church Street; prepared for county to chip seal Church and Bridge. The county chip sealed the patches on Fairview. Next year we’re hoping to chip seal Fairview from shoulder to shoulder.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted July activity log. There have been five known bee swarms this summer along Main Street. The public needs to be aware that honeybees are very different from wasps; they are docile while swarming, they are an asset, and just want to be left alone. Please don’t spray or harm the honeybees. Report a swarm to City Hall.

OLD BUSINESS:
Resolution 2011-09: Interim policy for allocation of expenses. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. The state auditor has mandated we have a policy for allocation of expenses, whether we continue with percentages or go to actuals. This resolution will allow allocating payroll to actual hours and allocation of indirect costs to the best available documentation until a policy is developed and approved. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2011-09, seconded by Councilmember Snook. Councilmember Wekenman voted nay. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:
Whitman County Hazardous Mitigation Plan Update. Whitman County put together the current plan, which includes other entities (cities, towns, fire districts, school districts, etc). They could either join or develop their own plan so the City of Palouse joined. Each community received their own annex to the plan. The plan is good for five years and is now being updated. The City of Palouse has been asked again if they want to continue with the update. The federal government tied this plan to FEMA funding. Mayor would like Rick Wekenman to be the primary contact for this. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman, authorizing the Mayor to sign the letter of intent to join the coalition. Motion carried unanimously.

BROWNFIELDS UPDATE, Doug Willcox: Doug distributed a written report reviewing the city’s goals, and reviewing DOE administrative pathway from this point forward. The latest developments include a Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA), which limits liability as desired in advance of property acquisition. Another development is that the EPA has offered 100% financing rather than 90% State Ecology and 10% EPA. Estimated timeline: PPA and EPA funding commitment by early October; Property acquisition by end of October; Cleanup Plan design by engineering firm, November 2011 – February 2012; Clean up late summer 2012. Brownfields Committee activity will start up again after October 2011. The primary function for them is to work on site reuse/marketing. Little has been possible with marketing during past year due to cleanup strategy/funding uncertainties; Doug estimates the committee getting more involved this fall.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones. Chair: Presented an example of the sign the PCD is making and installing at the Palouse Native Plant Walk. PCD is planning a Palouse River cleanup and maintenance of the Palouse Native Plant Walk, August 27th from 9 to 1, with BBQ.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Palouse SD has pledged to split the $5,000 match of the proposed TIB grant for Mohr Street project. Councilmember Floyd will submit the application by August 31st deadline.
Discussion ensued about what the city wants to do with the Cove Road project. The cost was estimated at $400,000. There was talk of splitting the project into 2 phases: 1) Bridge St to Union St.; 2) Union St to city limit. It was agreed that phase 1 would be a huge improvement in safety. Councilmember Floyd will consider putting together an application for this year, however, grants are expected to be available for next year.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:
– Committee met and discussed the possible combining of the police vehicle and police equipment funds to allow more flexibility in budgeting for large items such as vehicle purchase. The police equipment fund is used to purchase equipment for the vehicles anyway.
– Discussed HP and Palouse Days; minor street closure adjustments.
– Finance committee needs to look at possible pay raises for all city staff.
– Main and Bridge Street intersection is still a big issue. The stop sign and flashing red light aren’t seen well; not uncommon for people to not stop because they simply don’t see it. Possible solutions: painting a warning on the highway, strip lighting, and extending the sign out on an arm. It’s a state highway and the state isn’t enthusiastic about doing anything because they go by percentages and we haven’t had any “serious” accidents there yet. The committee will have a joint committee meeting with Streets & Sidewalk to brainstorm ideas.

OPEN FORUM:
Norm Schorzman presented a map of the landscaping he wants to do between the health clinic and his home. The work will be done by a professional landscaper. It is the Schorzman’s property but the city has legal right-of-way. Homeowners need to remember they can beautify property but since it’s a right-of-way, if the city needs to access the property with heavy equipment, saw down a tree, etc., they can and will and there is potential for damage to the landscaping. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook, approving the landscaping plans submitted by Norm Schorzman. Councilmember Schorzman abstained. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Partch explained that the TIB has $50 million more available this year for sidewalks or overlays only. The county has $46,000 to spend in trainings for Public Works employees.

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

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3360-3387 & EFT $16,262.90
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 3331-3359 & EFT $49,969,49

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

July 26, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
July 26, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Cecil Floyd & Norm Schorzman. Cecil is on a scheduled vacation and Norm is ill. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse their absences. Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Sharon Tharp; Pete Hertz.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under Open Forum, Shelley Goertzen was representing Little Sprouts Child Care, not Little People Parks Project; Under Water & Sewer report, Supt. Griffin was also in attendance of the WSP meeting; also, added “Right now we’re on track for completing our WSP within the proposed time line.” Under Mayor’s Report, changed minutes to reflect the “Prospective Purchaser’s agreement is being considered by the DOE.” Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Special Council Meeting of July 12, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT- Supt. Griffin:
Asphalt crack-sealing is done. This year we had one pallet of material which is usually ample for the amount of work we have to do, but we ran out which shows our streets are aging. We’re done crack-sealing for this year but will schedule two days of crack seal next year. The county should be here August 8th to 11th to chip seal. Griffin recommended to council that all gravel roads be oiled next year.

POLICE REPORT-Chief Neumann:
The Mohr Street home has an offer of sale pending.
Still dealing with continual neighbor disputes that keep us busy.
We plan to start working on lowering the ceiling in the police building when Officers Dentler and Merry get back from vacation.
The police vehicle search is still ongoing. Rather than settling for something, we may have to go after it next year when we have a little more money in the budget.

JFB REPORT – Rick Wekenman:
Finances are normal. 3 fire calls in June, 8 YTD, which is below average. The 2011 grant will be opening soon for applications. We’re planning on applying for wild land firefighting equipment and truck intercom systems. The JFB moved to allow Chief Bagott to apply for this grant. JFB needs ratification from council to allow for that possible expenditure. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED that Chief Bagott be allowed to apply for this “Assistance to Firefighters” grant when the time is right. Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously. EMS had 4 calls in June, 25 YTD.

OPEN FORUM:
Sharon Tharp as a private citizen. Thanking the PCC board and volunteers for all their work on getting the new community center construction to this point. All the board members have done so much, all the nitty gritty stuff that has to be put together to make this happen. Sharon requested for them to get public recognition at the groundbreaking August 4th. They started out with $40,000 and now have $400,000. She asked council the City could do anything to help with the $20,000 shortfall in funding or any other kind of monetary support. She asked if the city could sponsor grant applications. Councilmember Newman MOVED to extend the allotted discussion time. Councilmember Jones seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Representative Susan Fagan may attend the groundbreaking so that may help honor the event. Mayor Echanove will make a proclamation to honor the PCC board and other volunteers. As far as expenses, the PCC is a privately developed organization so financially helping could be a major conflict of interest with public funds. The city cannot give money to a private organization. Perhaps the PCC can go to the Chamber for help with the community promotion end of it.

CLERK REPORT – Clerk Treasurer Beeson: Second quarter Treasurer’s Report. Joyce presented a written thorough budget narrative and Treasurer’s report. She is not anticipating a budget amendment at this time. Beginning with the July payroll she’ll be paying actual hours by fund for public works and deputy clerk. At the next council meeting there will be a resolution ready for the interim stating we will be doing payroll as it’s actually spent with the exception of the clerk’s which is percentage based. Other allocated expenses include things like fuel and shop time and communications. It is much more difficult to determine allocation for these types of expenses. All departments use fuel and shop time so the resolution will include an interim plan until we adopt a policy. She has been working with AWC and MRSC to see what other small cities are doing. It’s not cost-effective for a city our size to spend $.20 to track $1.00 to be split among 20 funds but a solution will be considered.

OLD BUSINESS:
Resolution 2011-05: Adopt transportation improvement plan. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Snook to adopt Resolution 2011-05. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2011-06: Special Street Levy on ballot. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. A one-year excess property tax levy which will be used for street improvements and street oiling. Proposes an estimated $0.837 per $1,000.00 of assessed value in 2011 for collection in 2012. It has been at $40,000 for a few years now and council decided to keep it at that amount for now. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones to adopt Resolution 2011-06. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2011-07: Special Swim Pool Operation and Maintenance on ballot. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. A one-year excess property tax levy which will be used for operation and maintenance of the swimming pool. Proposes an estimated $0.586 per $1,000.00 of assessed value in the year 2011 for collection in 2012. This $28,000 levy covers about 50% of the annual pool budget. Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution 2011-07, seconded by Councilmember Snook. The opening date is part of our overall budget discussion and we’ll be sure and educate the public on that. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2011-08: Voted Regular 6-year EMS Levy. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. Setting a voted regular levy which will be used to continue existing ambulance service to the City by the City of Pullman for EMS purposes. Proposes an additional property tax levy in the amount of $.50 per $1,000.00 of assessed valuation for each of six consecutive years for provision of emergency medical services. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano, to adopt Resolution 2011-08. State law allows Fire, EMS, and schools to run 6-year levies. Part of this money reimburses Pullman for ambulance transport. Discussion ensued about why Palouse contracts for ambulance services rather than maintain an ambulance service themselves. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 890: Adopting property tax increase. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. The dollar amount of the increase over the actual levy amount for the previous year shall be $1,166 which is an increase of one percent, plus an increase of $1,500 which is an increase of approximately 1.3 percent from the previous year, due to banked capacity. This is our state law, limiting our increase to 1% regardless of inflation. This is a councilmatic levy; it doesn’t go to voters. Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt ordinance No. 890. Councilmember Newman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 891: Setting regular and special levy amounts. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. As mentioned in the above resolutions, Special Street Levy is estimated at $40,000; Special Pool Levy is estimated at $28,000; Voted Regular EMS levy estimated at $24,335; General levy estimated at $119,686. A grand total of $212,021. Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 891, seconded by Councilmember Jones. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones. Chair: Met with Palouse Conservation District staff to discuss the signage for the Riverwalk (former trailer park). Community Clean-up at the Riverwalk is scheduled for Aug. 27th.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Taylor Engineering met with Supt. Griffin and had their official walk through of our water system.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Forecasting the beginning balances for next year. There is a need for a backhoe and that fund is very low but there may be some USDA money to help purchase that. Backhoe is a much-needed and much-used piece of equipment for Public Works. Also talk of having a different shop for PW or making improvements to the existing one. There are issues to having the city shop so near the well-head.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Request from PCC to close Beach Street August 4th from 5-7pm for the groundbreaking ceremony. Staff will close it from the alley south to Main Street.

DOE wants to do some filming in Palouse on the Brownfield site.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:03 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3311 – 3329 $5,343.16

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

July 12, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING
July 12, 2011
Public Hearing for 2012-2018 Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan
Followed by
Public Hearing for 2012 revenue sources
Followed by
Regular Council Meeting

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Pete Hertz; Dean Huber; Shelley Goertzen.

Open Public Hearing for 2012-2018 Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan at 7:03 pm. The STIP is a priority list of our street projects for the next six years, required by the state. Sometimes we’ll change the order based on different factors such as funding and availability. Projects include: Total reconstruction of G Street from Church to Alder; Mohr Street sidewalk replacement from I to H; Overlay F Street from Church to Cannon; Reconstruction of West Whitman from Bridge to Mill; Build up and pave West Whitman & Fir Street from Mill to Illinois; Reconstruct Wall Street from Bluff to Park & overlay Culton/Park; overlay South Sumner Street from Union to Palouse Cove Road. Mohr Street was the only addition to the plan. With no public comment, closed hearing at 7:06 pm.

Open Public Hearing for 2012 Revenue Sources at 7:06 pm: Discussed the proposed levies for 2012: The 2011 General Levy is $116,628. The maximum increase of 1% comes to $1,166, + $392 new construction credit and $1,500 banked capacity, making the 2012 proposed general levy approx. $119,686. The proposed 2012 EMS 6 year levy on ballot is $24,276. No change to the 2012 Special Street Levy of $40,000 or the 2012 Special Pool Maintenance and Operation Levy of $28,000. The $40,000 street levy falls seriously short of our goals but based on taxpayer tolerance, seems to be the amount to sustain. With no public comment, closed hearing at 7:13 pm.

Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to authorize the 1% increase for the 2012 general levy; take the full amount of banked capacity available; special street levy at $40,000 with no changes; special M & O Pool levy at $28,000 with no changes; and include EMS levy for .50 per thousand at approx. $24,276. Motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM: Shelley Goertzen, on behalf of the Little People’s Park Project, requested permission to block off a portion of Beach Street during Palouse Days for a children’s carnival to raise money for the daycare. They will bring in 3 or 4 large inflatables, face painting, cake walk, etc. The will need from the corner of Beach & Main, north ½ a block to the alley. Supt. Griffin is fine with it. Insurance is provided by the Chamber of Commerce’s liability umbrella. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman, to allow the LPPP to use the requested street, pending Fire Chief Bagott’s approval. Motion carried unanimously.

Regular Council Meeting

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 28, 2011. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: The gravel roads have been oiled; very satisfied with the product and final results. With the high costs, we just can’t afford to do every road in town every year. Traffic flow and road conditions are a few of the factors when choosing which roads get oiled and when.

Due to the high usage of our park, PW would like to purchase some additional trash cans. Perhaps some picnic tables too. Marc Arrasmith wants the garbage cans a priority over the sprinklers this year as he hasn’t had time to install the sprinklers already purchased. Public Works volunteer the hours it takes for them to empty garbage cans during weekend hours. Discussion ensued about how to possibly compensate them. Supt. Griffin thinks things are working just fine the way they are.

POLICE REPORT: Submitted the June police log. The search for the patrol vehicle continues. The PD had to purchase a new telephone which allows for communication during power outage. The illegal burning of the mammoth is under investigation.

BI REPORT: Dan Gladwill reported new construction has been slow in the city and county both; it’s a sign of the economy. Dan has been busy with the Palouse Community Center. The Planning commission will be needing Dan’s input on their revision of PMC chapter 17-zoning.

Chamber business: Palouse Days planning still underway. Chamber has been working on a tourist brochure to generate interest in Palouse. Bo Ossinger is working on LiveInPalouse.com to target people interested in possibly moving to our city.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones. Chair: Meeting next Tuesday with PCD regarding the new signs at the former trailer park. The word “reclamation” will most likely be used in the signage.

Plans of getting Wi-Fi at the RV Park are moving forward.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: Pool manager leaves for college on July 23rd. Deputy Clerk Thompson will pick up for her as administrative manager to get us through the end of the season.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: The Mayor signed the Taylor Engineering WSP contract as authorized by council. Taylor Engineering made the changes to the WSP that Atty. Bishop recommended. DOH, Taylor Engineering, Doug Willcox, and councilmembers Newman and Milano met to review in detail the WSP for the preplanning meeting (required by the DOH before moving forward). DOH approved the plan. The next step is Taylor Engineering will meet with Supt. Griffin to do a water system facility walk through. Right now we’re on track for completing our WSP.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
On the Brownfields front, the Prospective Purchaser’s agreement came back from DOE. It’s not a consent decree but it lays things out about liability. That’s the big focus on all of this; how to acquire the property with minimum liability. Mayor is going to now sign the agreement with MFA as authorized by council. Dean Huber voiced his concern that there has been no Brownfields Citizen Advisory meeting called in quite some time.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:21 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. Nos. 3279-3310 & EFT $32,342.53
Payroll Paid Ck. Nos. 3249-3278 & EFT $45,253.62
VOIDED Ck. No. 3276

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

June 28, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
June 28, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook. Absent: Connie Newman & Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman is ill and Councilmember Wekenman is on vacation. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to excuse both absences. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Milano made a slight clarification under the Water & Sewer report, replacing the pronoun “It” with “The WSP contract”. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 14, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: The pool was closed Sunday due to a slight electrical problem that has been fixed. They’re still painting the park bathrooms, patching asphalt on Church Street, and repaired a water leak. The roads should be getting oiled next week with a new company and a different product that isn’t solvent-based. It’s a little cheaper and guaranteed to stay on until at least September and is better for the environment.

POLICE REPORT: Regarding the police vehicle purchase, still haven’t found quite what we’re looking for. There’s no rush; the Intrepid is running fine so far and we’re utilizing the motorcycle when we can. We’ve done some work on nuisance yards, particularly on the South Hill. Reminder that it is illegal to post anything on PUD (Avista) poles.

JFB REPORT: Rick Wekenman submitted a written report. Of special note, Carl Saunders, Marv Pillers, & Annie Pillers each received a Medal of Valor from the Pullman Ambulance/EMS for their efforts last November in keeping a car crash victim alive until further help could arrive. Additionally, the Unit of Valor was awarded to Kevin Imel, Lisa Fisher, & Terrie Teare for the same incident.

OLD BUSINESS:
Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones, authorizing the mayor to sign a contract with Taylor Engineering for our Water System Plan. The agreed upon dollar amount is $43,650.

Ordinance 889: Budget amendment for Taylor Engineering Contract. Mayor read the ordinance aloud in its entirety. We need to do the budget amendment to make sure we have the funds available to Taylor Engineering for the development and assembly of the Water System Plan. This plan helps ensure we have a good definition of our water service area and water rights. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook, to adopt Ordinance 889 amending the annual budget for the City of Palouse in 2011. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
Donna Langsett has requested permission for a sidewalk chalk art contest for Palouse Days. It will be a chamber-sponsored event. All money raised will be donated to the new community center. We need to be mindful of sidewalk access and permission from abutting business owners.

Bo Ossinger has offered to do a relocation website for Palouse. Bo does the chamber’s visitPalouse website.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Councilmember Floyd went to a TIB workshop and met with Gloria Bennet about our two potential projects: Mohr Street sidewalk project and Cove Road pathway project. Gloria believes the Mohr Street project is within budget and worthwhile. The Cove Road project is expensive but there are different ways we can approach that: 1) secure federal funding with TIB providing the match requirement. 2) a 2-phase approach, splitting the project in half. First half would essentially take it from the Bridge Street bridge to Union Street and the second half would go from Union Street to city limits. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to proceed with submitting the grant application for the Mohr Street sidewalk project to TIB. Councilmember Milano seconded. TIB grant requires 5% match which would be $5,000. We will have to decide which fund the $5,000 match will come from. Possibly the Arterial Streets fund. Supt. Griffin cautioned sacrificing street projects to do this sidewalk project. We have a lot of street maintenance that should be done and with higher costs we can do fewer feet every year on the same money. August 31 is the deadline for grant applications. The school has expressed interest in being a funding partner but they have not given us any hard numbers. Motion carried unanimously. Clerk Beeson recommends putting the Mohr Street project on our Six Year Street Plan.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Councilmember Milano reported we have DOH WSP preplanning meeting scheduled for July 11 at the PSB.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Revenue sources for the public hearing were presented. Levy amounts will be set at our public hearing at the next meeting. Councilmembers Floyd and Milano, along with Clerk Beeson, and Supt. Griffin are going to meet about funding and revenue sources.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Clerk Beeson reported the PCC has a contract pending with a contractor.

DOE in Olympia has not gotten back to us regarding our MFA contract so Mayor has not signed the contract yet.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3238 – 3248 $3,280.23

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

May 24, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
May 24, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Doug Willcox; Mary Rosen, PCD; Jennifer Bois, PCD; Carrie Kyser, PCD.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 10, 2011. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. In addition, there has been a lot of garbage/debris in with the chipper & compost piles: rocks, gravel, bricks, chicken wire, pop and beer cans, etc. One handful of rocks through the chipper and we have to replace the blades at a cost of $120. It’s taking a lot of time to go through and separate out the debris. This is a service we’ve worked really hard to get for the community and if the abuse doesn’t stop we may have to discontinue.

POLICE REPORT: The new vests and radios helped with the duathlon. The city staff put up the Parks Rules signs at the park. Chief is working with Bagott Motors in the search for a used car; they’re waiting for the used car market to go back down. There are ongoing dog issues; there is a maximum of three dogs per residence, no exceptions. If you have three dogs, you cannot even temporarily dog-sit others.

OLD BUSINESS:
Approve Animal Contract. Nothing on the animal contract has changed other than the dates. For a cost of $900 it allows us to take up to 16 dogs to the Humane Society. Last year we sent approximately 12 dogs. It is a 24/7 contract. The city has no way of kenneling dogs here in Palouse. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook authorizing Mayor to sign the agreement with the Whitman County Humane Society. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
Palouse Conservation District: powerpoint presentation on native plant sign for Palouse River Walk: This project was originally funded by DOE, PCD, & the COP. It has always been planned as an indigenous site. To someone driving by it may look like it needs to be cared for but it is supposed to look like this, particularly until the plants grow. Native grasses are imperative for riparian areas. The intent of the sign is to welcome visitors and let the public know that it is a native vegetation planting site. Discussion ensued about sign type, sign placement, wordage, pricing, etc. The PCD has approved some funding towards the sign. Councilmember Jones will continue working with the PCD.

Mary Rosen reported due to the composite material used in constructing the memorial bench for Bill Broughton, Mary cannot find any company able to engrave or make a plaque for it. However, the Pullman SD staff wants to honor Zena Broughton so the suggestion is, instead of trying to make a plaque for the bench, PSD will purchase and have placed next to the bench a large boulder memorializing both Bill and Zena. They will deliver it but public works will have to set it in concrete.

Mary Rosen wanted to make sure council was aware the USDA has cut the funding for the coordinators for the Upper Columbia Rural Conservation & Development but the council is still in tact.

Resolution 2011-04: purchase of a police vehicle under special market conditions. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook, to adopt Resolution 2011-04. Motion carried unanimously.

Brownfields Update: We are waiting for the state legislature to set the budget. Mayor will be meeting with MFA, Ecology, and the city attorney. The main points of discussion will be 1) The project must include 100% clean-up funding; 2) The project must include a consent decree that would cap future liability to the site; & 3) Develop a strategy that would implement the possible clean-up. After this meeting, MFA will put together an Addendum to the contract. There is $20,000 left unspent in the IPG agreement. The addendum would allow MFA to define the scope of the clean-up strategy and put together a funding package for the clean-up phase.

JFB REPORT: 0 fire calls in April, 3 YTD. 3 EMS calls in April, 17 YTD. Had a rigorous training in Colfax with about ½ our dept in attendance. The new turnouts worked very well. Still no word on the 2010 radio grant. We’re waiting for the 2011 grant cycle to open up. Conversion to narrow band radios went well. DOE said no on the dinosaur burn. There are currently 19 community residents using the donated emergency dialers.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones. Chair: Councilmember Milano got a quote from First Step for putting in wi-fi at our RV Park. It is one of the most common requests from guests at the park. Because of our deal with First Step, there would just be a one-time charge of approximately $1,800 with no monthly fees. The RV Park still has money to spend on this. Councilmember Milano will talk with Frontier as well to find out their costs.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Meeting with the school again on Thursday regarding Mohr Street. The easement request for the old dump road has not come back from the attorney yet. The road is very precarious and would be difficult to maintain. Cecil encouraged council to go look at the road. One idea worth looking into is for the city to give Glen Curtis the road and have Curtis give the city an easement so all liability would belong to Curtis.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: Had a personnel/pool meeting. We’re looking at opening the pool on June 23rd.
Waiting to speak with pool manager before final decisions made.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Connie reported that they would like to continue to negotiate a contract with Taylor Engineering and setting the scope of work in developing the WSP. They would like to consider a “not-to-exceed” budget. Connie asked the finance committee to propose a cash flow plan that would show how we plan to meet the expenses of the WSP over the next 18 months. One of our objectives of taking on some of the responsibilities was to cut our costs. A great deal of work has already been done by staff and Andy O’Neill of RCAC and we want to make sure whether or not casts can be reduced because of it.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: The annual report will be going out by May 31st.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Candidacy filings began.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:59 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3164 & 3166 – 3180 $17,145.80
Ck. No. 3165 replaced voided Ck. No. 2761

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

April 26, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
April 26, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Pete Hertz; Jeslyn Lemke; Rebecca & Sean from Alternatives to Violence.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 12, 2011. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Additionally they had to replace the sewer line from the city park restrooms to the street. The chipper site filled up in two weeks so the county chipper will be here again tomorrow. We are using the county chipper solely for the manpower the county provides.

POLICE REPORT:
-Park signs have been ordered.
-City received a complaint about free-range chickens. Poultry must be caged at all times; cannot run free. We may need to also look at limiting the number of chickens allowed as we do for other animals. With the exception of dogs and cats, all animals are supposed to have prior approval from the BOA.
-WSU/UI bike race was a success. There were 172 registered racers.
-The Easter egg hunt was also a success.
-Once the weather gets warmer we will begin work on the PD to make it more energy efficient.

JFB REPORT: 1 fire call in March, 3 YTD. 1 EMT call in March, 14 YTD. Our EMTs got a great deal on the purchase of a new stretcher for $1.00. No news on the grant for the radios.

NEW BUSINESS:
Alternatives to Violence. Alternatives to Violence is a free program available to anyone in the county. They have a 24-hour crisis hot line (332-HELP). A confidential shelter is available. They also do preventative educational presentations to schools, etc. Most of their funding is through the United Way. For more information call 332-0552.

OLD BUSINESS
Ordinance No. 888: Palouse fiber optics contract. There were questions at last council meeting regarding this ordinance. For the sake of clarification, Mayor read aloud various sections for further discussion. Three issues need further clarification in the contract: the need for a warranty on any construction work the Port does; some of the wording should say permit vs. permission & vice-versa; getting editable electronic and hard paper formats for inclusion in our document inventory. Supt. Griffin and Councilmember Floyd are going to look into installation specs. If the Port is going to come through town regardless, the Mayor believes it’s good that we have this agreement because it gets the control to the city. Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano, authorizing the mayor to sign Ordinance 888 pending the three items of discussion as mentioned. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Cecil met with TIB Director Steven Gorchester and WC Commissioner Partch. He indicated Whitman County is one of the only counties in the state that works together as a team. Any projects we can bid and work through the county, TIB is eager to fund. One project that is a possibility for TIB is a multi-purpose pathway on Cove Road. TIB is going to look at that and then meet with our committee with their feedback. Cecil is meeting with the school May 4th and will then meet with his committee, Supt. Griffin, and Chief Neumann to put ideas together for traffic flow at the school.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Committee, Doug Willcox, & Don Myott met with the four engineering candidates for WSP. After extensive work they are recommending Taylor Engineering out of Pullman. Councilmember Newman MOVED to enter into negotiations with Taylor Engineering to develop the WSP for the City of Palouse. Seconded by Councilmember Milano. At this point we’re just entering into negotiations to discuss project specs, cash flow, etc. After the first meeting, Taylor Engineering will bring back their proposal at which point we would negotiate a contract and bring it back for council. Committee was very impressed with Taylor Engineering. Due to a conflict of interest, Councilmember Wekenman recused himself from voting. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
-AWC conference is coming up in Spokane in June.
-May 4th is the regional AWC connector here in Palouse.
-MFA met with DOE a few weeks ago and now it’s all pending on state budget.
-Councilmember Newman MOVED to not excuse Councilmember Schorzman’s absence based on his pattern of excessive absences. Councilmember Snook seconded. Councilmember Newman stated excessive absences are a dereliction of duties. Motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Milano attended the Little Sprouts parent group regarding the pending closure of the daycare. The group has asked the chamber and the city for any suggestions to keep it open. They are in a crisis situation. Discussion ensued.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:16 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3105 – 3121 $7,846.15

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

April 12, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
April 12, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Pete Hertz; Tom Wolny.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 22, 2011. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Additionally, PW started replacing storm drain on Church Street.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted the March Activity log. He also presented a copy of the signs he is purchasing for the parks rules. The price will be approximately $295 for both instead of the original $550 estimate.

He is working with Bud Bagott on finding replacement vehicle for PD. He is finding the available SUV’s are higher mileage cars and costs are higher than anticipated. They are looking into perhaps a Charger which can be found with around 30k miles and much more affordable.

Had the radar trailer out and added patrol around Union Street as a result of speed complaints.

We have two bike races coming up this spring: The WSU/UI intercollegiate bike race and a duathlon which will be presented later in the meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2011-02: Cancel unexpended checks. Mayor read the ordinance aloud in its entirety. Two checks have been lost by payee and must be replaced. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Resolution No. 2011-02, authorizing checks 2813 and 2861 be voided and reissued. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 888: Palouse fiber optics contract. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman suspending the reading of Ordinance No. 888. Motion carried unanimously. The line starts at Spokane and heads south to Clarkston. Atty. Bishop put together a franchise agreement to adopt by ordinance. At issue are concerns with topography in Palouse. From discussion, the main concern from council was the placement of overhead lines in the downtown core and that new infrastructure would have to be cut into in order to run fiber through Palouse and install connection vaults. Atty. Bishop clarified that the fiber will be going though Palouse within the state right-of ways through their own franchise agreement. How much say does the city have? Once they deviate from the state right of ways they will work with the city and public works department but the Port has the final say. Council will put together their concerns and offer potential changes to the agreement for Atty. Bishop to consider. Atty. Bishop advised that Palouse doesn’t have to adopt the agreement; the port is going to use the state right-of-ways regardless, they just won’t install vaults for future expansion. Discussion will continue at next council.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Councilmember Newman explained the school’s desire to collaborate with the city in coming up with a solution for the traffic congestion/safety issues at Mohr and H St. The school project engineer has expressed interest in working with the city at no cost in looking at traffic flow and options that may work such as parking patterns, one-way streets, Mohr St drop off area, and other ideas. Time is of the essence as the engineering services through the school are only available to us through May. Councilmember Floyd agreed to set up a meeting.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: Deadline for lifeguard apps is May 24th.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Prior to adopting the WEP through resolution the city had received two extension requests; to date, those extension requests have not been resubmitted.

In moving forward on the Water System Plan, they are currently checking references on the four engineering firms that have been shortlisted. Interviews are April 22nd. Committee will meet on the 25th to compare notes. They plan to have a proposal for council with a recommendation of the firm they would like to hire for the WSP at the 4/26/11 council.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Received a letter from WA State Public Works Board (PWB). In order to balance the state budget, revenues in their Assistance Account were committed to the General Fund. With loan repayments being one of their primary revenue sources, they are asking for early payment of the regular payment due and also, if possible, increase the amount of principal being paid. This request is for this year only. The scheduled regular payment is $13,935.11 due on 7/1/2011. The committee proposed increasing the principal payment by $6,000 for 2011 and allowing C-T Beeson to make the payment as soon as it is invoiced. The PWB has been a great partner with this loan at 1% interest. This will also reduce our interest payment in the long run. After discussion, council approved this change to the PWTF loan payment for 2011.

OPEN FORUM:
Mark Sawyer: Mark described a multi-sport race he is putting together called a multi surface duathlon on May 14th. Hosted here in Palouse. It is a 2 mile run (within city limits), transition onto a 10 mile bike race heading onto North River Road, cross over into Idaho, coming back on South River Road, then transition back into a 2 mile run. Race can be competed as an individual or a team. It will be chip timed. Start line, finish line, and transition area will all be at the park. They will be hosting a free spaghetti dinner with registration. He is anticipating/hoping this becomes an annual event. With 50 entrants they will break even on the costs.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Mayor assigned Councilmember Jones to chair the Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings committee. He will also serve on the Policy & Administration, and Water & Sewer Committees. Councilmember Schorzman was moved from Water & Sewer to Streets & Sidewalks.

Mark Kramer, chair of the BOA, contacted Debbie Mitzimberg about serving on the BOA. Mayor then appointed Debbie Mitzimberg. Councilmember Newman MOVED to confirm the appointment of Debbie Mitzimberg to the BOA. Seconded by Councilmember Schorzman. Motion carried unanimously.

Our Palouse Community Center board is moving ahead with their plans to go out to bid on the building. The environmental permitting is customarily something Joyce signs but because she is serving on the PCC board, pending council approval, Mayor would like to step in as signatory for the environmental and other permit processes as needed. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano, allowing the Mayor to sign the permitting process forms. Motion carried unanimously.

There was news on the radio regarding the reduced water usage of the Palouse Basin Aquifer – Grand Ronde. They mentioned the City of Palouse having a 13% reduction in 2010. Part of the reason our usage is going down is all the work our PW does; maintaining lines and infrastructure. In 2007 Palouse pumped 66 million gallons. In 2010 Palouse pumped 54 million. The city has been diligent upgrading the sprinkler system in the park; fixing leaks, etc. It’s all making a big difference.

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 Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:41 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Re-issued lost checks: Ck. No. 3068 & 3069 to replace voided lost check nos. 2813 & 2861
Voided Payroll Check: Ck. No. 3066
March Payroll Paid Ck. No. 3045-3067 & EFT $42,117.75
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3070-3104 & EFT $15,811.78

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 22, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
March 22, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman. Mayor Echanove, Councilmember Snook, & City Clerk-Treasurer Beeson are all on vacation this week. Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Floyd seconded to excuse their absences. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Bruce Baldwin.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman amended the March 8, 2011, minutes as follows: Under the water & sewer report, it should read “All current water extension requests….” not “w/s extension requests”; and Anderson Engineering is out of Walla Walla not Spokane. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano to accept the March 8, 2011, minutes as amended. Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Garfield has requested Palouse buy our own set of blades for the chipper. They are $29 each and there are 4 needed. This is fair; Garfield only charges us $20/hour to use their chipper.

POLICE REPORT: We received three bids ranging from $9k to 18K to lower the PD ceiling to make it more efficient. Chief would like to forego hiring and make it a summer project for police department. The city will have to purchase materials and get help with the electrical. Chief will run some figures and estimates.

Regarding the “Rules of Conduct” sign at the park. Chief priced two, 3’x2’ signs made from a couple different materials. It should cost approximately $550 for both.

We had a police, fire, and safety meeting to further discuss the replacement of the Intrepid. Chief Neumann presented a mileage projection formula. There’s no way to determine wear and tear on the PD vehicles; mileage isn’t the only factor. What takes most people 1.5 hours to drive, takes an officer 5 hours because they slow-patrol. The Intrepid has only 50k miles on it but they’re hard miles. Two shift cables, a steering wheel, the oxygen sensor, etc. have already been replaced on the Intrepid. Much discussion ensued.

JFB REPORT: Only two fire calls YTD. The grant for the new turnouts has now been allocated; should have them soon. We have not yet been turned down for the 2010 grant we applied for last year for new radios so we may still get that grant. For 2011 grant applications we are considering new wildland fire boots. On the EMS side, we got one new member. May 9th is the date for conversion to short-band on our radios. There are more opportunities for EMS training if anyone is interested.

OLD BUSINESS:
Water Extension Policy – This policy has been discussed in-depth for the last few months. The city attorney has approved the policy. Councilmember Milano MOVED to forego the reading of the policy. Seconded by Councilmember Newman. Motion carried unanimously. This policy only deals with water extension requests. Councilmember Newman summarized the policy. Much discussion ensued.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2011-01: Water Extension Policy. Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman read the resolution in its entirety. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones to adopt Resolution No. 2011-01. Motion carried unanimously.

Bruce Baldwin, mgr of Palouse Grain Growers, has requested permission to install access gates across Spokane Avenue. That property is private and there is no reason for anyone else to be in there. This is a big investment, a profitable business, and we need to protect it. And we have a legal obligation to protect it. The plant is an FDA-approved barley plant and a kosher-certified plant, in addition to Homeland Security food safety requirements. As such, we are subject to extensive testing. The issue at hand is illegal dumping (particularly dead animals) on the property which could seriously jeopardize our compliance. We are proposing the city’s permission to put in a locked gate with keys given only to key personnel. The FD would have a key to the gate. To his knowledge, there is nothing back there but railroad right-of-way. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Floyd, to allow Palouse Grain Growers to move forward with installing gates on their property on the west end of town. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Tim Jones, Chair: Councilmember Milano reported Little Peoples Park Project still has money pledged to the city for new equipment at the park. He also heard back from the company who is generously donating curved benches for our RV Park.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Have set two tentative dates for interviewing engineers for the Water System Plan.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: Rachel Witthuhn has been hired as the pool manager for the 2011 season.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Met last week to further discuss the police vehicles.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:47 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid: Ck. No. 3031 – 3044 $47,430.67

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 8, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
March 8, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Connie Newman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman & Mike Milano. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED and Councilmember Floyd seconded to excuse both councilmember absences. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Jeslyn Lemke; Tim Jones; Pete Hertz; David Wold; Scott Beeson; & David Jenson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman recommended changing the word “discouraging” to “encouraging” under Old Business, 2nd paragraph. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 22, 2011. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

INTERVIEW FOR COUNCIL POSITION #3: The city received only one applicant for the vacant council position: Tim Jones. Mr. Jones was asked a series of questions. At 7:26 pm, Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to adjourn to executive session to discuss filling the council vacancy. Motion carried unanimously. Council reconvened at 7:23 pm. Councilmember Newman MOVED to accept Tim Jones as new appointed council member. Seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously. Tim Jones took the oath of office and was sworn in by Mayor Echanove.

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

POLICE REPORT:

Chief Neumann submitted the February 2011 Police Department Activity Log. They continue to do high-visibility patrols.
There are safety concerns with the streets near the school. Spoke briefly with Councilmember Floyd about possibly making a couple streets one-way, a natural ingress & egress for the school bus routes. Mohr, Cannon, Alder, & Church Streets were all brought up as potential streets for making one-way.
Regarding the PD replacing one of the police vehicles, would like permission to put a vehicle description together to go out to bid. They are estimating to spend about $15,000. The Intrepid has 50k miles and is not an ideal patrol vehicle. With our weather, an SUV with all-wheel or 4-wheel capabilities would serve much better than the low-visibility Intrepid. Obviously we’d be buying a used vehicle with fewer than 40k miles. Mayor expressed his concerns with moving forward on this; would like to see some data. Councilmember Newman asked how the motorcycle fits into the fleet, its value and how Chief Neumann quantifies its’ use. The motorcycle was purchased with grant money and is worth approximately $15,000. The motorcycle is used frequently in the warmer months for high-pedestrian activities and events. Chief Neumann reminded council that getting in the habit of replacing a fleet vehicle every three years is an issue that needs to be addressed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: The proposed Cove Road multi-purpose pathway is a project that would qualify to be submitted to TIB for funding. The streets near the school have been identified as a safety issue but may not make it in as a TIB project but instead be a city project. Councilmember Floyd would like to get everyone (school admin; Supt. Griffin; PD; the committee; etc) together to identify the problems and brainstorm possible solutions. He will work on gathering data.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: The advertisement for pool manager closes March 16.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Atty. Bishop has requested more time to prepare the final draft of the WEP. It should be ready for a committee meeting review before presenting it for vote at the March 22 meeting. All current w/s extension requests are being deferred until the policy is adopted.

WSP is moving forward. We have narrowed down the SOQ’s to 4 engineering firms: Taylor Engineering out of Pullman; Anderson Engineering out of Spokane; Torrence Engineering out of Cashmere; and Keltic Engineering out of Lewiston. In selecting firms we took into consideration geographics; experience with WSP’s; letters of interest; and the initiative of the engineers who contacted us. We will interview them and as a committee make a final recommendation. Councilmember Snook MOVED to ask the w/s committee to move forward with the interviewing of these four applicants. Councilmember Floyd seconded. Councilmember Wekenman suggested the committee consult with Upper Columbia RC&D. Councilmember Newman will contact them to see if they have any additional resources. Motion carried unanimously.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Wants committee to meet prior to next council meeting regarding the PD vehicle replacement.

OPEN FORUM:
Scott Beeson with the Palouse Community Center asked for council approval for a beer garden at the Bluegrass Festival July 30th. There have been no problems with the beer garden in the past. Revenue goes into the PCC building fund. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to approve the request for the permit. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
The Mayor read PBAC letter thanking us for our 2011 contribution to support their work in ensuring a water supply and helping with our aquifer issues.

Mayor encouraged council to attend Thursday’s Mayor’s Roundtable.

Mayor, Councilmember Snook, and Clerk Beeson are all taking vacation this month and will not be at the March 22 council meeting.

Whitman County .09 funds: App is due Friday. Mayor would like council approval to submit a project which would allow local business owners to apply for improvements to their downtown building facades. Councilmember Newman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to move forward with submitting a .09 application for the downtown Palouse façade application. Councilmember Floyd seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:31 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 2997 – 3030 & EFT $ 7,836.27
Feb. Payroll Paid Ck. No. 2979 – 2996 & EFT $37,770.26

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

February 22, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
February 22, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:04 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Sharon Tharp; Doug Willcox, Calvin George.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 8, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Public Works have been taking classes for their CEU’s. The Dodge 1-ton transmission went out and it was a $1,000 repair. Also had to have some repairs done on the Ford’s exhaust manifold.

POLICE REPORT: Spoke with Frontier about a call box which would automatically connect to Whitcom upon pick-up, similar to Pullman’s blue boxes on campus. Still working on park rules sign; we’ve condensed them to save money and make the sign look nicer as well. Still wanting to surplus the Intrepid; the bluebook is currently around $4,000, would like to put a minimum bid of $2,000 on it. Hope to get going on that within the next couple months. Once we’re able to put that money into the vehicle fund, we’ll have about $19,000 in there and spend about $15,000, leaving a little cushion. Avista did an energy audit and they said lowering the ceiling in the PD would be a major improvement because we’re losing a lot of heat out the top. So far we’ve received two estimates to make the PD more energy-efficient.

JFB REPORT: 0 fire calls and 10 EMS calls in January. No news on the grant they put in for radios. The firefighters were fitted for their future turnouts. We came to a final agreement with Pullman on our ambulance contract. It was dually ratified by the JFB and the rural; now it’s up to us. The contract is a 3 year renewal with a change of rates. Their original proposal was 4% a year but it was amended to a 2%, 3%, & 4% increase for 2011, 2012, & 2013 respectively. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano authorizing the mayor to sign our ambulance contract with Pullman. Rural is paying $1,000 for new radios for EMS crew. Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS
Review the Water Extension Policy. W/S committee met and went over the draft WEP. We’re not prepared to discuss the details as we’re waiting for Atty. Bishop to make the recommended amendments. We will get a draft to council before next meeting and will be taking public input at that time. The policy isn’t a huge departure from the current city policy. Councilmember Newman clarified the difference between a water extension and a single water service hook-up. These distinctions need to be established and will be clearly defined in the WEP. Discussion ensued.

The other change being considered is establishing an application fee for extension of water service. There are costs every time city staff does an estimate. The original application fee being considered ranges from $100-$500. The fees serve two purposes: 1, to recover city costs; and 2, to encourage earnest requests. There will be a delicate balance between recovering costs and discouraging development.

This isn’t just a policy but procedures as well. It is three phases: Application, design, & construction. Applicants can’t move onto one without completion and approval from the city of the prior phase.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 887: Budget Amendment. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This amendment sets the budget for receipt and expenditures of the Dept of Homeland Security for the firefighter turnouts. Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 887. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Mike Milano: WSDOT responded regarding highway signs for the RV Park. We can erect them as long as we pay for and install ourselves. We can’t add to other signs; they have to stand alone.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: We are going to advertise the pool manager position next week.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Spoke with the Upper Columbia RC&D regarding renewing our dues. They are a USDA federal program and they provide technical assistance with projects and can help access grant monies. They felt like they could be of assistance in helping us find funding as well as technical assistance on our WSP. One of their focuses is collaboration among similar cities with similar projects who can work cooperatively and share resources. They offered to do a presentation to council. Councilmember Newman MOVED to renew our 2011 membership of $150.00. Seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to have Connie represent council with Upper Columbia RC&D. Motion carried unanimously.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Councilmember Milano asked council for any comments or questions regarding the 2010 year end treasurers report presented at the last meeting. He commented that city departments are managing the city money well. We’re living within our means although reserve or ending balances are still being used and there is still more work to do on the budget.

OPEN FORUM:
Sharon Tharp: Renewable Energy Group is meeting March 1st to talk about renewable energy and would like to invite council. Paul Kimmell from Avista will be there to talk about renewable energy and answer questions.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Mayor and Councilmembers Snook & Newman were in Olympia last week at AWC Legislative conference.

BOA is having a public hearing for a variance request. Heidi Kite submitted a letter of resignation from the BOA, effective immediately.

The City’s copier lease is up. We can get a new one for only about $3.01 more per month and it comes with a scanner.

Regarding the vacant council position # 3; we will put out a call for letters of interest and post about town. The deadline to submit to city hall was set for March 7th at 5:00 PM with interviews at the council meeting on the 8th.

Discussion ensued regarding whether or not to continue sending out the draft minutes to the list serve prior to council approval. Councilmember Milano MOVED to stay with our current process of distributing draft minutes, continuing to clearly mark them as “Draft Only – Without council review or approval.” Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:48 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 2964 – 2978 $10,986.04
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 2917 – 2935 & EFT $37,890.72

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

February 8, 2011

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
Without council review and approval
February 8, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:08 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Randy Zehm. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Brian Dentler; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Bruce Reim from Canfield & Associates.

Mayor read aloud Councilmember Zehm’s letter of resignation effective immediately. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED and Councilmember Newman seconded, accepting his resignation. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under “Streets & Sidewalks”, Councilmember Floyd asked that the following sentence be added: “Councilmember Floyd added that the issue for him is that the process is taking too long.” Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 25, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Councilmember Wekenman voiced his concern with liability of allowing residents to use the compost and chips.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Dentler submitted the January 2011 Activity Log.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: At the last meeting we agreed to move forward on three street projects. One of them was to submit a request to TIB to reclassify a few streets as “arterial” which has been done. The next step is to get estimates for the construction projects.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Received from Atty. Bishop today a draft of the SEP. Committee will review prior to bringing to council for adoption by resolution.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Officer Merry’s unofficial 4 year contract will be up within the next year. It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to provide pay increases, however, Officer Merry is pleased to renew an unofficial commitment for additional years. Options are being considered for a police vehicle. At this point they are still moving forward with replacing the Intrepid sometime this year and hopefully replenishing the reserve fund so we can replace police vehicles approximately every three years. Councilmember Newman asked how the motorcycle plays in for value towards purchase of new car. It was mentioned that grant money was used to purchase that cycle so there is probably some obligation to keep it. Police vehicles take a lot of beating since so many of the hours are idle hours rather than highway miles. If they are kept too long they are eventually worth nothing.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings: The Little People’s Park Project has pledged to make improvement to the cushioning under the play equipment and they are still working toward replacing some play equipment at the park.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair:
Clerk-Treasurer Beeson provided a 4th Q 2010 Treasurers Report and financial summary report narrative. She asked council to look it over and bring her any questions. Mayor commented that the costs to run the pool are approximately $15,000 a month; by delaying pool opening by two weeks last summer over $6,000 was saved. Our pool manager remarked that during that two week window, we would’ve been open only 2 days due to the poor weather.

MAYOR’S REPORT: SEWEDA gave us a copy of their county-wide recruiting video of the Palouse. Once permission is granted, he would like to distribute it.

Mayor read aloud a letter from Upper Columbia RC&D asking city to renew dues of $150 year. Councilmember Newman will investigate whether or not this would be worthwhile.

Brownfields Update – MFA sent their Assessment Report to DOE for technical review and that’s where is currently. The DOE will come back with what they would recommend as the best clean-up for that site. The cost associated with the particular clean-up Ecology requires will dictate how the city moves forward. The city does not own or possess the property yet and nothing has been invested by the city toward clean-up at this point. Atty. Bishop said the technical review part is going to be lengthy and we were forewarned of that. Once that’s done the threshold issues become, 1. Will there be funding to deal with whatever DOE says is the solution to the problem? If there’s no money for it we’re done. 2. If it looks like we can put together a program to do it, do we want to accept the liability? If this puts the city in a tenuous side, Atty. Bishop will recommend we don’t do it. We’re hoping DOE will have some feasible solutions for the city. Clean-up dictates the reuse. We need to wait and see what DOE recommends.

The .09 grant cycle has started. Qualified projects would promote economic development. The State is not funding the .09 program but the county has $100,000 available this year to award. Discussion ensued about possible projects for .09 funding.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Cks. No. 2936 – 2963 & EFT $7,033.82

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

January 25, 2011

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
January 25, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Brian Dentler (partial); Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Pete Hertz; Don Snekvik; Charlotte Snekvik; Kay Youngblood; Lynn Youngblood; Calvin George.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under mayor’s report, remove the sentence “These three people refuse to attend council meetings to discuss their requests”. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 11, 2010 as amended. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:
Supt. Griffin reported the only damage from the high river water was all the displaced bark at the park. Public Works want to organize a work party of volunteers to help move the bark back into place. There was discussion about possible solutions: chicken wire, ecology blocks. Not sure what will work.

There was more improper dumping at the chipper pile. They located him via the on-site video cameras and the police are in the process of making contact.

POLICE REPORT:

The river gauge was a great help with the floodwaters. It was very accurate. No surprises.
Ongoing dog issues: this January we’ve issued 3 infractions for dogs at large and a handful of warnings.
Durango just got out of shop with 105,000 miles. It’s in good shape. The Intrepid is in the shop and has some sensor issues and is idling funny. Still like to move forward with a more traditional patrol vehicle for small town community policing while there is still some value left in Intrepid.
Chief asked council to peruse his handout for the parks rules signs and offer him suggestions.

JFB REPORT:

Jeff Snook reported they continued discussions on the ambulance contract with the City of Pullman. Because of levy amounts in the rural districts, the City of Pullman would like to charge an additional $100 fee each time they come to Palouse.
EMS had 10 calls in December and 72 total in 2010. Fire had 1 call in December and 27 total in 2010.
The bids for the turnouts were as follows: SeaWestern (bid 1) $34,199.76 (bid does not meet spec.); L.N. Curtis $36,401.91; General Fire $38,988.69; SeaWestern (bid 2) $39,135.44. The Palouse JFB voted to accept the bid from L.N. Curtis as the bid that meets specifications. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Floyd to ratify the JFB’s acceptance of L.N. Curtis bid of $36,401.91 for turnouts. Motion carried unanimously. Clerk Beeson pointed out there will now be a budget amendment at next council meeting so JFB can spend their grant money.

Mayor appointed councilmember Milano as our third representative on the JFB. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, second by Councilmember Snook, affirming the mayor’s appointment of Mike Milano to the JFB. Councilmember Milano abstained and motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Re the Service Extension Policy (SEP), it is expected back from Atty. Bishop in early February for council review. The SEP will serve as a working policy and procedure document for anyone who wants to extend water to a new development. We meet those requests now but there is no official policy and procedure on that. With this policy, it will be very black and white. Discussion ensued whether the SEP will be part of our city code or a policy and what the difference is. Policy allows the greatest amount of flexibility; it’s not codified so it can be modified easier. Policies still have to go through council. Once we have a SEP, council will discuss further whether to codify any or all of it.

The WSP is required by the DOH and we are working with the DOH to complete it. Councilmember Newman is anticipating up to two years before completion. Costs are estimated upwards of $50,000, primarily for engineer. It’s a long, complicated, technical document. The water and sewer committee is currently reviewing engineer SOQ. In the next three months we will have our engineer hired and will lay out the plan. In addition to the engineer, we will use current city staff and consultants (like RCAC). When we go to DOH pre-planning meeting we can discuss grant money available. We will be doing asset and equipment inventory as well. Having the WSP in place will qualify us to apply for specific funding otherwise not available to us. We will have to update it every 5 years. Councilmember Wekenman brought up Andy O’Neill of RCAC telling the city not to be in a hurry to hire an engineer on this because RCAC would be able to participate enough to cut back on our costs. Councilmember Newman explained there are some sections of the WSP that MUST be done by an engineer. Andy O’Neill cautioned the city not to pay an engineer to produce documents that already exist. The DOH expects an engineer to already be hired prior to our preplanning meeting with them. Connie is optimistic we can come in under $50,000. She said our predicted water reserves due to pending rate adjustment can potentially be designated towards our WSP. Engineers are motivated because they also want to be chosen down the road for our larger projects like new water reservoir.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair:
Councilmember Floyd questioned the time it’s taking to respond to a street opening request received over a year ago. Clerk Beeson clarified it’s not a street opening, it’s an easement and it’s currently with Atty. Bishop. The issue is who owns the road. It has never been determined that the city even owns the road. The fact that it’s in the county may have something to do with the time it’s taking.

Committee met with Gloria Bennett of TIB. We identified a couple projects we’d like to move on: Where Mohr Street meets H Street (just outside elementary school) kids walk on Mohr Street because the sidewalks are in such disrepair. Mohr may need to be reclassified as an arterial. We would like to also reclassify West Whitman Street from Hwy 27 to Mill Street. By reclassifying these two streets, they could become potential projects for TIB. The definition of an arterial is a street that connects to a major hub (like the school). The third project is putting a multi-purpose pathway along Cove Road for residents of the South Hill to access downtown. There are no sidewalks and it forces people to walk along basically a highway. Once we hit Hwy 27, we would have to work with DOT.

TIB calls for projects in June, so prior to that we need estimates and definitions of what we want to do. Sidewalk safety and arterial reconstruction are projects TIB funds. Some consultants will give estimates for free. Councilmember Floyd MOVED for council approval, seconded by Councilmember Zehm to move forward on potential 2011 projects. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
When we closed CDBG last fall we made a loan payment of $40,000 to AWB for our outstanding debt for Breeding’s Addition sewer extension project. Our balance is currently approximately $12,000. This will be the third year we vote to extend the loan. Mayor would like council authorization to sign the note to extend it from 1/1/2011 to 1/31/2012. Councilmember Newman MOVED to sign the extension of the note with the balance of approximately $12,000. Seconded by Councilmember Milano. Motion carried unanimously.

Canfield & Associates is coming Feb. 8.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:29 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
December 30, 2010 Claims Paid Ck. No. 2900 & 2902 – 2907 $7,158.54
January 26, 2011 Claims Paid Ck. No. 2901 & 2908 – 2916 $9,115.23

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

January 11, 2011

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
January 11, 2011

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Randy Zehm. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Schorzman to excuse Councilmember Zehm due to illness. Discussion ensued about what the procedures are in terms of what is considered an excused absence. The city has no policy. Councilmember Newman thinks there should be guidelines. She will make recommendations to the Policy Committee. Motion carried. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Brian Dentler; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Pete Hertz; Mark Bailey; Joe Poire; Greg Partch; Kent Nelson; Logan Gorence; Galen Gorence; Paul Kimmell.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Floyd MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 28, 2010. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin reported on work. The Boy Scouts collected approximately 20 Christmas trees which they limbed prior to bringing to compost facility.

POLICE REPORT: Chief submitted the December activity log. There is a low turnout on dog licensing compliance so they are going to begin actively reminding people. Chief is getting estimates to develop signage for the park rules.

OLD BUSINESS:
Joe Poire from Port of Whitman County: The Port is requesting an easement to bring fiber-optics through Palouse. The project begins in downtown Spokane and ends in Clarkston. They are asking for a franchise agreement and presented council with a sample ordinance which could be used as a template. There is a grant involved in this project to anchor certain institutions. In Palouse they are the library and medical clinic. They still have to buy the service but it’s the Port’s responsibility through this grant to get fiber to them. Because they got in on federal stimulus money they have only 12 to 14 months to build this. This agreement is non-exclusive; the port will then lease the fiber out. This project is a fully bonded public work. While the project has not yet been engineered they are fairly certain that because of the rock in Palouse, they will have to saw cut much of it rather than boring. The main build will be underground. Mayor Echanove voiced his concern and affirmed that the engineers and contractor would have to work closely with the city. Councilmember Wekenman recommends putting it in under the worst sidewalks we have and putting them on a schedule for reconstruction. The Port wants this out to bid in 2 weeks, work to begin in April, completed by Thanksgiving. Attorney Bishop will work on the agreement and develop a plan to bring it back to council.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Gloria Bennett from TIB is coming tomorrow to meet with the street committee regarding using the TIB website and defining eligible projects.

Water & Sewer – Connie Newman, Chair: Reported she received a series of calls from Jim Farr. She referred his zoning question to Mayor and Clerk Beeson. John Eastburn has called her as well regarding street opening questions and about getting a water main to Nicole Wood’s property that he is interested in. Mayor has authorized Connie to communicate with him. Mark Bailey of the Planning Commission clarified that one of the primary tenets to request a zoning change is that you have “legal interest” in that property, meaning proven ownership, partial ownership or a legal share. Planning Commission asked John Eastburn for it 6 weeks ago and never received it.
Regarding our Water System Plan, Atty. Bishop is compiling data and will begin crafting it soon. Connie has begun reviewing the engineer SOQ’s. There is no timeline imposed by DOH; they just want to see us proceed with the plan. Connie wants to begin the asset inventory at the same time. Clerk Beeson reminded council that a lot of work for the WSP may be done free of charge if RCAC gets a grant to do so through the Dept of Health. She suggested not hiring an engineer until this is confirmed. The committee will move forward to put together a short list of engineering firms.

Policy & Administration – Norm Schorzman, Chair: Mike Milano is still working on the nuisance ordinance regarding noise and light pollution. Mayor reminded this committee to also discuss Councilmember Newman’s questions about defining an excused absence.

Personnel & Pool – Jeff Snook, Chair: Will be working with city staff soon to begin the process of hiring a pool manager. He is thinking we have several returning guards.

OPEN FORUM:
Greg Partch Whitman Co. Commissioner. The next Whitman County Mayor’s Roundtable is slated to be in Palouse March 10th. The subject is Open Public Documents Act. The Roundtable is sponsored by Avista and SEWEDA. Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow Greg Partch to continue speaking past the allotted 3 minutes. Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Pat Mason from MRSC in Seattle is going to speak about the records retention, public records requests and the open public meetings act. This is a great opportunity for elected officials to meet with their peers in Whitman County who share in civic responsibilities.

Paul Kimmell, Regional Business Manager of Avista Utilities. Avista believes in publicly recognizing those individuals who have provided exemplary contributions, achievements, and impact on their community. After reading aloud a letter, Paul Kimmell, on behalf of Avista, presented Mayor Echanove with their 2010 Avista Excellence in Local Government Award. The award is made to a local elected official in both Latah and Whitman County. In addition to the award, Mayor Echanove has the opportunity to award a $250 scholarship to a Whitman County high school civics/government teacher, program or activity to help promote local government, civics, and community service within our community. The mayor indicated he would be selecting Gar-Pal High School.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Planning Commission’s Findings of Fact for Proposed Breeding’s Addition Zoning Change. The City received a request from John Eastburn to rezone from low density to commercial Nicole Wood’s property in Breeding’s Addition. There was no official public hearing on this issue. At their regular meeting of Jan. 4, 2011, the Planning Commission reviewed the request and wrote their Findings of Fact for council. Mayor read aloud the findings of fact. For numerous reasons, the Planning Commission rejected the proposed zoning change. The city asked our attorney what it takes for someone to make a zoning change request if they don’t own the property. Atty. Bishop said the only two people who can request a zoning change are the owner or the agent of the owner who has legal authority by demonstratable proof. Mr. Eastburn in this particular case failed to show that he was the legal agent for the owner.

In hindsight, this zoning request should never have made it to the Planning Commission because of the lack of proof of legal interest. The procedure to be followed for zoning requests is as follows: a requestor of a zoning change must provide, to city staff, proof of legal interest in the property which will be verified by the city attorney. Once verified, it will go to council. Only council will decide if a zoning request goes to the Planning Commission.

Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman, to accept the Planning Commission’s Findings of Fact rejecting John Eastburn’s zoning change request.

Much discussion ensued about the numerous requests from Jim Farr, John Eastburn, and Nicole Wood regarding this same piece of property and the fact that some of these requests have been answered numerous times. Atty. Bishop advised Mayor to inform staff to respond to duplicate requests with the same response as last time. These three people refuse to attend council meetings to discuss their requests. Another request arrived today from Jim Farr which he wants on the next agenda and a written response from Attorney Bishop. Mayor and council advised staff to inform Jim Farr that today’s request will not be on an agenda and that the mayor will not instruct the attorney to respond to it in writing.

Mayor and Council discussed procedure for allowing addendums to council minutes. According to MRSC, there is no policy or state regulation; it is up to council as to how it is done. Accordingly, it is up to council whether written letters or statements be included in the minutes. Our minutes, like most cities in the state, use summary minutes, not verbatim minutes. Council agreed that the minutes should include action items and summaries. Minutes are not a political forum.

Frontier has high speed internet now. They are coming to Palouse this Friday and serving hotdogs and burgers at their office on the corner of Whitman and Bridge.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
December 2010 Payroll Paid Ck. No. 2850 – 2869 & EFT $41,959.67
December 2010 Claims Paid Ck. No. 2870 – 2886 & EFT $ 4,312.89
January 2011 Claims Paid Ck. No. 2887 – 2899 $18,768.82
VOIDED Ck. 2891
TOTAL $63,740.26

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

December 28, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
December 28, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; BI Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Connie and Norm are both out of town on family vacation.  Zehm is at home with his kids.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse all three.  Motion carried unanimously.  Public present:  Pete Hertz.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of December 14, 2010.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:
Superintendent Griffin is back to working 4-6 hours a day, light duty.
The VFD on the north hill booster pump was reinstalled from the damage done by a squirrel in August.
Don and Marc had 4 hours worth of chipping which took them more than 12 hours because of abuse at the chipper area.  Users aren’t separating their debris into proper piles; which then forces PW to separate everything.  They’re also dumping debris and garbage.  If this abuse continues, and the added man hours it takes, keeping the facility open will cost more than the city can afford.   PW has signs posted everywhere and permit holders are advised of how to use the facility; yet it’s still being abused.  New 2011 chipper/compost facility permits are available now and people are encouraged to report suspected abuse.

The Boy Scouts will pick up Christmas trees left near the streets on January 8th.

POLICE REPORT: 
Chief Neumann reported there were no weather-related accidents so far.  Chief gave a PD vehicle condition report.  While the Durango with 107,000 miles is sound right now, he suggests replacing vehicles reaching 100,000 miles.  The Intrepid isn’t marked for high visibility as it should be for community patrolling.  Rather than putting money into making it more visible he suggests replacing it first.  He will research possible grant funding.   The chief responded to a citizen question at the last meeting of why the city supplies each of our three officers with their own police car.  The main reason given was that as part of being on duty, they are also on call the remainder of the 24 hr day.  Not having their own police vehicle would greatly increase response time, and officers responding in their POV may increase the city liability.
Discussion about PD doorbell accessibility for notifying police if there’s a citizen at the office.  Chief said there has been discussion about a callbox and he would look into it.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:
Dan reported a good 2010 year: approximately 5 houses, a mobile home and a few pole barns. Palouse and county permits are both up a little right now.
Dan became a WABO certified accredited official.  The state legislature has been pushing to require that BI’s be licensed as such so currently the city is ahead of the curve.

OLD BUSINESS
Interlocal Agreement with Whitman County for preparation, adoption, and implementation of a joint update to the Solid Waste Management Plan .  Mayor referred to minutes of last meeting.  The city is required to update this plan every 5 years.  The county is offering the city to adopt their Interlocal agreement just like last time.  Pete Hertz said anything that has changed within the last 5 years is in that plan (chipper program, compost program, no burning, added equipment).  If the city wrote their own plan it would cost several thousand dollars.  Mayor read aloud the agreement in its entirety.  The city needs to obtain a reference copy once it is adopted.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to sign the Interlocal Agreement with Whitman County.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Discussion ensued about the lack of a recycling program.  The motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 884 – Adopting the 2011 Budget and Budget Message.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by
Councilmember Milano to suspend the rules of reading the ordinance.  The only change since the last version council received was lowering the beginning balance to Pump Maintenance Reserve.  No wage increases again this year other than minimum wage increase which only affects lifeguards.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ord. 884 as presented.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 885 – Increasing water rates, effective February 1, 2011.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , Councilmember Milano seconded to adopt Ordinance No. 885.  The base rate for water was increased to $23 for all uses and increased the overage rate to $1.25 for 600 cf or increment of.  This increase was necessary due to rates only being raised twice in the last 16 years.  Council will consider small, incremental raises yearly.  Joyce said she wrote the budgets bare bones, not taking into account the increase.  With the higher rate, we should have a committee meeting to go over the budget.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 886 – Increasing sewer rates, effective February 1, 2011.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Sewer rates increasing $3.00.  The school, as always, has its own special formula.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Wekenman to adopt Ord. 886.  Prior to tonight basic w/s, with tax and no overages was $49.81.  Effective Feb. 1, 2011, the basic rate for w/s will be $58.82, which includes the added rates for debt payment and reserve accounts.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair:   Has submitted a “wish list” of big projects to Mayor.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Going to begin 2011 looking at revenue sources.  One area is the RV Park and attracting more visitors.  He talked to DOT about the possibility of getting our RV signs on the highways.  Milano also reported that he sent an email supporting destination-based sales tax on manufactured homes.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Port of Whitman County sent a letter regarding bringing fiber-optic and broadband services to Palouse.  The Port is requesting an easement to bring fiber-optics to Palouse.  They are on the Jan. 11, 2011 agenda to speak to council about their proposed easement.  It appears that Frontier is getting more aggressive in these services, and we’ve got First Step, and now the Port project.  Currently the city, the PD, the library, etc., all get free internet service from First Step for allowing their hardware on some high spots owned by the city.

Brownfields Update – MFA is awaiting Ecology response to the cleanup options as submitted.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:31 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2830 – 2849       $5,639.82

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

December 14, 2010

SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
December 14, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent: Randy Zehm.  Also present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Brian Dentler; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse Councilmember Zehm’s absence due to work. Councilman Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Public present:  Jon Fleischman; Dave Mayhan; Lynn Youngblood; Kay Youngblood; Sharon Tharp; Mike Allen; Doug Willcox; Darrell Goertzen.

Public Hearing :  Final Public Hearing for 2011 Budget.  Mayor opened the public hearing at 7:02 pm.
Public had no comments.  Closed the Public Hearing at 7:03 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Newman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 9, 2010.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:     Supt. Griffin reported Don and Marc did a great job with all the snow in November.  Byron Hodges helped with the plowing due to Dwayne’s absence.  Snow removal is hard on equipment:  broken hydraulic lines, flat tires on back hoe, etc., but we’re ready to go.  Supt. Griffin is hoping to come back on light-duty in a couple weeks. 

POLICE REPORT: 
Chief Neumann submitted the November Activity Log.  Public service reminders:  Dogs must be leashed at all times if outside a secure fence; if within your yard, they still need to be secured.  2011 dog tags are now available at City Hall.

Chief Neumann discussed the department’s vehicles.  Right now their equipment is above standard.  The 2004 Intrepid is not ideal for small-town patrolling; would be nice to have a higher visibility vehicle.  Currently it’s valued at between $2,000-$4,000.  In January he would like to surplus that vehicle while it still has value and see what we can replace that with; not a new vehicle just upgrade and keep the fleet in good working order.  Chief Neumann will bring reports on all the vehicles’ conditions in January.  He will check for available funding like the $20,000 he was able to procure last time.

JFB REPORT:
Rick reported Fire and EMS have both come in under budget.  Utilities were way under budget due to the great condition of the facility.  The original furnace had to be repaired.  The new ambulance contract is still up in the air; the old contract will stay in effect until it is decided.  26 fire calls YTD.  Bid openings for the new turnouts are next month.  7 EMS calls this month, 72 YTD.  Jeff Snook is new JFB chairman, Ben Barstow is new Vice-Chair, & Rick Wekenman is new Secretary.

OLD BUSINESS:
Water & Sewer Committee 2011 Water rate recommendations:   Councilmember Newman and her committee have been consulting with Andy O’Neill of RCAC on a rate study.  She clarified that there are two separate budgets and two separate reserve funds.  It’s a WA State law that we balance our water and sewer budgets; we can’t spend more than we have.

SEWER:  Sewer rates have been raised three times since 2003 for a total of $5.00.  We are currently operating sewer at a loss.  The average monthly rate across the state of WA is $41.93, ours is $21.00.  W/S committee is proposing a base sewer rate of $24.00.  If we don’t increase sewer, our reserve balance will be gone.  A $3.00 increase will likely not increase the ending balance by much; it simply allows us to meet anticipated expenses and to break even.  Councilmember Floyd asked if we need to increase it more to build reserves?  Yes, we do but it was the opinion of the w/s committee not to try to do it all in one year.  The w/s committee recommends smaller, more frequent incremental increases in the future.

WATER:  We’re very proud as a council that we’ve been able to keep water rates so low for so long.  However, we are operating the water program at a loss.  The base water rates have only been raised twice in the last 16 years for a total of $4.00.  1994 – $13.50, 2003 – $16.50, 2009 – $17.50.  The water overage rate has only been raised one time in the last 16 years:  1994 – $.80 per 100 cf, 2003 – $1.00 per 100 cf.  Expenses consist of things such as numerous government regulations, requirements, and testing which also increases the amount of required man hours; supplies; and overhead.  Our carryover into 2011 will be approx $47,000, decreasing from $90,000 in 2010.  We’ve operated water services at a loss 5 of the last 10 years.  If rates are not increased, we’ll deplete our carryover.  The state average water rate is $31.50 for 1000 cubic feet compared to $21.50 in Palouse for 1000 cubic feet.

The committee has two options to propose:  Option 1 – raise the base rate by $5.50 and not adjust the overage rate.  A $5.50 increase per month, from $17.50 to $23.00, would most likely make us break even.  Option 2 – raise base rate the same amount and increase the overage from $1.00 per 100 cf to $1.25 per 100 cf.  The advantage to this plan is it would allow us to add to reserves for things like putting in a new water tower on the south hill; and developing a water system plan.  Option 1 solves balancing the budget.  Option 2 solves the budget and increases the reserve balance by approx. $9,000.  If we want the DOH to consider funding our WSP we have to promote conservation, which Option 2 does because heavy water users will carry more of a burden with overages.

Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to raise sewer by $3.00, raise water by $5.50 and raise overage by $.25 per 100 cf, effective Feb. 1, 2011.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Councilmember Newman publicly thanked Andy O’Neill of RCAC for his hours he put into this incredibly complicated study.  The committee put a great deal of thought into what was fair and to solve our immediate problems.  Clerk Beeson clarified that bills will still include the usual $1.00 SCI for infrastructure and the $5.00 for sewer reserve for debt payments.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS :
Ordinance No. 882 – Procedures for the adoption of rules to govern conduct in Palouse City Parks
Mayor and Councilmember Wekenman read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Chief Neumann said the park needs to be a safe place where people and families can be without being subjected to others cursing, being offensive, etc.  With this ordinance, we have an avenue to follow for offenders.  We’re looking to maintain safe parks and a way to back that up.  Violators are only trespassed [PMC 9.90.030] when they violate an earlier exclusion [PMC 9.90.020].  It’s progressive discipline.  Chief Neumann hopes they don’t ever have to use it.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to approve Ord. 882.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2010-18 – Rules of Conduct to be enforced within the Palouse City Parks
Councilmember Newman read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Newman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2010-18 with a correction to #13 to include the words “and except as approved by city staff”.  Councilmember Milano seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 883 – Cemetery Rates:   Councilmember Milano read the ordinance aloud in its entirety.  The ordinance would increase open and close across the board by $100, effective 1/1/2011.  At the Oct. 26, 2010 council meeting Councilmember Zehm explained the rate increase.  Rates haven’t been raised since 2001.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to approve Ordinance No. 883 as written.  Councilmember Snook seconded and motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2010-19 – 2011 Salary Schedule:   Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to adopt Resolution No. 2010-19.  The motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair :  Planning Commission wanted to touch base with council on nuisance laws as they pertain to odor, noise and light pollution.  The Commission thinks the definitions in the city code are vague and would like council to review.

Councilmember Floyd met with a representative from WSDOT concerning safety on Church Street/Hwy 272 bridge access.  WSDOT said in his experience it doesn’t pay to try and close off access; people will just cut the fence, go around, etc.  His recommendation was to post no trespassing signs (which state will provide).  That allows law enforcement to enforce no trespassing laws.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair :  Next month we’ll begin process of hiring 2011 pool manager.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair:   Councilmember Newman spoke of the State Auditor’s Office response to Jim Farr’s numerous complaints against the city.  The SAO determined them to be unfounded.

The committee will be moving forward in 2011 with the asset inventory for both water and sewer.  Also in January they will be scheduling meetings and interviews with selected engineers who are possible partners on our Water System Plan.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:   Has a liquor license renewal request from WA Liquor Control Board for The Green Frog Cafe.  No objections voiced.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  We have a balanced budget thanks to city staff for holding salaries and keeping expenses down.  We will continue to look at cost reductions, energy consumption, and ways to make facilities more energy efficient.  Mayor explained that for the next three years our insurance costs will include a state assessment for past premiums because the state determined that CIAW did not have a high enough reserve for potential claims.  Many cities across the state are affected by this assessment.  It is estimated that this adds about $1,500 to the annual fees.  Insurance costs are estimated higher than what they will most likely be.  The Mayor asked Councilmember Milano to speak with Frontier Telecommunications to discuss the possibility of better phone rates.

Had exit conference with state auditor regarding the 2007-2009 audit.  She had great things to say about city staff and the work being done.  There were no findings.  There was a recommendation that we work on developing a policy/methodology for tracking actual hours being charged to each department in payroll.  And also a methodology for breaking out M&R costs to the appropriate departments.  The full audit report is available at city hall for public review.

OPEN FORUM :  Dave Mayhan requested that the city hire an independent party to investigate the Palouse PD’s handling of his son’s case.  Mayor Echanove told Dave with all due respect that the city council has spent countless hours discussing this issue.  The Police, Fire, and Safety Committee already looked into the PD’s handling of the case and found no negligence.  This issue is now closed.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Mayor explained to council that we are required to update the Solid waste management plan and the Whitman Co. Department of Public Works is in the process of doing just that.  They are offering an Interlocal Agreement that would allow the city to adopt the plan that they develop like we did last time.  This plan must be updated every 5 years and if we don’t sign on with the county, we have to develop our own plan.  This agreement will be on the next agenda.

A reminder came from the Planning Commission that Robin Rilette and Mark Bailey need to be reappointed to the commission.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Newman confirming Mayor’s appointment of Mark Bailey and Robin Rilette to the PC.  Motion carried unanimously.    

In January, Mayor is going to set up free trainings for council and city staff with Canfield and Associates.

Brownfields update:  Mayor had a conference call with MFA to discuss the four clean-up strategies which will be presented to Ecology.  After tonight’s bills, there is approx. $21,000 left on the grant.

At the last scheduled council meeting we had no quorum due to four councilmembers being gone:  Schorzman, Snook, Floyd, & Zehm.  Councilmember Newman MOVED to excuse 3 of the 4:  Snook for illness, Floyd for vacation with advance notification, and Zehm for working.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Clerk Beeson requested City Hall be closed on Dec. 23rd as well as the state holiday on the 24th.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Floyd to allow City Hall be closed on Dec. 23.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:47 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid:  11/28/10:  Ck. No. 2731 – 2772                  $69,237.76
Payroll Paid:  11/30/10:  Ck. No. 2773 – 2798 & EFT        $44,026.84
Claims Paid:  12/15/10:  Ck. No. 2799 – 2829 & EFT        $18,794.35

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

November 9, 2010

SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
November 9, 2010

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Rick Wekenman.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Zehm, to excuse Councilmember Wekenman for work-related emergency.  Also present:  Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joe Merry; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Dean Huber, Gary Dicus, Darrel Goertzen, Mike Bagott, Darcie Bagott, Emily Bagott, Doreen Hanson, Kathy Wilson, Ami Kramer, David Mayhan, Cindi Mayhan, Karen Fealy, Lesa Neumann, Gerry Eickhoff, Dana Anderson, Kathy Vogeler, Bev Pearce, Linda DeWitt, Judy Finch, Wayne DeWitt, Tracy Milano, JoAnn Miller, Marie Dymkoski, Jeslyn Lemke, Paula Parkins, Jon Fleischman, Lisa Askins, John Askins, Lynn Youngblood, Karmin Jacobs, Quinton Jacobs, Cheryl Johnson, Mike Dymkoski, Steve McGehee.

PUBLIC HEARING :  Public Hearing for the 2011 Preliminary Budget called to order at 7:04 pm.  No comments.  Closed Public Hearing at 7:05.

Councilmember Milano thanked the citizens of Palouse for passage of the Street and Pool maintenance levies.  He then outlined the proposed budget and pointed out areas of concern.  The reserve balance in the EMS fund is nearly gone.  The EMS levy will be on the ballot in 2011 which, if passed, will help to build this fund back up.  The current rate structure in our water and sewer funds are simply not keeping up with expenses.  The reserves in these funds will be used up in the next year if we don’t increase revenue.  There is an estimated revenue drop of $325,000.  Appropriations are down by 22%.  The city staff hasn’t had raises in two years which is a troubling trend with the rise in the cost of living.  Clerk-Treasurer Beeson reminded all that this is a preliminary budget and is still under construction.  Councilmember Newman asked about the discrepancy between the JFB’s actual expenditures in 2010 and appropriations.  Clerk-Treasurer Beeson explained it’s because the fire department grant for turnouts won’t be spent until 2011.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Mayor Echanove reminded council that the minutes are written as a summary and are not expected to be verbatim. 
Councilmember Zehm asked that the 10/26/10 minutes under Police Report be amended as follows:  “Councilmember Zehm asked Chief Neumann a series of questions covering several topics. Q. You as an officer with over 20 years of experience, why did you not know to get a signed runaway form from the parents?  A. Eighteen years at my previous agency the dispatch center did that.  Q.  Have you been through Access training?  A. Yes.  I’m not current.  Councilman Zehm then informed the council that Access training informs you that a signature is required to have a child entered into WACIC and NCIC as a runaway.  Q.  Do you have cable TV at the PD and who pays for it?  A. Yes.  It is at no cost; it is provided by the same cable company that provides it for the fire station.  Q.  If the motorcycle program was brought in as a tool to reach out to kids, was this piece of equipment used to reach out to this kid? (in reference to Dylan Mayhan).  A. Excuse me?  Q. Do you play cards with city staff at city hall during the day?  A.  On occasion during lunch break. Councilman Zehm asked Chief Neumann if instead of playing cards he could have been out looking for Dylan Mayhan.  Clerk Beeson stated that this is not the proper venue for these types of questions.  Councilman Zehm stated that he had received these questions from members of the community.  The mayor then referred to Councilman Zehm as a deputy.  Councilman Zehm told the mayor that he is a councilman in this venue.  The mayor replied by saying, deputy.”

Councilmember Newman clarified that at the 10/26/10 council meeting she should have said she received two “concerns”, rather than two “complaints”.

Councilmember Floyd clarified for the 10/26/10 minutes that when he said “…working together with ALL the different agencies at one time” he didn’t mean that literally.  He also mentioned the success stories of the COPS program in Spokane.

Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 26, 2010.  Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT Chief Neumann submitted the police log.
Renewal of Law Enforcement Contract for Garfield .  The chief stated that there is no change in compensation for the first year, 1.5% increase for second year and 1.5% increase in the third year for this three year contract.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the contract with Garfield for police services.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Councilmember Zehm read aloud a statement he and Councilmember Schorzman wrote stating the reasons they oppose the contract with Garfield and their desire to go back to a 1-man police department.  Councilmember Floyd asked for an explanation of the term “community-oriented policing” in the contract.  Chief Neumann explained it as a small-town style of policing and interacting with the community.  Councilmembers Zehm and Schorzman voted nay.  Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS :   Whitman Co. Prosecutor, Denis Tracy:   As a result of community concerns regarding illegal drug use and other illegal activities at 320 W. Mohr Street here in Palouse, Denis Tracy asked to come to council in an effort to explain what his office does in general and to answer specific concerns.  Part of their job is prosecuting crimes in Whitman County, which in this case involves the Quad Cities Drug Task Force (QCDTF).   The QCDTF is a group of law enforcement agencies that investigate drug crimes in 4 different counties, including Whitman.  Mr. Tracy said he wants to assist in enforcing the law within the confines of his job but there are limits to what he can do.

A prolonged Q & A session followed between the audience and Mr. Tracy.  Mr. Tracy made it clear that if a particular criminal is having an inordinate impact on a community, he wants to hear about it because he will give their cases an extra level of scrutiny.  He will inform his office of these particular residents and the need for extra focus on them.  Further stating he has informed the QCDTF that his office won’t consider deals with these residents.  It was suggested by the audience that Sheriff Brett Myers be invited to council to hear concerns from the community.

Citizens voiced concerns about a burglary and stolen dog case that was sent to the prosecutor’s office involving the residents of 320 W Mohr St.  Mr. Tracy recapped that Palouse PD did an investigation, developed probable cause, and obtained a search warrant.  Because of a technical glitch in the search, the perpetrator was only convicted of possession of stolen property and sentenced to two months.  If he had been convicted of burglary he may have gotten up to 12 months.  The PA looked at all the facts, including the technical issue on the search brought up by the defense.   The prosecutor’s office advised that there was a risk that if they pursued a burglary conviction, it would’ve been dismissed on a technicality so it was reduced to possession.  Officer Merry explained this resident took the dog to enable himself to burglarize the house where he stole over $23,000 worth of property.  Officer Merry explained that when the Palouse PD forwards a case it’s because they are serious about prosecution and they made that clear to the Deputy Prosecutor they spoke to.  Steve McGehee asked who was in charge of the investigation of the burglary crime scene and what were the potential deficiencies in the search?  Mr. Tracy answered that there was a technical issue of the retrieval of the stolen guns.  He stated that he is in no way critical of the Palouse PD’s handling of that case.  Often they see technicalities with search warrants.

OLD BUSINESS :
Ordinance No. 876 :  Closing Cemetery Reserve fund 303.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  All funds held in the Cemetery Reserve Fund will be transferred to the Cemetery fund.  Cemetery fees shall be receipted to the Cemetery Fund.  Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook, adopting Ord. 876.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 877 :  Closing Contingency Reserve fund 312.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  All funds held in this fund will be transferred to Current Expense.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Ordinance No. 877.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 878 :  Closing Insurance Contingency fund 314.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  All funds held in the Insurance Contingency Reserve Fund will be transferred to Current Expense.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Zehm to adopt Ordinance No. 878.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 879 :  Closing Public Safety Building fund 323.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ord. No. 879, seconded by Councilmember Zehm.  Motion carried unanimously.  Clerk Beeson amended the ordinance to include a Section 2, stating all funds will be transferred to Current Expense.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to modify the ordinance as amended by Clerk Beeson.  Councilmember Zehm seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 880 :  Closing Public Safety fund 625.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 881 :  Amending certain funds in the 2010 annual budget.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Milano reviewed the budget message, stating that for the most part these are transactions necessary in closing the funds as voted.  Clerk Beeson said we are also making a $40,000 principal payment to the AWB loan and a $4,750 interest payment for the Interfund loan.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Ordinance No. 881.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 882 :  Review of establishing procedures for the adoption of Rules of Conduct in the City Parks; &  Resolution No. 2010-18 :  Rules of Conduct to be enforced within the City’s parks.

Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Zehm to table until the next council meeting the readings and work on Ord. 882 and Resolution 2010-18.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair:   Been talking with WSDOT to see if we can secure preventative access to the bridge on Church Street.  WSDOT is very receptive and looking to us for recommendations for solutions.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair:   W/S funds have been operating at a loss for the last several years.  The city has not been adjusting their rates to keep up with the rising expenses.  The committee will be making their rate increase recommendations at the next council meeting.  Andy O’Neill from RCAC will be here to speak.  The rate increases we propose at that point will get us to about the break even point.  As we develop long-term plans for the w/s programs, we’ll be looking at how to establish the appropriate money in our emergency and reserve funds.  Cheryl Johnson asked about the reserve fund charges already on our bills.  Clerk Beeson explained what is billed currently for the most part are making debt payments for the sewer plant and new city well.   A small amount being billed is to maintain the current water and sewer system.  A more in-depth explanation will be presented at the next meeting.

Mike Bagott stated he will be more than happy to pay the w/s rate increase.  He expressed his appreciation with council’s forward thinking on the Breeding’s Addition Project.  He appreciates people sticking their necks out and trying to make this town thrive and continue to grow.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair :  There will be a Fire board meeting next Monday and we will meet with Pullman to continue discussion regarding the ambulance contract.

Councilmember Newman reported the committee met two times over the course of the last two weeks.  They discussed and reviewed all the questions from the last council meeting.  They concluded the appropriate measures were taken in the investigation of Dylan Mayhan’s runaway case.  The Palouse PD invites any and all citizens who have any questions or concerns regarding this case to contact them and they will discuss the public details of this case and answer questions.

Councilmember Floyd asked if the committee discussed a COPS or Blockwatch program.  That is still on the agenda for their committee to discuss.  It was asked if the public can attend the committee meetings.  The committee meetings don’t have quorum so they don’t fall under the open public meetings act so it’s up to the committee as to whether to allow the public.  Some of the information is confidential, particularly regarding open cases or minors.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Councilmember Milano asked that committee chairs review the proposed budget.

Councilmember Newman MOVED to extend the meeting.  Councilmember Snook seconded to extend the meeting to 10:30 pm.  Councilmember Schorzman voted nay.  Motion carried. 

OPEN FORUM :  The mayor asked that questions from the audience be addressed to council rather than staff.

Gerry Eickhoff :  On behalf of Erik Newman, Gerry read aloud a letter written to Denis Tracy and the Palouse City Council.  In it he expresses his concerns regarding the Mohr Street house, asking what actions are being taken to rid Palouse of these people and their illegal activity.

Karen Fealy :  Stated her concern that people are using the recent tragedy in an attempt to oust our Chief, forgetting that all this was happening before Chief Neumann arrived.  She stated that as former police chief, Randy Zehm inherited this problem and Chief Neumann inherited it from him.  She accused Zehm of trying to get rid of the current Chief/PD so the sheriff’s office can have Palouse.

Kathy Wilson :  Clarified what she wanted to say last week.  She thinks the tragedy happened last week because of that house.  We don’t need to blame anyone but we do need to seek solutions to help resolve this issue.  She stated that all three Palouse police officers have worked diligently to stop the problem.  The community should not go out on a witch hunt looking for someone to blame.  She asked the council to speak with the city’s attorney about the possibility of deeming that house a city nuisance.

Dave Mayhan :  Asked why the Chief said “nothing to report” in his police report at a past meeting when his son was missing and he also asked who called CPS (Child Protective Services) on him.  Councilmember Newman tried to address Dave’s questions.  She stressed the importance of looking at the timeline concerning Dylan and the police department handling of the case.  Regarding CPS, no one within the Palouse PD or City Staff had anything to do with reporting Dave to CPS.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Liquor License Renewal for Bank Left Gallery – With no objections, it was approved by default.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS :   Councilmember Zehm asked about the payment to the Bank of New York Mellon.  Clerk Beeson explained it’s the sludge press loan.  Councilmember Zehm MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 10:27 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid      Ck. No. 2678 – 2695 & EFT        $37,469.94
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2696 – 2729 & EFT        $31,473.76

October 26, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
October 26, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson (7:30).  Public present:  Kathy Wilson; Karen Fealy; Pete Hertz; Jon Fleischman; Heather McGehee; Darrel Goertzen.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Zehm requested the following be inserted in front of the council motion under Phase 3 Brownsfield Agreement:  “Doug Willcox said that he thought DOH had already secured 90% of the funding for clean up and he thought that DOE would also cover the other 10%.  Councilmember Zehm asked if the specific type of clean up had been decided on because there were three different levels of clean up of the site described at a previous council meeting.  Mayor Echanove said this would cover the maximum amount of clean up.”  Councilmember Zehm MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 12, 2010 as amended.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:    Well # 1 is back in operation.  Repairs to the booster pump should be done next week.  They are making repairs to and winterizing the pool this week.  They are insulating water meters and getting equipment ready for winter weather.   Mayor Echanove informed council that Superintendent Griffin would be having back surgery Nov. 1 and will be down for 4 to 6 weeks.  He asked council to keep in mind that depending on the need, additional staff may be needed.  Supt. Griffin stated they should be OK without extra help.

POLICE REPORT :  HP is going well with just one broken window which was a non-malicious act.  October is Red Ribbon Week – Educating school kids on the danger of drugs.  Officer Dentler is back to full time duty with a limit on lifting.  Chief Neumann read aloud the press release written on the death of a 16-year-old male.

Councilmember Zehm asked Chief Neumann a series of questions covering several topics:  Q:  Was a signed runaway form completed?  A: Yes, Mr. Mayhan signed it at your office; it was faxed to me and attached to my completed form.  Q: Have you had “Access” training?  A: Yes, am not current.  Q: Do you have cable TV at the PD and who pays for it? A:  Yes, it is at no cost, as is common for other Public Safety facilities.  Q: If the motorcycle program was brought in as a tool to reach out to kids, how was the motorcycle used to reach out to this kid?  Response: I can’t believe you are asking that.  Q: Do you play cards with city staff at city hall during the day?  A: On occasion during lunch break.  Clerk Beeson stated that this is not the proper venue for these types of questions.

Councilmember Newman asked what the process is for citizens wanting to file a complaint.  A form can be downloaded from the VisitPalouse website or obtained by contacting city hall or the police department.  Once received, the complaint first goes to the employee’s supervisor.  If deemed necessary, it would go on to the Mayor who may then pass it on for review at council committee level.

Councilmember Newman asked if it would be possible for Chief Neumann to put together a report which outlines what his department did toward the search following the runaway report.  Resident Darrel Goertzen asked Chief Neumann what was done.  Chief Neumann recapped the department’s activities.  It was mentioned that perhaps a community policing program such as Blockwatch or Community Oriented Policing could be activated.  Several questions and answers followed from the gallery and council. 

OPEN FORUM:
Karen Fealy spoke of her concern for the tragedy in the Mayhan family.
Kathy Wilson spoke to council of her concern for the safety of her son, daughter in law, and grandchildren living on Mohr Street.  They have endured a lot from the neighbors next door:  suspected drug sales; drug busts; thefts; “bad people” in and out.  She truly believes Dylan would not be where he is today if not for hanging out at that house everyday.  She believes the city and the Palouse Police have done everything they can do but even so, this needs to be resolved.  Kathy has called the prosecuting attorney Dennis Tracy, the sheriff, and even the Quad Cities Drug Task Force who said they too are doing everything they can but it’s a catch and release situation.  Kathy is asking council to help her figure out what else can be done to get rid of these people for the sake of the children in Palouse.  Chief Neumann said they made three arrests at that house again just this week.  Councilmember Floyd suggested working together with ALL the different agencies at one time.  Councilmember Zehm expressed dissatisfaction with how Chief Neumann works with other police agencies.  Councilmember Wekenman is having a Police, Fire & Safety committee meeting and they will discuss Councilmember Floyd’s idea and hope to have something for the next meeting

JFB REPORT:   EMS budget issues.  The ambulance contract has always been split at 70/30 between cities and rural.  The joint board has asked rural to consider changing the split to 50/50.  Pullman’s initial proposal is a 4% increase every year for 4 years.  Property tax revenues only increase at a rate of 1% a year.  They will be meeting with Pullman to talk about the need to maintain the ambulance service but available funds are dwindling.  It’s not a service issue, just a budget issue.

The bids for the new turnouts were all rejected.  Options are being considered to rewrite the specs and put it back out to bid.

3rd Q TREASURER’S REPORT :  Councilmember Milano presented the written report for the third quarter.  C-T Beeson said that so far all the funds are well within appropriations.

OLD BUSINESS
Cemetery Rates – Councilmember Zehm explained that the cemetery has in the past been supplemented by the interest we make off the cemetery endowment fund.  In the last 3 years the interest rates have fallen from 5% and now were down to about 1/3 of 1%.  The rate charged for Open & Closing grave has not been increased since 2001.  Public Works goes into overtime for closing after afternoon services.  Raising the rates of openings & closings will help the city recoup the costs of manpower and equipment.  Councilmember Zehm has spoken with Mark & Robert Kramer as well as several other cities.  Our open and close cost, even at the highest weekend rate of $370 is low, compared to $525 the cities pay who contract with a vault company.  For clarification, the Cemetery Endowment fund receipts only donations, the sale of graves goes into the Cemetery Reserve fund and open & close fees go into Cemetery Operating.  Councilmember Zehm said that his committee recommends an increase of $100 to all four rates listed for Open & Close of grave.   Councilmember Newman MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Zehm, authorizing an across the board rate increase of $100 to the open and close rates, effective Jan. 1, 2011.  Motion carried unanimously.  Mark Kramer suggested having a section at the cemetery for urn burials in the future.  Supt. Griffin will talk with Mark Kramer about that.   Kramer said we currently have room for approximately 500 more gravesites which at the current rate of sale, should hold for many years.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Councilmember Milano spoke of how the EMS is working hard to tighten their budget and said that as part of the 2011 budget process, the finance committee recommends a $2,000 transfer from Current Expense to the EMS fund.

The water fund will start out 2011 with an estimated beginning balance of $49,000.  The current budget for 2011 shows an ending balance of $150.  The budget for this fund is still under construction since we are waiting for the recommendation from committee based on the water rate study RCAC is putting together.

Councilmember Milano reported that the finance committee met and there are several action items they recommend.  1)  A budget amendment is necessary to move the balance of the CDBG fund to Current Expense in order to zero out CDBG so it can close at the end of the year, as authorized by Ordinance No. 875.
2)  Line items must also be written and budgeted to administer the Brownfields ecology grant within Current Expense.  3)  A budget amendment is needed to make a principal payment to the AWB loan.  The principal balance is $52,000.
4)  Resolution No. 2010-17 authorized reducing the interest rate from 5% to 1% of the interfund loan from Water System Reserve to Sewer Capital Improvement.  The amount of interest that accrued at 5% is $4,750.  The finance committee recommends paying this amount of accrued interest to Water System Reserve.

Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to have Clerk Beeson draft a budget amendment for the transfer from the CDBG fund to Current Expense; and line item budgets necessary to administer the Brownfields grant within Current Expense.  Motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook, to have Clerk Beeson draft a budget amendment allowing the transfer of $4,750 to WCI; amendments as needed to make the interfund interest payment; and authorize amendments to allow a principal payment to AWB of $40,000 on the Breeding Addition loan.  Motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Milano explained that there are several funds that are either not necessary or have outlived their purpose.  The committee recommends that the following funds be closed and the balances be transferred as follows:  Cemetery Reserve 303 receipts fees for sale of graves and transfers these funds to Cemetery Operating; Contingency Reserve fund 312 receipts interest only with no expenditure lines; Public Safety fund 323 serves no purpose; Insurance Contingency 314 can be administered through Current Expense.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Schorzman, to draft an ordinance to allow us to close Cemetery Reserve fund 303 and transfer funds to Cemetery 103; Insurance Contingency 312, Public Safety Building 323, & Insurance Contingency 314 all of which any residual equity will be transferred to Current Expense.  C-T Beeson said there is one more fund to close, Public Safety fund 625, it has no money and does not appear on reports but has never been formally closed.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to amend his motion to include fund Public Safety fund 625.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:
When the question arose of why people arrested in Palouse never go to jail, Clerk Beeson reminded council of the discontent felt by council years ago with the prosecutor’s handling of Palouse’s cases.  At that time, council drafted a letter to the prosecutor.  Councilmember Zehm asked if concern should be directed to the prosecutor or the judge.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:07 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2665 – 2677       $60,561.48

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

October 12, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
October 12, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent: Jeff Snook and Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Sarah Morin, Heidi Reitmeier, Joanna Elder, Doug Willcox and Chris Ricketts.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Newman requested a change to the minutes of September 28, 2010.  Water & Sewer Report – Insert at the end of “Preliminary talk is of increasing water by no less than $4/month and no more than $7/month”  “… as one option.  Another option being explored is a tier system based on usage which would increase the rate for people who use more water.”  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended.  Councilmember Floyd seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin reported various maintenance activities.  Maintenance and repairs are underway on a sewer lift pump, well #1 pump, and the water booster pump.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann reported that they have been busy with mostly juvenile and dog problems.  Officer Dentler may return for light duty before the end of the month.  The Garfield contract and Park Policy are still moving forward.  Haunted Palouse plans are coming together.  Extra duty police may be called in as needed.

NEW BUSINESS :   LCSC Nursing Students’ Presentation:   Three nursing students from LCSC presented surveys, hoping to get 30 or so filled out by Palouse citizens.  The survey may help to identify needs in the community.

Palouse Planning Commission Request:  Health & Safety Code/Ordinance Review :  Councilmember Milano outlined a planning commission request for a possible answer on defining acceptable levels of “odor” and “noise” in Title 17, zoning code.  The commission has asked for the Police Chief’s input on what might be enforceable.  Mayor Echanove assigned the task to Policy & Administration – leave the code as written or write new language.  Palouse resident Chris Ricketts asked council if “light” pollution could also be addressed.   The mayor handed this issue over to the policy committee as well.

OLD BUSINESS
Resolution No. 2010-17:  Changes to the terms of interfund loans – Mayor Echanove read Resolution No. 2010-17 in it’s entirety and gave the table to Councilmember Milano who recapped past council discussions of the interfund loans for sewer extension to Breedings Addition.  The resolution as presented would do the following –

  • Forgive the loans and accrued interest from Current Expense and CDBG to Sewer Capital Improvement (SCI) since the funds are not restricted.
  • Extend terms of the loan from Water System Reserve to SCI to May 30, 2014, three years from the original date of maturity and reduces the earnings interest rate from 5% to 1% from the date of this resolution.

Council discussion included a question as to where future Breedings Addn. sewer connections would be receipted.  All sewer connections would still be receipted to SCI.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2010-17.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 875:  Closing CDBG Fund 198 –  Mayor Echanove read aloud Ordinance No. 875 in it’s entirety and again by title only.  Councilmember Milano recapped past council discussions on closing fund 198 CDBG.  The fund was opened in 1984 to administer two CDBG grants for homeowner loans for housing rehabilitation.  The grant closed in December 1987 and all program income as of that date was expended on various CDBG and council approved activities.  It was confirmed that all funds collected after the close out date may be used for any activity the city chooses.  This fund with the title CDBG creates confusion for our auditors, council and citizens.  Ordinance No. 875, if passed, would transfer the funds held in 198 CDBG to Current Expense and close CDBG effective 12/31/2010.  After discussion, Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 875.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Phase 3 Brownfields Agreement with MFA  –  Mayor Echanove and Brownsfield committee chair Doug Willcox recapped the Brownfields project Integrated Planning Grant (IPG) and the additional funding from an Ecology grant that allowed further testing and assessment of the contamination on the site.  This added funding of $48,000 has made it possible to expand the feasibility study to include a more comprehensive clean up strategy.  A clearly defined clean up strategy will greatly increase the probability of being fully funded at that point.  The Phase 3 contract would increase the contract with MFA by $48,000 at no cost to the city.  It does not increase the IPG since the additional funding of $48k was not charged to it.  After further clarification and discussion, Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the Phase 3 agreement with Maul Foster Alongi.  Councilmember Floyd seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :  Councilmember Zehm reported that his committee continues to gather data on cemetery rates and will include talking to city staff and Mr. Kramer.

Policy & Administration-Norm Schorzman, Chair : Councilmember Schorzman reported that his committee is making progress with the Park Use Policy and will have something to present to council soon.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair :  Councilmember Newman met with Andy O’Neil, RCAC, in which he reported on his progress with the water rate study his agency agreed to do for us.  It is the goal to have 2011 water rates adopted no later than the second meeting in November.  Andy would like to present his analytical data and answer questions at a future meeting.  In recapping her meeting with Andy, Councilmember Newman outlined three basic issues that are considered in setting water rates –

  • Financial Viability – Are expenditures smaller than revenues?  No, a rough estimate shows that in 2010 approximately $36,000 more will be spent than received.
  • Reserve Balance – Are there at least 45 days in expenditures held in the reserve (beginning & ending) balance?  Yes, however the balance is dwindling.
  • Emergency Reserve – Are there adequate funds held in an emergency reserve fund to meet needs as they arise?  No, since we do not have an adequate inventory of assets we cannot determine the amount needed to be held in reserve.   

These and other factors will be considered in setting the water rate for 2011.  As Andy will point out at a future meeting, another issue to address is that our current low water users are subsidizing the higher water users.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Councilmember Milano reported that they have been unable to have a committee meeting since last month.  They will be meeting to talk about the possibility of closing certain funds that seem to serve no purpose.  The funds being considered are Public Safety Building, Contingency Reserve, Insurance Contingency, and the Fire Safety Fund.

OPEN FORUM :  No topics

MAYOR’S REPORT :     USGS River Gauge Maintenance – With this contract, the total cost of maintaining the USGS rivergauge upstream is split 50/50 between the city and USGS.  The city share is $1,425.  It transmits real-time data on river flow and height.  After discussion, Councilmember Newman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the funding agreement for maintenance of the rivergauge near Potlatch.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Echanove reported that three requests for public record were made by Jim Farr and one by Steve McGehee.  Councilmember Newman asked that the requests be read into record.  Councilmember Newman reminded council and staff that the questions within these requests be separated and documented differently than an actual request for public record.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:42 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid      Ck. No. 2614 – 2634 & EFT     $42,331.16
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2635 – 2664                $21,224.66

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

September 28, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
September 28, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Rick Wekenman and Norm Schorzman.  Also present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Officer Joe Merry.  Public present:  Tracy Milano and Steve McGehee.  Councilmember Zehm stated that Norm told him he would be absent due to work.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to excuse the councilmembers’ absences.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Zehm requested that under Old Business-RV Park “compared to the rest of the state” be amended to “in researching some RV park websites”.  Councilmember Floyd requested that in the same section, “[Trees have been planted, fire pit is being constructed]” be stricken.  Mayor Echanove pointed out the correct spelling of Lynne Nelson.  Councilmember Newman requested, under Mayor’s report-Timeline of Wood/Farr requests for access, to include the date Nicole Wood declined the easement for private driveway.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 14, 2010 as amended.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin reported the “Stop” and “Stop Ahead” signs were installed on South River Rd at Union St.
Union St. will be getting one more lift of asphalt.  The fill removed from Union St. has been put on Park St. as it enters the cemetery to make the approach smoother.
With the paint finally available, they will be painting crosswalks.
Mayor Echanove informed council due to a diesel spill from a farm truck driven through town, the public works, police department and fire department all responded.  Mayor thanked all involved.  While the diesel leak was not a negligible act, the owner could be held liable for the clean-up costs.  The Mayor asked for council direction.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to authorize Chief Neumann to submit costs to the vehicle owner’s insurance carrier.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann reported that Palouse Day had a good crowd with no issues.  Officer Snead worked for a few paid hours.
The park rules are still being developed for both Palouse and Garfield.
The police contract is still moving forward.
Regarding the new stop sign on Union Street; the community seems to support it.
Officer Dentler is recovering well but not released by doctor yet.  He will go on ½ day in 3 or 4 weeks.

JFB REPORT :  Jeff Snook reported there have been 20 fire calls YTD.  The August wildfire was managed well due to good training and planning.  31 EMS calls YTD, 5 in August.  The ambulance contract is in works for next year and the FF turnout equipment specs are out to bid.

NEW BUSINESS :
Ordinance No. 874 – 2010 Budget Amendment :  Mayor Echanove read aloud Ordinance No. 874 in its entirety.  Councilmember Milano explained the ordinance, transferring $5,000 from Fund 322 Sewer Facility Reserve into Fund 321 Sewer Capital Improvement.  Expenditures did not exceed appropriations, however, revenues did not come in as estimated to meet budgeted expenditures.  Mayor read aloud the Ordinance by title only.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Newman to adopt Ordinance No. 874.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :  Committee will meet to discuss cemetery rates.  They will come back with a recommendation.  The times of the closings at the cemetery are still an issue with public works when they are scheduled during off hours.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair :  Regarding the street opening requested by Mr. Farr:  After researching, platting a city street would be the responsibility of the owner.  As owner of the property, the city has no interest in opening a street there.  The easement is Farr’s/Wood’s to use and file.  Councilmember Floyd is researching various funding sources and priorities for street and sidewalk improvements.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair :  Mayor Echanove, Councilmember Newman and Doug Willcox attended a DOH meeting.  We are collaborating with them to develop a water system plan.  The estimated costs are at $50,000.  PWB would offer 20-year loan on the costs, but the city does not qualify for the CDBG Planning Grant because the median income in Palouse is above the threshold.  The water sewer committee will be working with info we have to put together a summary for the Water System Plan.  DOH indicated that our rates are too low and can assist us with educating the community.  City staff will be meeting 9/30/10 with Andy O’Neill of RCAC to discuss his water rate study findings.  Preliminary talk is of increasing water by no less than $4/month and no more than $7/month.  Sewer has also been spending into its reserve balance for 8 of past 11 years.  We are anticipating an increase in sewer as well.  Steve McGehee questioned sewer fund spending and receipting.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair :  The PFS Committee met regarding Mr. Jim Farr’s official complaint against Chief Neumann.  They found no basis for his complaints.  Mayor Echanove concurred with the PFS committee’s opinion.  Councilmember Newman requested Mr. Farr’s letter be read aloud for the record.  Mayor Echanove read aloud the letter, the basis of which Mr. Farr claims his civil rights were violated when Chief Neumann ran a background check on him.  Councilmember Newman asked why Chief Neumann ran a background check.  Chief Neumann explained that Mr. Farr stated he would be coming to council meetings with a gun so Chief Neumann followed up with a background check and informed the sheriff’s office and Mr. Farr of his findings.  Mayor Echanove also read aloud the PFS Committee’s response letter.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Councilmember Milano explained that he will be talking budget at each meeting through year’s end.  Closing 198 CDBG Fund – Keeping with past council discussion, an ordinance is currently being drafted to close Fund 198 CDBG, transferring residual equity into the general fund.  It is best for closing funds to be effective at year end.  Residual balance in CDBG is estimated to be $45,000 at year end.  Councilmember Zehm spoke in favor of moving ahead with this.  Council directed Clerk Beeson to proceed with an ordinance to close CDBG.  Interfund Loan s – Councilmember Milano reminded council of the three interfund loans for Breeding’s sewer extension that will come due in 2011.  The loans from both Current Expense and CDBG could be a permanent diversion if council chooses.  The loan from the Water System Reserve fund must be paid back, however the sewer connections have not come in as anticipated.  The interest rate set by the original resolution is 5%.  Currently interest earnings are at less that 1%.  The recommendation is to draft a resolution that would make the Current Expense and CDBG interfund loans a permanent diversion, extend the term of the Water System Reserve loan to 2014 and lower the interest rate to 1%.  RV Park –  The approximately $3,000 residual money left unspent in the RV Park fund should be spent on the RV park as previously designated rather than moving to general fund.  Perhaps picnic tables or privacy screening could be considered.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
EMS asked permission to use the city gator for emergency stand-by on Shady Lane during Haunted Palouse.  Griffin said he would work with them.
Mayor Echanove explained that he and Doug Willcox would both be going to the Brownsfield conference.  The travel costs are expected to be around $500.  The costs may be covered by the integrated planning grant but that is not confirmed.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize up to $500 in travel cost reimbursements if these costs are not eligible through the Ecology planning grant.  Councilmember Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:13 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2599 – 2613       $11,998.00

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

September 14, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
September 14, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson (7:18).  Public present:  Jon Fleischman; Erik Newman; Connie Newman; Daye Mayhan; Steve McGehee; Doug Willcox; Pete Hertz.

INTERVIEW COUNCIL CANDIDATES: 
Two candidates submitted letters of interest for vacated council position #7:  Connie Newman and Jon Fleischman.  Both candidates were interviewed separately and asked the same set of questions.  After the interviews Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook to adjourn to executive session.  Motion carried.  Meeting was adjourned to executive session at 7:27 PM.  .

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:39 PM.
Mayor expressed how pleased he was with both applicants.  Next year there are a number of open council positions if one so chooses to be on the ballot.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to appoint Connie Newman to Palouse council position #7; seconded by Councilmember Snook.  Motion carried unanimously. 

SWEAR IN NEW COUNCIL MEMBER:  Mayor swore in Connie Newman as Palouse Councilmember position #7.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Zehm MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 24, 2010.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin reported they started the Union Avenue project last week.  PW should start putting gravel in this week and possibly pave around the 24th.   As reported last council, three weeks ago a squirrel shorted out the electricity on the booster pump and for some reason the surge protector didn’t work.  It’s at the factory still and we don’t yet know the damage.  It may still be under warranty.

Open sealed bids for surplus items :  Supt. Griffin opened at council the sealed surplus bids.  The city received two sealed bids for the 1987 Dodge pickup truck:  Steve McGehee bid $216.54; Dave Mayhan bid $150.00.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to accept the bid from Steve McGehee.  Councilmember Newman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  There was one bid for each utility box.  Steve Holbrook bid $109.47 for one box and $116.24 for the second box.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook to accept the two bids for the utility boxes.  7.8% sales tax will be added to all bids.  Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT: 
Chief Neumann reported Officer Dentler suffered an off-duty accident which will keep him off work for 6-8 weeks.  He will work on scheduling and may need some extra help, particularly for Palouse Days and Haunted Palouse.

Regarding Union and Bluff Streets speeding, they did several patrols in the morning and evening and witnessed nothing excessive in speed.  They talked to a couple residences in the area with children stressing that the street is not an area for kids to be playing.  Chief spoke with Councilmember Floyd regarding the stop sign idea; he would not be opposed to one at Union and Wall because of the traffic coming off the South River Road.  With the visibility coming from that direction, a stop sign makes sense.  Councilmember Floyd asked what time his morning patrol was.  The police patrolled between 7:15 and 7:40 in the morning.

Chief Neumann met with Garfield Mayor Pfaff about the contract for policing services.  Chief supports the proposed 3-year contract.  The contract wordage remains the same except the monetary compensation.  This contract will have no increase in 2011, 1.5% increase in 2012 and 1.5% increase in 2013.  Councilmember Floyd asked the reason for the dollar increase.  Councilmember Wekenman explained for the obvious reasons such as COLA, insurance premiums and all expenses in general.  Councilmember Zehm said 1.5% may not be enough of an increase.  Councilmember Milano explained that 4% was being considered over the course of three years so given the trend of reduced spending by the PD, 3% looks like it would work.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Wekenman authorizing Chief Neumann to negotiate with Mayor Pfaff and bring back a contract for council approval.  Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS
RV Park:   The Policy & Admin committee of Councilmembers Zehm, Schorzman, & Floyd met to discuss the RV Park rates.  Councilmember Zehm reported that compared to the rest of the state they found only one RV Park with lower rates, however our closest competition is Potlatch and we are higher than them.  With the Potlatch rate at $15, they suggest lowering our rate from $25 a night to $17.  Councilmember Milano explained the history of why we chose the rate of $25/night.  We also don’t want to compete with the Palouse Lion’s Club Park and what they offer.  Deputy Clerk Thompson questioned the need to consider lowering the rate since she has only received one complaint about the rate and it was from Norm Schorzman.  Councilmember Zehm said he asked some people and they said for the rate being charged, they expect amenities like picnic tables, fire pits, privacy screening and trees.  [Trees have been planted, fire pit is being constructed].  Councilmember Newman has spoken with Palouse RV Park users and they have been very pleased; their only complaint was they didn’t know we existed.  So perhaps the issue isn’t cost but just lack of awareness that we exist.  Councilmember Milano explained a little about why Potlatch’s RV Park has more users; according to Potlatch City Hall, their park has evolved into a long-term stay park.  For various reasons, including the 12+% leasehold excise tax we would have to pay, the city does not allow long-term campers.  Milano also explained that we have an obligation to the Main Street neighbors as well.  Clerk Beeson said this is our first full year so we don’t really know what our actual costs will be but as of current projections, 60% of the $25 rate goes to overhead like electric, water, sewer and garbage.  The reduced rate would leave very little for advertising and amenities.  Councilmember Floyd said after hearing these things, he is happy with the current rate and the proposed resolution.

Resolution No. 2010-16:   Adopting the RV Park Weekly Rate on the fee schedule for city services.
Councilmember Zehm MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Floyd to adopt Resolution 2010-16, setting the weekly RV rate to $150.00 (includes tax).  Motion carried unanimously.

Dave Mayhan wants to know why the RV Park can have a fire pit if he can’t.  It was explained to Dave that residential recreational burns are allowed as long as he complies with the rules.  The RV Park has to comply with the same burning laws as everyone else.

Brownfield’s Report :  Doug reported that the clean-up strategy and funding plan remain the main focus and things are moving along nicely.  The next focus will be economic and redevelopment planning.    

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair: 
Town of Wilson Creek contacted Randy regarding the survey he conducted for our Chipper/Compost Site.  They liked the survey and want to use it for themselves.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair:   As recommended at last council, Councilmember Floyd spoke with Supt. Griffin and Chief Neumann regarding traffic/pedestrian safety on Union Street.  Consensus seems to be that a series of stop sighs are not needed and more patrolling may be the answer.  Councilmember Floyd stated that signage would be beneficial in his opinion.  He would support a stop sign coming off South River Road at Union and Wall.  Supt. Griffin and Chief Neumann agreed.  Councilmember Floyd believes speeders may not be the issue as much as kids playing in the street, which is hard to stop.  If we put in a stop sign, people would be forced to be aware and slow down.  The current speed limit is 25 or 20 if children present.  Councilmember Newman strongly recommends also installing a “stop ahead” warning sign so there are no collisions.  She also encouraged council to drive by and check it out.  For various safety reasons, she definitely discourages a stop sign at Wall and Bluff but agrees to one at Union and Wall.  Councilmember Floyd MOVED to put a stop sign at the intersection of Union and Wall, off of South River Road, heading from east to west.  Councilmember Newman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair:   The finance committee met with Joyce last week to discuss the budget and fund housekeeping.  The RV Park Project budget has a little over $3,700 left unspent.  He would support rolling that back $3,500 to the general fund, and the remainder going toward the fire pit project.  The hope is with future revenue we purchase picnic tables, and other amenities.  Little Peoples Park Project has budgeted money to replace the pea gravel at the park with wood chips, and will be raising funds for added playground equipment.  The committee discussed closing out certain unnecessary funds within the city budget.  For example, the Cemetery Reserve fund only collects certain cemetery fees and transfers them to Cemetery operating as budgeted.  Cemetery operating could receipt these fees directly.  He listed a few other funds that will be looked at.

Councilmember Milano explained that the Sewer Capital Improvement (SCI) Fund 321 is in trouble and turned the floor over to Clerk Beeson.   She explained that the balance in SCI dropped into the negative at the end of August.  Expenditures did not go over budget however revenues did not come in as estimated.  Clerk Beeson suggested transferring $5,000 from the Sewer Facility Reserve Fund 322 to SCI Fund 321.  Councilmember Milano MOVED for Clerk Beeson to develop a budget amendment allowing a transfer of $5,000 from 322 to 321.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Breeding’s AWB loan matures Feb. 1st, 2011.  While Tim at the bank said the loan date could be extended, we need to act in paying down principal.  Our funding option for this would be to use the funds held in 198 CDBG.  We would need to put together a procedure to close the CDBG fund and the use and transfer of residual equity, which is expected to be about $45,000.  This would go a long way toward paying the AWB $52,000 loan and greatly reduce the interest expense that SCI is paying.  Councilmember Zehm asked where the CDBG money came from and if it was there why we didn’t use it sooner.  Clerk Beeson handed out an explanation and history of the original CDBG program.  The grant closed in 1987, and the residual money that came in before the closure date was just under $47,000.  This amount was designated program income and councils between the years of 1988 and 1993 used this amount in various eligible projects that were approved by the Department of Community Development (DCD).  It was confirmed by DCD that the program income had been spent and reported that any income after 12/29/1987 may be used for any activity the city chooses.

OPEN FORUM :
Dave Mayhan requested a speed bump on Whitman Street near his house.  He claims that people speed by his house all the time, one driver in particular.  Councilmember Zehm told Dave that we can’t actually put a speed bump across Whitman Street.  Mayor said we can ask the Chief to do some emphasis patrol there.

Dave Mayhan then asked the council exactly what Chief Neumann told the city council to get the trespass on his son Dylan.  Chief explained that he didn’t address the council on a trespass because Dylan is a minor.  Chief explained that he would be glad to discuss the topic with Dave at the P.D. but he can’t address it in public.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Planning Commission is working very hard on our zoning and comprehensive plan.  Mayor asked council for a vote affirming the appointment of Lynn Nelson to the Planning Commission.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Schorzman confirming the mayor’s appointment of Lynn Nelson to the Planning Commission.  Motion carried unanimously.

Conferences coming up: IACC in October at Wenatchee.  Clerk Beeson will be going.  CDBG program has several million funds available through various grants.   They have a pre-application workshop in Moses Lake October 5th which Clerk Beeson will be attending.  There may be a grant available for putting together the water system plan.

City staff received more PRR’s from Nicole Wood and from Jim Farr the last few weeks.  Mayor read aloud portions of one of Jim’s letter.  Councilmember Zehm asked if the city had any liability with the rock pit; no not a city issue.  Nicole has been emailing with the Planning Commission regarding putting in a mobile home court on her property in Breeding’s Addition.  Mobile Home courts are not permitted in low-density.

On August 8, 2010, Jim Farr requested the city grant him easement for access and utilities off of Fairview Avenue to the rock pit block.  The city had our attorney put together the easement and it was presented at the August 24th council meeting.  Later, Nicole Wood and Jim Farr informed us that they no longer wanted a driveway but rather a city street.
Councilmember Zehm asked if a street opening was even a legal option for Farr/Wood.  Could we create a street and what is the process?  Doug Willcox said there has to be a process where anyone can set about getting a street platted.  The applicant would have to bear ALL the costs of the process and they would have to deed to the city all rights-of-ways.  In this case the property we’re talking about is already city-owned and there is no motivation from the city side to open a street to a dead end when it’s already city-owned.  Since the city owns the property it may be legally impossible for him to open a city street.  He will immediately come upon the issue of the ownership of the property in question.  Councilmember Newman said this isn’t an issue of access as much as who’s going to pay for the road to their driveway.  After discussion it was decided that Councilmember Floyd would look into the process and talk with the appropriate authorities.  The response to Farr-Wood would be handled through him.  Councilmember Newman requested the timeline of the request for access by private driveway and then the request for city street be listed in the minutes.  The timeline is as follows:
7/27/2010 – Jim Farr request approval of private driveway off Fairview.
8/10/2010 – Jim Farr clarified his request for access off Fairview.
8/10/2010 – Council agenda item.  Council voted to instruct the city attorney to put together easement.
8/17/2010 – City Hall updated Farr-Wood on the progress of the request for access.
8/23/2010 – Jim Farr requested a street opening instead
8/24/2010 – Attorney Bishop gave council the easement for access and utilities that could then be sent to Wood to file.
9/14/2010 – Street opening request on agenda for discussion.

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 Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:39 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid      Ck. No. 2532-2559 & EFT           $47,808.57
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2560-2598                     $74,869.57

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

August 24, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
August 24, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent: Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Connie Newman; Jon Fleischman; Dave Tharp; Doug Willcox; David Mayhan; Steve McGehee.

Councilmember Zehm MOVED , seconded by Councilman Milano to excuse Rick and Jeff from tonight’s council meeting.  Motion carried unanimously. 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Under the open forum, Mayor amended the minutes to say the following:  “…there are houses in town with the opposite problem…”  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 10, 2010, as amended.  Councilmember Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:
The pool is closed.  They will make the pool restrooms available for Palouse Days again this year.
The temporary summer position has been a great help with getting caught up.
In regards to the water pressure complaint on the South Hill, Supt. Griffin went around with a gauge and checked the pressure at the various meters.  The pressure averages about 35 psi when the pump is not running and about 45 psi when the pump is running.  While a water reservoir on south hill would certainly increase their water pressure, funding for the project is years out.  Supt. Griffin said the homeowners have a responsibility to do what needs to be done on their end to be able to maintain the same water pressure to their home and yard that is available at the meter.

Because of a shortage of striping paint, the crosswalks and parking lines probably won’t be done by Palouse Day.

Supt. Griffin requested permission to surplus the 1987 ½ ton Dodge Pick-up and two utility tool boxes.  The city purchased the pick-up new in 1987.  It needs some work.  The two utility tool boxes are in excellent condition but they no longer have a need for them.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilman Milano to surplus the 1987 Dodge Pick Up and two utility boxes.  Closing date for sealed bids is Sept. 13, at 5 pm.  Bids will be opened & awarded at Sept. 14th council meeting.

NEW BUSINESS :
Resolution 2010-17:  Fire District #4 membership in the CIAW .  Steve Witthuhn of AIA Insurance reported that the insurance pool through CIAW of which the city is a member will no longer allow the Fire Board as an associate member.  This is now a requirement for all associate members across the state.  The JFB must join the insurance pool as a separate entity from the city.  The Joint Fire & EMS Board voted to become a member of the CIAW insurance pool so they could renew their policy.  If this doesn’t pass, the FD will have to find other insurance for coverage beginning September, 2011.  Steve Witthuhn asked that the resolution before council (2010-17) be tabled because the language may need to be corrected.  On a related matter, the assessment handed from the state auditor’s office does not affect the JFB.  The city can expect to pay, over the next 3 years, 3% of the premium paid for the years of 2004 through 2006.  Resolution No. 2010-17 was tabled.

OLD BUSINESS
Resolution No. 2010-16:   Amending the 2010 fee schedule to include an RV Park Weekly Rate.  Last meeting, council approved a weekly RV rate of $150.00 (includes tax) and asked that the fee schedule be amended.  Councilman Schorzman stated that he has heard from potential patrons that our daily rate of $25 is too high.  He wants a committee meeting to discuss this before adopting the amended fee schedule.  Resolution No. 2010-16 was tabled.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair :
Councilmember Floyd is concerned with speeders on Union & Bluff Streets.  He recommends putting up stop signs about every other block along both Union and Bluff streets.  Supt. Griffin said Union Street is a main arterial street on south hill and the placement of stop signs could be an issue for many residents.  Cecil would like to research this and gather input from council, police dept. and public works.  He will have a report at the next meeting.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Councilmember Milano wants a meeting with his committee.  There are several finance issues that should be addressed.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Regarding the Water System Plan (WSP).  The WSP will be a long-term project which we will seek external help with.  Atty. Bishop clarified that Palouse isn’t alone in its lack of a water system plan.  Small towns and cities across the state don’t have water plans because of their huge expense.  Tekoa just finished theirs and it was in excess of $50,000.

In the short term the city needs to adopt a Service Extension Policy (SEP).  The SEP will make the process very predictable for anyone who wants water/sewer, whether it’s to 1 or 100 hook ups.  City Attorney Bishop has begun the work on Palouse’s SEP but he would like some technical assistance from an engineer he has worked with on similar projects.  He estimates the engineer’s fee for this at around $1,000; if more, he would hold off and run it by council.  Stephen clarified that he can do this without the advisement of the civil engineer but that the policy would not be as comprehensive.  Councilmember Zehm asked Joyce how it fits into our budget.  Currently, WCI fund has a balance of $13,000.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to allow Attorney Bishop to pursue technical advisement from an engineer of his choice for our service extension policy, spending up to $1,000.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

– Mayor Echanove would like to put together a water/sewer committee, not unlike the Brownfields Committee.  He would like it comprised of Fire Chief Bagott, Supt. Griffin, Doug Willcox, Andy O’Neill, Atty. Bishop, and local citizens.  W/S has a lot of important things going on right now:  the SEP, the WSP, the rate study, etc.

– Doug Willcox reported MFA conducted additional sampling and continues to work on their site analysis with DOE.  Reminding council that about 2 months ago we secured that extra $48k grant funding that allows a more thorough analysis.  Since then, MFA has gained a more specific understanding of the contamination and potential cleanup strategies that will be looked at.  This new work reduces the risk the city will have if acquiring the property.  Atty. Bishop stated that the city really needs to know what’s under there before taking title of the property.  The additional testing this grant allowed eased his worries greatly about the potential of finding large amounts of unforeseen contamination in the cleanup process.  Once testing at the river’s edge is done, MFA can move forward to data analysis and study of cleanup options.

– There have been three interested parties for the Planning Commission.  The Mayor was able to confirm interest with only one of the interested parties.  The Mayor then appointed Chris Hallan to one of the vacant positions on the PC.  He will appoint the second person once he has confirmed their interest in serving.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilman Milano, confirming the Mayor’s appointment of Chris Hallan to the Planning Commission.  Two people from the audience vouched for Chris as a good person for the position.

– At the last council meeting, Jim Farr requested access off of Fairview and through city owned land to his property, and council voted to approve, instructing Atty. Bishop to prepare an Easement for Access and Utilities.  Bishop presented the document to the Mayor and he read it aloud.  Once signed, it will go to Nicole Wood to be filed with the county if she chooses to.  Bishop stated that because just a driveway access has been requested, the specifications for opening a city street do not apply.  The mayor reported to council that just this week, Mr. Farr has requested that instead of a driveway access, he would like to open a city street.  After discussion it was decided that a north-south street is not platted where the access is requested.  The mayor requested approval from council to move forward by signing the easement that Atty. Bishop prepared.  For clarity it was stated that the sewer extension will come from the existing wye, and extended across city property.  Once the extension is complete and accepted by the city, it will be owned and maintained by the city.  Councilmember Floyd MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the Easement for Access and Utilities as originally requested by Jim Farr.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

– Jim Farr also left some pictures of the rock pit for council to look at.  The mayor stated that his issue was discussed over a year ago and it was determined that the city has no involvement in the matter.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:31 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid      Ck. No. 2452 – 2479 & EFT         $49,359.29
VOIDED           Ck. No. 2469
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2511 – 2531                  $  5,744.50

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

August 10, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
August 10, 2010

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:09 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Mike Milano; Rick Wekenman; & Doug Willcox.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Jeslyn Lemke, David Lee, Sean Colligan, Nicole Wood, Doug Willcox, Bruce Beeson, Bev Pearce, Jon Fleischman, David Mayhan, Dixie Reber, Patti Green-Kent.

Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Floyd to excuse the absences of Councilmembers Wekenman and Milano.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Mayor stated he would speak of Councilman Marcus later.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 27, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
David Mayhan claimed the Mayor allowed Chief Neumann of the Palouse PD to violate his son’s rights when they trespassed him from the Palouse Park due to his criminal activity there.  Mayor Echanove stated he has no update or further comment.

David Lee reminded council of the low water pressure issue on certain areas of the South Hill.  There are times when the pressure is adequate and then it goes away.  Mayor explained this issue is a reflection of the 100 year old water reservoir on the North Hill which needs to be replaced.  One solution is to put in a new reservoir past the cemetery but this would be upwards of $500,000.  In 2009 the city submitted that project for some federal stimulus money but didn’t get it.  Supt. Griffin said the highs and lows in water pressure up there are due to usage; that whole area is gravity flow.  We’re not in any violation of DOH codes.  Councilmember Zehm asked if the reservoir is the only option or just the best option.  Mayor said the pressure is not uniform; there’s a house up there with the opposite problem – too much pressure.  Doug Willcox said homeowners can buy a booster pump that will take minimal supply pressure and boost it up to a suitable pressure.  Engineering work needs to be done to study this storage issue on the south hill.    

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Public Works completed their construction work at the flat house; Woltering Construction has poured the walls.  Our extra helper is working and doing a great job.  We trimmed trees on school bus routes.  Chipper was here last week.  Pool is going well; park is busy.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief submitted the police log.
Chief also submitted a sample Seattle park policy that he will use in writing Palouse’s park policies regarding regulations for park use.  Dave Mayhan argued that the Chief can’t compare Palouse Park rules with a city like Seattle.

Regarding the wedding at the park with alcohol, there were no incidences and the area was cleaned up afterward.  We may want to regulate music, perhaps not allowing amplified music after 9:00 pm.

NEW BUSINESS :
Patti Green Kent spoke on behalf of Nicole Wood’s land-related issues.  She asked when the city is going to adopt guidelines for service extensions.  Mayor agrees on the need for a policy.  However, the city has worked very hard with Nicole Wood and her agents, for the last 2.5 years.  Patti stated that other people have been allowed to install water service to their property with more than one platted lot.  The Mayor reminded Patti and council that the four city blocks were talking about has requested several services, not just one like the Kessler’s did.  He then showed actual requests from them and the city responses.  The mayor also reminded everyone of a meeting with the DOH on December 11, 2009 and another workshop meeting on 2/16/2010 attended by both Patti and John Eastburn.  It was made clear everything that was needed to develop that land.  Mr. Eastburn followed up with a letter stating his understanding of what needed to be done and that Munir Daud would be contacted to begin the plan.  They have been told numerous times that they have to have an engineered water plan.  Having a water system plan would make it easier and probably cheaper for the engineer, but it still must be done and submitted to DOH for approval whenever more than one service is called for.

The water system plan will provide for a main line system and when a developer has questions, there will be something on paper to hand them.  Patti stated that Nicole wants to sell a couple parcels; she’s not acting as a developer.  Mayor responded that she doesn’t have to develop it, but before development begins the water plan must be approved by the city and DOH.

A Waster System Plan is an overall hydraulic analysis that goes into our general approval plan from DOH.  A Service Extension Policy spells out requirements in detail such as sizes of pipe, type and brand of meters and other specific requirements such as engineering.
Councilmember Zehm read aloud, at her request, a letter from Nicole Wood.  In it she discusses her dissatisfaction with the water/sewer issues with her property.

Private driveway approval for Jim Farr :  Jim Farr wants approval for a private driveway from Fairview across the newly acquired City rock pit property as indicated in yellow on map.  Bruce Beeson suggested the city needs a legal description and shouldn’t have to pay for it.  Mayor recommends a motion that we approve access across the city property to the rock pit pending legal description from Atty Bishop.  Specifics of access will be in attorney’s paperwork.  If Stephen Bishop will do it under retainer, the city will do it; otherwise the applicant pays for it.  The city has road specs that need to be followed if it is for a street opening.  Councilmember Zehm MOVED to send to attorney for development, an agreement for access off of Fairview and through city owned property as requested by Jim Farr, understanding any legal costs will be assessed to Jim Farr.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded.  Councilmember Zehm amended, second by Councilmember Schorzman, to learn of any associated costs beforehand and if so, signed approval from Jim Farr prior to agreement.

2nd Quarter Treasurer’s Report
After 6 months, we’ve only spent 32.6% of our budget which is great.  Everyone is cutting costs as much as possible.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Floyd, to adopt the 2nd Q Treasurer’s Report.  Motion carried unanimously.

RV Park – weekly rate fees :  There was discussion on having a weekly rate at the park to encourage RV’ers to stay a few extra days.  City Hall gets frequent requests for a weekly rate.  After discussion, Councilmember Snook MOVED to amend the fee schedule to include a $150 weekly (seven nights) RV rate.  The current charge is $175.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Utility Service Extension Policy – It is clear this needs to be done ASAP.  We will work through Stephen Bishop using a policy that he has already given an extensive legal review and was drafted by an engineer for technical information.  We could make fast work of this at no great cost to the city.  First call is to Stephen to put him on the mission.  Councilmember Floyd MOVED to proceed with writing the Service Extension Policy.  Councilmember Zehm seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Small System Water Plan – This item, on the other hand, is not done either quickly or cheaply.  The cost projection is $35-$50 k.  We can spread the process out over time to make it more affordable.  Once adopted and approved it must be updated every 5 years.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to begin the selection process for professional services to develop a water system plan for the city.  Councilmember Floyd seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Doug Willcox reported MFA will be here Thursday for a meeting to discuss the preliminary conclusions of the on site sampling just completed.

Mayor has received interest from a couple candidates for the Planning Commission.  He is not prepared to make a selection.

Mayor read aloud a letter from Councilmember Marcus.  He has to regretfully resign due to a very serious medical condition.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , second by Councilmember Schorzman to accept the resignation of Councilmember Marcus.  Mayor asked Ann to put out a call for applicants for a new councilmember, due by 5:00 p.m August 31st.  Water and Sewer Committee is now going to need a strong chairman or chairwoman.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:18 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2480 – 2510      $66,346.47
VOIDED           Ck. No. 2486

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 27, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
July 27, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Cecil Floyd.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Zehm excusing Councilmember Floyd from tonight’s meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.  Public present:  Lynn Youngblood, Greg Pearce, Bev Pearce.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Regular Council Meeting of July 13, 2010 .  Under the “alcohol use at city park”, amend the minutes to reflect that Councilmember Zehm voted no.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of July 13, 2010.  Councilmember Marcus seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin reported:

  • The new pool ladder has been installed and we have heard positive comments.
  • The county completed Fairview Avenue work.
  • DOH was here last week and did a sanitary inspection of our well heads and both reservoirs look good with just a minimal amount of work to do.
  • Road oiling for the year is complete.
  • Our new 2004 truck is now in service.

The wall near the ramp entering the flathouse has failed and needs to be repaired ASAP.  We got a bid from Woltering Construction for $3,350 + tax.  The Palouse Chamber of Commerce graciously offered to match 50% up to $2,000.  We are only required to get one bid for this work.  Building Inspector Gladwill said their proposal is an excellent fix for this situation.  Price includes buttress wall.  Woltering Construction will send ½ the bill directly to the Chamber.  The ramp is not drivable anymore; it’s not safe.  Floor joist work will be needed as well; PW will have to do some carpentry work.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , second by Councilmember Schorzman authorizing Dwayne to proceed with Woltering Construction for $3,350 + tax, with Chamber paying 50% match.  Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann reported:

  • Bluegrass Festival this weekend; same setup as last year.
  • The park vandalism issues seem to have resolved themselves.
  • The PD received a notice on the DOJ Bureau Assistance grant for the purchase of the motorcycle stating that the audit is complete and Palouse is in compliance with the grant.

Councilmember Zehm stated that he spoke with the county prosecutor who stated that the prosecutor did not authorize a letter of trespass regarding the park vandalism as Chief Neumann reported in the June 22, 2010, minutes.

Councilmember Zehm questioned the length of time it took the PD to give Dave Mayhan an evidence receipt for his BB gun; Chief said it was a simple mistake.

Councilmember Zehm questioned the Mayor’s responses to his concerns regarding the PD.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:
BI Gladwill got a $2,500 grant from WABO to attend the Final Action Hearing for the International Code Council in Dallas representing Palouse on the national level for the building codes. He spent 4 days in session voting.  It’s good for small jurisdictions to go over there and vote because it keeps it real.  Industry tries to get their products required by code to get their product on the market.  Dan tries to vote that stuff down unless it’s a mandatory life/health/safety issue.

Palouse has been keeping Dan busy the last few weeks; just did a final inspection on a new build.

Dan offered, if necessary, to take a budget cut to include his pay for the greater good of the city since building income has decreased in the past few years.  Councilmember Milano will speak to Clerk-Treasurer Beeson about his generous offer.

OLD BUSINESS
Ordinance No. 870:  An ordinance adopting the property tax increase for collection in 2011 .  As discussed at the public hearing last council, Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Mayor asked Deputy Clerk Ann to clarify for the minutes the definition of banked capacity.  The dollar amount increase over the actual levy amount for the previous year shall be $1,069 which is an increase of 1%, the maximum allowable by law.  The levy will also increase by $7,350 which is the city’s banked capacity that has built up from previous years but has not yet been levied to the taxpayer.  If we don’t actually collect the highest lawful levy amount that we are due, that levy capacity is then banked.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Ordinance No. 870.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 871: Adopting the property tax increase for EMS for collection in 2011 .  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  The increase of 1% over last year’s levy is $169.  The EMS needs to stay current with their supplies so they can offer the best services possible.  Supplies and ongoing trainings are expensive.  Bev Pearce stated that the donations and this $.365 per $1,000 of assessed value is what keeps EMS going.  The EMS levy is a voter-approved levy but state law allows them to be in effect for 5 or 6 years.  Councilmember Milano MOVED, second by Councilmember Marcus to adopt Ordinance No. 871.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2010-15:  an ordinance setting a one-year excess property tax levy which will be used for operation and maintenance of the swimming pool.   Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  The resolution proposes to impose an excess property tax levy upon all taxable property within the city in the amount of $28,000 an estimated $0.610 per $1,000 of assessed value in the year 2010 for collection in 2011.  Roughly $14,000 has to come out of the general fund to cover the total operation and maintenance of the swimming pool expenses over the levy amount.  Councilmember Milano projects we’ll see a minimum wage increase so there will be added salary expenses next year.  Councilmember Snook would like to open 2 weeks later again next year like we did this year because that saved approximately $4,000.  By opening two weeks later there is no loss of revenue in swim lessons or pool parties, etc.  Councilmember Zehm spoke against an increase for at least another year.  The city will need a 60% voter approval on this levy.  If the levy doesn’t pass, we are essentially unfunded for pool operations next year so pool may not open.  Councilmember Zehm stated if the levy fails in November, there could be another vote in the spring.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Snook to adopt Resolution No. 2010-15.  Councilmember Zehm voted no.  Motion carried.

Resolution No. 2010-14:  ordinance setting a one year excess property tax levy to be used for street improvements and street oiling .  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  For the purpose of funding street improvements and street oiling, the city proposes imposing an excess property tax levy upon all taxable property within the city in the amount of $40,000, an estimated $0.871 per $1,000 of assessed value in the year 2010 for collection in 2011.  This fund needs to be charged regularly.  As discussed at last meeting, $40,000 for streets doesn’t go very far.  Our project list is fairly long for street improvements.  Councilmember Milano stated city staff does a great job working with the money they have.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Wekenman to adopt Resolution No. 2010-14.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 872:  An ordinance setting the regular and special levy amounts for the Budget Year 2011 .  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  This ordinance summarizes all the previously mentioned ordinances and resolutions:  Special Street Levy (estimated $.871/$1,000) = $40,000; Special Pool Levy (estimated $.610/$1,000) = $28,000; Voted Regular EMS levy (estimated $.365/$1,000) = $17,102; General Levy (estimated $2.461/$1,000) = $115,339.  Total amount to be raised by taxation is $200,441.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Wekenman to adopt Ordinance No. 872.  Councilmember Zehm voted no.  Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 873:  Ordinance amending ordinances No. 865, 866, 868, & 869, amending certain funds within the 2010 annual budget.   Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  All our Brownfield project funding came out of CDBG so the EPA grant of $48,000 will be added to CDBG as those funds will also be used for the Brownfield project as well.  Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Ordinance No. 873.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :  No report.  Councilmember Zehm asked about the policy for getting items on the agenda.  Councilmember Milano stated he believes it is state law that the Mayor, as chair, is responsible for the agenda.        

JFB REPORT :  Jeff Snook reported the budget is looking okay.  The FD had one call in June, 15 YTD.  The FD had an off-road training with trucks in fields, etc.  The FD is still working on turn-outs grant.  Ran into a need for 5 new personal radios which cost about $390 each; Mike is going to put in for a grant to replace all those next year but we need a stopgap in the meantime to get us through.  There were three EMS calls in June, 31 YTD.  They trained with LifeFlight.  EMS provided pool training and had all praise for the lifeguards and manager.

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :  We signed an agreement for free service with RCAC.  The rates for water and sewer services are an immediate concern.  Our rates are too low.  It’s premature to say at this time what we should be charging, but it is something we need to be thinking about.  It will be unpopular so just be aware.  We will be getting a rate study from RCAC on where we are and where we should be with our water rates.  Concerning sewer rates, Joyce showed Councilmember Marcus that within the next couple years we’re operating in the red if these rates continue.  We’re not interested in raising rates to make money; it’s just to stay afloat.

It’s very imperative that we develop a water plan.  We don’t have $35,000-50,000 to engineer a plan; we need to find a way to come up with a more economical way to get a plan.  Doug Willcox has been very helpful with this and he has a lot of information and a blueprint to use.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Joyce is working on 2nd Q financial reports.  We’re looking at building improvements at the PD to see if those would yield long term utility savings.  Councilmember Milano will meet will Supt. Griffin about the PW budget.  Supt. Griffin has requested additional summer help; would like someone for a couple weeks for help with 3 or 4 projects.  They are behind and don’t know when they’re going to get caught up.  It will cost approximately $3,000 to hire a temporary helper.  We know DG will use the city’s money with discretion.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow Dwayne to hire temporary help at his discretion at his terms for up to 4 weeks with Joyce’s approval.  Seconded by Councilmember Schorzman.  Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  MFA is getting the core soil sample test results back from the Brownfields site and they are looking pretty good.  They want to come in this week and have their subcontractor punch a few holes on the city right of way to the east of the property to see if there is any kind of groundwater flow right there.  They can use part of the $48,000 EPA grant which has to be spent by this Saturday.

The Planning Commission is still looking for members.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:08 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2440 – 2451      $11,789.52

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 13, 2010

DRAFT ONLY
Palouse City Hall – 120 E. Main Street
Special Council Meeting
Public Hearing for Six Year Street Plan &
Public Hearing for 2011 Revenue Sources
followed by
REGULAR COUNCIL Meeting
July 13, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Roger Marcus and Norm Schorzman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Wyatt Mitchell, Aimee Stormo, Mo Hendrickson, Chris Mitchell.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED , second by Councilmember Snook to excuse Councilmember Marcus from council.  Councilmember Wekenman amended his motion to include Councilmember Schorzman.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING for Six Year Street Plan:   Councilmember Floyd reviewed aloud the plan.  The idea is to maintain in good condition our roads and to fix roads that need help both through our own Street Levy revenue and funding from other agencies.  This year, Fairview will be widened back to the original width and Union Street will be reconstructed with no utility work.  Some of the streets on the plan are dream plans, but they have to be on the list before we can apply for outside funding.   We had an inquiry why there weren’t any Breeding’s Addition streets on the plan.  Public is encouraged to speak with Councilmember Floyd about their ideas for street improvements.

Joyce attended a Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) workshop last month and learned of some grant opportunities.  The city will be applying for pavement preservation funding which could be funded at 100% with no match requirement.  The levy amount of $40,000 voted in by the city could be used for a different that year or reserved to the next year, allowing a bigger project.  Supt. Griffin explained that just to pave two blocks (300’) of Alder Street last year cost $27,000 for paving plus gravel.  TIB funding comes from the fuel tax and they have a small city assistance program that is wonderful for small cities like Palouse.  Mayor Echanove asked for public comment, hearing none he closed the Public Hearing for Six Year Street Plan at 7:17 PM. 

PUBLIC HEARING for 2011 Revenue Sources Mayor Echanove opened the public hearing at 7:17.   Councilmember Milano reported that the city, along with the county and state, are running at a deficit.  We will have to dip into reserves this year and possibly a $20,000 deficit next year.  Our city assistance from the state is estimated to come in at about $12,000 this year; at one time it was $80,000.  We are proposing for the general levy the maximum increase of 1%, which is estimated 2.461/$1,000 assessed value, plus banked capacity of $7,350.  We are proposing the same 1% maximum increase for the General EMS levy which is $0.365 per $1,000 assessed value.

Voter Approved Levies.
Special Street Levy has been the same since 2008.  We propose to leave that levy alone for now.
Special Pool Maintenance & Operation Levy.  Current levy amount is $26,000 where it has been since 2003.  We should consider an increase to help offset the approximate $14,000 that the pool spends over revenues.  If, however, the pool levy is voted down, the pool could essentially be closed for a year which would be regrettable.  We need a 60% pass for a special levy.  Griffin reported the decision to open 2 weeks later was good since only 3 of those days could’ve been swim weather, saving the city about $4,000 in payroll costs over last June.  Not to mention the overhead savings like chlorine and electricity.  Mayor Echanove asked for public comment, hearing none he Closed Public Hearing for 2011 Revenue Sources at 7:27 PM.

Councilmember Wekenman doesn’t think $2,000 is enough of an increase but he doesn’t want to price ourselves out of the pool; it’s an essential service to many.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to increase our 2011 pool operation levy from $26,000 to $28,000.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried with one nay vote from Councilmember Zehm.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to hold our 2011 special street levy at $40,000.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Banked Capacity is at $7,350 and 1% increase is the maximum allowed by law.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt our general levy increase of 1% and levy the banked capacity of $7,350.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Zehm asked to amend the minutes as follows.  Under his committee report add the following:  “Councilmember Zehm requested that the radar trailer have the correct speed posted.”
Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 22, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM: 
Wyatt Mitchell:  Eagle Scout Project proposal .  For his project, Wyatt would like to build a fire pit at the new RV Park.  It would benefit the community and guests of the park.  Wyatt presented a map and explained what products he would use and why.  Down the road benches could be added.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to fund the Eagle Scout project up to $50 for his fire pit project.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Councilmember Milano amended his motion to include user guidelines prior to installation.  Councilmember Zehm amended his second and the motion carried unanimously.

Mo Hendrickson:  Alcohol use at City Park .  They are having a wedding at the city park next month and they would like to serve wine and beer at their hosted reception following.  They are using the gazebo and shelter by it.  They will tastefully rope it off for their approximately 75 guests.  Wedding starts at 5:30 and out of the park by 10:00.  There will not be an excessive amount of alcohol.  The liquor store told them they had to have city permission in order to get a permit from the liquor control board since it is on city property.  The city’s attorney said if it follows our policy then we could permit it and then it would fall into the liquor board’s jurisdiction.  The city does not have its own policy; we’ve always just used state law.   We do allow the beer garden at the Bluegrass Festival with Liquor Board approval.  The Parks Committee and the Policy Committee need to meet to come up with a city policy.  In the mean time, Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow them to have alcohol at their wedding reception at the park as Mo outlined above.  Councilmember Floyd seconded.  Councilmember Zehm said they need to work with the P.D. and P.W.  Motion carried unanimously.

Pete Hertz attended a Dept. of Commerce meeting on making our town a destination.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:     DG reported the parks and pool have been very busy.  The pool donation box is working really well.  They have been mostly working on maintenance issues at the sewer plant, pool, etc.

Union Street Reconstruction bids :  The bid specs were sent out for tight blade, compact, & install two lifts of 773 square yards of asphalt (300’ of street).  Dwayne opened and read aloud the two bids received.  Motley & Motley bid $23,963.00.  Poe Asphalt bid $24,349.50.  One of the reasons these bids are high is because we’re asking for two lifts of asphalt because of the heavy traffic and equipment on Union Street from Cove Road to the county shop.  Supt. Griffin would be happy with either contractor.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to authorize Supt. Griffin to accept the low bid pending verification of taxes included.  Councilmember Floyd seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Whitman Co. should be here by the end of next week to finish Fairview.  Public Works needs to repair some of the manholes first.

POLICE REPORT :  Submitted the police log.  Chief spoke with Atty. Bishop in regards to ongoing issues of restricting access from people who have violated rules and laws at the city park.  He has found some city ordinances that are in place that would permit us to do this a little more easily than the direction we’ve been going.  We need to establish some park rules. … no vandalism, no unauthorized use of alcohol, no lewd conduct, no drug use, attempts to sell, etc.  Failure to abide by the rules established by council, can result in removal and/or restriction from the park.  As long as people have an avenue to state their case as to why they shouldn’t be barred or restricted, we’re within our rights.

Chief Neumann stated that the overall point of the speed limit radar travel is safety.  The speeds on the radar trailer aren’t just randomly chosen.  We chose the 20mph speed because it was during the Hot Rod show with a large volume of traffic and pedestrians.  Councilmember Zehm’s findings are based on a permanent basis.  Chief was not doing a study or trying to change the speed limit; just trying to slow people down for the event.  In the future, if we want to temporarily change the speed for events, we will go through the state.

Chief Neumann handed out a 2 page email that was sent by Zehm to a few councilmembers regarding an ongoing case.  Everything the PD has done in handling this particular case has been above board.  If they want to sue me, there are proper ways to do that.  Chief stated he would rather be accused of something in front of council and the public rather than behind doors.  Chief handed out the city’s official complaint form and asked that if anyone has a complaint, they use the proper avenues.  Chief Neumann stated that the way Councilmember Zehm handled this was wrong.

NEW BUSINESS :
Resolution No. 2010-03:  Adopt Six Year Street Plan .  Mayor read aloud the resolution.  Councilmember Floyd MOVED to adopt the 2011-2016 Six Year Street Plan.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :  Suggests adding to the VisitPalouse website a ‘City Park’ tab for policies on use, no-reservations, etc. Councilmember Wekenman asked if vendors for events get charged any kind of city fee.  Clerk Beeson explained that would be an “impact fee” which at this time the city does not charge.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  The PD, PW, and city staff have done a great job in reducing expenses.  We will have more budget meetings to talk about finances.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
The city received 7 public records requests this week from two individuals.

The Dept. of Health received a formal complaint against the City of Palouse from Jim Farr.

Council agreed to set August 20th as the closing day of the pool.

Joyce worked up a preliminary budget amendment for the IPG.  There is $48,000 more now available through a second grant.

The Planning Commission still needs two members.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid     Ck # 2367 – 2394 & EFT                    $42,335.10
Claims Paid     Ck # 2366 & Cks. # 2395-2439          $73,239.13

June 22, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
June 22, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Cecil Floyd; Roger Marcus; & Jeff Snook.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Doug Willcox.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to approve the absences of the three Councilmembers.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman amended the minutes as follow:  under Old Business, Ord. 869, “the 5% match will be split with Rural Fire.”   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 8, 2010.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin reported:

  • The pool should be ready to go by Friday.
  • Half of the new ADA accessible walkway at the park has been poured.
  • Used Garfield’s chipper last week.
  • Regarding the care of the nature walk as discussed at last council meeting, the grant stipulates that the city will maintain it for 10 years.  The level of maintenance is up to the city, however the trees can’t be disturbed.  The ultimate goal is to maintain it as a nature area with all natural plants and no maintenance other than to control broadleaf with spray, but no weed-eating, etc.  PCD will continue to help us with the maintenance.

There is some TIB grant money available for funding in 2012.  Anything we apply for will have to be on the 6 Year Street Plan.  We may shift our priority order based on what TIB will fund.  Supt. Griffin suggests we apply for pavement preservation, chip seal.  Pavement Preservation funding is $0 match and applications are due the end of August.

POLICE REPORT :  Jerry reported the PD has been staying busy.  They made two arrests on the park graffiti.  The county prosecutor approved a letter of trespass that was issued to the guilty party.  We can’t bar them from the freedoms permitted such as sidewalks, streets, etc., but since the park was entered and damage was done, we have the right and responsibility to protect our property and the public from that.  Bottom line this person can’t be in the park.  Since the vandalism, the City Park restrooms usually get locked up nightly by public works.  There is a 24-hour restroom available at Heritage Park.

JFB REPORT :  There were two very quiet fire calls in May for a total of 10 YTD.  The FD has been training ff on driving the trucks and SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) training.  They are in the process of reviewing turnouts to be purchased through the grant.  EMS had 9 calls in May, 28 YTD.  They’ve been training for potential farm accidents.  They are scheduling some pool training as well.

BROWNFIELDS UPDATE :  Doug Willcox submitted a written report:  MFA was able to begin gathering samples on June 16th.  Across the back of the property they took about 25 sample spots; there was evidence of continued hydrocarbon/petroleum by-products.  Once these samples are fully processed, MFA will have all the site data necessary to evaluate the environmental issues and design a cleanup strategy for submittal for DOE approval.  The timeframe is 2 to 3 months.  John Sell continues to remove his property from the site which will allow this process to continue.

OLD BUSINESS
Authorization to sign EPA grant agreement .  Mayor Echanove explained that this is a $0 match, $48K grant.  This grant will allow further testing and analysis in order to get a more comprehensive report of the actual levels of contamination.  Having this funding will free up remaining IPG funding to provide for our fullest planning and site reuse marketing efforts. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , second by Councilmember Milano authorizing the mayor to sign the funding agreement with the EPA.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS :
Award bid for road oiling .  Bid specs were for approximately 134,500 sq. ft. of road oiling.  Three companies submitted bids on the price per square foot:   Mort’s Street Oiling $5.6 cents; Lyman Dust Control $6.5 cents; Atlas Sand & Rock $17.5 cents (for a different product).  Supt. Griffin recommended accepting Mort’s bid.  Councilman Schorzman MOVED to accept Mort’s bid, second by Zehm.  Motion carried unanimously.

Award bid for pick-up .  An ad was put in the Daily News requesting bids for a used, 2004 or newer, 1 ton dually 4×4, regular cab, turbo diesel, automatic with tilt, cruise, & a/c, with an 8’ utility box.  Supt. Griffin opened and read aloud the following bids, all are + tax and licensing:  Bagott Motors – used 2004 Ford F350 $16,000; Jess Ford Pullman – used 2008 F450 $36,500 or new 2010 F350 $32,652; Westside Chevrolet in Ohio – new 2011 GMC $39,710 or used 2006 F350 $29,800.  The city’s 1990 1-ton which is used as the snow plow/dump truck/sander will be replaced.  It will be kept as a secondary vehicle.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to accept Bagott Motors bid, second by Councilmember Zehm, pending any further review by Supt. Griffin.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Art Walk is July 10th.  As a fundraiser, the Palouse Arts Council wants to sell sidewalk chalk and assign aspiring artists a sidewalk section to decorate in front of the downtown businesses.  If individual businesses don’t want this in front of their individual business, they won’t.  It washes off with the first rain or with a garden hose.  There were no objections.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  At our next meeting there will be a public hearing on revenue sources.  Council will be considering the 1% increase allowed for property taxes and use of our banked capacity.

Councilmember Milano MOVED to pay Woltering Construction mid cycle to allow for submittal to the RCO grant.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:17 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid        Ck. #2347- #2365       $32,314.20

 

June 8, 2010

City of Palouse
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
June 8, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; Roger Marcus and Cecil Floyd.  Absent: Norm Schorzman, Rick Wekenman and Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present:  Bev and Greg Pearce.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 25, 2010.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  No topics

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  He also reported:

  • They are digging out for the concrete walkways in the city park.  Superintendent Griffin commended the Police Department for their quick response to the vandalism at the park.
  • Time was spent cleaning up graffiti vandalism at the park restroom done on two separate evenings.
  • The debris behind the tavern building is being cleaned up by the ones responsible.
  • Bid requests have gone out for the one-ton pickup.
  • They used the Garfield chipper for a few days.
  • There was a recall on several of the city’s hydrants so there will be service reps out working on them from time to time. 

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann handed out Activity Logs for May.  He further reported that the garage on Culton St. has been demolished and is being hauled off.

Charges have been filed for vandalism at the park and are pending prosecution at the county.

The Rat Rod show event went well with no problems or incidence reports.  The 10:00 PM quiet time was followed and there were no complaints.  The music and limited parking did seem to interfere somewhat with the Bank Left Gallery event.

There was a break in and burglary at the Grange Hall.  There were two separate instances: damage to two doors and some property stolen.  The investigation ended with two juvenile arrests and the return of some of the stolen property.

OLD BUSINESS
Ordinance Number 869 – Budget Amendment – Homeland Security Grant for Firefighter turnout gear
Mayor read ordinance in its entirety.  The amendment allows for the receipt and spending of the HS grant and the 5% match that will be split with the county.  The total maximum expenditures will $38,220, with only $956 being the city’s share.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 869.  Councilmember Marcus seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS :
Councilmember Marcus commented that the Riverpark is being cut (weed-whacked) when he was under the impression that this would be maintained as a natural park area.  Superintendent Griffin explained that people from Conservation come and whack down the grass.  Griffin said he would speak to Don and the Conservation District about the maintenance plan of the Riverpark.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
Water & Sewer – Councilmember Marcus reported that work has started on the water rate study through RCAC.

Streets & Sidewalks – Councilmember Floyd will begin working with staff on the 6-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).  After discussion, council set the public hearing for input of the STIP for the Regular council meeting night of July 13.  Mayor Echanove reminded council and staff of the TIB workshop on June 14th in Pullman.  TIB has grant money available again.

Pool & Personnel – Councilmember reported that the pool steps have been ordered and the school art class is touching up the painted murals on the pool house walls.

Finance, Property & Equipment – Councilmember Milano said that he will be calling a finance committee to look at the 2010 YTD figures and begin forecasting 2011 budget needs.

Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse the absences of Councilmembers Schorzman, Wekenman and Zehm.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
A special occasion liquor license has been filed by the Palouse Community Center Board for a beer garden at the Hayton Greene City Park during the Blue Grass Festival.  There were no objections.
The 2010 preliminary census was reported by OFM to be 1,015.
The mayor gave a little background of the Ecology study that is being done on the temperature variations in our city wells down at about 400’.  Recent testing results are indicating that the water being tested is old, which means they are not being affected by groundwater or any recent recharge.   Ecology is continuing their study as it is very unusual for the 14 degree variations in water so deep.   He further stressed that there is no health risk and our well water continues to get satisfactory test results.

Brownsfield Update – the acquisition strategy is moving forward as is the clearing of the site for testing equipment to be able to come in.  A drilling company will begin collecting core samples on or about June 15.  Doug Willcox is working on putting together a community meeting where all those interested can talk about their goals for the outcome of this project.  There has been no word on the EPA grant to augment the IPG Ecology grant.

The Planning Commission needs to fill two vacant positions and has asked that we get the word out to the community.  An announcement will be put out on the city email list and posted around town.

The Mayor officially appointed Councilmember Floyd as the ex-officio member to the Planning Commission.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Marcus seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:12 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid        Ck #2301 – #2317       $37,619.32
Claims Paid        Ck #2318 – #2346       $12,176.52

May 25, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
May 25, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Doug Willcox, Cecil Floyd, Bo Ossinger, & Butch Smith.
Councilmember Wekenman is on vacation this week. Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse Rick’s absence from council.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

INTERVIEW COUNCIL CANDIDATES :  There are three candidates for vacated position number 4:  Cecil Floyd, Bo Ossinger, & Butch Smith.  All three candidates were individually interviewed by the Mayor and the council.  They were each asked identical questions.

EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR REVIEW OF CANDIDATES :  At 7:35 Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook to adjourn for executive session to discuss candidates.  Motion carried unanimously.  At 7:45 they returned from executive session.  Councilmember Zehm MOVED and Councilmember Schorzman seconded to appoint Butch Smith to council.  Motion failed.  Councilmember Marcus MOVED , second by Councilmember Milano to appoint Cecil Floyd.  Motion carried unanimously.  Mayor swore in Cecil Floyd as new councilmember.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Mayor amended the minutes of May 11, 2010 under open forum to say “They are considering adding ……”  Councilmember Marcus MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 11, 2010.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Doug Willcox commented on the movie being filmed in Palouse and how great it is for our community.  We need to capitalize on that.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin reported Marc Arrasmith is back to work on light-duty.

POLICE REPORT :

  • Ongoing family disputes in both Palouse and Garfield.
  • Bike Rodeo was a success last week.
  • We’re trying to put in a French drain behind the PD to prevent the water from coming into the basement.
  • The drop ceiling to eliminate ice damning in the winter is still being looked at.
  • We are encouraging residents to use the vacation-watch service when they are absent from their home for any length of time, even overnight.  It’s accessible at City Hall or via the city website.

JFB REPORT :

  • They are still looking at the various vendors’ turnouts.  Collecting specs so they can go out to bid at the end of July; they want them in-house by September.
  • They’re working on the next round of grants for radios.
  • Fire calls are below average.    

OLD BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2010-06 :  Setting Water Use Efficiency goals required by the state of Washington.  Mayor read aloud the Resolution in its entirety.  The WUE goals are: to complete the irrigation sprinkler system at the city park within the next six years; and to reduce water production by 1% over the next six years.  The city wants to have less than 10% water loss.  We should easily meet our goals.  Councilmember Marcus MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2010-06, second by Councilmember Snook.  There are many cities of all sizes that average 20-30% loss, and Palouse was at approximately 11% loss.  Some of the surrounding communities have a 45% loss.  Things like flushing fire hydrants, can cause a water loss.  Motion carried unanimously.

Brownfields Update :  Doug Willcox submitted a written report to council.  There are hopeful expectations the additional EPA/DOE grant funding will be approved, with the expectation the money will be expended by July 31st.  The city’s attorney continues to work on ownership issues.  Doug reminded council that the city doesn’t want ownership until this investigation is concluded.  If by Aug.-Sept. cleanup is concluded, DOE negotiations are concluded, and all legal input is concluded then the city will find itself in the position to acquire the site from Palouse Producers.  Cleanup and the funding won’t be possible until the city is in ownership.  Doug was clear that the city is NOT in ownership of the site, and making no representations of being in ownership at this point.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :
Got an email from the owner of the abatement and she is making arrangements to take the dangerous part down the first week of June.      

Supt. Griffin signed off on the new playground equipment.  The ADA pathway needs to be completed by the end of June.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair :  Summer lifeguards have been hired; we are very pleased with the applicants.  Dwayne measured for the industrial stairs.  Prior to pool opening, the lifeguards will have an emergency preparedness training with the EMT’s.

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :

  • Will be doing a rate study with Andy O’Neill of RCAC soon. 
  • The w/s policy outlining refunds and back billing for multi-unit meters is being worked on.  

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Joyce got the 2009 annual report in.  Council members need to occasionally drop by and check petty cash, etc. to comply with findings from the last audit.  Joyce is going to do quarterly journal adjustment registers for council review.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
With Clerk Beeson and Councilmember Wekenman both out of state this week, we are missing a second signature for payroll and claims.  Ann will speak with AWB tomorrow to see what the options are.  If AWB approves, then payroll will be dispersed with just the mayor’s signature and claims will wait for the second signature.  Council approved.

TIB will have some funding available this fall for streets and sidewalks.

Regarding the large bill from Studio Cascade that the city is questioning, Mayor has spoken with them and asked them to reduce it from $577 to $100.  He is waiting to hear back from them.

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

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     Ck. #2288 – #2300      $29,390.68
____________________________

May 11, 2010

City of Palouse – DRAFT ONLY
Special Council Meeting
Public Hearing for Water Use Efficiency goals
Followed by
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
May 11, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Randy Zehm & Roger Marcus.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Andy O’Neill; Greg Pearce; Bev Pearce.  Roger Marcus had a medical appointment and Randy Zehm was at a tee-ball game.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse the absences of Roger and Randy.  Jeff Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING :  Public Hearing for Water Use Efficiency Goals – No comment.  Public Hearing closed at 7:03.
Close Public Hearing and Open Regular Meeting:
Water Use Efficiency (WUE) goals :  Andy O’Neill explained that the water use efficiency goal is a requirement from the DOH as part of the WUE report that is due on July 31, 2010.  The two goals being considered are:
1) Reduce water production by 1% over the next six years;
2) Complete the irrigation project at the city park in the next 6 years.

It is recommended that these goals be set by resolution and adopted at a future council meeting.  The state requires a minimum water loss of less than 10%.  Palouse is very close to meeting this goal already and Superintendent Griffin confirmed that with the new meter at the pool already installed and the completion of the park irrigation project we will be able to meet the 10% requirement.  Educating the public will be a major part of the plan to meet the water production goal of a 1% reduction.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to draft a resolution to adopt the two WUE goals as stated.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 27, 2010.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Pete Hertz reported State Representative Susan Fagan and Rep. Gary Alexander will be at the Green Frog on Saturday, May 15, at 8:30 a.m. Rep. Alexander was a co-sponsor with Rep. Fagan on the Public Records Request Act.

Pete Hertz explained that next Wednesday, May 19th, there is a tour of the Whitman County Landfill.  They are adding two new cells which, upon completion, will allow them to reduce the number of trips they make to Oregon for transfer.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  PW is short-staffed for three weeks and are doing their best to keep up.

POLICE REPORT: 

  • The Garfield Contract for police services will be up for review this year.  This month is the beginning of our third year.
  • May Day in Garfield is this weekend.
  • Whitman County Human Society (WCHS) Contract is up for renewal upon council approval.  There are no changes to the contract.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , second by Councilmember Snook authorizing the mayor to sign the contract with WCHS.  Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS

Brownfields Update – Acquisition plan and funding opportunity :  Through necessary steps addressing site ownership and the acquisition strategy (headed by Stephen Bishop) some progress has been made.  Mr. Sell has elected not to exercise his interest in the property.  Palouse Producers hold the title so that is who the city will be dealing with on the acquisition.  Mr. Sell has been asked to remove his property by June 1st, 2010.

Through the clean-up strategy, MFA has been working with the DOE.  The EPA notified DOE they have $48k left in grant money the city could apply for with the stipulation that it be spent by July 31, 2010.  It can be used for further testing on the site and to create a more comprehensive clean-up strategy.  The $48 k is a 100% grant with no match to the city.  With direction from council, through MFA, the city can work with Ecology to set up an Interlocal agreement to secure the EPA funds and apply them to the environmental investigation work that is already planned.  This approach uses the EPA funds by their deadline and provides flexibility to use the IPG funds for additional work.  Stephen Bishop recommends we do this simply to increase our knowledge of the quantity of the contamination down there.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign a grant application for $48 k for our Brownfields project.  Jeff Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS :

Approval for boundary line adjustment on Beeson property near Palouse Cove Road :  This adjustment changes the size of existing lot, making one lot smaller and one lot bigger.  The questions for council to consider are – Does the adjustment create a new lot?  No.  Are both lots buildable?  Yes.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , second by Councilmember Milano to approve the boundary line adjustment.  It is not a short-plat.  Councilmember Wekenman asked if the Board of Adjustment needed to do anything, no because this is not a land division.  Motion carried unanimously.

Surplus playground equipment – Open sealed bids :  Supt. Griffin opened the following four bids at council.   All bids are before tax is added.  Jerry Atchison $300; Kaye McGehee $125; Tracey Wiekizer $101; Scott Stevens $200.  Jerry Atchison is the high bidder.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept the bid from Jerry Atchison.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair :  Had a pool meeting with manager Annie Manning, pool committee, city staff and Supt. Griffin to discuss hiring of guards, swim lesson dates, trainings, needs, maintenance & repair.  He complimented Pool Manager Annie Manning on her efficiency.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Joyce requested the finance committee meet to go over her annual report.

Liquor License Renewal requests from Palouse Tavern and McLeod’s Market.  No objections.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:48 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid     Ck #2236- #2253 & EFT         $37,201.16
Claims Paid     Ck #2254 – #2287                   $24,012.13

April 27, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
April 27, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Cameron Jester; Bekah Miller MacPhee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Zehm asked for the minutes to be changed under his committee report.  It should read “…to demolish the damaged portion of the building”.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of April 13, 2010.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (ATVP): Bekah and Cameron briefly explained what they do.  ATVP serves all of Whitman County; they will drive anywhere within the county to meet anyone.  They focus on sexual and domestic violence and offer legal advocacy for victims.  They have a 24-hour hotline 332-HELP (4357).  For those in a dangerous situation, there is a confidential shelter where they can be safely protected.  ATVP.  They don’t push services on anyone; they just want to be accessible to everyone.  Their business line 332-0552.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
They finished putting the chips around the new playground.
The parts came in for well #3 so they will begin the repairs.

Councilmember Milano is meeting with the rep from Playworld to do a final safety walkthrough on the new playground equipment.  The Little People’s Park Project is going to buy a couple other small individual pieces to finish the project.  They also have enough funds left to replace the pea gravel with chips under the other older playground areas.

POLICE REPORT :

  • Last week we had our audit with the Dept of Commerce for the police motorcycle grant.  Everything was good and a report will be sent to us.
  • We had the annual UI/WSU cycling event throughout town.  The event took longer than anticipated but there were many great volunteers to help with traffic.
  • The yearly vehicle and handheld radar certification was done today and all our equipment passed.
  • With spring coming, the junk vehicles are becoming an issue again.  Keep in mind if you are going to work on a car in your yard/driveway, it’s limited to one vehicle.
  • The PD is going to begin an active approach in identifying non-licensed dog owners in Palouse in an attempt to get them to comply.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT :  Dan Gladwill reported things are starting to pick up in Palouse.  He has come out a number of times to review people’s projects.  He checked out the city’s flathouse and discussed how that is to be repaired.  He reviewed the plans for the community center which he thinks will be a great addition to Palouse.
2008: 6 permits – $25,000 valuation
2009: 2 permits – $150,000 valuation (included a new house)
2010: 8 permits – $25,000 valuation
Regarding the abatement on Culton St – it is now out of Dan’s hands.  Councilmember Zehm is going to meet with his other building committee members to discuss this further.

JFB REPORT :  Chief Bagott got the news that they were awarded the $38,200 grant from Homeland Security.  This grant has a 5% match to be split between City and County.  That money will purchase about 24 new turnouts for the firefighters.  The ones we’re replacing are about 20 years old and out of current compliance.  The new ones are much safer and about 35% lighter.  We should have those by the fall.

Fire calls have been low; a few assists in the Potlatch area.  With a dry year expected it could be a high fire risk season.

NEW BUSINESS :
Discussion on w/s refund & adjustment policy:
Deputy Clerk Ann explained that w/s customers with one meter for multiple users, i.e. apartments, duplexes, trailer courts, etc., are on an honor system for reporting current occupancy.  It has been common in the past to allow a credit adjustment on one previously mailed billing period.  It is also the owners’ responsibility to notify the city when vacancies have been filled; not notifying the city could be considered theft of services.  The city will charge for uncharged months of w/s usage.  Councilmember Marcus MOVED to adopt a policy that states our position on w/s refunds and adjustments.  Seconded by Councilmember Wekenman.  Having a written policy will make it very clear.  Motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Wekenman also thinks it would be best if landlords were responsible for w/s bills rather than the tenants.  It is believed that Moscow and Pullman both do that.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair:   New playground dedication this Saturday, May 1, at 6 pm at the park. The Little Peoples Park Committee will provide hot dogs & burgers.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair :  Jeff spoke with Pool Mgr. Annie Manning.  They’ve received about nine applications.  They are going to interview lifeguards the week of May 17th.  There is going to be a staff meeting with city staff, Annie, and the pool committee.  Jeff still wants to purchase the safety steps for the pool (it’s about a $2,000 item).  It will be money well-spent.  The steps allow the elderly, disabled, injured, and very young a safe entry and exit from the pool.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize Jeff to spend up to $2,500 to acquire the new industrial safety steps for the pool.  Seconded by Councilmember Marcus.  Motion carried unanimously.

Jeff read aloud the letter to be emailed to residents and posted about town regarding the pool opening June 25th.

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :  Meeting with Andy O’Neill on May 3 to discuss the progress being made on the water use efficiency.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  The Q1-2010 budget looks good, with no apparent issues.  Joyce developed the first narrative report and hopes it helps people better understand.   A budget amendment for the FD grants for the turnouts will be presented at the next meeting.  Mike Milano stated he would read the narrative report and get together with the finance committee.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
“Honor Them Foundation” Mayor’s trophy golf tournament.  4-person teams are encouraged to participate.  The Honor Them Foundation is a Colfax charity that supports local returning servicemen and servicewomen and their families.

So far 79 chipper/compost permits have been sold.  When PW chipped last week it cost the city $260 + their time + the backhoe.

Mayor is meeting with the WSU landscaping class tomorrow for their presentation on landscaping along the Brownfield site in Palouse.

Mayor read aloud a letter of resignation from Councilmember Darcie Bagott effective tonight, April 27th, 2010.  She will be a huge loss and big shoes to fill.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Snook seconded to reluctantly accept Darcie’s resignation.  Motion carried unanimously.  We will have an open call to members of the community to fill the position.  It is the council’s decision to select.  Signs will be posted about town and emailed out inviting people to apply, due by May 25th.

The AWC conference is in June this year in Vancouver.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:23 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     Ck #2221 – #2235       $3,039.33

April 13, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
April 13, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; City Attorney Stephen Bishop (7:20); Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Tom Wolny, Pete Hertz, Jeslyn Lemke.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 23, 2010.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  Additionally, they are doing the ground work for the new playground equipment.  They also planted four of the new trees at the RV Park.

POLICE REPORT:   Chief Neumann submitted an activity log.  Additionally, Chief is working with Marc Van Harn regarding the Rat Rod show and street closure.  He is requesting Main Street from Bridge St. to Hall St. be closed June 5, 2010.  The detour will be Hall St. to Whitman St. to Bridge St.  Chief is meeting with Marc Van Harn this week to go over the P.D.’s expectations and to make sure all bases are covered.  Their goal is to make this a family-friendly venue and generate business for Palouse.  City staff will get all the paperwork into the Dept. of Transportation requesting approval for this street closure.  Councilmember Zehm commended Chief Neumann on his work with Van Harn and the plans for this event.

NEW BUSINESS :
Interlocal Agreement with the City of Garfield for renting their chipper .  This agreement gives the city another option for chipper rental.  An agreement has already been signed for use of the County chipper.  Garfield charges $20/hour run time based on the meter on the chipper.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement with Garfield.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Sealed Bids for old playground equipment removed from City Park :  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Zehm to surplus the old seesaw spring rider.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2010-05 :  open a Public Funds Now account with AWB.  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  This savings account gives the city a little better rate than what we are currently getting at the investment pool.  It may also reduce the number of wire transfers to and from the investment pool, which cost $10 each.  As stated in the resolution, AWB is approved by the Public Deposit Protection Commission and the balance of this account shall not exceed the maximum amounts insured under FDIC.  This isn’t anything we’re locked into; it’s just a savings account that we can be close at any time and the balance sent to the investment pool.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution 2010-05 authorizing Clerk Beeson to open a Public Funds Now savings account with AWB.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance 868 :  Amending the 2010 Annual Budget.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  This ordinance amends ordinances No. 865 & 866.  Current Expense, expenditures:  add a new line item for the chipper operating rental with a budget of $6,000 and decrease ending balance.  Arterial Streets, Revenues:  increase beginning balance and Highways and Local Programs to reflect actual grant revenue from the completion of the 2009 H Street Project.  Expenditures:  increase Sidewalks line item for the completion of the 2009 H Street Project and decrease ending balance.   In writing the 2010 budget, it was thought that only the retainage would be left to pay.  The final payment and retainage were not paid until 2010 to Motley-Motley.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , and Councilmember Zehm seconded to adopt the ordinance as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair:
It took about 90 minutes for approximately 25 volunteers to plant about 360 trees at the Palouse River Walk.
Randy spoke with Steve McGehee about the Culton Street building abatement.  Steve McGehee still holds the contract.  A few weeks ago, the current owner did receive a bid to demolish the building.

Streets & Sidewalks-Darcie Bagott, Chair :  Darcie has been speaking with Bev Fox regarding the “Safe Routes to School” Grant.  Darcie met with her and gave her a compilation of suggestions to make the traffic/pedestrian flow safer and better.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair :  Jeff is going to write a small report to distribute to residents explaining why the pool is opening later this season.

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair:   Roger met with Andy O’Neill from RCAC.  They discussed the state’s requirements on the water use efficiency report.  We will present updated info on gallons used and the amount of waste we have.  Palouse is at 90% efficiency which is remarkable.  Some cities are at 50%.  We will need to hold a public meeting at the 5/11 council meeting.  Councilmember Marcus MOVED , second by Councilmember Zehm to hold a public hearing for input to define the City of Palouse goal for water use efficiency.  This hearing is set for May 11, 2010, at 7:00PM.

CLERK-TREASURER’S REPORT: 
Joyce will be meeting with Mary Estes from the Planning Commission to discuss R1 setbacks.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
The Mayor has been busy meeting with different officials to discuss city affairs:  Met with Dick Waters from SEWEDA; met with Steven Dunn from the Public Works Trust Fund; and met with Jim Darling of MFA, our Brownfields consultant.

There was a misunderstanding at City Hall and a check was issued to the school for $2,100 instead of first to DOE for approval.  DOE only approved $600 of the $2,100.  It was not our intent for the city or the school to pay that.

The city received a Public Records Request (PRR) March 23.  It was completed March 25.  In all, there were 284 pages copied for a total of $28.40 worth of photocopying due to the city.  The requestor was notified by email and over the phone that the PRR was completed.  It has yet to be picked up.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion.  Councilmember Bagott abstained due to conflict of interest.  Motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:09 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid                 Ck. #2160 – #2179 & EFT       $39,723.45
Claims Paid                 Ck. #2180 –  #2220                 $31,276.88
Check Voided             Ck. #2191

 

March 23, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
March 23, 2010

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Mayor Echanove; Councilmember Snook; Councilmember Schorzman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Mark Bailey; Mary Estes; Pete Hertz; Dean Huber; Dale Tronsen.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to excuse the absences of Norm, Jeff, and Mayor.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 9, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Mark Bailey :  Google Request for Information/possible survey to city residents.   Mark wants permission to email to city residents a broadband survey.  This doesn’t endorse anyone but council should be aware that our current broadband provider may take offense to it because the survey is inviting criticism in a way.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED , second by Councilmember Marcus to allow Mark Bailey to finalize the survey and email it the city’s list serve.  Motion carried unanimously.

Mary Estes -Trees for the RV Park .  The city received another $300 donation for trees for the RV Park for a total of $800.  After speaking with different professionals regarding which trees to purchase, Mary has a list of twelve trees.  They include a large variety of deciduous, drought tolerant trees, without thorns and ones that don’t drop a lot of berries.  The total cost is $1,205 including delivery.  There is a shortfall of $405 and Mary asked if the RV Park budget would be able to pay the difference.  Clerk Beeson thinks there is enough money built into the budget.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , and Councilmember Marcus seconded to pay $500 towards the trees.  Ken Alsterlund has offered to donate some evergreen trees as well.  Mary will talk with public works department for approval of the trees.  In the future, the city may be able to offer people the option to purchase memorial trees.  Motion carried unanimously.

Also, Mary spoke with Mitch at the P.O. about removing the old, overgrown shrubs at the P.O. and planting roses.  She would like some help getting those shrubs out.  There are probably residents willing to volunteer.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  In addition, we’ve almost completed the paperwork for the Interlocal agreement with the county for the chipper.  Hopefully by next week we can get to chipping.  So far we’ve sold 26 permits.

POLICE REPORT: 
Chief Neumann gave a report regarding Reserve Officer Snead’s qualifications.  He was certified as a Reserve Officer for the City of Palouse in 2005 and his certification has never been revoked and he remains in good standing.  Last week he took the Reserve Officer Equivalency Academy exam and he got 86%.  He is good to go.  There is a little bit of training he is going to complete upon his return.  Reserve Officers are VOLUNTEER officers (meaning NOT PAID).  He volunteers so he can stay certified.  He only gets paid for special events.

JFB REPORT:
There are a couple new volunteers for the FD.  No FD calls in February.  6 EMS calls in February.

NEW BUSINESS :
Ordinance No. 867 amending Ordinance No. 847, specifying the date and circumstances by which residences in Breeding’s Addition must be connected to the municipal sewer.  This language should have been included, and was intended to be included in Ordinance No. 847 but it was inadvertently left out.  Mayor Pro Tem Wekenman read in its entirety Ordinance No. 867.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Zehm to forego the second reading of Ordinance No. 867.  Motion carried unanimously.  After discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Wekenman read the ordinance by title only.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 867.  Councilmember Bagott seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :  The playground equipment company made a small change to the layout of the new equipment for safety reasons.  Structure should be delivered on about April 6th and installed on April 19th if weather permits.

The Palouse Conservation District is planting 200 plants April 10th at the Palouse River Walk (old mobile home park site).  They are looking for about a dozen volunteers.

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :  Andy O’Neill has received our 2009 water usage information but has not analyzed the data yet.  The goal of the efficiency report is to account for 90% of the water usage and the City is already at 90% so we’re in good shape.  Some cities are only at 50% efficiency.  We still need to put in meters for the grass strips along Main St., the cemetery, and a few other places.

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair :  Rick reported they met to discuss the Officer Snead information.

CLERK-TREASURER’S REPORT: 
We received another PRR today.

Regarding the abatement of that dangerous shed, Chief Neumann spoke with our BI again last week and there may be a change in home ownership; the possible homeowner has now been contacted about the situation.  Chief will call Dan again tomorrow to see what timeframe the owner(s) were given.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:57 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     #2142-#2159   $10,409.25
Payroll Paid

March 9, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
March 9, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Sandy Schorzman; Cecil Floyd.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman said to add under new business, Award LPPP… “flood damage control”.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of February 23, 2010.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Sandy Schorzman representing Palouse Arts Council. asked for council’s permission to sell beer and wine at the St. Paddy’s dinner March 17th.  No objections.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow the Palouse Arts Council to sell beer and wine at their annual St. Paddy’s dinner.  Councilmember Marcus seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  In addition, Griffin reported that in May 2008 we installed a VFD on our booster pump and we spoke about how it would pay for itself.  It has already paid for itself.  We are showing a savings of about 40% a month, from about $1,100 a month to about $600 a month.

The chipper pile is full already.  The City has asked the county to rework a section of the language on the Interlocal Chipper Agreement between us and Whitman County.  In the future we may have an agreement with Garfield also as another option.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign an Interlocal Agreement with the county prior to our next council meeting if the language is approved by attorney Bishop.  Councilmember Bagott seconded.  It was decided that Resolution 2010-04 needs to be discussed prior to voting on this issue.  Councilmember Bagott then MOVED to table the motion until after new business is discussed.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded, and motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted a written report.  The signs for Union Street are in.  

NEW BUSINESS :
Resolution # 2010-04 – adding the chipper/compost use yearly permit fee of $25.00 to City’s fee schedule.  This would be an annual fee, January through December.  Regardless whether someone purchases their permit in January, June, or November, it expires every December 31.  The grant has expired and this is the only way to continue this successful program.  As far as policing, we will have to see how things go.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to accept Resolution 2010-04.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  The fee is effective immediately.

Councilmember Snook MOVED to take from the table the earlier motion, second by Councilmember Zehm.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :  $1,000 received already this spring in RV Park Reservations.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair :  Jeff spoke with Annie Manning; she is returning as pool manager.  We’re getting rolling on summer hiring.  We still need money for pool stairs for the disabled/elderly.  The ones we’re looking at are industrial-strength.

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :  Roger will be meeting with RCAC to sign an agreement allowing them to work with the city at no cost to the city.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , Councilmember Snook seconded authorizing Roger Marcus to be the city liaison with RCAC for the rate study and water use efficiency report.  Motion carried unanimously.  All of this work will contribute to the full water plan that has been tabled for now.

Policy and Administration:    Breeding’s Addition Sewer Connection – When the amendment was done to Ordinance No. 839, adding language for when it is physically unfeasible to connect sewer, a portion was inadvertently left out.  The sample ordinance handed out to council corrects this problem.  This ordinance will be on the next agenda.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Mayor reviewed for council the parcel of land the county owns below the rock pit in Breeding’s Addition.  Since this land is bordered to the north by City right of way and Fairview runs through the middle, the county has asked the Mayor if the city would be interested in acquiring it.  It was brought it to council on Dec. 8, 2009 and the motion failed because the city had just received a letter from Jim Farr saying he was not responsible for getting sewer to his property from Fairview.  Since then, John Eastburn has sent a letter saying that he understands it is fully the developer’s responsibility to pay for w/s extension costs.  John represents himself as working with Jim Farr and Nicole Wood to help get this property developed.  To John’s credit, he is making positive efforts to turn this around.  Councilmember Marcus stated that they need to understand that it is the developers’ responsibility to extend utilities, no matter who owns the property.  Dwayne said the work required is not a job Public Works can do because of the rock and compaction.  Councilmember Bagott would like to see the city own that land because it borders Fairview and it is at the top of the list for street repairs.  Joyce said ownership just gives us one less step to deal with down the road and sees no downside.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , second by Councilmember Wekenman authorizing the mayor to sign a Letter of Interest for the transfer of said property from the county to the City.  Motion carried unanimously.

The community Brownsfield committee met with the WSU architect students last week.  Chris Boyd, property owner, came and spoke with the students about extending the Shady Lane trail all the way around his property across the river.

Mayor and Councilmember Snook will not be at next council meeting.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember abstained from voting due to conflict of interest.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:04 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      #2120 – #2141                $12,557.07
Payroll Paid      #2102- #2119 & EFT      $37,271.87

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 23, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
February 23, 2010

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Brian Dentler; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Mark Bailey; Scott Beeson; Bev Pearce; Doug Willcox; Tracy Milano; Pete Hertz; Scott Ellsworth; Greg Pearce; Bruce Reim of Canfield & Associates.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 9, 2010.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Mark Bailey – Google fiber to the home application :  Whitman County Library, in conjunction with NoaNet and the Port of Whitman, has applied for a federal grant to get fiber optics to every city with a library in Whitman County.  There is a high likelihood that this will be awarded.  The problem is once it gets to town, then what?  How do we utilize the fiber in the community beyond just the Library?  Google announced they are accepting applications for trial cities where they will install fiber to the home that will be able to provide gigabit Internet access as well as TV and phone services.  Mark is willing to work on the application, and act as the liaison, but needs council authorization.  The application would be coming from the city itself.  The deadline is March 26.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED and Councilmember Marcus seconded to appoint Mark Bailey as the liaison between the city and Google.  He won’t be making decisions but will be answering questions.  He will need some additional help later on, possibly from the Chamber and the Planning Commission.  Councilmember Bagott suggested Mark contact the Fire Chief for his input.  There will be no out-of-pocket expenses.  Motion carried unanimously.

Scott Beeson with Palouse Lions Club – asked for council’s permission to use Shady Lane for Haunted Palouse again this year.  Supt. Griffin said the Lions did a great job with clean up/maintenance afterward.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED , second by Zehm approving the use of Shady Lane by the Lions Club for Haunted Palouse.  Motion carried unanimously.

Scott Beeson with Palouse Community Center – asked for council’s permission to have the beer garden again at the Bluegrass Festival.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the beer garden, seconded by Councilmember Snook.  Scott believes it will be in the same location and same size as last year.  Chief Neumann said there were no problems.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  PW chipped last week and it’s already half full again.  They chipped using a chipper rented for the day from Hahn.  This chipper took all day and all three PW employees.  It was money well spent though because they learned what will and won’t work.  We have options:  renting Garfield’s or contracting with the county.  The Hahn rental chipper was a 9”, Garfield’s is 12” and the county chipper is 14”.  Supt. Griffin would like to watch the Garfield chipper work.  We can sign the county’s agreement and not ever use it; it just gives us the option.  Supt. Griffin wants to figure out how we’re going to pay for it, regardless of what option we choose.  If we’re going to start charging for permits, we need to get it on our fee schedule.  The permit fee will apply to the compost facility as well; both take man hours and work.  Educating the public is going to be difficult; that their permits are no longer valid and they now have to pay.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , and Councilmember Zehm seconded authorizing staff to prepare the proper documentation to charge for the use of our compost/chipper facility.  This process will be learning experience.   Questions asked – How will it be monitored, and what will the punishment be should someone violate the use?  Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT :  The spring bike safety rodeo at the school will be in April; he will spend approximately $350 on helmets benefitting both Garfield and Palouse school children.  The police motorcycle went into service today.

JFB REPORT :  Jeff Snook reported FD had three calls.  No news on the grant.  Some of the radios have been replaced through their update program to the new narrow band.

BROWNFIELDS UPDATE :  Doug Willcox – No new committee activity since last month.  MFA is continuing with the three parts of this phase – Site investigation in preparation for the clean-up; Reuse – economic development study; Clean-up plan – A 190 page work plan was submitted to him for review and mid April MFA will be on site for analytical work toward this cleanup plan.  The committee is involved in an expanded economic development study that involves site clean-up, reuse design, and access to the river and riparian development.  This whole process with Ecology and MFA is leading into other project possibilities.  A professor at WSU would like his class to do a riparian study and design.  Property owner Chris Boyd has asked that his river property be included in this class study.  March 3rd is the next committee meeting.

NEW BUSINESS :
Award Little People’s Park Project bids for ADA pathway :  Councilmember Milano went over the bids received.  Motley & Motley $4,650 + $2,900 add on for flood damage; Poe Asphalt $6,700; Spokane Rock $17,900 + $4,600 for flood damage; Woltering Concrete $5,250 + $1,800 for flood damage.  Councilmember MOVED and Councilmember Schorzman seconded to award Woltering Concrete the ADA pathway project.  All the money comes/came from private donations to the Little People’s Park Project.  The whole expenditure will be through the city with a grant covering $12,000, and the remaining balance will be donated directly to the city from the LPPP.  The only cost to the city will be for public works labor to remove sod.  Motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Milano said with their extra money they might put in some solar powered security lighting.

Award Little People’s Park Project bids for play structure :  Councilmember Milano went over the bids received:  Sitelines $19,374.88; Cascade Recreation $30,962.32; Northwest Playground $26,400.22; Pacific Outdoor Products option #1 $19,198.21; Pacific Outdoor Products option #2 $19,123.94; Playscapes $19,894.06.  Northwest Playground Equipment met the criteria of the Little Peoples Park Committee (LPPC).  Councilmember Milano MOVED to accept Northwest Playground Equipment’s bid of $26,400.22.  Councilmember Marcus seconded.  Appearance was the primary reason from the selection committee; the structure fits best in the park.  Warranty also was a big factor.  Price includes installation, freight, ADA engineered fall zone fiber.  Even though the bid from NW Playground Eq. was not the lowest, it was clearly the best choice as recommended from the LPPC.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 866 – Budget Amendment to RCO Park Project :  Mayor read the ordinance in its entirety.  Amends the 2010 annual budget to Fund 315 Park Improvement Reserve fund as follows:  Increase the estimated revenues for park donations to reflect private contributions from the Little People’s Park Project (LPPP).  It also increases Capital Outlay Playground to allow for increased costs associated with park playground equipment and ADA pathway.  The state will not allow us to spend more than we have budgeted and the LPPP now has more money than they originally had.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to suspend the rule of waiting until the next council meeting to adopt Ord. 866.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2010-03 – Water Utility Rate Study with Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC ):  Resolution No. 2010-03 is a formal request for RCAC assistance in evaluating our water utility rate and rate structure at no charge.  Councilmember Marcus explained the need to have a water system plan.  The average cost is $35,000-$40,000 so we have to table that as there are no funds/grants to assist us with that.  The city also needs a water efficiency use plan.  Andy O’Neill of RCAC is going to assist with that.  The public will be involved.  RCAC will examine our rate structure in comparison to our budget.  The regulations that are applicable to potable water supplies continue to increase regularly; meeting all the standards, etc., are the sorts of things that increase the city’s costs.  The rate study will make sure the revenue is equal to or greater than not only the cost of providing that service but also establishing a reserve fund for maintenance which we’re required to have.  This is one of the most important things we can do.  The city’s water income vs. water expenses is going to be in the red soon if this isn’t taken care of.  Councilmember Marcus MOVED to pursue a water utility rate study with RCAC as written.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :  The water/sewer committee met with John Eastburn, Doug Willcox; Patti Green Kent; Dwayne Griffin.  Doug Willcox chaired the meeting and it went very well.  Roger believes John understands what the city requires to develop Breeding’s Addition.  John has hired an engineer and their project is progressing.

The water efficiency use plan is due by July 1st and requires public input.  Andy O’Neill, RCAC, will be helping us to meet this deadline and will soon have a timeline for what council and city staff will need to do.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Whitman Co. PW Dept. bridge inspection report on F St. Bridge is available at City Hall.

Whitman Co. Library has requested an electronic letter of support for bringing the broadband fiber to the library.

Regarding the dangerous garage on Culton Street, the property owner who lives elsewhere, feels that she does not have the resources to address the situation.  Building Inspector Dan Gladwill is unsure what to do next.  He asked for council direction to either set up a timeline to either demolish or bring the structure to code, or start the process of abatement.  After discussion, it was decided that a timeline be put together which falls in line with the abatement policy.  If the city has to proceed with demolition, the homeowner will be billed and a lien will go against the property.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested putting up a fence in the mean time.

Habitat for Humanity home is way ahead of schedule.  They’re handing over the keys March 7th.  Construction of the second home will begin immediately after that.

CLERK-TREASURER’S REPORT: 
Per-diem policy:  Clerk Beeson explained that the policy committee needs to meet to address the city’s outdated/inaccurate per-diem policy.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     Ck #2083-#2101         $52,785.19
Payroll Paid

February 9, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
February 9, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Darcie Bagott; Norm Schorzman. Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Bev Pearce, Pete Hertz, Tracy Milano, Mary Estes, Tim Jones, Jeslyn Lemke, Greg Partch.

Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse the three absent councilmembers.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 26, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   In addition to his written report, Supt. Griffin reported that they are renting a chipper from Hahn Rental for $200/day for one day to test our options.  Public Works feel like the county offer is the best value for them at $55/hour + travel time, the fuel, and a county worker.  The county isn’t trying to make money, just recoup their costs of maintaining the machine and keep the program running.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann submitted the January activity log.  The PD purchased a new copier; the lower cost of the ink for the new copier will pay for itself within a few months.  The Union Street speed limit signs have been ordered.

TREASURER’S REPORT 2009 Treasurer’s Report.  Clerk-Treasurer Beeson submitted written report and added a draft copy of the 2009 narrative financial report for CE, which will eventually include all funds.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the treasurer’s report as presented.  Councilmember Marcus seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS :
Whitman County Commissioner Update :  Commissioner Partch reported that TIB is funded by $.03 of every gas tax dollar.  With normal income around 80 million a year, this year it’s at about 60 million.  They did have to cancel some projects but currently are holding their own.

The county had a difficult budget year but is okay, with no lay-offs.  If I-1033 had passed, things would have been worse.  They are still maintaining decent reserves.

There are a number of committee volunteer openings if anyone from Palouse is interested, particularly the county planning commission.    

Planning Commission Reappointments : Jay Iverson and Corey Laughary’s terms have expired and they would like to continue.  The mayor recommended their reappointments.   Councilmember Snook MOVED and Councilmember Zehm seconded to reappoint Jay Iverson and Corey Laughary to the Palouse Planning Commission.  Motion carried unanimously.  Mike Sanderson stepped down from the PC thus leaving an opening.  The city received interest from two individuals.   The mayor recommended the appointment of Mary Estes to the position.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Zehm seconded the appointment of Mary Estes to the Planning Commission.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Planning Commission is currently reviewing zoning and the comprehensive plan.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings:   Milano reported that he is looking into a Byways grant and a state RCO grant for the pedestrian bridge project.  He will see if the match money certification will allow us to apply for both grants for the project.

Mary Estes will be shopping for trees for the RV Park, using donated money.  Mary said we can plant anytime the city staff is ready.

Water & Sewer :  Roger reported the city is in the process of developing a small city water plan.  They are looking into having a rate study done also for water and sewer.  If Palouse continues as is, we will be operating in the red as rates have not kept up with inflation.  The w/s committee, Supt. Griffin, Clerk Beeson, and Doug Willcox met to discuss the water plan and the Breeding’s Addition request for a 2” line.        

MAYOR’S REPORT:    
A WSU professor contacted MFA to see if his class of 22 students could use the river walk project, (Brownfields area, Shady Lane, the river, the Lions Club Park and City Park) as a class project, making conceptual designs, etc.

This spring there is going to be a Japanese miniseries filmed outside of Palouse.  A majority of the filming is taking place at Gary Kendall’s ranch.  The cast and production company will be in Palouse in April.  Locals are involved in props, animals, catering, etc.

Brownfields Update, Economic development – The mayor reported on a great meeting involving the community in this phase of the project.  About 20 people attended.  Doug Willcox gave a full report at the last meeting.

Councilmember Snook and Mayor Echanove attended the legislative conference in Olympia.

Mr. Farr filed a complaint to the State Auditor about the city.  They will review his concerns when they do our city audit later this year.

We received 4 public records requests this week from Jim Farr along with a complaint against the Planning Commission.  Corey Laughary and Mark Bailey both submitted written responses.  All of these are public record and available by contacting City Hall.

Susan Fagan’s bill to charge for PRR staff time after 5 hours didn’t make it out of committee.  Approximately 30 states do charge, Washington does not.

Roger Marcus attended training in Yakima for newly elected officials.  He recommends it to all council members.

Canfield & Associates will be here Feb. 23 for a workshop.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Marcus seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     #2051 –  #2082            $10,537.87
Payroll Paid     2032 – 2049 & EFT     $38,037.31

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

January 26, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
January 26, 2010

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Mayor Echanove; Jeff Snook.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; John Eastburn; Dean Huber; Bev Pearce; Greg Pearce; Doug Willcox; Tim Jones; Tracy Milano; Dave Tharp; Sharon Tharp.

The Mayor and Councilmember Snook are in meetings in Olympia.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Bagott to excuse them from the council meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 12, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
John Eastburn had the following questions:

  • Wants to know where Munir Daud is with the engineering of a 6” line down D Street from 9th to 8th.  Supt. Griffin explained that Munir is in the process of engineering and we are going to get a preliminary copy before it goes to anyone.  No timeline that we know of.
  • Back in Nov. of ‘09 Karen Emerson requested a lot for building site approval at the corner of E St. & 8th and we haven’t heard anything.  We also need to know the setback off of E Street under the Critical Areas Ordinance.  Supt. Griffin did already give him water and sewer estimates.
  • I requested permission for a 2” line down C Street across 7th.  I haven’t heard anything yet.  Does the city need an easement from Nicole Wood?

Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman told John that he will make a point of talking with Joyce when she gets back and trying to get answers.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  Additionally, Supt. Griffin and Marc Arrasmith looked at a used chipper in Cd’A that Garfield wants to co-purchase with the city.  Supt. Griffin is unsure about its condition.  It was $12,000.  He is meeting with the Garfield PW and the county to discuss the chipper and the program.  Maintenance on the chipper is also an issue.  A survey about the chipper and compost facility went out via email.  There were 58 respondents.  The majority of people want to see the chipper program remain.  We really don’t have enough information yet to make any decisions.

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported the P.D. heat pump issue with Ackerman’s has been resolved.  The heater is working and Ackerman’s re-billed the city with a zero-balance.

Regarding the ongoing Union St. speed reduction from 25 to 20, Chief showed an example of the signs he would like to post.  Union St is our last 25 mph residential street (the rest are 20 mph).  Councilmember Zehm would rather see traffic enforcement instead of signs.  Councilmember Marcus said the enforcement of the signs is a separate issue; the signs are another layer of safety and he doesn’t see any reason to NOT have them.  Councilmember Marcus MOVED to allow Chief Neumann to purchase a couple speed limit signs for Union Street with the wording at the discretion of the Chief.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion.  Councilmember Zehm opposed; Motion carried.

Councilmember Zehm asked Chief Neumann where things were at with Terry Snead.  Chief is still obtaining all Snead’s paperwork.  Snead’s certification is up to Neumann’s discretion.

OLD BUSINESS
Brownfields Update:  Doug Willcox submitted a written report (available by contacting City Hall).  To summarize, over the next 6 weeks MFA, with DOE’s approval, will complete the sampling plan.  MFA expects to conduct sampling work mid-March to mid-April.  At the same time, MFA will have other subcontractors involved with site and riverbank critical area studies along with riverbank restoration planning.  Site acquisition cannot commence until DOE has concluded their evaluation and is satisfied with the results.

MFA was in town last week for an economic development workshop with community members.  There will be another workshop in February.  Cleanup process may not start until mid to later 2011.  The whole point of evaluating the economy of our community is to get some general plan of attack and then to define a reuse of the site.  We can be patient in finding occupants for this site.  In the meantime, Palouse needs to be marketed.

NEW BUSINESS :
Resolution 2010-01:  Authorization to extend the maturity date of AWB Loan:  Mayor ProTem read aloud the Resolution.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED and councilmember Marcus seconded to adopt Resolution 2010-01 authorizing the Mayor to enter into the agreement with AWB to extend the loan maturity date.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2010-02:  removing the fee for water aerobics from the fees for City services:  Councilmember Zehm MOVED to suspend the reading of the entire resolution.  Councilmember Bagott seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  No changes to the fee schedule other than removing the charge for water aerobics.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and councilmember Bagott seconded to remove the fee for water aerobics from the city’s fees for services.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings :  Councilmember Milano wrote up bid parameters for the ADA accessible paths at the park for the Little People’s Park project.

In an attempt to have dialogue, Councilmember Zehm and Corey Laughary (Planning Commission) met with Jim Farr regarding the fraud complaint.  Farr was unable to show any evidence to support his fraud claims.  Doug Willcox commented that the city badly needs a policy on service extensions for utilities, a water plan, and there also needs to be some hydrologic work and planning done.  Councilmember Marcus is working to get this done.  It’s costly to get a water plan developed ($30,000-$40,000).  DOH has a man to help find grant money.

Water & Sewer:   Councilmember Marcus reported that we’re beginning on the water system plan.  We’ve already spoken with Tom Justus at DOH, and with Andy O’Neill at RCAC.  Tom Justus said the first thing we need to do is begin the grant application.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Read aloud a letter from PBAC inviting council members to a roundtable on Feb. 26.

We want to recognize resident Connie Newman for her efforts in Olympia to help change some laws regarding Public Records Requests.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Marcus seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      Ck #2015 – #2019           $6,183.92          Dec. 2009
Claims Paid      Ck #2020 – #2031           $1,598.09          Jan. 2010

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

January 12, 2010

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
January 12, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Mike Bagott; Pete Hertz; Bev Pearce; Greg Pearce; Linda Snook; Doug Willcox; Tracy Milano; Sue Wilcomb; Joseph Wilcomb; Tim Jones.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 8, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Tracy Milano requested a line item be in the budget for the costs of PRR processing.  She knows there is no way to recoup that money but she thinks the public deserves to know how much of their tax dollars are being spent processing them.  Clerk Beeson said we can’t put in a line item but we are trying to track our hours and, based on staff salaries, we can try and put a dollar amount on the cost of fulfilling the PRR’s.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  In addition they finished repairing the water main on W. Main Street which turned into a 4 day problem to repair.

POLICE REPORT:   Chief Neumann submitted a written report.  In addition he is still working on the signage for Union Street to reduce the speed limit when children are present.  He will follow up with samples at a future meeting.  Also, he is looking into providing a local hunter safety class.   Chief and both officers have completed their 24 hours of required trainings for 2009.
Thanks to a grant through Garfield, they have three new laptops for the police officers and each police car now has patrol rifles.  Both grants have been completed and all the equipment has been purchased.
Former Palouse officer Terry Snead is going to be doing 16-24 hours a month of volunteer reserve time for us.  No need to purchase any uniforms or equipment for him.

Brownfields Report :  Doug Willcox reported progress is being made.  Phase II is proceeding in two areas:  1) the technical/professional work associated with the site investigation and cleanup analysis.  They intend to use existing information on the site along with the information they will be gathering.   2) The site reuse and community economic planning.  Tuesday Jan. 19th, at City Hall at 7:00 they have a focus group meeting with the Brownfields Committee and about 15 community/business members.  The public is welcome.

One other aspect is the opportunity to include the school and the students.  This involvement would benefit the students and their contribution would contribute to the outcome of this project.  Mr. Dennis Griner is acting as a liaison between the school and the Brownfields Committee.  The students could research the history of the property, collect and analyze data on the height and flow of the river, develop a business plan toward redevelopment, and put together multi-media presentations.  To make this happen, the school will need new software at a total cost of about $3,200.  The committee is recommending that this be submitted for payment through Maul Foster.  The Mayor explained we have $20,000 residual from the original $200,000 grant.  Mayor asked council for authorization to submit the bill for this $3,200 for the purchase of the software.  Mayor is awaiting confirmation from DOE that this is within the scope of the grant.  Councilmember Snook stated, in doing this, we generate a younger perspective on the project while the students gain a sense of stewardship.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize a request for up to $3,500 for hardware/software for the school pending DOE approval.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Since the end date for this IPG grant is February 2010, the Mayor will submit a request to DOE to extend it through Dec. 2010.

OLD BUSINESS
Whitman County Chipper Program Update:   The Mayor reported the County no longer has funding for the chipper program.  The Solid Waste division will be charging $50-55/hour, coming to approximately $4,000 based on 2009 usage.  While it’s a great service for our residents, do we have the money to maintain it?  Revenue forecasts are still down.  Council discussion included charging an annual permit fee, with enforcement being an issue.  It’s a service people can choose since they can still take debris to the landfill at no charge.  Supt. Griffin believes we’ll have three times the amount to chip this year, which could bring the costs up to over $10,000.

In terms of costs, Fire Chief Mike Bagott said for every call to in-town nuisance burns, it costs the department from $40-$100.  We had 9 calls in 2007 (before the burn ban) vs. 5 calls in 2008 & 2009.  The bigger cost is the burden on the volunteers having to go to those false calls.  If the council decides to not continue the chipper program, he recommends not reinstating residential burning.

Bev Pearce stated that initially the number of permits would decrease but once people spend $ on the gas to drive to the landfill, they’ll buy a permit.  Pete Hertz said he hasn’t met one person who is negative about paying $20 for a year long permit to keep the chipper.  Councilmember Milano voiced his support for the permit fee and installing a gate and issue keys to only permit holders.  Again, enforcement is an issue.  If citizens have any ideas for solutions, please contact a councilmember or staff.

Chief Bagott reported they applied for a grant last May for new turnout gear.  He’s confident they’ll receive the grant funding in the range of $38,000 with 5% match (2.5% city share comes to less than $1,000).

NEW BUSINESS :
New Council Committee Assignments:
Mayor read aloud his proposed assignments.  All council members were in agreement of the new assignments as follows:
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings:  Chair Randy Zehm, with Mike & Norm
Personnel & Pool:  Chair Jeff Snook with Darcie & Rick
Finance, Property, & Equipment:  Chair Mike Milano with Jeff & Rick
Police, Fire, & Safety:  Chair Rick Wekenman with Jeff & Roger
Policy & Administration:  Chair Norm Schorzman with Randy & Darcie
Streets & Sidewalks:  Chair Darcie Bagott with Randy & Roger
Water & Sewer:  Chair Roger Marcus with Norm & Mike.
Joint Fire Board:  Rick, Jeff, & Roger

Planning Commission:
Since Mark Bailey is off council and Rick Wekenman has stepped down, the city needs two new non-voting representatives to be on the PC.  Mike Milano volunteered for one spot and we need one more.  Also, Kevin Imel stepped down from the PC Board so the mayor asked Chairman Corey Laughary for a list of interested residents wishing to serve.  From that list, Corey recommended Mark Bailey (now as a citizen not a council member).  Mayor Echanove appointed Mark Bailey for the PC and asked for council confirmation.  The Mayor read aloud a letter delivered to city hall earlier in the day from Steve McGehee requesting to be on the PC.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED and Councilmember Milano seconded confirming the Mayor’s appointment of Mark Bailey to the Planning Commission.  Motion passed unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings:   Councilmember Milano reported that Mark Kramer would like to have a burial service available for cremains of people who donated their bodies to universities for science.  Mark Kramer is going to look into the rates.

The Little People’s Park Project has been considering options for the playground equipment to be purchased through the RCO grant.  They have found only one vendor that has been able to match their specifications.  They are investigating the possibility of this being a sole source purchase.

Streets & Sidewalks:  Councilmember Bagott and Supt. Griffin have finalized the first edition of the snow removal guidelines.  This isn’t official policy, just guidelines.  It lets the citizens know what to expect and what their own responsibilities are.  Darcie got input from the cities of Pullman and Colfax.  It will be emailed to the city list-serve and available at city hall.  Citizen and council input is welcome. 

MAYOR’S REPORT :
City staff will schedule Canfield & Associates (our insurance carrier) to come for an in-house training for our new Councilmembers.

The AWB note for Breeding’s is coming due in February.  The mayor asked council for authorization for Joyce to negotiate the extension of this loan.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , second by Bagott authorizing the mayor to direct Joyce to negotiate the extension of the Breeding’s Addition sewer extension loan.  Motion carried unanimously.  Joyce will have a resolution for council at the next meeting.

Mayor explained to council that when there are changes to council membership, the position of mayor protem must be appointed by the council.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED , second by Councilmember Bagott to appoint Councilmember Wekenman as mayor pro-tem for the city.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Mayor read aloud portions of a PRR the city received Dec. 21 from Jim Farr.  He had 10 requests on the one form.  It took city staff 7 hours to complete (See Attachment A).

The city received via email today a letter from Jim Farr (Attachment B).  In it he made an “official citizen complaint” against Mayor Echanove and Councilman Mark Bailey regarding the CTED grant for the Critical Areas Ordinance handbook.  Clerk Beeson forwarded the email to all council members, city attorney, etc.  The mayor then read aloud a written response to Jim Farr’s accusations from Mark Bailey (Attachment C).

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:52 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid        2009     #1955 – #1997, #2007                            $  38,846.16
2010     #1998 – #2006 & #2008 – #2014              $  23,663,39
Payroll Paid       2009     #1933 – #1954 & EFT                              $  41,631.55
 

Attachment A 
I no longer choose to use the City’s information request form. RCW 42.56 states I may request information by email, fax, letter, or phone. My information requests will be made email and numbered as to the priority in which I would like to have them fulfilled. Questions will be submitted separately, and if answered promptly, will save us both a lot of time and paperwork.

  1. Request documentation 12/21/2009: RCW 42.56 also states that if the City has no index, the city is still required to supply source codes and other index material so that it makes for searching documents easier. I would like all vendor numbers and all source code numbers.
  2. Request documentation 12/21/2009: Resolution 2005-5
  3. Request documentation 12/21/2009: Resolution 2005-1
  4. Request documentation 12/21/2009: Palouse Parks Trails and Open Space Plan and Planning Guide, adopted 5/27/08
  5. Request documentation12/21/2009: History Enquiry Reports for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 for the Boomerang Newspaper
  6. Request documentation 12/21/2009: History Enquiry Reports for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 for the Daily News
  7. Request documentation 12/21/2009: History Enquiry Reports for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 for Studio Cascade
  8. Request documentation 12/21/2009: Minutes for the Department of Health meeting on 12/11/2009
  9. Request documentation 12/21/2009: Any changes or additions to the existing Service Extension Ordinance and Water Policy
  10. Request documentation 12/21/2009: All correspondence between the City of Palouse and the Department of Health – letters, faxes, emails from September 1, 2009–to present.

Request that files be in electronic format if possible. Email to the address supplied or supply download link from web site.

Jim Farr

 

Attachment B
Official complaint
This serves as written notice informing each member of the Palouse City Council that I suspect violations of state law have occurred regarding the formation and function of the Palouse Planning Commission (RCW 35.63, .030, .040, .050, .060, .080, .090, .100).
This is combined with many ethical improprieties of Councilman Bailey regarding prohibited votes on the Breedings Addition Sewer Project (RCW 42.23 and 42.20.100).
Council would be well advised to reevaluate the structure and duties of the Planning Commission in accordance with the law.
I also suspect Mayor Echanove and Councilman Bailey used the Planning Commission to fraudulently obtain state funds [grant # CTED (UO8-63200-044)], and that the fraud continues today through various Commission activities.
This notice should be considered an official citizen complaint against Mayor Michael Echanove and Councilman Mark Bailey.
Filed January 12, 2010 by Jim Farr.
I request this document become public record. It will be used at a later date to show notice was given to each member of City Council regarding suspected fraud in city government.

Attachment C
To the Honorable Mayor and Council of Palouse, Washington:

I would like to respond to accusations made on January 12th, 2010 by Mr. Jim Farr.

Firstly, Mr. Farr accuses me of ethics improprieties because of my votes on the Breeding’s Addition Sewer project.  I have addressed these allegations publicly on two separate occasions; at the August 11, 2009 council meeting, and on Nicole Wood’s Whodue.org website.  Since my detailed response has been removed from the Whodue site, I will respond again here.

My affirmative votes for the Breeding’s project were in response to numerous requests to council by my neighbors in the addition over the prior decade.  My property in the addition is not subject to the frequent percolation issues as the ones lower on the hill, and I had no desire to develop at a density that would require sewer service.  Furthermore, the cost to hook to the public sewer system is roughly equivalent to renovating my existing septic system when it inevitably required so at some point in the future.  Additionally, Council had recently received reports from the Department of Ecology that indicated septic failure in the Fisher’s and Breeding’s additions were at least partly responsible for elevated coliform levels in the Palouse River.

Those were my primary reasons for voting for the Breeding’s project.  In addition to those I would offer that I was never the deciding vote for any aspect of this project, and RCW 42.23, that Mr. Farr references, states that “The furnishing of electrical, water or other utility services by a municipality engaged in the business of furnishing such services, at the same rates and on the same terms as are available to the public generally;” are exempted from the law.

The only potential violation of RCW 42.20.100 (Failure of Duty of a Public officer), of which I am aware, is my failure to report Mr. Farr for suspected Coercion (RCW 9A.36.070) and Intimidation of a Public Servant (RCW 9A.76.180) when it first became evident to me.  I have since rectified that oversight, and I believe that his renewed accusations are an attempt to punish me for performing that duty.

Since I am not currently a member of either the Planning Commission, or City Council, I will not address Mr. Farr’s additional complaints other than to say he has made no specific allegations.  What exactly has he given notice of?  He has only specified the RCW’s that govern the planning commission.  Is he actually trying to rectify his perceived problems with the commission, or intimidate you into supporting his own goals?

Mark Bailey

December 8, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
December 8, 2009

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor 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; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Mike Bagott; Bev Pearce; Greg Pearce; Pete Hertz; Tiana Gregg; Linda Snook; Paula Echanove; Tim Jones; Kristin Jones; Doug Willcox; Connie Newman; Tracy Milano.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   At the 11/24/09 council meeting, under Ord. 863, it was said that the w/s utility tax wouldn’t affect users outside the city limits.  We have since learned that is incorrect; all users of city utilities will be assessed the w/s tax.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of November 24, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Mike Bagott asked the Mayor if he has ever been disciplined or punished at WSU for not doing his job and what is expected of him?  Mayor answered no.  Mike Bagott stated it’s important for the public to know that in spite of the accusations leveled against the Mayor, the university has been pleased with his work for the past 26 years.

As a result of the council being labeled “lap dogs” for the mayor and unable to think for themselves, Mike Bagott asked each council member to state for the record how many city-related conversations each council member has had with the people who are criticizing, Steve McGehee and Jim Farr.  Mayor Echanove asked council if they wanted to continue this discussion.  Council agreed.  Councilmember O’Neill said SM called him once at home last summer; and he has spoken with JF once at a council meeting and once in person.  Councilmember Bailey spoke with SM early in his term regarding the burn ordinance and SM said he had no information.  Mark has spoken numerous times with JF to no avail.  Councilmember Schorzman has not spoken with JF or SM on anything city-related and just waves on the street to SM.  Councilmembers Snook, Bagott, and Milano each stated for the record that they have never been contacted by either man.  Councilmember Wekenman has never spoken with JF on a city-related matter; he spoke with SM about two years ago about something not related to anything currently being discussed.  Mike Bagott summarized that we have these people who are sharply critical of Palouse yet have made basically no efforts to speak to council members.  He requested that the responses of Mayor and Council be recorded to counter balance the attacks.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  Temperatures haven’t caused problems yet but usually problems won’t show up until the temps warm up.

The small reservoir is full and is holding.  The repair was inexpensive and they are keeping an eye on it.

POLICE REPORT: 
Chief Neumann reported that they have been doing a traffic study on Union Street due to complaints about speeding.  A lot of the traffic coming in on South River Road is exceeding the 25 mph zone particularly during school bus hours in the morning.  We temporarily changed the speed from 25 to 20 and people have slowed down.  They are trying to come up with the best way to get drivers to slow down.  We could change the speed to 20 mph at all times or reduce it to 20 during certain hours.  25 mph is reasonable most of the time, but when kids are present, 25 is too fast.  In and around the school in a two block radius, it’s 15 mph.  Councilmembers O’Neill and Bagott support posting the 20 mph speed limit as it would be simpler and consistent.  Chief Neumann said 20 mph seems a little slow for the length of the entire street.  The 25 mph was established in 1967 in Palouse; our ordinance will need to be amended.  Bluff and the cross streets are 20 mph.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED , and Councilmember Snook seconded to table this discussion regarding the speed limit adjustment until the first council meeting in February.  Motion carried unanimously.          

Chief Neumann explained that our current ordinance addresses archery equipment and its use within city limits but it does not address air guns.  He’s looking into a training program with the use of air guns.  He asked council to consider amending the current code to include air guns.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT :  Dan Gladwill reported he has been working on the abatement of a dangerous building at 510 S. Culton.  Demo was started and never finished.  Dan is posting a notice of order for abatement.  Eventually it may come to the city having to do the work so that it’s no longer a hazard.  A lien would then go to the property owner.  The city attorney has reviewed it and the letter gets mailed tomorrow.  The homeowner has 30 days to respond.

Dan has had many inspections; most of the projects are completed.  Currently building permits in Palouse are running about average with the county.  Palouse is doing okay.

State legislative season is coming up; Dan will be spending a lot of time chasing bills that may affect the city negatively.  He spends a lot of time in January on the phone and emails with WABO and county lobbyists.

Dan reported that he has had a great deal of contact with Jim Farr in trying to give him guidance on development plans.  A lot of the stuff that Jim wants to do is really his responsibility as a developer.

OLD BUSINESS
Ordinance No. 865:  Adopting the 2010 Budget :  Councilmember Bailey MOVED and Councilmember Wekenman seconded to suspend the rules of reading Ordinance 865 in its entirety.  Motion carried unanimously.  The budget was tweaked a bit since the last meeting with adjustments to beginning balances and reduction of expenditures in Sewer Capital Improvement.  This required minor changes to the Budget Message as well.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 865, the City of Palouse 2010 budget.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Maul Foster & Alongi Contract :  The Brownfields committee met and reviewed the Phase 2 contract.  The committee agreed to go ahead with the contract.  John Means from DOE approved of it as well.  Speaking for the committee, Doug Willcox stated that they made it very clear to MFA that at the end of Phase 2 we need to have a project that is ready to go into the next stage of acquisition and funding opportunities for clean-up and development.  It was also stressed that MFA’s evaluation and estimation for clean-up need to be done judiciously using past history and mitigation efforts.  Doug reminded all that this is a planning grant, no clean-up or real changes will occur as a result of this phase.  We as a community have much to offer on the economic planning and analysis portion of this grant.

Councilmember Snook MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the Phase 2 contract with MFA.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS :
Letter of Interest to acquire county property in Breeding’s Addition:  Mayor drew a diagram of the property in question.  He also read aloud a letter from 12/2/09 from Jim Farr in which he states that he will not install the line himself, that it is the city’s obligation to bring it to his property line.  Councilmembers Wekenman and O’Neill stated their opposition to the city acquiring this land from the county.  Councilmember Bailey stated he sees no benefit of the city owning this property.  Councilmember O’Neill doesn’t think it’s in the city’s or the community’s best interest.  Of course the city would like to have the hookup but it comes at too high of a price.  Andy reminded council that the reason the sewer line runs the way it does is because of Jim Farr’s early statements of development.  The city has yet to receive one sewer hook-up on any of his developed or undeveloped land.  After discussion, Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Bailey to submit a letter of interest to the county.  Motion failed unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings:   Little People’s Park Project is working very carefully on play equipment, soliciting bids.  There may be an opportunity to get a discount with free shipping and free installation if we order by 12/31/09.  Councilmember Milano would like to move forward, working closely with city hall and the bid law.  Milano reminded everyone that the 50% match on this grant is being donated by the Little People’s committee.  No city dollars are being spent on purchase or installation.

We’ve had some requests to reserve the park for weddings.  After the first of the year he’d like to review our policies on that.

Policy & Administration :  Councilmember Bailey said we received 6 PRR forms on Monday.  Most of them had multiple requests or requests with questions.  We need to insist that they submit requests as prescribed in our ordinance or sent back as denied.  Joyce asked the submitters to resubmit one of the multiple requests on separate forms and explained that she won’t address the questions as part of a PRR.  She told them as a courtesy she would pass the questions on this time.  Mayor said we need to stick to our policy.  Councilmember Bailey said we need to simplify the form and make it clearer and explain what happens if it’s filled out wrong.  Connie Newman is continuing her talks with Rep. Fagan on proposing legislation to allow the state offices to charge for PRR time.

Streets & Sidewalks :  Councilmember Bagott worked out a draft of the snow removal guideline.  It will help with the public’s knowledge of when and why we plow the way we do.

Water & Sewer :  Councilmember O’Neill said that along with all the PRR the City is receiving, various regulators of the state are also receiving them from the same people.  The DOH has a backlog of requests from Jim Farr.  As a result, DOH set up a meeting this Friday between COP, DOH, and Jim Farr.  Jim Farr refuses to attend.  He is sending his friend.

Councilmember O’Neill had a few suggestions for council as this is his final council meeting.  He recommends board training to our council.  For new council, he recommends attending both the AWC board training and the training offered by our insurance carrier.  For development of projects and improvements, he recommends the Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council (IACC) conference.  It helps you network with the people who are going to give you money or loan you money at a low interest rate.  The four years go by quick and the learning curve is steep.  Take advantage of all the training you can.

Police, Fire, & Safety :  Councilmember Wekenman stated that they still need one more council member on the JFB.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Councilmember Wekenman read the liquor license renewal for the Green Frog.  The Liquor Board will renew their license unless anyone objects.  No objections.     

Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Wekenman to cancel the next council meeting.  The next scheduled council meeting will be January 12, 2010.  Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor gave sincere thanks to outgoing council members Andy O’Neill and Mark Bailey.  They leave very large shoes to fill.  It’s sad they’re leaving.

Joyce reported that she is looking into a new product offered by AmericanWest Bank and provided a written explanation to council.  It would earn a higher interest on some of the money currently held at the Investment Pool.  It would be FDIC insured, thus approved by the State Auditor’s Office.  This will, however be confirmed directly.  Information will be presented next year for council consideration.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion.  Councilmember Wekenman asked for clarification on two of the bills.  Motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      1897-1932           $8,816.70
Payroll Paid      1872 – 1896
and EFT payroll transaction     $41,080.11

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

November 24, 2009

Special Council Meeting:
Final Public Hearing for 2010 Budget
followed by
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
November 24, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Bev Pearce, Greg Pearce, Mike Bagott, Tiana Gregg, Sam Gregg, Connie Newman, Mary Rothlisberger, David Wold, Dean Huber, Linda Snook, Jeslyn Lemke, Randy Zehm, Sharon Tharp, Tereasa Hemphill, Gordon Hemphill, Bruce Beeson, Robin Rilette, Doug Willcox.

Open Final Public Hearing for 2010 Budget:  7:03
No public input.  Mayor read portions of the 2010 Budget Message.  The 2010 budget as proposed is approximately 19.7% lower than 2009.  The decrease is primarily due to completion of Whitman Street and H Street projects, and partial completion of the Brownfields IPG.  The 2010 budget for gross salaries was decreased by a total of $12,950, primarily due to opening the pool later and not hiring summer help for public works.

Close Public Hearing @ 7:12 and Open Regular Council Meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 10, 2009.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
Tiana Gregg:  The 5th Annual Turkey Leg is a fun run on Thanksgiving Day to raise money for books that stay in our own Palouse Library and to fund two, $200 scholarships.

Connie Newman:  Spoke with state rep Susan Fagan on what she views as Palouse’s excessive Public Records Requests (PRR) issues.  Rep. Fagan was already aware of our and other city situations.  Rep. Fagan told her that legislators must address two questions:  What are excessive PRR truly producing, and what is the cost to communities.  Connie explained WA State is in the minority and that most states charge for PRR.  Connie wants her to propose communities be allowed to charge for excessive PRR.  Rep. Fagan is going to have her staff start researching it.  Councilmember Bailey gave some statistics from Lakewood, WA that show the impact of excessive PRR.  Robin Rilette asked if there are any standards in place already that determine when PRR become excessive.  Councilmember Bailey said no, there really aren’t any standards, the law is vague.  City Hall has a request that was ready to be picked up on the 19th that hasn’t been picked up yet and owes $13+ and yet he continues to make more PRR.  There are people in Western WA who are making their living by submitting PRR and then suing when a city messes up.  One individual made $160,000 from doing that.  Doug Wilcox suspects this issue is much larger than we’re aware of.

Dean Huber gave an update on the Habitat for Humanity house.  The construction is progressing very well as they are 1-2 months ahead of normal construction schedule.  The house is expected to be complete by late Feb. or March.  The credit goes to the citizens of Palouse and all their support.  The painted stud program was initiated here during Palouse Days and raised over $1,000.  These studs were used on the interior walls and will be covered by sheetrock.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  Regarding the reservoir, we’re working on a steel tank.  Inside the brick structure there is a 135,000 gallon steel tank which has a leak where the tank meets the supply line.  We think we’ll have it sealed up next week.  We’re not jeopardizing any safety issues; it’s completely shut off and drained right now.  Our other reservoir is over 500,000 gallons.  Daily usage this time of year is 80-90K gallons/day.  Both wells have electronic sensors that PBAC is using to monitor.  We’ll be able to go 48 hours w/o pumping.  Data collection devices are 400’ down in both our wells plus there’s one in the river.

POLICE REPORT :  Officer Merry reported they have been working on junk vehicles in town.  In the spirit of the community most owners have basically cooperated without forcing us to go to a hearing.

For the past 6 weeks we’ve had ongoing issues of vandalism and burglary at the Palouse school.  Chief Neumann interviewed witnesses and other students and by 3:00 pm he had full confessions from the two students.  Parents are cooperating.  Other than that everything is normal and going fine.

PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT :  Councilmember Bailey reported that the commission met and went over new rules, discussed public hearing process,  and current operating code.  Dean Huber added that a fair amount of time was spent discussing clear communication.  There are a number of maps with different information.  They need to be very clear whether the maps are in a draft form, report form, or final form.  Councilmember Bailey said none of the maps have reached draft form yet.  Clerk Beeson reminded the planning commission that there is money in the budget to go towards CAD mapping and printng.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION UPDATE :  Clerk Beeson stated they will be changing their regular meeting date.

OLD BUSINESS
Resolution 2009-12 :  2010 Salary/Reimbursement Schedule – Mayor read aloud the resolution.  Salaries are all the same as 2009 with the exception for Public Works Supt. and returning pool manager.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-12.  Councilmember Bagott seconded.  It was noted that the mileage reimbursement hasn’t changed in years and is very low.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 863 :  Water/Sewer Utility Tax Amendment to reduce tax from 7% to 6%.  This is an ordinance that has been in place since 2001.  Councilmember Bailey said the auditors told us to either start collecting it or make it go away.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance.  This ordinance was discussed extensively at the previous council meetings.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED , and Councilmember Snook seconded to adopt Ord. 863.  Councilmember Milano clarified this tax was on the books since 2001 but hasn’t been initiated.  The tax will average to less than $3.00 for the average citizen per month, (not including overage during summer months).  Councilmember O’Neill suggested that council take a look at w/s rates to assure that our w/s infrastructure is fully funded.  Supt. Griffin asked if the tax affects people outside the city limits.  No, this tax revenue goes into the general fund and affects only water and sewer accounts within city limits.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 864:   Public Records Requests.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED and Councilmember Wekenman seconded to suspend the rules for reading Ordinance No. 864 in its entirety.  This amends Title 1 of the PMC creating a new chapter 1.18 relating to the disclosure of public records.  Councilmember Bailey read aloud the findings.  The form to request for access to public records has been revised so that only one specific document or specific set of documents is allowed per request.  1.18.100 covers the copying fees.  Mark worked with the city attorney on this.  1.18.070 A & B cover the response to request and the length of time.  Connie Newman asked how the council plans on supporting staff in making the determination of whether a PRR is legit, and how much time is needed.  We have no formal structure in making that determination but there are resources such as the city attorney, Canfield & Assoc risk management, and AWC attorneys.  Councilmember Bailey prefer city staff go to the attorney if there is any question whatsoever. If someone turns in a PRR and it’s actually a question, it needs to initially be denied in writing as a PRR.  Most insurance companies won’t cover a city if they are sued for a PRR violation.  Connie Newman recommends that staff closely document what steps they’ve taken to fulfill a PRR, i.e. calling the atty, researching online, etc. so that staff can justify the time it took.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to approve Ord. 864, Councilmember Milano seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Maul Foster & Alongi Contract Part 2:  MF&A have completed the Phase 1 portion of their IPG.  They have now submitted their scope of work and cost estimate for Phase 2 of the IPG.  The estimated total cost for Phase 2 is $124,270.  Doug Willcox and Mayor Echanove have consulted with MFA on the process.  They are wondering if, with the background of investigation that exists for this site, it won’t be possible to avoid some of what might normally be involved with site investigation work, thus saving some of the estimated cost.  They will continue to, along with MFA, persist with this line of inquiry and save whatever is possible within their site investigation process.  In the end, MFA will need to do all that is necessary to properly complete this task.

Much focus has been aimed at the economic and planning efforts needed for our community as a whole.  The greatest outcome of this Brownfields Project, however, could be the overall stimulus that it provides for especially the entire Palouse Main St. business community.  MFA intends to recognize and maintain this focus.  MFA thought it a good idea that our “experts” on Main Street be involved in some kind of task force with the professionals of MFA who have a vision of the regional impact economically.  Unlike the community meeting at the end of Phase 1, this would be a more structured meeting.  The budget is nothing more than a budget; we’re going to try and keep the costs to a minimum.  The Brownfields Committee will meet prior to the next council meeting.  Doug projects that after the first quarter of the year, the community will see things happening on that site.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings:   Shelly Goertzen is going to order the playground equipment after the first of the year.
Lions Club has requested to put Christmas lights on the gazebo.  Supt. Griffin sees no problem with that.

Streets & Sidewalks :  Still working with Dwayne on the snow removal policy.

Water & Sewer :
Councilmember O’Neill was reviewing some older minutes and wants to clarify a few things from the 9/8/09 minutes:  1.  Under the w/s section, they refer to having a meeting with DOH, when we actually had a conference call.
2.  Councilmember O’Neill acknowledges that he may have spoken hastily when stating that a water system plan is not required, because that is a determination as a result of a pre-planned meeting with the DOH and that meeting has not yet occurred at this time.  However it is important to note that a Small Water System Management Program is required for the City of Palouse.

DOH is meeting with COP Dec. 11th to discuss a possible water extension plan in the Breeding’s Addition.

Police, Fire, & Safety:
Councilmember Wekenman reported that Curtis Arrasmith was honored for his service to the community at the last meeting.  The JFB is finishing the year under budget.  City Hall will now be doing the monthly financial reports.  There were three fire calls in Oct, bringing the yearly total to 28, 9 more than last year.  Regarding the grant that Chief Bagott is still working on, there is a 9% downward adjustment which means a downgrade in the turnouts were trying to get.  There have been a few repairs to vehicles.  They’re still looking for long-term storage for a parade use only fire truck (anyone with an old barn).  Chief Bagott went to Kennewick to look at new technology for rural fire departments and handling the potential for limited response.  They looked at a fire extinguishing bomb that is deployed into a one or two room structure fire that sprays a fire-extinguishing powder which can substantially knock down a fully involved fire.  It can limit property loss and water damage and more importantly, increase the safety of our firefighters.  They demonstrated it and it worked as advertised.  The cost of the unit is $1,000 which Chief will expend as soon as the budget allows next year.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Mayor read aloud the Notice of Intent to continue coverage for the Permit for Biosolids Management.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , Bailey seconded authorizing Mayor to sign the notice of intent.  Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Echanove wanted the public to know that in regards to the PRR filed against him at his WSU office, he did receive some findings that he was in violation of state law for using state equipment, primarily local telephone calls, for non-WSU use.  As far as WSU is concerned, there are two uses:  WSU and anything else.  The “anything else” part exceeded the minimum amount that is allowed.  The report will be sent to the administrative office at WSU for their consideration.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     1831-1871       $  8,506.80
Payroll Paid     1872-1896       $33,719.22
Payroll Paid     EFT                 $  7,360.89

November 10, 2009

Special Council Meeting: 
Public Hearing for 2010 Preliminary Budget
followed by
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
November 10, 2009

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor 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; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Tiana Gregg; Chaucey Wittinger; Corey Laughary; Greg Pearce; Bev Pearce; Mike Bagott; Pete Hertz; Pat O’Neill; Tracy Milano; Linda Snook; Mary Rothlisberger; Connie Newman; Jon Fleischman; Cecil Floyd; Tracy Flynn.

Open Public Hearing 2010 Preliminary Budget:  7:01 Bev Pearce asked if the city has any 2010 projects coming up.  With the exception of the Brownfield project, no.  The city has talked about our footbridge and our reservoir as possible future projects.  Our Public Works will be able to continue with our arterial street plan due to the wonderful support of our community.

Close Public Hearing @ 7:03 and Open Regular Council Meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 27, 2009.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:
LCSC Nursing Student Chaucey Wittinger surveyed various Palouse residents to help raise awareness on health.  Based on those surveys, she found residents’ biggest health concern is the lack of exercise facilities in Palouse.  Palouse has a great pool, parks, sidewalks, trails, etc.  The school gym is available at different times.  Check into the weight room use as well.  Perhaps the new community center will provide exercise classes.

Mayor pointed out that council meetings may be recorded unless anyone objects.  Tianna Gregg recorded the meeting.

Prior to council, Connie Newman filled out the ‘request to address council’.  Using information she gathered from the Public Records Request (PRR) that she filed with the city, Connie presented a number of statistics regarding the PRR the city has received.  In the last 10 months, there have been 24 PRR filed with the City of Palouse.  However, that number is misleading because within those 24 requests, there were 98 PRR and 56 detailed questions.  That’s actually 154 requests within those 24 PRR.  Staff cannot question the motive or reasonableness of these requests.  One of her concerns is multiple requests for identical information (she cited examples).  All but 5 of the PRR have come from Steve McGehee and Jim Farr.  On Oct. 18, Jim Farr had a PRR with 12 requests which took 9.25 hours for city staff to complete.  Connie believes they are misusing the PRR.  They are asking for documents to be developed.  Jim Farr had a PRR asking staff to compile a list of “all communications to and from the COP between he and Nicole Wood (his partner), …including all water, sewer, access, remodeling, demolition, site approval, dumping, easement, and right of way proposals, for the years 2007, 2008, & 2009”.  That’s correspondence that HE sent to the city.  In three weeks, Joyce alone has spent 21 hours compiling PRR.  These cost the city a lot of money.  It appears these people are conducting their own private audit, and misusing city staff time.  Connie requests that each PRR be allowed to have only ONE request per form.  Connie also requests adopting a policy allowing staff to extend the amount of time originally told to requestors because it is too difficult for city staff to know how long each PRR will take.

Mayor stated that Jim Farr and Steve McGehee have inundated staff with these requests.  Mayor spoke with Atty. General Tim Ford’s office.  He suggested that the city could hold a public meeting much like this where all this data becomes available for the public to review and input to develop a policy.  We must do something; engage the community; develop a plan to help the staff move forward.  Mark Bailey modified another city’s ordinance last week to address these issues.  Through the course of all this we realized we don’t have an index of public records which is required under RCW.  In Mark’s research he hasn’t found a single city in the state that maintains an index, but rather, they exempt themselves by ordinance.  Mark included in the modification not locking ourselves into a timeframe for completing PRR.  He would like to see Connie’s idea of allowing only one request per form.  It is important that people know that questions are not PRR.  Connie said also that it sets a bad precedent if we allow questions on a PRR.  Questions are welcome but residents should channel their questions properly.  Bev Pearce stated that the council should move forward with a public meeting to address the need for a stronger PRR policy.

Mark Bailey thinks these PRR are punitive at this point because the city isn’t giving them (SM & JF) what they want.  Mark said the city of Mesa a few years ago was dealing with this exact situation and said “no more”.   Mesa lost a lawsuit when it was appealed in the Appellate Court, after the initial trial court had ruled that Mesa had more than substantially complied.  They were fined $230,000 which was nearly 75% of their general fund budget.

Despite the requestors’ altruistic statements of having the best interests of Palouse in mind, Mark doesn’t believe that anymore.  Mayor said these individuals are also going to state agencies: DOH, DOE, WSU (a PRR at the Mayor’s office at WSU).  Mike Bagott said it’s pretty clear from Steve McGehee’s last article in the Boomerang that this is personal, pointing out that he (Steve) isn’t present tonight for budget discussions.  We need to keep the public informed.

Jon Fleischman wanted on record that he did not give Steve McGehee approval to put his (Jon’s) name at the end of his (Steve’s) article in the Boomerang and does not agree with many of his opinions.

Mayor said we will work on having a public meeting.  We’ll have Canfield and Associates help us.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  The chipper/compost pile is getting used a lot.  We’ll chip in another week or so.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann submitted a written report.

NEW BUSINESS :
Whitman County Commissioner Pat O’Neill spoke about a Proposed Transportation Project.  Whitman County would like to start a van pool for people in Garfield, Palouse, or Oakesdale going to and from work M-F at SEL and WSU in Pullman.  Coast Transportation has committed to the 20% match.  The county’s goal is to provide 2, 12-passenger vans.  Participant cost would be $75/pp/month, (based on 9 riders).  The resolution is complete and the application goes out in mid-December.  They hope to have them operating by mid-January.  Call 635-1604 for more information.

Public Records Index Ordinance :  Councilmember Bailey explained that one of our reasons for this is to exempt us from having to have a Public Records Index which is required by RCW.  We don’t have the manpower to create or maintain an index.  The ordinance pretty much follows the one we developed prior with the exception of extending when PRR can be picked up.  If we’re going to have a public meeting on this, he recommends that we have this ready to review at the next meeting for possible adoption.  We will need to confirm with the city’s insurance carrier and attorney that we can require only one request per form.

OLD BUSINESS
Resolution:  Red Flag Rule – Identity Theft Prevention :  The policy is still in Atty. Bishop’s hand.  The deadline has been extended until June 2010.  The RFR is being required by the FTC to protect consumers from identity theft.  Since the city has w/s accounts we are considered a creditor.  We have to have a policy in place to protect those records which could be used for identity theft.

Discussion on implementing water/sewer utility tax :  Councilmember Bailey gave a power point presentation on the city’s financial trends since 2000.  A few of the many facts presented include the reduced revenues due to the loss of sales tax equalization and the property tax increase limit of 1%.  The revenue was also reduced by the fact that interest rates went from 6% in 2000 to less that 1% currently.  Keep in mind that inflation rises annually by 2-3%.  Expenditures have increased in Law Enforcement because of the city commitment to have a two-man department.  The third officer is paid through the Garfield contract for services.

Councilmember O’Neill stated that before implementing this tax, our current w/s rates need to be reviewed to make sure we put money away for reserves.  He recommends doing an official w/s rate study (they take three months from start to finish).  Councilmember Bailey thinks it’s necessary to implement this tax for 2010 to maintain a reserve balance in the general fund.  Councilmember Milano recommends that we implement the tax since it’s already on our books and then look at w/s rates later.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to ask our attorney to rewrite our utility tax PMC 3.17 from 7% to 6%.  Councilmember Bailey seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Mike Bagott said the passing of our street levy and pool levy were pretty telling in the approval rate of the city.  The people who choose to live here are choosing to support their schools, streets, cities, through the tax levies.  He stated that he would much rather pay that extra $2 on the utility bill than have zero reserves in the general fund.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings:   The Chamber has requested having a drive-in movie night at the RV Park as a fundraiser for the community center.  City staff has seen the proposal and their only concern is property damage (grass, sprinklers, etc.). The chamber’s insurance carrier AIA has reviewed the project and will cover any damages that may occur.  The first movie is planned for the end of November and the second one the end of December.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow Tyler Barstow to go ahead with his plan with the continued approval from city staff.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Streets & Sidewalks :  Councilmember Bagott continues to work with Supt. Griffin on the snow removal policy.   She spoke with Greg Partch from TIB and he doesn’t think we need an official ceremony for the H Street project but a letter from the city with pictures would be good.

Water & Sewer :  Councilmember O’Neill’s term is up in December.  He thinks the city should send council members to the IACC conference once a year.   It has proven to be a very valuable investment for the city.

He said in the next year someone should take a serious look at the w/s rates and do a full analysis of where we’re at.  Non-profits such as ERWOW and RCAC can provide hours of free services.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED , second by Schorzman to request an official w/s rate study.  Councilmember O’Neill abstained.  Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
The mayor is speaking about Palouse next week at the WA. Chapter of Assn. of American Planners.

The Mayor thanked voters for passing our levies.  That money is invaluable to the community.

The 2010 preliminary budget is available to the public at City Hall.

Councilmember Bailey MOVED to excuse Councilmember O’Neill from the Oct. 27 council meeting.  Second by Councilmember Snook.  Motion carried unanimously.

The PRR meeting will be a public meeting, not a public hearing.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:51 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     1807-1830                   $34,374.77
Payroll Paid     1787-1806                   $30,171.42
Payroll Paid     EFT                             $  6,655.85
APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

October 27, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
October 27, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Rick Wekenman.  Absent: Andy O’Neill.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joe Merry; City Attorney Stephen Bishop (7:22); Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present:  Nathan Kite, Linda Snook, Tyler Barstow, Mary Rothlisberger, Tiana Gregg, Emmy Gregg, Jon Fleischman, Tracy Milano.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman added the word “mower” behind John Deere in the finance report.  Councilmember Bagott  MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 13, 2009 as amended.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Bailey MOVED to excuse Mayor Echanove and Councilmember O’Neill from the last meeting (10/13/09).  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:     Supt. Griffin reported the H St and Alder St storm drain systems are working great.  Currently they are picking up leaves, preparing for snow and working on the 300’ water extension to Kessler’s.  Councilmember Snook asked if a snow removal policy is necessary and Griffin said yes.  Councilmember Bagott said she would begin to develop a policy through the Street & Sidewalk committee.  Mayor Echanove asked how much is budgeted for the 1-Ton replacement in 2010.  It was determined that $20-$25K is in the budget for all costs of the purchase including retrofitting to their needs.  Mayor pointed out how important the 1-Ton is in the operations of Public Works.  It is especially run hard during the snow season.  Council asked if repairs have been made to the North Hill water reservoir.  No repairs have been made.  Mayor pointed out that the reservoir is over 100 years old and we should continue to look into available funding for the South Hill reservoir.

POLICE REPORT :   Haunted Palouse is going well, with no incidents to report.

Red Ribbon week is underway at the school with grades 1 – 5 participating.  Chief Neumann explained that Red Ribbon Week was started in 1985 to honor a DEA agent killed in the line of duty.  It is a national program that goes into schools to explain about the dangers of using drugs.

Mayor asked if RV Park operations are going good.  PD and Public Works both answered yes.  Councilmember Milano said that during winter months perhaps the outside water should not re available to use.  Information is going out that reservations will not be taken after mid November until early next spring.  He also reported that thanks to a donation by Jim & Ruth Cochran, a tree planting program will begin at the RV Park next spring.  Councilmember Milano suggested that the city match the $500 donation in the 2010 budget.  Mayor Echanove asked and it was confirmed that the tree trimming program at the City Park will continue in the 2010 budget.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS :  Councilmember Wekenman reported they are under budget for 2009.  There were two fire calls in September.  No word on their grant application.  He also reported that they need storage for the old Dodge fire truck.  They would like to keep it in good condition for use in parades.  The EMS had 5 calls in September with a total of 51 YTD.   Curtis Arrasmith will be honored November 16, 7:00 pm at the Public Safety Building, for his services throughout town.

NEW BUSINESS :  Q-3 Treasurer’s Report
Clerk-Treasurer Beeson provided copies of the third quarter treasurer’s report, and spoiled check register.  It was reported that no budget amendments are anticipated between now and the end on the year.  With all departments being frugal, most funds are running well under budget.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to accept the Q-3 Treasurer’s Report.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings :  Councilmember Milano reported that Palouse Conservation is having a tree planting day.  There are about 50 trees ready to plant to replace the ones that have died or were destroyed by beavers. 

Policy & Administration :  Councilmember Bailey reported that the Planning Commission (PC) met with no quorum.  Title17 – Zoning is getting close to being ready to present.  Attorney Bishop explained that the PC will need to hold a Public Hearing on the changes to Title 17.  They can make changes based on the hearing or send it on to council.  Council may then recommend changes to the PC or have a public hearing before it is adopted as an ordinance.

Streets & Sidewalks Councilmember Bagott will begin working on a snow plowing policy.   Mayor Echanove reported that TIB requests a dedication ceremony for the H St. project.  They will set this up through Commissioner Partch.

Police, Fire, & Safety:   Mayor Echanove explained to council that due to the resignation of Anne Larison to the Civil Service Commission (CSC), he reviewed the original letters of interest and contacted Lynn Youngblood.  Lynn stated he would still accept an appointment to the CSC.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to reaffirm the Mayor’s appointment of Lynn Youngblood to the Palouse Civil Service Commission.   Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :    Mayor Echanove reported he attended and gave a presentation at the Washington Brownfields conference.  The Brownfields public meeting was a huge success and MFA continue to formulate strategies.  They are planning to take core samples at the site.

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

From the gallery, Jon Fleischman suggested that we use the reader board and newspapers to remind people to license their dogs for 2010.

Councilmember Bailey reported that Governor Christine Gregoire recommended a 94 million dollar project to the Federal government for funding through the Broadband Stimulus program.  This will run fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure to all the communities in Whitman County where there are Whitman County library branches, as well as other rural areas throughout the state.  This project is a collaboration between NOANET (Northwest Open Access Network), the Port of Whitman, and Whitman County Library.  In addition, the Gates Foundation has pledged to contribute Whitman County Library’s match portion.

Initially, this new infrastructure will serve the Library system but there will be adequate capacity to carry both public and private phone, television, and data.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook  seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid     Ck# 1775 – 1786        $6,795.97

October 13, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
October 13, 2009

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Pro Tem Rick Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; & Jeff Snook..  Absent:  Mayor Echanove (out of town) and Councilmember Andy O’Neill.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  John Eastburn; Jon Fleischman; Randy Zehm; Dixie Reber; Chris Lowe; Steve McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 22, 2009.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin reported they finished installing new w/s service to the new build on Union Street (Habitat for Humanity home).  The chipper was here last week and is coming again on the 20th.  The unstable city siren has been repaired.  The crew has been repairing water leaks.  The city water reservoir on the North hill is leaking and they are in the process of determining what needs to be done.  The reservoir is very old but it is steel lined.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann reported he is participating in a training which will allow him to give instruction to Boy Scouts and 4-H kids who are interested in learning firearm safety.  Councilmember Bailey asked whether this training will substitute for hunter safety for those kids who aren’t interested in hunting, just in shooting trap.  Chief Neumann will look into that.

There have been a number of complaints recently about signs being posted on power poles.  Chief reminds residents that it is actually a misdemeanor to put anything on power poles.

Chief Neumann did a Haunted Shady Lane dry run with the Lions Club and it went really well.

JFB REPORT:   Rick Wekenman reported there have been 20 YTD fire calls compared to 15 last year at this time.  Total EMS calls YTD 46, up a few from last year.  EMS is going to probably spend about $1,800 in “abnormal” purchases before the end of the year.  The FD isn’t projecting any unusual expenses thru the end of the year.  The training trailer was at the school teaching kids what to do in case there is a house fire.

NEW BUSINESS :
Regarding water service in Breeding’s Addition, Mark Bailey reported we need to give permission to Jack Nagle to work in the right of ways of 8th and D Streets to provide 2” water service to the NE corner of 8th and D.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to allow Jack Nagle to excavate and install a 2” water line to the NE corner of D & 8th.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Bailey reported that the Mayor would like MD&A to develop an engineered plan for 6” water distribution system for the area being developed in Breeding’s Addition.  The engineer will work with the Dept. of Health (DOH) for approval.  Munir thinks he can have that engineering done in less than two weeks at an estimated cost of $1,500 – $2,000.  It is unknown how long DOH approval will take, but in the meantime estimates can be put together for individual properties.  The city cannot approve 2” single service lines anywhere and everywhere leaving other lots with no route for getting water.  Clerk Beeson stated that MDA is so familiar with the rock and the elevations in this area.  We don’t have to go to bid if it’s under $7,500.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to approve MDA to develop an engineered plan for a 6” water distribution system, not to exceed $2,000.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

John Eastburn asked what it would take to get a work order to get the process moving along to hook into the city 6” line on 9th Street.  Supt. Griffin will meet with John this week to discuss the specifics.  John’s project will be a ½ day project for public works.

Steve McGehee asked if the city is no longer liable to bring water to the property.  Councilmember Bailey clarified that we are only having the engineering done.  It will still be up to the property owners to get the work done.  Right now the city is just trying to get a consistent plan.  The work Jack Nagle will be doing is a 2” line which will only serve one home.  There are three issues in developing that property:  water service, fire hydrant, and right-of-way issues.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT :  The biggest change in the general fund will be adding the 6% w/s utility tax.  The 6% applies to the $21 sewer charge which amounts to $1.26, plus 6% on water usage including overage.  The ordinance is already in Palouse’s code from the year 2000, but it has never been implemented.  City hall will put together some numbers on what the charges will be on an average water/sewer bill and email it to the city’s listserve and also put it in the Boomerang.  Mayor Echanove recommends a public hearing on the issue.  Councilmember Bailey suggested the hearing be held the same night as the preliminary budget meeting (Nov. 10) so that people can hear/learn the reasons why the city needs to implement the tax.  Mark explained “if inflation goes up 3% a year and property taxes can only go up 1%, we need to offset those revenue losses.”  Steve McGehee commented that the city could spend less.  Councilmember Bailey responded that the city has been very slim since 2000 and there’s not a lot of fat there.

Preliminary budget hearing will be Nov. 10 and the public hearing for the final budget will be Nov. 24th.  The final budget will be presented to adopt on December 8th.  The only request to the budget is to replace the one-ton pick-up (city’s snow plow) in 2010.  Councilmember Schorzman brought up having a snow plow policy which would set a minimum accumulation of snow required before public works plows.  Supt. Griffin agreed that a policy for plowing is a good idea.

The John Deere needs to be replaced in 2011 (it has over 1,000 hours on it already).

There was discussion on raising the costs for dog licenses from $5 to $10 for spayed/neutered, and from $10 to $20 for not spayed/neutered.  It would help offset the cost of the contract with the Whitman Co. Humane Society to allow us to take loose dogs over there.  John Fleischman disagrees with raising the fees and basically subsidizing those who don’t pay to license their dogs.  He argued that our fees would be higher than Pullman’s.  Councilmember Bailey explained that we need to compare everything and that Pullman can charge less for pet licenses because their property tax is MUCH higher than Palouse’s.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Councilmember Bailey has no news on the Red Flag policy regarding Identity Theft.  It will be reviewed and emailed out to council.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid     1695-1713 & 1726-1731         $41,924.35
Voided             1714-1725
Claims Paid     1732-1774                               $83,506.73

September 22, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
September 22, 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; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Rick Wekenman.  Absent: Mike Milano and Andy O’Neill.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann and City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present: Pete Hertz, Steve McGehee, Dixie Reber and Bruce Reim.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 8, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:     Supt. Griffin reported they completed the sewer connection for Habitat for Humanity and will work on the water next.  Griffin said there are still a few problems with the sprinklers at the RV Park which they will work on.

POLICE REPORT : Chief Neumann submitted a written report, also reporting that through a meeting for Haunted Palouse (HP), issues of concern were raised about the Shady Lane venue.  They are still in the early stages of resolving these safety concerns.  No incidents to report over the Palouse Day weekend.

JFB REPORT :  No quorum, meeting re-scheduled for Monday the 28th.

NEW BUSINESS :
Whitman County Library director Kristi Kirkpatrick gave handouts and outlined the accomplishments at the Palouse branch and Whitman County libraries.  Several new programs are coming in and grants are pending for the latest improvements in technology.  The Whitman County Library district will have on the Nov. 3rd ballot, a request for a levy lid lift.  Kirkpatrick explained that this would be an average increase of about .03 cents an acre on farmland and an increase of $5.20 on a $100,000 home per year.  Councilmember Bailey further explained that the technology grant is to get fiber optics cable through the rural communities.  This would be a great opportunity for economic development to rural communities.  The Gates Foundation has stepped up to help supplement the 20% match that is required.

Grant of Restrictive Covenant – Mayor Echanove read the document and explained that this is a requirement to close the grant with Ecology for the mobile home park project.  This is a covenant that restricts the development of the now Riverpark, formerly mobile home park.  It limits the use to open space and accessory uses to enhance the open space.   Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow the mayor to sign the Grant of Restrictive Covenant.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion.  After discussion on possible enhancements, the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS :
Resolution adopting City Purchasing Card Policy and Agreement – Councilmember Bailey explained that no changes were made since presented at the last meeting.  No concerns addressed by council.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2009-11 – City purchasing card policy and agreement as attached.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution adopting Council Rules of Procedures – Councilmember Bailey outlined changes made to the rules of procedure.  While minor language changes were made, the only substantive changes were:  Identify non-agenda items as open forum; and the section concerning a consent agenda was removed.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2009-10 – Adopting Council Rules of Procedures as attached.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

USGS Contract for maintenance of the rivergauge near Potlatch, ID – Mayor Echanove explained the joint funding agreement between U.S.G.S. and the City of Palouse.  The city share went up 4.1% from last year.  In past years the Ecology FCAAP program has offered funding for a portion of the city share, however, this funding is no longer available.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow the mayor to sign the rivergauge maintenance contract.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Councilmember Bailey reported he is working on adapting an Identity Theft Prevention Program for the City of Palouse.  This program is mandated by the state and will be required.  The key points of the program will be to protect personal information and learn to recognize and respond to Red Flags of identity theft for any new and existing covered accounts.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT:  Councilmember Schorzman stated that cuts to the General Fund budget must be made, as well as increases to revenue.  Continuing discussion from the last meeting, council should consider implementing the utility tax for water and sewer.  There is code already adopted allowing this, but was never implemented.   The code would be amended to allow a 6% tax to water and sewer operating rate payers.  Based on current rates, this would add $1.05 to the basic water ($17.50), and $1.26 to sewer ($21.00).  Another cost saving measure recommended is to open the pool two weeks later than usual.  This would cut down on payroll as well as heating the pool for the earlier days in June when the weather is usually cool.  After discussion, Councilmember Bagott MOVED to direct the attorney to amend the code allowing the utility tax on water and sewer service.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS:  Councilmember Bagott reported that through the Safe Routes to School program, signage and enhancements would likely be approved for the route students are taking over the bank on North hill and across SR 272 to 8th Street in Breeding’s Addition.  She will follow up on this.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Reminder to council and the community of the Brownsfield project update and presentation by MF&A. This is being done through the Integrated Planning grant from Ecology.  Everyone is encouraged to attend – September 30th at the Palouse school gymnasium.  Open house begins at 6:30 PM, with the meeting following at 7:00.  MF&A will follow up with a wrap-up meeting at City Hall on Oct. 1st before they leave town.

Mayor Echanove asked Pete Hertz if there is any update on the county chipper program.  No, they have not met yet.

Due to the Mayor’s absence, the next meeting will be chaired by Mayor Pro-tem Wekenman.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     Checks # 1677 – 1694    $35,827.52
Payroll Paid

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 8, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
September 8, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook.  Absent:  Darcie Bagott, Rick Wekenman, & Chief Neumann.  Also present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Officer Brian Dentler; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Jeslyn Lemke, Whitman Co. Gazette; Pete Hertz; Dixie Reber; Steve McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 25, 2009.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Supt. Griffin reported they completed Alder Street.  The chipper was here again last week.  They will be painting crosswalks, etc.  The roof leak at the Heritage Park restroom has been patched.

NEW BUSINESS :
Open Sealed Bids for surplus.  Mayor Echanove read aloud the two bids received.  Jerry Thompson bid $7.55 on the paper shredder.  Dave Willmore bid $47.75 for the chain link fencing.  Councilmember Schorzman didn’t think the fencing should be sold for so little money.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to accept the bids for the paper shredder and the fencing as presented.  Councilmember Milano seconded.  Supt. Griffin said the city has no use for the fencing.   Motion carried with one no vote from Councilmember Schorzman.

OLD BUSINESS :
Accepting Credit Cards for w/s payments correction .  Mark Bailey explained that at the last council meeting he stated that convenience fees are against the law.  He since learned that VISA does not allow such fees.  Since VISA won’t allow it, it makes accepting payments for w/s a tougher decision.

Brownfields Update – We’re coming to the end of the first phase with Maul Foster & Alongi.  They will be presenting what they have gathered at a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the school gymnasium.  The objective is to orient the community on the process, share preliminary findings and get feedback from the community.  The more people there the more effective the meeting will be.

Chipper Program update – Mayor Echanove turned the discussion over to Pete Hertz.  The county grant to operate the chipper ends at the end of the year.  Pete Hertz reported that to keep the program going, the county will have to charge the city $250 to $300 each 8 hour day the chipper comes to town.  Dwayne estimated the chipper has come 20 times since the first of the year and pointed out that they were there for only half days.  Councilmember Bailey said the city will probably have to start charging for the use of the chipper, suggesting that perhaps the city charge a yearly fee of $20 for a key to a locked gate.  Councilmember O’Neill said that the $20 x 200 permit holders wouldn’t cover our costs.  It was asked if there be the ability for people to still use the compost site w/o paying for a chipper key.  Not sure how that would work out logistically.  Councilmember Bailey would like to strongly encourage the county to fund that program through solid waste because the chipper is reducing the amount of material going to the landfills, thus reducing their costs.   Pete said he would take the idea back to the board.

RV Park Policy – Councilmember Milano read aloud the RV Park Policies.  We need to add the two week limit and fee amounts to the policies.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to accept our amended RV Park policies.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

City Purchasing Card Policy and Agreement – Councilmember Bailey read aloud the purchasing card policy and cardholder agreement.  Mark will have a resolution for next meeting.

Review Council Rules of Procedures – Councilmember Bailey read aloud a draft of the Council Rules of Procedures, which draws from a compilation of many cities’ rules of procedures.  Council discussed changes.  Mark will have a resolution for next meeting.  Mayor said the training session with Canfield & Associates to discuss council procedures is scheduled for September 22nd at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall.  Current council members, city staff and those running for council are invited to attend.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano presented a request from Chamber of Commerce to use the PD and PW garage/basement for Haunted Palouse.  Chamber will perhaps donate back to the city to cover heat costs for those HP nights.

PERSONNEL & POOL:
Committee Chair Jeff Snook met with Dwayne, Joyce, and pool manager Annie Manning for an exit interview.  They discussed ways to save the city money, maintenance concerns, and improvements.

WATER & SEWER :  Councilmembers O’Neill and Bailey, along with Clerk Beeson met with the Department of Health (DOH) as a result of a developer who wants to extend water to several building sites.  A single service line off the main may go in at the expense of the property owner without an issue as long as the connection does not put the city over the maximum number allowed.  However, whenever a water main is extended, the DOH requires engineered plans.  If the property is previously platted, the city does not require engineered plans.  Based on the request, a rough estimate for the engineered plans is between $5,000-$7,000, and roughly $70.00/sf for construction costs.  If public works had time, they may be able to do the work to install 200’ of water main.   Andy’s recommendation is to look into the cost of extending the city’s main 200’ and fulfilling the DOH requirement for engineered plans and reports.  This could then go to a developer to continue the distribution system.  Then latecomer agreement options will be open to the developers as long as they meet the requirements of DOH.  Our goal is to have a full distribution system, up to code.  Potentially, a short-term investment by the city could turn into up to 13 sewer and water hook-ups.

Andy said the city is not required to have a small-system water plan but it is strongly recommended to make the process of extending water simpler.

Dixie Reber said the city shouldn’t pay to extend water.  Andy stated that it is the city’s duty to serve its public and Mark reminded council that this is platted property and the property owners have been paying taxes for many years.  The sewer hookups that come in would go towards the debt for the Breeding’s Add’n sewer project.  COP needs to understand our rules, our liabilities, and the costs and provide a quality infrastructure.  Andy asked for council permission to pursue conversations with DOH and engineering services.  Council agreed.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT:
Finance committee chair Norm Schorzman reported that cutbacks are necessary to balance the budget.  He turned the discussion over to Councilman Bailey.  Bailey explained that the reserve balance in the general fund is low.  The concern is not so much with the enterprise funds of water and sewer.  The general fund covers all the costs of operating government.  We will have to get to the point where expenditure balances with revenue.  Currently there is a $36,000 shortfall.  One of the main reasons for the shortfall is the drop in interest rates over the past four years.  In 2006 the city’s interest income was $56,000, 2007 $56,000, and 2008 $21,000.  So far in 2009, our interest income is only $4,500.  The current interest rate is .45% compared to between 5%-6% in 2006-07.  Another reason for the reduced reserve is the drop in state revenue for the loss of sales tax equalization.  City Assistance income in 2006 was $31,500; 2007 it was $36,000; 2008 it was $26,000; and projected for 2009,  $21,000.
Some ideas fro increasing revenue and cutting costs are:

  • Opening the pool two weeks later and not extending the season like we did this year, potential savings of $10,700 for labor and heating the pool
  • Foregoing council salaries for the whole year, potential savings of $8,400
  • Imposing the city’s utility tax of 7% which is in our city code that we’ve never used, potential savings of  $18,000 which would go directly to the general fund for administration of government
  • Evaluating cemetery rates, swim lesson fees, and dog license fees.

Councilman Bailey voiced concern about the possible effects of I-1033 if it is voted in.  While the full effect is still unknown, any percentage increase to the general fund revenue above the combination of the national implicit price deflator, which is usually lower than inflation, and the percentage of population growth, will have to be rebated to property taxes.  This is for any general fund revenue increases including sales tax, state shared revenues, grants, and fees.

There was discussion that perhaps the RV Park should be an enterprise fund.  However, that brings up its own issues since the revenue will be limited to use only at the RV Park.

Most communities collect the utility tax; we haven’t run across one that doesn’t.  If we choose to impose the tax, we need to have Atty. Bishop update the code.  Council approved Joyce looking into it.  As far as the council salaries, we could make it an ordinance or just voluntarily endorsing their checks back.  It’s always possible interest rates will turn around but action must be taken now since the reserve balance is dwindling.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
The City received building permits today for two new residences.  Committee chairpersons need to submit their budget numbers to Clerk Beeson by Sept. 15th.

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 Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:07 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                 1650-1676       $67,661.13
Payroll Paid                 1599               $    500.00
Payroll Paid                 1621-1649       $37,372.82
Payroll Paid                 EFT to IRS      $  8,366.54

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

August 25, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
August 25, 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; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook.  Absent: Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Dentler; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Greg Partch; Sheila Eickhoff; Gerald Eickhoff; Joe Reynolds; Bill Wiester; Mike Sanderson; Charlotte Omoto; Jon Fleischman; Jeslyn Lemke.

Mayor Echanove explained that he is attempting to become better at chairing council meetings.  We need to change the format so that it is a city council meeting, to conduct city business.  For guidance, Mayor has spoken with Municipal Research & Services Center (MRSC) and Canfield & Associates (city’s insurance carrier).  Mayor read aloud an email he received from Jim Doherty, legal consultant at MRSC.  In it, Jim explains the background and rules regarding the state’s Open Public Meetings Act.  Based on the information, Mayor asked Councilmember Bailey to meet with his committee to review city council procedures for minutes and council meetings.  The key points will include – Questions from the public need to be submitted in writing prior to council meeting; Council will not consider anonymous questions; Time limit of 3 minutes will be given for each topic as time allows; Minutes will be recorded as a summarized version of the actions taken by council.  Mayor Echanove apologized for the changes but stressed that the open forum was being abused by a handful of people.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 11, 2009.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :
Charlotte Omoto asked if there was a horticulturist hired for River Park.  She noticed several trees have died.  Palouse Conversation District (PCD) outlined the planting and restoration plan.  The beavers ate many of those trees and several more did not survive.  As with the plantings on the walking trail by the sewer plant, an attrition level was built in.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:    Supt. Griffin reported they are done with their part on Alder Street waiting for it to be paved.  They’re now putting in a 150’ culvert behind the school’s Ag building to help with the drainage.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann submitted a written report.  Officer Merry is back to work.

JFB REPORT :  Councilmember Snook reported that in July we had 5 fire calls, 17 YTD; 5 EMS calls, 43 YTD.  No word on the grant funding for turnouts yet.  Jeff presented the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Pullman and Palouse EMS.  The purpose of the MOU is to provide a mechanism for the departments to provide EMS to the Palouse EMS jurisdictional boundaries.  The only change to the MOU is that “whenever possible, Pullman Fire will provide timely transportation of Palouse personnel from PRH to Palouse Fire Station to minimize reduced emergency personnel in Palouse”.  This MOU will take affect 10/1/2009.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , second by Councilmember Milano, authorizing the MOU between City of Pullman and Palouse EMS.  Snook read aloud the MOU in its entirety.  Motion carried unanimously.

There were no changes in terms of the ambulance contract except that it will be a 1-year contract.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to authorize the JFB to enter into an agreement with Pullman renewing our ambulance contract for one year.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS :
Greg Partch, Whitman Co. Commissioner, & Joe Reynolds, Whitman County Assessor , presented a handout that showed all the taxing districts in Palouse explaining how it works.  Joe Reynolds pointed out that Palouse has the second lowest levy in Whitman County, with Albion having the lowest.  Commissioner Partch had handouts and explained Stream-lined Sales Tax (SST) and how it has affected Palouse.  SST shifted the tax from point of sales to point of delivery.  The numbers for Palouse show a positive impact.

Review RV Park policy for long-term users – Councilmember Milano explained the main reason we originally decided to limit the length of stay was due to the near 13% leasehold tax the city would have to pay on stays longer than 29 days.  The possibility for revenue for the RV Park to sustain itself may outweigh this concern.  Mike proposed adjusting the RV Park policy to accept the occasional long-term stay on a case-by-case basis to be determined by city staff.  The rate would not change; it would remain $25/day regardless of the length of stay.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow a change to the RV Park Policy which would allow city staff to make the determination whether or not to approve extended stays beyond the current limit.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Discuss credit card policy for accepting payments for city fees .  City Hall now has a credit card machine as donated by Jon Fleischman.  It is currently used only for RV Park reservations.  The possibility is there to accept credit card payments for other uses such as utility payments, building permits, and swim lessons.  Councilmember Bailey explained that there is a fee of approximately 3% per charge.  The law is such that, in our case, this fee cannot be passed on to the customer.  Bailey expressed his concern that the people who pay their water/sewer bill with cash or check would be subsidizing the people who pay with credit card.  After discussion, council recommendation was for the policy & administration committee to develop a policy to accept credit card payments for everything except water/sewer payments.

City purchasing card – create a policy for city staff to use purchasing cards.  Currently, if a purchase requires a credit card, the city employee has to use their personal card and request to be reimbursed.  This would be considered a purchasing card since the balance would be paid every month.  It would be to the Mayor’s discretion who on city staff would hold a card.  After discussion the council directed policy & administration committee to develop a policy for a purchasing card program.

Ordinance No. 862 – Budget Amendment – RCO grant for playground equipment .  Mayor read the ordinance in its entirety and turned discussion over to Councilmember Milano.  This amendment would add a new line to the city budget to reflect receipt of the RCO grant money of $12,000 and $12,000 from private donations (Little People’s Park Committee) for a total of $24,000.  Any costs over this, including installation will be billed directly to LPPC.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to approve Ordinance No. 862.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS :
Poe Asphalt should be here next week to pave Alder Street.

Brownfields Committee:  Maul, Foster, & Alongi will have data compiled and will soon be ready to schedule a town hall meeting for sometime around the end of September.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PERSONNEL & POOL :  Councilmember Snook reported that the city received a letter from Pullman Parks & Recreation who brought a group of children to enjoy or park & pool.  They praised our City Park, pool, and pool staff.

WATER & SEWER :  Councilmember O’Neill reported that we have a potential housing developer interested in putting in 13 hook-ups in Breeding’s Addition.  He will be putting together a site visit with the developer.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT :  Councilmember Bailey reported they met to discuss budgeting for next year.  Both revenue increases and cost cutting measures are being considered.  There are no budget recommendations to present yet.  The effects of the possible passage of Initiative 1033 must be considered.  To protect our general fund, we must be prepared to create an enterprise fund for the RV Park.  Enterprise funds are not affected by this initiative.  With the decrease in state shared revenues over the last several years and the increase of expenses, measures must be considered to protect our dwindling reserve balance.            

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Last week there was a groundbreaking ceremony for Habitat for Humanity.  They are building two homes on Union Street.  There are volunteer forms available at City Hall for anyone interested in helping with the process.

The mayor reported that in researching the grant opportunity for the pedestrian bridge project he found that the projects eligible must be “shovel ready” to be considered.  He will continue to investigate.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:52 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                 1600-1620              $34,262.25
Payroll Paid                 1515, 1543-1573
EFT (2)                   $51,404.02

August 11, 2009

CITY OF PALOUSE
Regular Council Meeting, Draft Only
August 11, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Andy O’Neill; Jeff Snook; Norm Schorzman (7:10).  Absent:  Mike Milano; Rick Wekenman.  Also present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Jon Fleischman; George Wilcomb; Nicole Wood; Dixie Reber; Heather McGehee; Steve McGehee; Bear Nisse.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 28, 2009.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :
Steve McGehee –
Questioned Chief Neumann about the delivery of easement papers to Nicole Wood for her signature.
Questioned council about a letter the city received from Elaine Snouwaert, Ecology in 2007 regarding the MH Park project.
Questioned Councilmember Bailey about the property he owns on Breeding’s Addition and his vote on Breeding’s Addition issues.
Questioned Supt. Griffin about how the concrete pads were disposed of at the MH Park.

Mayor Echanove stated that in regards to Mr. McGehee’s question from the 7/28/09 council meeting, the contract between Munir Daud and Breeding’s Addition, Section VI was a typographical error that has since been corrected.

Dixie Reber –
Asked if the people removing the trailer on the 400 block of W.  Church Street applied for a demo permit.
Asked how many officers and how many vehicles Palouse owns.
Asked how many cases the Palouse PD has filed that were declined to be prosecuted or dismissed by the judge.  And how much the city has spent in settling cases.

Jon Fleischman stated that he has an ongoing issue over his property boundaries.  In 1980, the owner annexed and it was approved by council through Ordinance 540.  Jon stated that the parcel number he pays taxes to is County.  Clerk Beeson explained that the county assessor, Joe Reynolds is working on this issue.  As far as the city is concerned, yes he is in the city.  However, there are discrepancies at the county level.  Councilmember O’Neill explained to Jon that the COP blessed the annexation in 1980 and from here it went to the county.  Apparently, the process was not completed at the county level.  Jon Fleischman voiced his concern about not being recognized by all departments of the city and county as a city resident.  Chief Neumann explained that when working on a criminal case the proper jurisdiction must be followed and according to county records, that’s where Jon resides.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT
Supt Griffin reported their progress on Alder Street.  With a couple more water services to hook up their goal is still to be done before school starts.  

POLICE REPORT
Chief Neumann submitted a written report of activities.

NEW BUSINESS :
Ordinance No. 861 – Budget Amendment .  Mayor read the ordinance in its entirety.  Ordinance 861 amends Ordinance No. 854 and No. 857.  Fund 306 Police Car Reserve Revenue :  add new line to reflect receipt of the Dept. of Justice American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant through CTED.   Expenditure : Increase capital outlay to allow for costs associated with the purchase of the previously leased Harley motorcycle.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED and Councilmember Snook seconded to adopt Ordinance No. 861.  Motion carried unanimously.

Surplus List .  Council reviewed the list of items for surplus.  Deputy Clerk Thompson suggested that the old ten-key be donated to the museum.  No opposition.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED , and Councilmember Bagott seconded to adopt the list presented to council for surplus.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS :

Personnel & Pool :  Councilmember Snook reported that it was decided to hold off on the purchase of pool steps until next year.  A better quality, industrial strength version is being considered.  He will discuss it with our insurance carrier.  Councilmember Bailey suggested talking with the Council on Aging for grant opportunities.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Mayor Echanove explained a funding opportunity through a Small Communities and Rural County Grant (RG).  It funds public works projects which will create jobs.  Applications are due by Sept. 8, 2009.  This is a 100% funded grant – $0 match.  Following up on the work Councilmember Milano did, Mayor Echanove would like to apply for the grant for a pedestrian foot bridge connecting our City Park to the Lion’s Club Park.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow the mayor to proceed with an application for the Rural County Grant.  Councilmember Bailey seconded.  Mayor Echanove further described the project and gave a very preliminary estimate of $150,000.  Motion carried unanimously.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS :  Councilmember Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:55 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                 1574 – 1598                $59,839.34

July 28, 2009

DRAFT ONLY
Special Council Meeting:
Public Hearing for six year Transportation Improvement Plan
Followed by
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
July 28, 2009

 

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

ROLL CALL : Council members present:  Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Darcie Bagott, Mark Bailey, and Norm Schorzman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Palouse pool manager Annie Manning.  Public present: David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune; Pete Hertz; Kai Eiselein, The Eagle/ Boomerang; Dixie Reber; Steve McGehee; Jeslyn Lemke, Gazette; Jon Fleischman.

PUBLIC HEARING for Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan 7:02. 
Supt. Griffin read aloud the plan.  The project and priorities are:  1.  Fairview Ave. from SR 272 to above Tuttle’s for shoulder work and overlay; and Union St. from Palouse Cove Road to county shop for reconstruction; 2.  West Whitman from Bridge St. to Mill St. for total reconstruction; 3.  West Whitman & Fir from Mill St. to Illinois St. for build-up and pave; 4.  I Street from Alder St. to Mohr St., North F St. from Alder St. to Cannon St; 5.  Wall St. from Bluff St. to Park St. for reconstruction; 6.  Culton St. from Park to Holyoke and Park St. from Culton to Wiley for overlay; 7.  South Sumner St. from Union to Palouse Cove Road for overlay.  The priorities may change from time to time.  Supt. Griffin thinks that all but No. 2 would fall into our $35,000-$40,000 street levy.  With no public input, Public Hearing closed at 7:08.

Open Regular Meeting:  7:08 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Pete Hertz amended his comments from last meeting:  He stated that Palouse’s (not his) assessed valuation went up by an average of 23% and he wanted to know how much of that 23% does Palouse receive.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 14, 2009.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :
Annie Manning, pool manager:  Annie asked for permission to have another late night swim this Friday, July 31, with all proceeds going to swim team.  The late night swim will require five guards on 2 hours of overtime.  Council agreed to the request.

Annie proposed that the council approve the purchase of removable pool stairs.  The ladders are very difficult for the elderly, injured, disabled, etc.  It would be approximately $500-$600.  It can come out during swim meets, for cleaning, etc.  This just makes it a more welcome environment for everyone.  Pool chairman Snook will look at it with Joyce.  Councilmember Milano MOVED, and second by Councilmember Wekenman authorizing personnel & pool committee chairman Snook to act as our agent on this.

Annie also explained that typically the pool closes mid August because all the guards and students are going back to school.  Gar-Pal doesn’t start school until September this year.  Annie proposes extending the summer season an extra week but at reduced hours.  She thinks there will be three guards available for work that last week.  She proposes the pool would close M-F at 6:00 and weekends at 5:30.  If we have reduced pool open hours the last week, we can make it work.  Personnel & Pool committee will discuss this as well.

Pete Hertz added that he took his grandson down to the pool and he was very impressed with Annie and the other guards.

Dixie Reber had a list of prepared questions.
1.  What is the real need of the purchase of the motorcycle, or does it just look good?  Mayor explained that COP has a 3-vehicle fleet in good repair.  Some years ago we started working with Harley on a very affordable lease program.  With the economic downturn, the lease program was no longer available and we have the option to purchase it at a reduced rate.  The price was approx. $15,000 to purchase, and Chief Neumann secured a $10,000 grant specifically for the purchase of that motorcycle.  Council decided that because our fleet was in such good shape, and the Harley has proven itself to be valuable for “in town” uses such as events and light patrol, we could afford the $5,000 from the Vehicle Reserve fund.
2.  Why don’t we have a snowmobile for the winter since we can only use the motorcycle in the summer? The mayor explained that the EMS and FD do actually have snowmobiles available to borrow if the need should arise.
3.  Why do council members get paid when they don’t show up for council?  Currently council members get paid $60/month.  After three consecutive unexcused meetings, Councilmembers can be dismissed by vote of council.  It has not been a problem with this council.
4.  In regards to the Planning Commission and her previous question about the Site Review committee – A new grain elevator is going up near McGregor’s.  PC is concerned that it could be blinding and the sunlight could be directed onto the city park.  Building Inspector Gladwill said as long as it’s zoned for agricultural use, there’s no issue to come into play, it can be built.  There was some confusion among council and staff as to what project she was referring to.

Steve McGehee had a list of prepared questions.
1.  Were any public hearings held on the Breeding’s Addition sewer extension?  No.
2.  Going back to the contract between Munir Daud and Breeding’s Addition …there is verbiage in the contract about the water system in Section 6.  Why all this water wordage in regards to the sewer system?  Council will review it.
3.  Has Spokane Rock ever been given permission to dump on city property?  Mayor Echanove answered that the deal was between Mr. Farr and the contractors.  As far as we know, the answer is no.  Supt. Griffin responded No also.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:    Supt. Griffin reported they’ve been working on Alder Street and progress is being made.  Alder St bid award – Supt. Griffin read aloud the four bids received for Alder Street paving which we’re opened July 28th at 8:00 AM.  The bids were for approx. 1200 SY of 2” compacted class B mix asphalt, 1 water valve adj. and 3 storm drains; blade and compact existing gravel; and dispose or recycle old asphalt stockpiled on site.  Poe Asphalt:  $26,144.20; Spokane Rock:  $29,000.00; Motley & Motley:  $30,700.00; Herco:  $39,969.70.  Dwayne recommended the bid go to POE Asphalt.  He would like to have Alder done before school starts.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the low bid of $26,144.20 from Poe Asphalt.  Second by Councilmember O’Neill.  Dwayne said the bids were close to his expectations.  Motion carried unanimously.

Dwayne said the park looked great after the Bluegrass Festival.  He thanked everyone who worked down there.  In years past it was a two or three hour deal for PW to clean up.

Last Friday on Whitman and H Street, in order to save the city an add-on, Dwayne and Don located and hooked in an existing stormdrain.  Engineer Daud sent a note saying that what they did saved the city $4,000 because of their knowledge and willingness to work.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT :  Dan reported this year is going okay.  It’s not the boom year we had a couple years ago but we’re still plugging along with smaller builds like decks, remodels, reroofs, mechanical permits, etc.  One stick frame house is going in.  He has gone through older files and getting caught up.  Things at the county level are average.

Regarding Seth Harris’s issue of wanting to turn his garage loft into a rental.  Joyce spoke with Attorney Bishop.  He will write his legal recommendation to the city and we can forward it to the property owners.  Dan was asked how it happened and what was the understanding at the time of the project?  Dan said he has duties as inspecting down but not the planning.  When this one came about, the property owner decided they wanted a loft in their garage.  I looked at their plans and told them the life safety needs but did not consider the zoning issue.  It was his (Dan’s) error.  We weren’t trying to break the rules, it was just an honest mistake.  He knows now the questions to ask.  The project was not presented as a rental but rather a place for his father-in-law to live while convalescing. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported the Bluegrass Festival was a great success.  Great thanks to public works summer help in setting up the barricades.  The motorcycle was an intrical part of getting in and out of the traffic.  Coming up on August 4th, 6-9 p.m., National Night Out Against Crime.  The PD, FD, EMS, vendors, and live entertainment will be there.

Councilmember Wekenman asked if Chief has seen the kids riding the electric scooters.  Chief explained that electric scooters are legal.  There was debate on this subject and Chief Neumann will review the code.  Councilmember Wekenman thinks that regardless of the answer, these kids need to be stopped because they are not wearing helmets and are driving erratically.   [Note from the Chief added July 30, 2009:  Motorized (electric and gas powered) foot scooters shall not be operated upon a public roadway by anyone under the age of 16 years.  For more information, please see PMC 10.42].

Chief is finalizing paperwork with the state for the motorcycle purchase grant.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:  Rick Wekenman said the next meeting in August will be the one to approve the 2010 budget.  Very few increases; there shouldn’t be any reason for the budget to be bogged down with negotiations.  The FD has been actively involved in training for the wildfire season.  We’ve been lucky so far this year but this time of year when things can get out of control.  There have been some burn complaints.  All these complaints were unfounded.  The EMS had three calls last month.  EMS will be assisting with high school sports physicals August 6th.  Fire Chief and EMS coordinator want the city voters to know the ambulance and fire reserve funds are critical.  Those funds need to be contributed to every year if at all possible.  The ambulance is going to need to be replaced or upgraded in a few years.  March of next year the county is trying to convert all of the radio communications to the narrow band which would require new radios.

NEW BUSINESS :
2nd Quarter Treasurer Report:   The revenues are coming in as expected, while expenditures are coming in at an average of 35%.  Steve McGehee asked Joyce if there are any statutory dollar amounts that these funds cannot fall below.  The only one Joyce knows of is the Fund 322, Sewer Facility Reserve.  Three of our loan payments must be in reserve for the duration of our sewer loan.

Joyce pointed out that when city’s new software was converted, the initial setup was wrong for allocating to Funds 321 & 322.  An adjustment will be made to reallocate those two funds.  It will raise 322 balance by approximately $9,000 and lower 321 by same amount.  The problem was fixed a few months ago so those two funds are now getting their proper allocation.  Councilmember Wekenman inquired on the Fire Equipment and EMS Reserve, funds 308 and 313.  Chief Bagott said there would be no or limited contributions to those funds.  Wekenman asked if that was true.  Mayor Echanove state that a few meetings ago there was a council motion to not do several of the budgeted transfers in 2009 because of revenue shortfalls.  The issue will be in writing the 2010 budget and thereafter.

OLD BUSINESS :
Ordinance 858 – Adopting the General Levy Property Tax Increase:  Mayor read the ordinance in its entirety.   He passed it to Mayor-protem Wekenman to consider.  Councilman Wekenman read ordinance No. 858 in its entirety.  After discussion, Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance 858.  Second by Councilmember Snook.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 859Adopting the EMS Property Tax Increase:  Mayor read the ordinance no. 859 in its entirety.  He then passed it to Mayor-protem Wekenman to consider.  Councilmember Wekenman read ordinance no. 859 by title only.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adopt Ordinance 859, second by Councilmember Snook.  Jon Fleischman asked if the $168 increase is per household.  No, the $168 is spread over the entire tax base.

Ordinance No. 860 – Setting Regular and Special Levy Amounts:  Mayor read the ordinance no. 860 in its entirety.  He then passed it to Mayor-protem Wekenman to consider.  Second reading by title only by Councilmember Wekenman.  Rick stated that this is basically the same language we’ve had in the past.  Councilman Wekenman MOVED , second by Councilman Milano to adopt Ordinance 860.  Steve McGehee asked if the levy is for 2010 expenditure.  The money is collected in 2010, answered the mayor.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2009-07:  Instructing the County Auditor to place the Special Street Levy on the November 3, 2009 ballot.  Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety. Dixie Reber stated that the resolution should read “Street Improvements” first and “Street Oiling” second because when she saw “street oiling” she didn’t read any further because she doesn’t have gravel roads, and voted no.  Councilmember O’Neill agreed and Joyce made the change.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-07, seconded by Councilmember Snook.    Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2009-08:  Instructing the County Auditor to place the Special Pool Maintenance and Operation Levy on the November 3, 2009 ballot.  Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Wekenman wishes people could realize that the cost of running the pool isn’t $26,000, it’s actually twice that; that we’re not asking them to fund the whole cost of running the pool.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-08, second by Councilmember Snook.  Supt. Griffin asked what would happen if the levy didn’t pass.  Rick said it would be a hard decision to make.  Dwayne agrees with Rick that the public needs to know how this levy is being spent.  They need to know we’re not just blowing their money.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2009-09:  Adopt the attached Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan for 2010-2016.  Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-09.  It has been a good program.  The work gets done and it gets done properly.  Second by Councilmember O’Neill.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported he received the RCO grant contract for the park improvement project.  The funding amount from the state is $12,000, $11,200 from private source donation and $800 in-kind (city staff labor).  In addition to the $11,200, the Little Peoples Park Project (LPPP) has agreed to pay for professional installation of the equipment which will add an additional $6,000 to the project.  The LPPP are fully funded and prepared to write a check to the city for the purchase and installation of the selected equipment.  Mike explained that he had approval from council to pursue this grant but does not yet have approval to sign the contract.  Councilman Milano MOVED to be authorized to sign the contract with RCO for purchase of playground equipment.  Second by Councilmember O’Neill.  Other than the $800 in-kind labor by the city crew, this is 100% funded between the state and the Little Peoples Park Project.  This state grant must be administered through the city.

Our RV Park is open and positive comments as well as some suggestions have been received from our guests.  Since reservations are not guaranteed until payment is received, the City needs a way to accept payment over the phone, such as credit card payments.  Mike Milano reviewed pricing for accepting credit card payments.  Jon Fleischman said he would donate his machine, printer, paper, and ink to the city. The mayor and councilmen thanked Jon for his offer and asked him to work with city hall.

Dixie Reber asked if people can use the RV dump.  Councilmember Milano explained where the RV disposal is and that is free for public use.

We received and are still reviewing the Avista energy audit.  It is very heavy on lighting improvements.  Councilmember Milano will consider recommendations for his report.

MAYOR’S REPORT : No report

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     1516-1542       $22,177.53

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 14, 2009

DRAFT ONLY
Special Council Meeting:
Public Hearing for 2010 Revenue Sources
followed by
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
July 14, 2009

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

ROLL CALL : Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Mark Bailey.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Dixie Reber; Heather Faught, TDH; Pete Hertz; Duane Wakan, US Census Bureau; Rick Gage; Jon Fleischman; Seth Harris; Jeslyn Lemke, Gazette; Steve McGehee.

PUBLIC HEARING For 2010 Revenue Sources: 7:01 PM
Pete Hertz stated that his assessed valuation went up by 23% and asked why then that the increase to the city levy is only 1%.  Mayor explained that the city is limited to a 1% increase from the year before.  So even if your house increases by 300%, the city only gets 1%.  The city valuation increases, changing the dollar amount per thousand that you are levied.  This 1% does not include new construction, and other factors that will be stated in the ordinance.

Mayor explained that there were three primary levies for COP in 2009:  1. Pool levy at $26,000; Street levy at $40,000; & General Levy tax at $106,000.

Jon Fleischman asked about non-residents of Palouse using the pool and whether or not a fee should be charged to them.  The Mayor stated that it is the wish of the council that all are encouraged to use the pool.  Councilmember Wekenman explained that it’s like a city park.  We’ve never charged for using the city park.  We encourage people to come to town, to experience what Palouse is about, to spend their money downtown.  Out of town patrons are encouraged to make a donation and public works will be providing a donation box for the counter.  Councilmember Milano said it’s part of the formula of having that family-friendly environment in Palouse.

With no further comments, the pubic hearing was closed at 7:10PM.

Open Regular Meeting:  7:10 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 23, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :
Duane Wakan from the U.S. Census Bureau explained the bureau’s roles and goals.  The census began in 1790.  If we want to have a democracy, everyone needs to be counted.  It’s a constitutional mandate that this is done every 10 years.  The census determines the distribution of more than $300 billion annually of government funding for critical community services.  It generates thousands of jobs across the country, and impacts your voice in Congress.  We’re asking COP to help promote the census and help us locate the least, the last, and the lost.  In exchange for working with the US census in getting the word out, the census will fund up to $3,000 per event to a vendor (like a band for Palouse Days, trophies for the car show, etc.).  The COP agreed to partner with the U.S. Census Bureau.  Mike Milano will discuss it with the chamber as a joint venture.  Palouse Days and Haunted Palouse are two of the main events to use the funding for.

Heather Faught, representative from TD&H Engineers introduced herself, TD&H, and their services.  She dropped off a statement of qualification earlier this month.

Seth Harris, a resident at 405 E. Houghton in Palouse .  In 2006 he built a garage with a loft apartment with the intention of having it as quarters for his father-in-law.  He now wants to have the option of renting out that space.  The issue is that code states that there cannot be two separate living quarters on one lot.  The garage is detached from the house so it cannot be defined as a duplex.  Even if he was allowed to rent the space as an apt., code clearly states that for it to be a legal rental, it has to be a minimum of 750 square feet.  The first question is the original intent of the garage apartment.  The COP needs to look at the original permit, and talk with the building inspector and attorney.  Joyce will help make this meeting happen.  It will have to be determined this would be a legal application to the Board of Adjustment for a conditional use permit.

Dixie Reber asked who is on the Board of Adjustment (BOA).  Mark Kramer, Steve Witthuhn, Rick Wekenman, Heidi Kite, and Becky Manning.  For the Planning Commission she asked about the site review committee.  The site review committee is to review proposed developments to make sure they’re compatible.  Councilmember Wekenman explained that there’s never been a need for one (site review committee) thus far; with no large developments.  Dixie then asked if the aerial maps are available to the public.  The best thing would be to bring a CD or flash drive to City Hall for a copy.  It takes a graphic compression program to view.  Councilmember Snook said Google Earth is an excellent resource for maps.  City Hall could try and make photocopies but they might be poor quality.

Steve McGehee .  [Editor’s Note:  I had a hard time capturing the exact phrasing of Mr. McGehee’s questions and the ensuing conversation].  Steve McGehee arrived at council with pre-written questions regarding Breeding’s Addition.  He asked the Mayor if the DOE approved the Breeding’s Addition plan that was submitted April 7, 2009?  The mayor asked Mr. McGehee why he is trying to put a bad light on the Breeding’s project.  Mayor Echanove stated for the audience that the $65,000 cost overruns that Steve always writes about are untrue.  When COP went to contract with Breeding’s, the city at that time could either pay to find out how much solid rock was there, or make an estimate of hard rock and leave the quantity open.  We went with the open quantity.  Also, we added service wyes.  We asked people who wanted them and they would pay when they hooked up.  Mayor asked Steve if he understood that.  Steve said he disagreed but that yes he understood.

Steve asked if engineer Munir Daud disregarded the mayor’s directive of August 28, 2007, to send out request for bids on the project after the DOE approves the project engineer plans and the amendment to our Sewer Facility Plan?  The Mayor said if Munir was here he could talk but Munir’s not here.  Mayor asked Steve his point.  “My point is I want to find out if he violated the directive you gave him.”  Mayor stated that Munir Daud is an excellent engineer.  Steve said “That’s not the question I asked.”  Mayor again asked Steve his point and that we all know that he sends all these nasty things to the DOE and they contact us and find no fault with project, so why is he doing all this?”  Steve said “I think it’s evidently clear, to me, and not just to me but to other people that there were a good many things done outside the law.”  Mayor told Steve that he constantly says things in the paper that are fairy tales.  Steve told the Mayor that this is his opportunity to ask him, the elected representative, questions.  Steve further stated that he refuses to answer questions because as a private citizen he doesn’t have to.  He then stated that his word as written speaks for itself and that the Mayor’s supporters have ways of making those who disagree sound like fairytale tellers when all we write are facts and documentation.  Steve asked who prepared the SEPA checklist for the Breeding’s Addition project?  Joyce stated that she did.  Mayor Echanove stated that the DOE knows our sewer plant and the Breeding’s extension is helping our community thrive.  If Mr. McGehee doesn’t like our project, he doesn’t like our project.  Steve stated that “It has nothing to do with the project; I’m in favor of the project.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:    Supt. Griffin reported they’ve been concentrating on the Alder St. project; things are going as planned.  The new skid steer is working great.  They completed the annual road oiling.  In regards to asphalt and debris being removed from Alder Street, it is being stockpiled in the school parking lot to be removed and recycled by the paving contractor.  The H Street debris is being removed by Motley & Motley as part of their contract.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann presented the monthly police activity log.
CTED Grant – Harley Purchase:  We received notification that we were awarded the CTED grant money of $9,999.  The book on that bike is close to $17,000, but Columbia Harley is offering a reduced price of $14,500.  Jon Fleischman asked if we have the $4,500 plus tax in the police budget.  The budget is $15,000 in Police Vehicle Reserve.  Chief Neumann and Officer Dentler are both qualified to use the Harley.  Councilmember Bagott thinks that makes it easier to justify.  Chief Neumann stated that it’s a limited use vehicle that will bring something special to Palouse.  Councilmember Milano stated that the bike will hold its value.  Councilmember Bagott asked when another police vehicle is scheduled to be purchased.  Within two years, as we’re able to recoup money into the police car reserve fund.  USDA rural development has matching funds available for a vehicle.  Dixie Reber thought it odd that the USDA has any involvement in police and fire department grants.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , and second by Councilmember O’Neill authorizing Chief Neumann to proceed with the purchase of the Harley Davidson.  Motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Wekenman thinks it is a valuable tool if used properly.

There was discussion on local kids neglecting to wear bike helmets.  The PD did all kinds of education in the schools about that and gave out helmets.  They talk to kids when they see them not wearing helmets.

Councilmember Wekenman stated that the bench on Shady Lane looks like it has been pulled out of its concrete footings.  Dwayne will take a look at it.

NEW BUSINESS :
Ordinance 857 .  An ordinance of the COP amending ordinance No. 854, amending certain funds within the 2009 Annual Budget.  Mayor read ordinance in its entirety.  Though the Integrated Planning Grant for the Brownfields is 100% funding for the city, we incur the expense and then get reimbursed by Ecology.  The full amount of the expenditure must be budgeted.  Councilmember Wekenman asked if there is any other fund that might come close to being appropriate besides the CDBG Fund.  Yes, it could be accounted for in the General Fund – Current Expense. Councilmember Wekenman asked if we are in any kind of auditor violation using the CDBG fund?  No (the program income for the CDBG program in Palouse was released at around 1989).   By keeping it in CDBG instead of the general fund, will be easier to track.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt ordinance 857.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
2010 Levy.   Our current pool levy is $26,000.  We have $59,000 allocated for the pool which we aren’t going to spend all of.  The pool levy covers about half of what it costs to actually maintain and operate.  Councilmember Snook said given the economy to leave the levy at 26K.  Councilmember Milano reluctantly suggested a small incremental increase.  Our reserves are dwindling down.  Clerk Beeson said they’re doing a good job of holding down the pool payroll and costs.  Councilmember Bagott asked if residents outside the city limits pay to use the pool.  Several residents make donations.  Supt. Griffin is going to put in a secured donation box.  Trying to charge for pool use doesn’t pay, even when we were charging for passes we were only getting around $5,000 and it took many audit hours by the city staff and the state.  An O&M levy has been much more effective in filling the gap.  Councilmember Milano amended his comment if the city strives to incur more donations.  Councilmember Snook MOVED that we instruct the clerk to go ahead with the 2010 Pool Levy at $26,000.  Second by Councilmember Bagott.  Motion carried unanimously.

Street Levy .  Councilmember Bagott stated that she thinks the Street Levy should remain at its current rate ($40,000) this year and consider a slight raise in the future given the cost of oil, material, and the condition of many of our streets.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED that we instruct the clerk to go ahead with the 2010 Street Levy at $40,000.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Dixie Reber stated that if the levy is just for street oiling then it’s just for dirt roads, and why would she want to vote for that.  The levy states that it is for street improvements and street oiling.          

General Levy .   Mayor Echanove explained that the 2009 levy collection was for $2.23 per $1000.  This levy does not go before the voters, as it is councilmatic.  In 2009 city raised $106,018 through the general levy (update-the actual amount levied was $103,584 which does not include new construction).   By law we’re allowed to have an increase of 1%, which would be an increase of $1,060 ($1,036), bringing the total to $107,078 (104,620).  This amount does not yet include new construction, improvement to property and other factors that are not yet known at this time.
The Mayor explained the meaning of banked capacity.  It is an amount of money that is included in the Ordinance/Resolution that goes to the county but is not levied at that time for whatever reason.  The most common reason is that the amount for new construction is not known until after the levy amounts are adopted by council.  The city currently has a banked capacity of $9,194.  This bank capacity has been approved to be levied but has not yet actually levied.  Council can vote to take any portion of the banked capacity from zero to all.   If all of the banked capacity is taken, it would be an increase of approximately 8.89 percent.  Rick Gage suggested not collecting all the bank capacity at once.  It will be more palatable for the residents if it’s incremental.  The question was asked as to over what amount of time this banked capacity has accrued.   That is unknown but Clerk Beeson stated that she cannot remember ever having used a banked capacity since 1994, when she started working for the city.   Councilmember Snook MOVED to instruct the clerk to go ahead with the 1% increase + $2,300 (25%) of banked capacity for our 2010 general levy.  Second by Councilmember Bagott.  Councilmember Wekenman said we’ve typically gone with this 1% as long as he can remember.  It’s the maximum allowed currently by state law.  Prior to this it was a maximum of 6%.  Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS :
Brownfields Update :  Committee met June 30th, with Maul Foster Alongi.  They talked about how they are going to proceed.  They’re gathering data right now and there will be a late summer community meeting for input.  They will strive to make this project feasible and realistic.  The citizen committee met on July 6th with DOE.  Statistical data and logistics for value of site was discussed.  Last week they began putting together the acquisition strategy.

H Street Update :  Construction has begun.  Munir wanted the public to know that the position of the sidewalk is to fit the future reconstruction of H Street, not what’s there right now.  It’s going to be higher by an inch or two.  The street isn’t exactly straight but the sidewalks will be straight.

Dixie Reber asked if she’ll be able to access her neighborhood if Alder and H Street are closed.  Supt. Griffin explained that she can use J, K, Bridge or the state highway.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:
RV Park opens this Friday.

Recreation Conservation Office had their board meeting and approved the grant for the Little People’s Park Project play equipment.  Mike will review it and talk with Joyce and Stephen to see what we need to do next.

Park electrical was completed.  Pete Hertz has heard a lot of positive comments about the gazebo.  Lions club is going to add benches to gazebo.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS:
Councilmember Bagott met with Supt. Griffin to discuss the Six Year Street Plan.  There will be changes to the priorities of the existing projects and a new project will be added, West Whitman from Bridge St to Mill St.  West Whitman from Mill to Illinois is still on the list.  If anyone has any other suggestions, let Darcie Bagott know.  She’ll have pictures and explanation at the next meeting which will include a public hearing.

WATER & SEWER:
Andy O’Neill and Dwayne met with property owners to discuss w/s hook-ups for the new house they’re putting in Breeding’s Addition in August.

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY;
Councilmember Wekenman said the Grain Growers would like to put up new signage in the area to help the truckers understand what to do.  He asked if the city would allow them to put up a 4’x 8’ sign on city property on West Main Street and what the procedure would be.  Joyce said they would have to review code on a private enterprise sign on city property.  Councilmember Wekenman stated that they would not want to set a precedent that would get out of hand.  Jon Fleischman asked what purpose the sign would serve.  Rick explained that truckers never know where to go.  It’s confusing down there and it is difficult for them to turn around if they go the wrong way.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Liquor Board Request from Bank Left Gallery for in-house beer and wine license renewal.  With no objections, there is no further action, the license will be renewed.

COP received an inter-local agreement from the county for use of Whitman County’s public works and professional services roster.  It will be discussed at the next meeting.  One question asked was that if we sign this agreement, must we always use their roster or can we choose use our own.

Mayor stated that when he receives emails regarding city issues, as standard operating procedure, he will forward to city staff so that everyone is informed and there is no doubt as to what was said.

The issue of people illegally crossing the double-yellow lines on Main Street has come up again.  The PD stops people weekly for this offense to educate them.  Chief Neumann stated that not all towns in Whitman County enforce it the same way.  COP has a city ordinance prohibiting it from H St. to Mary St. but we don’t have signage.  The PD takes the soft approach in an attempt to educate the perpetrators.  “We will enforce the violation as we see it.  Every time we see it [while on duty] we will contact them.”  Councilmember Wekenman said unless we can have a cop on every corner 24 hours a day, there’s not much we can do [about the erratic driving offenses].  Rick Gage said the stop sign at Main & Bridge (heading west) is partially hidden.  He has witnessed two people speed through it.  COP has a blinking light above the sign, and ‘STOP’ painted on the road.  There is little else that the state will allow.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:45 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     1467-1514       $72,033.75
Payroll Paid     1409, 1431-1466; 1408 VOID  $49,382.13

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

June 23, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
June 23, 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; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook;  Absent: Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present:  Dave Reber and Dixie Reber.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 9, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  Dave Reber spoke to council in complaint of his dog being taken to the dog pound by the Palouse officer.  He stated that since the officer knew who the dog belonged to, he could have put him in the gate and attached his leash or could have put him in the RV trailer.  Councilmember Bailey asked Mr. Reber if the PD had permission to enter their property.  Dixie Reber answered no, but they will give them permission in the future.  Chief Neumann explained that Officer Dentler kept the dog in his car for an hour before taking him to the pound and that no citation was issued for animal at large.

Dixie Reber asked council if the city has a permit to dump asphalt in the river.  She explained that she is asking this because of a rumor she has heard.  Mayor Echanove said that the city is not dumping asphalt.  Dixie Reber asked what will become of the asphalt from the H Street project.  It was explained that H Street is a sidewalk project with a very minimal amount of asphalt.  Dixie asked what will become of the asphalt on the school parking lot.  Mayor Echanove explained that the project contractor has agreed to remove it to be recycled.  Dixie then asked if the city is going to investigate this rumor.  Mayor Echanove said it is just a rumor and will not be investigated by the city.  Councilmember Bailey stated that questions about Whitman Street asphalt should be addressed to the contractor.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported that the pool heater thermostat is still not fixed and he is adjusting the temperature manually to keep it at about 82o.  The grass at the RV Park is growing but still needs 2 or 3 weeks before traffic should be allowed.  The grant between Ecology and Whitman County Public Works (Alternatives to Burning Grant # G0900206) has been signed and the city was informed that they could order the equipment needed for the compost facility.  After getting quotes, a used Case brand skid-steer was found and will be delivered.  Councilmember Bailey asked what other equipment would be ordered through the grant.  Griffin said they will get ecology blocks, compost thermometer, and various hand tools such as a pitchfork.

Griffin reported that through the program Rural Resources, Harley Wilmore started working 3 or 4 hours a day.  It was pointed out that this program is at no cost to the City.   

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported a busy few weeks with various incidents and investigations where charges were filed.  These incidents include a DUI accident and thefts at Busch Distributor pumps throughout Whitman County.  Chief also reported that the residence on Union Street is still showing progress.

JOINT BOARD UPDATE :   Rick Wekenman submitted a written report for Councilmember Snook to present.  Two members have been added to the firefighter roster – Cecil Floyd and Ben Aichele.  The FEMA grant application was submitted for 21 sets of turnouts.  The local match for this grant is $2,117 which will be split between Rural and City.  There have been a total of 7 calls so far, which is the same as this time last year.  The EMS is planning a scene management drill.

NEW BUSINESS :    Resolution 2009-06 :  Additions/changes to fee schedule – Mayor Echanove pointed out changes to the fee schedule include the addition of costs for private swim lessons, water aerobics program, private pool party rental, and the basic RV Park rates.  After discussion, Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-06.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS :   Discussion of 6 year street plan :  Councilmember Bagott explained that the Street Improvement Plan will include the projects as listed last year except, of course, the ones completed in 2009.  There was discussion about changing priorities and adding an additional project.  Mayor Echanove suggested that West Whitman from Bridge Street to Mill Street be added as a project on its own.  The public hearing for the Street Plan will be July 28th.

Brownfields Update :  Mayor Echanove reported that the Brownfields Citizen Advisory Committee will meet at 7:00 p.m., June 30, at City Hall with our Brownfields consultant Maul, Foster, and Alongi.  The Mayor also reported that the committee will again meet on July 6 at 7:00 pm at City Hall with John Means, DOE, to do economic modeling at the Brownfields site.  The public is encouraged to attend.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PERSONNEL & POOL :  Councilmember Snook reported that the pool is running smoothly.  Mayor Echanove said that pool manager Annie Manning asked for council permission for the swim team to have a pool party as a fundraiser for prize ribbons and equipment.  The event would require five guards for about two hours.  Council voiced no objection.

POLICY & ADMIN :  Councilmember Bailey stated that since the Ecology/Whitman County grant has been in the works for such a long time he would like to make a motion to accept the grant and allow the purchase of this equipment for maintaining the city compost facility.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the grant as previously discussed for the purchase of this skid-steer tractor from Sun Rental and other associated equipment.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Bailey also reported that the planning commission met and they are getting close to submitting the zoning ordinance to Attorney Bishop and then council.  The ordinance will most likely be submitted in sections, beginning with the definitions.  They are about 75% through their first pass.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott reported that with the completion of paperwork, the H Street contractor will begin on Monday, July 6th.

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS :  Councilmember Milano reported that the lock box at the RV Park will be installed soon.  They are hoping for a mid-July opening date.  He will begin to work on a marketing campaign to get the word out.  As of date, the electricity updates at the park are near completion.  The Palouse Chamber of Commerce has committed to a $700 donation and Schweitzer Engineering Lab has donated $1,500 toward these improvements.   Strom Electric has offered to connect electrical to the Lions Club gazebo at no additional charge.  These improvements will put us at the maximum power input at the park without huge changes.

Councilmember Milano thanked Don & Teresa Myott for the memorial bench installed at the Riverwalk Park.

Avista conducted an energy audit on city facilities.  A report will come from Avista; however it appears that the Police Department building will need the most work.

MAYOR’S REPORT :   The mayor reported that he and three others will be attending the AWC Conference in Spokane.  One of the topics he is most interested in is possible federal stimulus money toward energy audits.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:55 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                 18,927.71

 

June 9, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
June 9, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Darcie Bagott.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Jon Fleischman; Jeslyn Lemke; and Munir Daud.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 26, 2009.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  Jon Fleischman voiced his concern about the purchase of the Harley motorcycle.  His main concern was that this would be putting off replacement of the Intrepid.  He stated that the Intrepid should be replaced since the use of the Harley is limited by weather and it can’t be used to transport.  His other concern was that the CTED grant to purchase the Harley would leave $4,500 that the city would have to pay.  Chief Neumann stated that the Harley lease program costs were $800 a year and factoring in the 10 to 12 year of service the Harley could give the city, the $4,500 would be a good investment.  He also stated that the $4,500 the city has put into the bike for equipment would be lost.  Mayor Echanove thanked Jon for his input and that the council is waiting to see if the CTED grant will be awarded.  Councilmember Milano stated that he sees the value of the Harley during events and as a community outreach tool. He further stated that they put off the purchase of a car so funding could be looked into through USDA.

OLD BUSINESS H Street Contractor Bids – Mayor Echanove introduced Munir Daud, project engineer for the H Street project.  Munir reported that the project went out to bid and closed on Monday at 2:00 pm.  The bids were then read and bid tabulations were sent out to TIB for approval before award could be made.  TIB approval to award the bid was received at 4:00 pm today.  Munir explained that several bid packets went out but only two bids were received.  He then read the bids:  Ace Elliott Landscaping, $124,677; and Motley-Motley, $102,814.  Mayor Echanove asked if both bidders included all necessary bonding.  Yes, bid bonds were included in both packets.  Munir Daud recommended that council accept the Motley-Motley bid.  He pointed out to council that the guardrail is included in the bids.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the bid from Motley-Motley for $102,814.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Munir stated that the paperwork would probably take about two weeks, and then construction can begin.  It is anticipated that construction may take only about a month to complete.  A pre-construction meeting will be scheduled involving all parties including the school. 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported they have a call into Redinger Heating because the temperature regulator on the new boiler isn’t working right.  The pool water is too warm.

The county chipper will be here on Monday, June 15th.

Griffin outlined his plan for completion of the Alder Street project.  He will close the block between I St and J St first to get it ready to go.  Then that block will be opened and the next block will be closed.

The city has received complaints about the crack seal applied last week.  Griffin explained that they rented the equipment and purchased the material from Whitman County as they always have.  The county changed vendors this year and the material different than expected.  It took 3 or 4 hours to set up.  The city crew did everything the same as always.  The county said that they will go back to the material they used in the past.

Dwayne read to council some telephone quotes he got for 12’x 1’ road oil:  Mort’s Street Oiling $0.69; Lyman Dust Control $0.72; Northwest Dust Control $0.81.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept the lowest bid  – Mort’s Street Oiling for $0.81 for a 12’ X 1’.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried with one no vote from Councilmember Wekenman.  Road oiling should begin the end of June.

Griffin asked council what future plans they have for the chipper program.  The program is so successful that the pile fills up very quickly and it takes two or three people most of the day while chipping.  Also, additional man and equipment hours are needed to haul off the debris that cannot be chipped.   Mayor Echanove recommended we get public opinion on how to proceed with this program that has gotten much bigger that anticipated.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported that the nuisance yard which has received complaints is still showing progress.  There is no trash on site that meets the definition of our code.  Chief Neumann is hoping to approach the problem with volunteers or a funding partner to help pay for weed barrier and bark as a more permanent fix to the problem.

There was a report of an ammo box on the playfield at the city park.  Upon inspection, it was determined that it was placed somewhere in the area as a GEO Cache.  The owner was contacted and it will be put in a more appropriate place.

The department worked on a case involving juveniles and a stolen bike that was found in the river.  No charges are being filed but the owner will be compensated and the juveniles spent some time cleaning up along the river.

Chief Neumann reported that the Rot Rod event was a success.  The size of the event nearly doubled from last year.  Councilmember Bailey voiced concern over the noise that went long into the night.   The Chief said we need to address these concerns and increase manpower for next year.   Mayor Echanove suggested that the sponsors of the function should consider providing volunteers to keep the restrooms clean.  Also suggested was that the “for profit” vendor’s dispose of their own trash.

NEW BUSINESS :
Amendment to FCAAP Grant – This amendment would reduce the grant amount to better reflect actual costs.  It would also include in the scope funding for the 2009 payment for the city share of maintaining the river gauge.   Councilmember Snook MOVED to approve amendments to the FCAAP Grant.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Amendment to FEMA Disaster recovery grant – This amendment would include another funding partner to the 25% city share.  The Washington State Military Department would contribute 12.5% of the city share.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to approve amendments to the FEMA Public Assistance Grant.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported that he is still getting bids for improvements to the electrical system at the park.  He reported that the bids are coming in higher than expected but the needs are great and we should continue.  The 2009 budget includes $2,000 for these improvements and he asked council to appropriate another $2,500 for a total of $4,500.  There is a separate line item in the bid for power to the gazebo.  The Lion’s Club may consider funding that portion.  The Chamber of Commerce may make a donation to the project also.   Avista is unable to donate material because of the size of service.

POLICY & ADMIN :  Councilmember Bailey reported that he will talk to the county about the future of their chipper program and also follow up on the grant for the skid loader.

Personnel & Pool :   Councilmember Snook passed on a compliment to public works from a Garfield resident about all the improvements Palouse has done and how clean everything is kept.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT :  Councilmember Schorzman reported on a finance committee meeting since the last council meeting.   He asked Clerk Beeson to outline what was talked about at the meeting.

With the revenue shortfalls, especially the state “City Assistance”, we need to take a few steps to help fill the immediate gap between revenues and expenditures while looking into more permanent changes.

  • There is a total of $14,000 in budgeted transfers to reserve funds that could perhaps not be done in 2009
  • Not transferring $10,000 from Street Fund to Arterial Street Fund for the city share of the TIB H Street project.  The street levy would be paying this and it was confirmed by Bishop that street improvements include sidewalks.
  • Currently the property tax levy is split 50/50 with Current Expense and the Street Fund. The finance committee recommends changing the split to 65% Current Expense and 35% Street Fund effective with the July 2009 distribution and be considered for the 2010 budget.

Also, Avista will be doing energy audits on city facilities, with particular emphasis on the Police Department building.  The 2009 river gauge funding of $1,420 will be paid 75/25 through the FCAAP Grant Mobile Home Park project and an Ecology grant will be applied for to help with future payments.  After discussion, Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to allow not doing transfers as stated in 2009 and changing the split of property tax to 65% Current Expense and 35% City Street.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Humane Society contract is being signed for an additional $300 to include Garfield dogs.  The Six-Year Street Plan is being developed and the public hearing will be set at the next meeting.  The contract for Maul, Foster and Alongi is being considered.  Attorney Bishop added language involving MF&A and the planning commission should changes to the Comprehensive Plan occur.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Wekenman 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 8:48 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid     Checks 1348 – 1369   $30,716.46
Payroll Paid     EFT                          $  6,722.66
Claims Paid     Checks 1370 – 1407   $43,170.01

 

May 26, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
May 26, 2009

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

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 12, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported they chipped last Wednesday and the chipper area is completely full after 5 days.  The chipper won’t be here again for a couple more weeks and they will be busy with the Alder Street project starting next week.  When the chipper comes, it takes 2 city staffers almost a full day.  He asked for suggestions on what to do.  If we’re full, we’re full; we can’t change that or the fact that the chipper operator is on vacation until June 8.  Council agreed that we need to temporarily suspend accepting chippable yard waste.  In order to communicate this to the 180 permitted users Ann will email her city list serve.  Additionally, Council and Ann will call everyone with a permit to notify them of the suspension.

The city rehired Mirko Mayes for seasonal summer help.

They’re reading meters this week for the first time since October.

They will be sweeping streets and getting everything cleaned up for the Rat Rod show.

The areas to be grass at the RV Park have been leveled.  The sprinkler will be installed.

At the MHP they put in drip irrigation along most of the trees on the south side.  Beavers took about 6 more trees.  They will order more trees through FCAAP grant to plant this fall.

They’ll clean the pool Thursday, fill it Monday, and test-run the new boiler Tuesday.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported he’s moving forward with the CTED Justice Assistance Grant for the motorcycle.  The price Columbia Harley came up with for the bike is $14,500.  If we get the $10,000, we’ll be short $4,500 for the balance of the Harley.  Mayor is concerned about finding alternate sources for the remaining balance.  Chief said his vehicle fund has $15,000 budgeted to spend, which could be used for the Harley, and he would put off replacing the Intrepid for a year or two.  Chief would like to submit the grant by next week.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize Chief Neumann and/or the Mayor to submit and sign the grant application to CTED for the purchase of this motorcycle.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. It’s a non-competitive grant; you have to show the need.

In regards to the written complaint received about the nuisance property, Chief talked with the property owners. Through financial and medical hardships, they have had little time.  To the best of his ability, he’ll try to clean it up.  The overall theme of things on the corner probably won’t get much better, based on his financial situation, etc.  We can’t require someone to live to our expectations.  I don’t know if it will ever be brought up to the complainants’ expected level of order.  The word “trash” in the ordinance is referring to garbage, not junk.  Chief stressed that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.  Council asked if the homeowners would he be open to volunteers helping haul junk off.   Chief is making weekly checks at the residence and told them he wants to see effort to make improvements.

In regards to the crossing flags at the intersection, new ones were ordered.  The purchase will probably come from the police budget.  It seems that the other flags were stolen/vandalized.  If the person(s) responsible are caught, the charges could be 3rd degree theft, littering, and malicious mischief.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE:  The Open House/dedication was very well attended.  It was a nice event.  There were approximately 23 acceptable blood donors, plus several donors at the school.

OLD BUSINESS:
Palouse Community Center:  Respond to request to host a beer garden at the city park during the Blue Grass Festival.  Joyce spoke with our attorney and he didn’t see anything in our code to prevent us from having one as long as state codes were followed.  Our insurance provider said the city’s insurance would not be affected; we’re covered.  Mayor asked Scott Beeson about the location of the beer garden.  Scott said they’ll set up wherever they’re told to.  The west parking lot was suggested.  Scott said that is an emergency vehicle access so we can’t block it.  People serving the beer will have to take a class.  The alcohol service will be higher-end microbrews, not a college keg type event.  People can’t bring their lawn chairs into the beer garden and camp out and get drunk.  There will be a few pub tables and standing only.  The beer vendors monitor the whole thing.  The liquor control board requires the rules to be posted.  Supt. Griffin asked about power needs because there’s barely enough power for the music.  Location and power seem to be the only concerns.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember O’Neill authorizing the PCC to hold a beer garden for the Bluegrass Festival under the guidance of the PD and the beer vendor.  Motion carried unanimously.

H Street Update:  The H Street project is still out to bid.  It closes on June 8th at 2:00 and the bids will then be read.  It is hoped that the committee will then be ready to make a recommendation to council on June 9th.

Brownfield Update:  We haven’t got the contract back from Maul, Foster, & Alongi yet but it should arrive soon.    

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported he met with Strom Electric regarding power upgrades at the City Park.  Using the small works roster, he will get more bids.  At one time Steve Brink mentioned possible donation of supplies from Avista for this project.  The power needs at the park are pretty great.  We budgeted a couple thousand and may need more than that.  Clerk Beeson asked Mike if they’ve thought about asking the organizations that use the park for events for donations.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Because the state shared revenues are going to be down in 2009, the finance committee needs to be right in the middle of the budget right now.  We need to start the budget process early this year.

Miscellaneous :  Dixie Reber from the Palouse Planning Commission asked for access to City Hall for their meetings.  Chief Neumann said they can contact the PD and he will open City Hall.  She asked about the comprehensive plan; it is currently with Don who is filling in the blanks that the Planning Commission left.

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.

The annual report will be mailed off this week.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:09 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                             $3,129.76

May 12, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
May 12, 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; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Jeslyn Lemke, Colfax Gazette; Scott Beeson; Dixie Reber; Dean Huber; Doug Willcox.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 28, 2009.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  Dean Huber, representative of Habitat for Humanity (H for H) updated Council on their progress.  He’s on the family selection committee.  Of the seven applications received, three have met the criteria.  By the end of the month they’re hoping to make their recommendation for the family selection.  The home will then be designed around the needs of the family.  While all this is going on, the demolition of the existing home is underway which should be done before the end of May.  Because it’s built by volunteers, construction will take longer that usual since Saturday will be the primary work day.

Supt. Griffin asked if there are going to be 1 or 2 homes built.  Dean said that as it turns out the house is sitting on two lots, so the current plan is to put up two houses.  The second house will be in the future.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal activities.  Beavers ate approximately 15 of the new trees at the MHP.  They built some metal cages around the remaining trees and that seems to have helped.

The pool heater is currently being installed.

The chipper pile is full again.  Dwayne reminds people when emptying the bed of your pickup into the chipper/compost pile, please be sure and NOT sweep garbage, cans, old nails, etc.  Our mulch pile isn’t quite ready to use yet; it takes a few years.  PW picked up mulch from Garfield to use at the RV Park.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann presented the police log.  Chief Neumann has been in negotiations with the Humane Society for housing our canines.  The current contract was $600/year for up to 12 dogs.  To add Garfield they will extend that to 16 dogs at $900/year.  Anything over 16 dogs would be $75/dog.  They have a great, humane program.  With no concerns by council, he will have the contract for the next meeting.

May 10-16 is National Peace Officers Memorial Week.  Friday the 15th there is a request for all flags to be lowered to half-mast.  Homeowners are requested to do the same.

Chief Neumann is looking into applying for the Justice Assistance Grant for American Recovery Reinvestment.  It is a non-competitive $10,000 grant to be used for police programs.  Dixie Reber asked for the definition of non-compensation to victims.  That means the funds cannot be used to give to victims of crime.  With the downturn in city revenues this would help.  Councilmember Wekenman asked if some of that money can be used for the motorcycle.  Possibly under a “law-enforcement program”, but one of the exemptions is for the procurement of vehicles.  The grant is due the end of June.  Chief Neumann was instructed to apply for the grant.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2009-04:  Authorizing Clerk-Treasurer Beeson as the representative to obtain federal and/or state emergency or disaster assistance funds.   Clerk Beeson met twice with FEMA to look at possible reimbursement for some of the city’s expenses during disaster declaration.  There must be a minimum of $1,000 in a category to qualify for funding and it looks like we’ll meet that in two categories:  debris removal and emergency protective measures (i.e. Christmas Day emergency sewer problem, etc).  FEMA will contact us next week.  Mayor Echanove read the resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Bagott seconded to adopt Resolution No. 2009-04.  Motion carried unanimously.

Palouse Community Center:  Request to host a beer garden at the city park during the Blue Grass Festival.
Scott Beeson, representing the PCC, has requested permission to apply for permit to serve beer and wine at the Blue Grass Festival July 25.  They must apply at least 45 days in advance.  PCC has talked to their insurance agent and they said the event would be covered with an extra premium.  Mayor thought the current city code doesn’t allow for the consumption of alcohol on city property.  Councilmember Milano said last time it came up we were told we’d have to change our city code to allow for that.  It won’t be an open policy but a “by approval” basis.  Through the permitting process from the Liquor Control Board, they require proper fencing, proper signage, etc.  Councilmember Bagott stated she is not necessarily opposed but has concerns with the location of the beer garden, that it not be near the pool, playground, etc..  Heidi Kite suggested perhaps in the parking lot.  Councilmember Bailey wants to check with the city’s insurance.  Mayor would like to see it on the next agenda to allow public comment on the issue.  It was agreed to gather facts on the location and insurance, talk to our attorney, and have it on the next agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:
Brownfields Project Update:  Doug Willcox, Brownfields Committee Chair, discussed the Integrated Planning Grant (IPG).  With securing the IPG, we need to engage an appropriate engineering firm to conduct the processes that we need done.  The “integrated” part of this grant is very significant in that the vision of the business district will be looked at along with this particular site.  One of the steps is cleaning up the site so that it’s an economic viable part of our community; not just another park.  We need a firm not only to provide engineering services, evaluating requirements for cleanup but also the necessities in studying the economic impact for our community.  With these thoughts in mind, the committee selected 3 firms from the list to be interviewed.  USKH from Lewiston, PBS from Portland, & Maul, Foster & Alongi from Vancouver, WA.  MFA presented far and away the best economic and planning approach to the whole process.  They were very in touch with the DOE which bears note with respect to the future.  Ecology will be involved in this project since they are funding it.  The committee requests that council ratifies their recommendation of hiring Maul, Foster Alongi (MFA) for the IPG.

Doug Willcox indicated that incredible things have occurred in this community in the last 10-12 years.  An opportunity like this is terrific, as far as evaluating where we are and the future of our community.  15 years down the road we may look back on this opportunity as another incredible landmark in the success of our community.  The IPG is a tremendous opportunity for us and this firm is a tremendous operative under the terms of this grant.  Councilmembers Milano, Bailey, and Wekenman concurred with Doug Willcox.  MFA would invest a lot of time in this project as it could be used as a model for projects going on around the state.  Dixie asked what the owners’ asking price is for the land.  The city has been given a price range from the owner which we cannot discuss at this point.  Part of the IPG will develop the course of action for the purchase.  Dixie then asked when we have to own the property.  We can apply for cleanup funding before we are the owners.  Whether or not we proceed depends on whether or not we get the funding to purchase the property.  Doug added the acquisition is one of the near end term steps.  We will get very important counsel from this engineering firm in guiding us through site-acquisition.  Doug feels more comfortable knowing this firm will be able to give us this guidance.  There’s a minefield of liability issues which the firm will guide us through.  Councilmember Snook MOVED, and Councilmember Schorzman seconded authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Maul, Foster & Alongi.  Motion carried unanimously.

H Street Project Update:  Councilmember Bagott reported that once Gloria from TIB approves the paperwork, Munir can put the project out to bid.  He wants to close the bids June 5th, and council review on June 9th.  We’re still on task for starting the Monday after school is out.  The legal description for the school’s section near Little Sprouts has been written up.  Because of insurance and legalities, Little Sprouts can’t temporarily move the daycare to the school so they will stay on-site however they’ll move the entrance pathway to the back of the building.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PERSONNEL & POOL:   Councilmember Snook reported he spoke with Annie Manning our new pool manager.  She’s on track with guards, schedules, wages, etc.  Councilmember Milano asked that Councilmember Jeff Snook speak with Annie about RV Park guests having access to the pool and pool staff tracking them for safety sake.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Liquor Control Board asked for concerns or objections for the Palouse Tavern and McLeod’s Market renewing their liquor licenses.  There were no objections

May 21st is the dedication for the Fire Station and a blood drive.  The mayor, in the spirit of honoring those who have served the department, would like to declare May 21, 2009, as Palouse Volunteer Firefighter Day in honor of Ancel Jeffers and Bill Wolf.

As a result of Ted Olsen at Ecology reading the emailed Palouse Council minutes, he contacted City Hall indicating DOE could potentially help fund the river gauge.  That could save the city about $1,300.

In regards to the 4 council positions that are up this year, May 18 – June 5 is the window for candidates to file by mail and June 1 – 5 to apply in person.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                             $33,157.23
Payroll Paid                             $37,212.07

APPROVED: ________________________

April 28, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
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.

OLD BUSINESS:

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.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

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’S REPORT :
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: ________________________________

April 14, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
April 14, 2009

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

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 24, 2009.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  Mayor explained that he had been mistaken regarding disallowing public comment regarding city personnel.  From now on the public can comment on city staff.

Ann Thompson, representing Palouse’s own Relay for Life team “Palouse Hope”, part of the American Cancer Society, requested permission to have a cancer survivor parade the evening of June 19th (date not firm).  Main Street will be lined with simple, beautiful luminaries while the survivors walk through.  Council approved the parade and Chief Neumann will assist with traffic safety.  She asks that everyone come watch this beautiful moving tribute to our fellow cancer survivors (date & time announced later).  Palouse Hope has a few fun fundraising events planned for the next couple months so watch for signs around town.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal spring work.  The park restrooms are now open.  The chipper will be here on the 20th.
Supt. Griffin has 3 project bids to review and select:

Pool furnace boiler specs :  Equivalent of 500,000 BTU boiler with minimum 80% efficiency; Include prevailing wage requirements; include sales tax and freight; Include the total cost:  Nolan Heating-$13,945.63; Redinger Heating-$9,800.52; Ackerman Heating-$12,336.63; & Pullman Heating-$14,278.11.  Supt. Griffin recommended awarding the bid to Redinger Heating.  Haul-away is included in the price.  There are no asbestos concerns.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , and Councilmember Bagott seconded to accept the bid from Redinger Heating.  Motion carried unanimously

Alder Street Project bid for sewer and storm drain materials :  Ferguson $2,203.03; HD Fowler $2,293.81; HD Supply $2,249.05.  Supt. Griffin recommends Ferguson.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED , second by Councilmember Wekenman to accept the bid from Ferguson for the Alder Street Project materials.  Motion carried unanimously.  Public Works will soon be soliciting bids for Alder Street paving.

Hand rail for South Hill sidewalk steps :  Specs are to build, powdercoat and install two 40’ sections of handrail.  Bids:  Bill’s Welding $7,430.92; Palouse Welding $4,527.60; Ed-Ka Manufacturing $2,790.63.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED , second by Councilmember Bagott to accept the bid from Ed-Ka Manufacturing.  Motion carried unanimously.

Palouse Conservation District (PCD) provided 160 trees which were planted April 11 at the Palouse River Walk Park (former mobile home park) by a number of Palouse citizens.  PCD also provided and installed a drip irrigation system for the new trees.  DOE doesn’t want any structures that will/can receive flood damage but irrigation is okay.  Supt. Griffin explained that once the trees are developed, the irrigation system will likely be removed.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann distributed the monthly police log which is also available for viewing at www.visitpalouse.com.

In regards to the flag crossing program at the intersection of Main & Bridge, Chief Neumann distributed some examples.  Funding for this project is being provided by Palouse Block Watch.  To help prevent theft, the flags will be marked with “property of Palouse PD”.  Studies show roughly 10% of people will use the flags at the crossing.  Councilmember Wekenman would like to think of something to entice the kids to use these.  Chief will speak at the schools and explain to the kids their purpose and how to safely use them at this dangerous intersection.

The Garfield contract needs to be agreed upon or approved by May 1st.  Garfield has penciled in a 3% increase to amount paid to Palouse.  Currently Garfield pays Palouse $66,000/year.

Chief Neumann would like to incorporate Garfield into Palouse’s existing Whitman County animal shelter contract.  It would/could be an opportunity for more humane treatment and there would be no more liability as far as job obligations.  We’re currently contracted for Palouse to be allowed to transport up to 10 dogs a year and we only average 2-3 dogs a year so adding Garfield shouldn’t be a problem.

The Police, Fire, and Safety Committee will meet to discuss renewing the Garfield contract.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember O’Neill authorizing the mayor to sign the Garfield contract pending approval by the Police, Fire, and Safety Committee.  Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
Brownfields Project Update :  The city has received all the necessary forms to move ahead with finding a consultant.  The Brownfields Committee will guide the project and everyone is invited to attend.  Any expenditures will come before council for approval.  The date for the next Brownfields committee meeting is April 20th, 7 pm at City Hall.

Because the City of Palouse participated in FEMA’s hazardous mitigation a number of years ago, there may be certain stimulus funds available to purchase the Brownfields property.  A letter of intent must be sent in to FEMA by May 1st.  FEMA will then determine if the project would be eligible.  If eligible, we would then apply for the grant.  The Mayor would like to send in a letter of intent to FEMA for funding for the acquisition of the Brownfields property.   Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Bailey authorizing a letter of intent to FEMA.  Councilmember Wekenman thinks it would help the letter of intent if the city had their consultant chosen by May 1st.  There’s not enough time to have the consultant hired by then but the mayor will definitely mention that we’re within a month of selection of a consultant.  Mayor Echanove thinks these funds are 70% grant and 30% match.  We might be able to use part of our IPG money on that.  Mayor Echanove stressed that this project has cost the city $0 so far; $0 for assessment, $0 for the Integrated Planning Grant.

H Street Project Update :  Councilmember Bagott, Supt. Griffin, Don Myott, Marc Arrasmith, and Bev Fox met with engineers Munir Daud and Bob Aberth to discuss any concerns with his first design.  Changes include having the sidewalk cross H Street at Whitman instead of at Main Street (the highway) due to the poor visibility and more traffic.  Plus it helps prevent ripping up the existing retaining walls; & improving the NW corner instead of the SW corner of Alder and H Street.  Supt. Fox seemed very pleased with everything.  All the storm drains will be underground.  The area where you drive into the daycare has to be raised about 6”.  The ramp on the SE corner will require an easement from the school which Supt. Fox sees no problem with.  Mayor spoke with Munir today about speaking immediately with the RR for UTC approval/permitting.  The project should be starting Monday June 8th.  There will be special accommodations made for the people accessing the daycare.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported he has been searching for the paperwork that proves the City owns the park property, which dates back to 1910.  The county is sending him the documents.

RV Park Project:  Councilmember Milano handed out draft versions of the Rental Contract and Park Rules.  He pointed out that there are several items to consider and asked council to give it thought and come back with suggestions. The length of stay is one item; on the 30th day of stay at an RV park a leasehold tax would have to be paid to the State.  It is nearly 13% of rental income.  Therefore, the maximum stay is being considered at 28 days.  There are a number of revisions that will take place to these initial ideas.  We’re considering $25/night for the rate.  The city needs to look at w/s rates per site and see if it’s feasible.  We’re hoping to be up and running by June 1.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported they had a public hearing planned for the 27th but they need to put that off for now.  The proposals from the Planning Commission need to be in the form of an ordinance to amend PMC Title 17 – Zoning.  There will still be a planning committee meeting but NOT a public hearing.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:18 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     $23,658.91
Payroll Paid     $39,221.71

March 24, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
March 24, 2009

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 10, 2009.  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.
Dixie Reber, secretary of the Planning Commission asked for clarification about the Brownfields money.  Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman explained that the city has received approval on the $200,000 Integrated Planning Grant from the Washing ton State Department of Ecology.  This grant will allow us to hire a consultant to help the city complete an integrated plan addressing the cleanup and reuse of the Palouse Producers site.  The confusion she had was on the yet unused money from the river park project; and the question of whether or not the unspent funds from that grant could be used to acquire the Palouse Producers site.  It was determined that the FCAAP program must result in an area with no infrastructure while the Ecology Brownfields program emphasizes reuse.  Allowable costs will be paid 100% by the Integrated Planning Grant up to $200,000.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal operations such as cleaning, organizing, and taking inventory.  They’ve done some road grading and are hoping to haul rock next week.  As part of the Alder St project, they’re working on a plan to replace some cross-country sewer lines to within the city’s right of ways.  They will be working with the homeowners and getting bids from material vendors.   Storm drains will go in from I to K Streets.  It’s already in the budget to do those two blocks.

The chipper pile is full again and they are scheduled to be here March 30th.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported they’re continuing to catalog nuisance yards and junk vehicles.  He will present a report to council when it’s complete.
Dixie Reber requested a clearer and more comprehensive explanation of the police department for updates to the comprehensive plan.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE:
JFB had a capital equipment improvement committee meeting.  Chief Bagott is awaiting more info on a USDA firefighters grant.  It’s a $50,000 grant that would be used to purchase about 30 sets of turnouts which include protective jackets and pants.  The ones currently being used are very outdated and unsafe by today’s standards.

The finish work is underway at the Public Safety Building for its dedication ceremony on May 21st.

The CPR/First Aid renewal exam was held so everyone is now up-to-date.

Rick Wekenman spoke with Chief Bagott regarding the potential cost for the operator of the chipper.  Chief Bagott feels it’s a good investment in regards to the reduction of nuisance fire calls and cleaner air.

NEW BUSINESS:
Chamber is not doing the city wide spring clean-up this year.

Preparation has started for the annual WSU/UI Bike Race on April 25th.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported we’ve been approved for the DOE grant for improvements to the compost facility.  It was previously decided that a bobcat tractor and compost thermometer would be the most needed improvements.  The paperwork is underway.

Dixie Reber stated that the public hearing for the proposed zoning changes will be April 27th, 7:00 pm at City Hall.  Notices will go out through City Hall.

PERSONNEL & POOL:   We will begin to advertise for a new pool manager.  Once selected, the manager will put together a lifeguard staff.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Supt. Griffin reported that the engineers have begun their work on H Street for the new sidewalk project.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Milano 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 7:40 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid     1168-1188       $11,567.53

March 10, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
March 10, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott (7:30); Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; & Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Andy O’Neill & Jeff Snook.  Also present: City Clerk Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; WWTP Operator Don Myott; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Pete Hertz; Guy Gregory, WDOE; Jerry Fairley, UI/Hydrology; Ryan Pouyea, UI/Hydrology; Roger Marcus; Kent Keller.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 24, 2009.  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.
Norm Schorzman, representing the Palouse Arts Council, presented an application to the council for approval to serve beer and wine at the St. Paddy’s Day event at the Grange Hall.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED and Councilmember Milano seconded approving a liquor application for the Palouse Arts Council St. Paddy’s celebration.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported PW staff attended a compost conference.  It’s important that we get a composting thermometer to check the inner core.  Don attended some classes to keep up his sewer license.  Otherwise it has been normal winter work.

Pete Hertz reported that the county may have to start charging the communities for the salary of the chipper operator.   It would be roughly $150/month on the high end.  If it comes to that, council agreed that they would continue to support the program.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann distributed the February police log (always available for viewing at www.visitpalouse.com ).

Blockwatch is donating $75 toward the flag safety crossing on Bridge & Main which should be done by spring.

Chief Neumann reported that he continues to research the possibility of an ordinance regarding long-term vehicle parking on city right-of-ways that do not abut your own property.  Perhaps an amendment to our abandoned vehicle ordinance would alleviate the problem.  He will continue to investigate solutions.

NEW BUSINESS:
Selection of engineer for H Street Project:   Chairperson Bagott explained we went through the Requests for Qualifications process.  From those we received, the city then selected three to interview.  It was a difficult decision to make.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to award the contract for the H Street Project to MD+A and authorize the Mayor to sign that contract on the city’s behalf.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded.  The three firms interviewed were TD+H, MD+A, and USKH.  On a TIB-based project, we cannot negotiate a price when we’re interviewing them.  TIB has an allowable amount and the engineers typically go right to that number.  Councilmember Wekenman reiterated the consistency factor when having the same engineer working on different street projects in Palouse and having that consistent appearance when going from one project to the next.  MD+A indicated if his firm is selected, he’d need input as to how wide we want that road.  Engineer Daud talked about designing the sidewalk based on the road, not doing the sidewalk then doing the road.  He will work with Dwayne and the school.  Councilmember Bailey pointed out that H Street is probably the 2nd most traveled street in our town.  Motion carried unanimously.

Award Bid for Pool Boiler:   We have some inconsistencies in the bids so we need to contact the bidders and make sure we’re comparing apples to apples.  The current boiler is 37 years old so there will definitely be energy savings with the new boiler.

Scientific observation on city wells – Guy Gregory, Washington Dept. of Ecology (WDOE), spoke about recent observations from the data logger at Well #3.  There are data loggers in both wells.  One was purchased by the city and one by WDOE.  The data loggers provide temperature and water depth information.  Guy Gregory had observed some unusual temperature readings at Well #3.  The data from Well #1 showed very similar temperature fluctuations.  The Department of Health regulates pollutants and requires periodic testing.  All tests have been satisfactory and no health hazards are present.  The scientific community along with WDOE and DOH will continue to observe the wells.

OLD BUSINESS:
Brownfields update.   Mayor was notified last Friday that the city was awarded the $200,000 Integrated Planning Grant.  Mayor recommends, pending the official paper work, having the Brownfields Committee select an environmental engineer.  We’ll have to get all the rules and regulations that come with the grant.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported our bridge and trail application was not submitted due to a conflict of funding sources.  We can’t match fed money with fed money per the national scenic byway grant rules so we’ll have to wait until 2010 to submit that.

We’re ready to go on the Recreation Conservation Office project.  We need to have that all ready by April.

Mayor publicly thanked Mike for all the work on the scenic byway grant.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported on the PC.  They moved their meeting dates to the 4th Monday of the month.  We’ve discovered specific steps we need to take on the zoning.  PC has to announce their public hearing first and then city council will hold one.  We’re looking at April at the earliest.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott reported she spoke with Bev Fox regarding H Street concerns the school may have.  Her only concern with the project is the entrance to Little Sprouts.  DB heard back from TIB regarding crossing the highway.  There is a list we can get on for crosswalks and signage.  Once the snow clears she’ll get some pictures etc.  There’s definite progress being made but it takes time.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:33 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     1141-1167       $3,919.32

February 24, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
February 24, 2009

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook.  Absent:  Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Pete Hertz; Jana Mathia; Steve McGehee; Dixie Reber (7:15).

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 10, 2009.  Councilmember Bailey 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.
At the emailed request of Nicole Wood, Councilmember O’Neill read in its entirety an email from Nicole sent to Clerk Beeson.  To summarize, she wants to develop her lots without complying with the state and international fire codes as required by the city.  She goes on to say she will comply if the city buys her vacated portions of 7th, D, & C Streets for $42,000.00, otherwise the city gets no road or water easements from her.  Water & Sewer Committee Chair Andy O’Neill recommended not pursuing purchasing the property.  City staff has spent a great deal of time on this request over the past year.  Nicole’s proposal is to run a 2” line instead of 6” to this home.  That size of water line will not service a fire hydrant.  Code requirements are fire hydrant, easement issues, access issues, sewer hook-up, and other important issues.  Supt. Griffin stressed that it’s not the city’s code; this is a state fire-code and IFC.  This homesite is at least 1,000’ from the nearest hydrant and we have to abide by the law.  The committee isn’t opposed to developing; in fact we encourage it.  But in doing so we want to ensure that in 5, 10, or 20 years, whoever buys that property will have adequate water and sewer service.  Over the last 6 months it has been recommended to Nicole Wood and Jim Farr numerous times to hire an engineer.  They don’t want to do that.  Until the codes are followed, it is not in the city’s best interest to pursue this.  The mayor recommends following Councilmember & Water/Sewer Committee Chair O’Neill’s lead on this.  Councilmember Bailey pointed out that there are certain minimum standards that must be followed and we’ve been very clear on that since day one.  The request is denied as presented.  Steve McGehee asked how many potential sites are up there.  The land was platted over 100 years ago, so there are potentially 32, but the reality is 6-8 homes. Councilmember O’Neill encourages anyone who has questions about this issue to contact him and he’ll be happy to share his information.

BI REPORT:   Building Inspector Gladwill was glad to report that Palouse got a permit for a new stick built house and pole barn already this year.  He’s been busy following state legislature this year.  Otherwise, it’s normal work.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal operations.  PW has been trimming trees for sight visibility at intersections.  They’re trying to clean up the sand on the streets.  The chipper was in Palouse two weeks ago and it’s now almost full again.  PW is attending a composting class tomorrow and they all attended a pesticide class last week to keep their education credits current.  The RV Park is still too wet to work on.  Palouse Conservation District (PCD) planted grass seed at the former mobile home park.  PCD board is purchasing another memorial bench for our use.  We need to decide if they’re going to be permanent or something that can be moved.  If they’re permanent, we’re not sure how they’ll hold up in a flood.

DOH is requiring us to come up with a water conservation plan to show how we’re going to save water; etc.  All of the water pumped vs. all the water sold has to be accounted for without a loss of more than 10%.  We have to be within that 10% and we’re right at that number.  Leaking pipes, fire hydrant use, non-metered water being used (swimming pool), are examples that account for the inconsistencies.  We had a 12% reduction in water use last year due to fixing the leak on the F Street Bridge, metering the PD, etc.  For the most part, as far as the lines in town, there are some old lines and there are leaks, but Palouse is really fortunate we had foresight of Neil Myott and Byron Hodges.  They spent a lot of time updating the lines.  When we get it finished we’ll have to have a public hearing.  It should be done within a month.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported they had a Civil Service Commission meeting on February 9th.  Anne Larison resigned.  We need to find a replacement.  Officer Merry is approaching his 1-year anniversary at which time he’ll fall under the civil service protection.

It has been brought to the PD’s attention concern over vehicles left parked in areas not adjacent to the automobile owner’s property or any easements/rights-of-ways they may have.  Chief Neumann explained that alleyways and non-improved right-of-ways can look and be maintained like someone’s yard but are actually city right-of-way whereas someone else can park their car.  The concern is that these cars don’t fall under nuisance codes or under abandoned vehicle codes.  Chief Neumann will continue to research this concern and report back to council.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE :  Jeff Snook reported we had no fire calls and 7 EMS calls in January.  We had one mutual aid call in February to Pullman in which we used our new pumper tank.  We were able to deliver 15,000 gallons of water to the fire.  We have 3 or 4 potential new firefighters; we’re currently down to about 18.  We try to run 23-25 on the force.  We have not heard any more on the $50,000 assistance to firefighters grant to help purchase new turnouts.  EMS is busy trying to get done the finishing touches on the PSB so we can have the formal dedication on May 21st.     

OLD BUSINESS:

Discussion on proposed changes to PMC, Title 17 – Zoning: Councilmember Bailey outlined the proposed changes to the zoning by the Planning Commission.   1.  West side of Cove Road, between Union and Holyoke, changed from commercial to R2; 2.  West side of Hwy 27 south changed from Commercial/Light Industrial to Light Industrial; 3.  East side of HWY 27 South changed from Ag to R2; 4.  Designated Critical Areas and Parks as Open Space.  Changes were made to zoning definitions as well.  Councilmember Bailey thinks the biggest change is this definition does not allow for multi-family dwellings within an R1 area.  R1 would require a variance for new multiplexes; it’s a conditional use as opposed to an outright use.  Minimum new plat size will be 7,260 feet, basically 75’x100’.  Currently anything that’s already platted at 5,000’ (50×100) is still okay (grandfathered in).  Anything new has to be 7,260 or essentially 6 houses per block.  A public hearing will be scheduled soon.

Potential Brownfields Project Update :  John Means from DOE notified us our application is still in the process and he has no word for us yet.

April 11th is our tree planting date at the Palouse River Walk (MH park).

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano reported on the national scenic byway grant information.  He’d like to submit it with the council’s approval.  The byway grant is 80%, with a 20% match. The total cost is $612,900, with local match $122,580.  Of that, we’ve requested $119,080 from Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, $1,000 from Little Peoples Park Project, and only $2,500 actually coming from the City of Palouse.  This is due March 2nd.  The fed grant application is due April 1st.

The bridges cost approximately $1,000/foot.  I padded our estimate.  FEMA is going to require certain elevations over floodwaters.  We’re going to have to do a lot of fill or buy some elevation so we have to have flexibility in the budget for that.  Lions club are the owners of that park.  We have a signed purchase agreement from the Lions Club to essentially purchase that or have the right-of-way.  DOT thought that would be acceptable.  Mike will talk with public works about this project.

Councilmember O’Neill MOVED and second by Councilmember Snook authorizing Councilmember Milano to submit this grant to multiple state agencies. Councilmember O’Neill amended his motion and Snook seconded to include Councilmember Milano as representative on this project.  Motion carried unanimously.

PERSONNEL & POOL:   Councilmember Snook reported he is going to be looking at our personnel leave policy.

Kasey Manning will NOT be able to be the pool manager again this summer so we’ll be working on that asap.  He asked her for recommendations.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott asked where we’re at on the flags for the intersections.  Blockwatch has expressed interest in purchasing those.
We received 5 RFQ’s for H Street.  We’ve tentatively narrowed it down to three.  We want to hold some interviews with the engineering firms asap.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Reminded council and staff we need to watch our spending as state-shared revenues are much less than expected.  Last year we budgeted for $34,000 and actually only got $26,000.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:33 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid     1101-1118       $16,134.95

February 10, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
February 10, 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; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Norm Schorzman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Brian Dentler; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Scott Beeson; Dixie Reber; Steve McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Fix the typo under Mayor’s Report from “provides” to “providers”.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 27, 2009.  Councilmember Wekenman 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.
Scott Beeson was representing the Palouse Lion’s Club.  They would like permission to use Shady Lane during Haunted Palouse to do a Haunted Forest.  To keep people from walking across the street, they would pick people up in small trailers with 4’ sides pulled by 4-wheelers and make a complete loop.  The riders stay on the trailer the whole time.  At issue for the city council is permission to use the city right-of-way, and the walking trail.  Supt. Griffin doesn’t foresee any problems from a trail point of view.  If it’s a go, PW will need to do some trail work in advance.  Lions Club and the Chamber cover the insurance costs for the event.  Scott will bring all questions and concerns back to the Lions club to discuss.  Lions will talk with the PD directly about logistics and traffic and safety concerns.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal work and maintenance.  PW attended a pesticide class to keep their permits updated.  Dwayne spoke with First Step about the shed they want to replace.  Dwayne checked with the BI and all the codes and everything is fine.  It will be color-coordinated with our building already there.  Councilmember Milano doesn’t foresee any problems with other service providers wanting the same option.

The Heyton Greene sign is fixed but it still needs some work.

Dixie Reber asked if the city is involved in a beneficial bug program with the DOE.  No, we are not.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Officer Dentler reported on the police log.  The new car is now in service and being used by Officer Dentler.  He said it’s very nice to use and gets 30%-40% better fuel economy.  The Garfield vehicle is being used as a scare vehicle in Garfield to keep people from speeding.

The PD brought in 6 juveniles who had civil service hours to serve and had them sweep gravel off sidewalks, etc.

There was a Civil Service Commission meeting last night.  Dixie Reber asked if there were elections.  No.  It was explained that the elections were held at the very first meeting.

OLD BUSINESS:
Update on using county’s RFQ roster:  Darcie and Joyce went to Colfax Thursday to obtain a copy of the professional services roster for Whitman County.  As it turns out, the county wants to develop an Interlocal Agreement prior to the small communities utilizing it.  The city doesn’t have time to wait for that process so Joyce placed an ad in the Daily News and we’re building our own roster and we’ll use it for the H Street Project and maybe the Brownfields project.  Perhaps down the road we can work with the county.  Mayor read the RFQ the city placed in the Daily News.  The closing day to receive RFQ’s is February 17th.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported he spoke with Dave Deane at DOT regarding some questions for placing the pedestrian bridge from Lions Club Park to Heyton Greene Park.  Questions like does the city have to own the property where they put the bridge (i.e. the Lions Club Park)?  Not necessarily if the property owner gives us right of way.  If not okay, can the city purchase that portion with the grant money with the option to lease that land back to the Lions?  Councilmember Milano is awaiting answers.  There was also a question regarding ADA access on Hall Street.  The state will give us a ruling on that as it pertains to federal funding.

SEWEDA contacted the city.  Apparently they are now accepting project applications that are 1 to 2 years away.  So they’re looking for projects to put on that list for economic stimulus projects.  The motivation is getting contractors back to work on projects, infrastructure, etc.  Some project suggestions were:  Fishers Addition sewer extension; West Whitman Street; the Bridge St. bridge sewer line and the actual bridge itself.  That bridge has been deemed “functionally obsolete” by the state.  Mike will investigate and make some contacts.

Supt. Griffin brought up the handrail for the walking bridge.  The city budgeted for its repair and it has become a safety issue.  Councilmember Milano told him to move forward on the repair.  The lowest bid we received was from Palouse Welding.  It would be steel and their price includes installation.  The existing rail is in the concrete and will be removed flush to the sidewalk surface. Supt. Griffin also brought up the pool furnace/boiler which was also budgeted for replacement.  He will re-solicit  bids.  We’ll move forward unless the bids come in over what we budgeted.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported the PC met and discussed the zoning map.  They’re regrouping and looking at their comprehensive plan.  They should have a good, solid draft by late spring or early summer.

PERSONNEL & POOL:   Councilmember Snook reported that he will be starting to look at pool staffing soon.  He’s optimistic the pool manager is returning.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott is just beginning to look into Mark Bailey’s request to have some sort of safety precautions put in on F Street where children cross the highway to and from school.  She will take some pictures and map it out and talk to the WSDOT and see what happens.  The objective is to slow people down, either via a crosswalk, signs, etc.

Councilmember Milano suggested a good location for a memorial bench would be on H Street hill.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Mayor explained that when an employee wants to take more than 40 hours of annual leave at one time, council has to approve it.  Chief Neumann requested to use 60 of his hours in one block.  Councilmember Snook MOVED and Councilmember Milano seconded to grant 60 hours of annual leave at one time.  He has accrued all the time.  At issue is using it at one time rather than using 2 or 3 days here and there.  Officer Dentler said the schedule is all covered.  Motion carried unanimously.  In light of that, it was noted that when Deputy Clerk Thompson went out of the country for 10 days last month, council was not aware this was to be pre-approved.  Council retroactively approved.

Another issue is carrying over annual leave.  City code says that employees need to use all their hours within their annual year.  Any hours that pass the annual leave are lost.  Supt. Griffin explained that one problem with that is that a PW employee had vacation planned with his family in December.  The storm hit and he opted to stay and help with the plowing.  So he potentially loses his vacation for the sake of the city.  Personnel committee and Policy committee will look into this further.  If the policy is changed it will require an ordinance.

The Mayor contacted the Dept. of Ecology, FCAAP program about the possibility of extending the Mobile Home Acquisition Project to include the Brownfields property.  DOE responded that FCAAP funds can be used for open space projects and if the reuse of that project was for non-permanent structures only, DOE might be able to help out. FCCAP funding was perfect for the mobile home park, but maybe not the best fit for this site.  Reuse options mentioned at the 3 previous Brownfields meetings include retail, housing, green space with river access, a skate park and light manufacturing.  It was decided to hold off and see where future public discussions will take the project.  Councilmember Wekenman said we’re going to need some of that FCAAP money at the MH Park.

The city has not heard back about the Integrated Planning Grant (IPG) at this time.  If successful, the mayor would like the Brownfields committee to start reviewing qualifications for professional services at their next meeting and report their results back to the council for action.

Anne Larison resigned from the Civil Service Commission.  We need to put an ad out to get a replacement.

McLeod’s Market liquor license has been approved.

Rosalia mayor called.  They want to purchase a sewer camera.  He’d like to have 3 or 4 cities/towns share the expense.  Supt. Griffin doesn’t think Palouse has a use for it; they usually just rent from Roto-Rooter.  Dwayne will talk to Don.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:23 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid     1052 – 1100    $13,415.94
Claims Void:    1053, 1069, 1098, 1099

January 27, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
January 27, 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; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Andy O’Neill.   Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Dixie Reber; Steve McGehee; Dennis Griner (arrived at 8:12).

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Drop the words “in overtime” from the minutes under Public Works Report.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of January 13, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal winter operations.  With a break from plowing and sanding, they’ve had some time to perform much-needed work on equipment.  Don has worked on the trail at the Palouse River Walk.  We’re using chipper bark for the trail.  With all the storms and Christmas trees the chipper pile is almost full.  The sidewalk in front of the men’s bathroom at Heritage Park gets cold and swells up so the door won’t open.  We need to cut out that corner and re-pour it.  The fan is now working in the men’s bathroom so we may not need to replace the aerator.  Regarding the signs on Main Street, we found some in the shop and put them up instead of purchasing new ones which are very expensive.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported the patrol car is 95% completed.  Personnel issues were discussed at the last Police, Fire and Safety meeting.  Pedestrian safety at our intersections was discussed.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested the idea of movable flags at the intersection, particularly for use by children.  Darcie talked to the state about that; the state is not opposed but they won’t fund it.  Chief Neumann said he could spearhead it.

JFB & EMS REPORT :  Councilmember Wekenman reported there have been no fire calls lately.  7 EMS calls in December with a total of 8 patients.  Total calls in 2008 were nearly half as 2007; 20 compared to 38.  The FD has changed their minimum meeting requirements from once a month to two meetings a month.  The new pumper tender is in service.  The old Dodge is currently being stored at someone’s house.  It has been determined that it has more value as a parade truck/antique than what we could sell it for.  And it could still be a back-up if the others were out of service.  We’re looking for long-term, weather-proof storage for it.  EMS folks are taking tele-health classes.

Steve McGehee has noticed a great drop-off in chimney fires.  Are people heating less with wood?  Not sure of the statistics, however portable gas and electric heaters are more of a danger than chimneys.  Old wall heaters are a concern also.  The FD is still accepting applications which are available at City Hall.  For more information, contact Fire Chief Mike Bagott.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2009-02 – Extend payment terms on Breeding’s Addition Loan:  Mayor read the resolution in full.  It authorizes the Mayor to enter into an agreement with AWB to extend the maturity date of the AWB loan from 2/1/09 to 2/1/10.  The loan is down to approximately $35,000.00.  Hopefully we’ll get some more hook-ups in 2009.  Five hook-ups will pay it off.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-02.  Councilmember Bailey seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2009-03 – Adopt the Whitman County Roster for public works contracts and professional services: 
We need to advertise for professional services prior to starting the H Street Project.  Rather than running our own roster for professional services, the state law allows us to use the county’s roster.  Municipal Research said we need a resolution to do so.  Mayor read the resolution in full.  In summary, the city could use the county’s list to pull from.  There was some confusion among those present as to the difference between a professional services roster and a small works roster.  The city keeps and updates twice yearly a small works roster and vendor roster.  A professional services roster is for engineers/planners.  Councilmember Wekenman likes the idea of saving all the advertising dollars.  Councilmember Snook likes having the superset of a roster to draw from.  Councilmember Bailey stated the only possible negative might be if someone we thought would be on the list wasn’t on the list, however engineers would be more likely to get on the county list as opposed to getting on a small town’s list so we have a much bigger choice to draw from.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-03.  Councilmember Bagott seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:

Integrated Planning Grant – Brownfields
Mayor reported on the third meeting.  They continued to talk about reuse.  Dennis Griner has applied for a $10k technology grant to augment the Brownfields project with a similar project at the school.  To engage the entire HS into the project, from water and soil sampling, to media work, etc.  He has a comprehensive plan outlined.  He submitted his proposal.  Mayor would like to submit the IPG to Ecology.  We want to make it a comprehensive grant that looks at the site, at the river, at how we can integrate both.  We talk about community visioning, hiring a consultant to spearhead this, a clean-up strategy, re-use visioning.  All those items are grant-eligible.  John Means has suggested we apply for the maximum amount of $200,000 with $0 cost to the city.  Mayor thinks it’s a wonderful opportunity for the community to move forward.  Councilmember Bailey said the planning grant doesn’t apply just to that site, it can apply to the whole river corridor.  And even to that point, it still doesn’t commit the city to anything.  The IPG is relatively new to the Brownfields program.  Mayor doesn’t know the time-frame of grant award notification.  IPG can use funding for site evaluations, survey work, permitting, all the SEPA’s, fish and wildlife, etc.  It’s a feasibility study.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to authorize the Mayor to proceed with the IPG feasibility study.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Dennis Griner explained how and why he became involved with the project.  A state technology grant came available at the school, totally separate from the city’s.  But his grant, if it’s funded, will provide equipment to do soil and water studies, species studies, natural vegetation stuff, etc., involving every student and every class.  Dennis Griner will know February 27th if he was awarded his grant.  There are only 10 to be awarded in the state.

Discussion on Planning Commission Zoning Change Proposal
Councilmember Bailey said the PC meets again next Tuesday, Feb. 6th.  He’s looking for any input before the documents come back for approval.  There will be at least one public hearing on this eventually.  It will be an ordinance when it gets to that stage.  Councilmember Milano suggested before and after shots for those meetings just so people can see the changes.  Mayor asked about the zoned Light Industrial area.  When the city sold those 120 or so acres, the mayor thinks he remembers that land being annexed as low density.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported from Palouse Conservation District we got a proposal for what to plant at the Palouse River Walk Park.  The plan is for April planting with volunteers.  Councilmember Wekenman inquired who will have the final say regarding what stays and what goes as far as vegetation at the Palouse River Walk.  Don Myott has a good handle on that.  It’s not planned for cleanout.  Weed-spraying is slated.  We got a letter from Whitman Co. ’09 grant applications.  The funding pool is $100,000.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY :  Councilmember Wekenman reported Police, Fire, and Safety met to discuss some personnel issues and to discuss the new police car.  Officer Merry’s 1 year anniversary is coming up.  The next civil service meeting is next Monday, February 5th, 6 pm at the PD.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported he’s trying to get a status on the DOE grant for the loader.  There is a free Whitman County composting workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 25th from 9-3 at the Palouse Empire Fairgrounds.  Call 509-397-4622 for more info. or to register.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bailey asked Councilmember Bagott if she could look at getting signage near the trail across the highway from Breeding’s Addition that kids use daily to and from school.  It has poor visibility and high-speed traffic.  Dennis Griner uses it too and he seconded that.  Councilmember Bagott will investigate options.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
The mayor received a call from Habitat for Humanity, Moscow chapter.  They’re ready to move forward here in Palouse.  They’re in the process of family selection for the project.  We need to get the word out and give them a pool of families to choose from.  If you know of a family you want them to consider, let City Hall know.  There are two lots up there; they want to build two homes.  There is currently an old farmhouse on the property.  That farmhouse is for sale for $1.00 if someone wants to move it.  Contact City Hall for more info.

First Step Internet has requested to build, at their own expense, a small shed to replace their equipment cabinet at the West well site.  Dwayne Griffin will investigate the legality with DOE.  MB added that we need to be cautious because if any other service provides want to relocate here, we may have to provide them with the same opportunities and access.  It may open us up for some anti-trust lawsuits.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott 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     1001-1030       $12,766.90

January 13, 2009

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
January 13, 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; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann.  Public present: Steve McGehee, Dixie Reber, Pete Hertz, David Milano, Jana Mathia, Gabe Cocking, Mitch Jamison, and Diane Mecham.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 23, 2008.  Councilmember Wekenman 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.
Mayor Echanove thanked the Boy Scouts attending the meeting as part of their award program.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on snow removal and cleaning up after wind and high water damage throughout town.  On Christmas morning, the F Street sewer pump station was frozen and the crew was called out to clear and repair.  Griffin explained how the alarm system works.  Councilmember Snook thanked the crew for going out on Christmas morning to handle this emergency that could have gotten much worse.  The river peaked at about 15 feet and the water did not reach to back door of the shop.  Boy Scout Gabe Cocking asked how much it costs to join the Chamber of Commerce.  Councilmember Milano stated that individual memberships are $15.

Mayor Echanove stated that in 2008, snow plowing cost the city about $20,000 in overtime.  In case the winter weather trend continues as it is in 2009, perhaps council should consider developing a written policy for snow related overtime.   Councilmember Milano added that along with the overtime, an equipment upgrade plan should be considered.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann handed out the PD call log and reported that the holiday season was fairly uneventful.  There was a near emergency situation as an ice dam developed near the Bridge Street Bridge.  Whitman County emergency management was very helpful, as well as PW Griffin, and Councilmember Wekenman who kept an all night vigil even after the ice dam broke at about midnight.  The Mayor thanked all involved.

NEW BUSINESS:   Resolution 2009-01:  Cancel lost warrant
This resolution was withdrawn since the lost warrant had since been delivered to the vendor.

OLD BUSINESS:

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano handed out pictures and a description of a piece of art offered as a donation from Will Murray to the Palouse River park project.  He asked for council and public feedback on how to proceed with Mr. Murray’s offer.  After discussion, councilmember Milano suggested that a committee be put together for any public art installation.  The Little People’s park project is in the public comment phase and so far the feedback is positive.  The park improvement grant program will be awarding this spring so we are still hopeful.

The water reservoir and park trail project has been sent to Southeastern Washington Development where it will be sent on to other economic development lists to be ready for any stimulus programs that may move forward in the next few years.  Mayor Echanove stated that the footbridge is on a Whitman County economic development list.  There will be a great deal of engineering and permitting involved in this project.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey handed out the newest version of the proposed zoning from the Planning Commission (PC).  The only change noted was a Light Industrial section along Cove Road was changed to R-2.  PC is asking for council feedback.  Their next meeting is Tuesday, Feb 1st and would like any comments and concerns by then.  When the PC is ready, they will submit their proposal to council and council will vote to either set a public hearing or send back to the PC for further review.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested that we look at past notes of a public meeting the PC may have held before submitting proposal to council.

Mayor Echanove explained to council that PC members Sam Gregg, Maggie Brushears and Ann Warrington have resigned and three citizens have stepped forward to fill these positions; Dixie Reber, Robin Rillette and Mike Sanderson.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to install Dixie Reber, Robin Rillette, and Mike Sanderson to the Planning Commission.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott asked Dwayne if he looked into the placement of street signs on the city posts at the Main & Bridge intersection.  Dwayne said there is no room.  Councilmember Bagott will call the state to ask permission to put these city signs on their posts.

WATER & SEWER :   Councilmember O’Neill reported that his committee met to identify infrastructure needs for 2009.  Mayor Echanove stated that the city received a request from James Farr for infrastructure extensions on Breeding’s Addition.  The request is being reviewed by the Water & Sewer Committee.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Ecology planning grant for the Brownfield’s project is in draft form.  There is no word yet on the availability of a grant for the purchase of the property.  The next Brownfields meeting is scheduled for January 21st at 7:00 PM.

The city’s insurance provider settled the Omoto claim for $7,500.  That was a $1,000 deductible to the city.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:43 PM.

December 23, 2008

SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING FOLLOWED BY
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
December 23, 2008

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; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Jeff Snook.  Also present: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Tulip O’Neill.  Bruce Beeson arrived at 7:20.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR AMENDMENT TO THE 6-YEAR STREET PLAN:  Public hearing opened at 7:01.  No comments.

CLOSE PUBLIC HEARING AND OPEN REGULAR MEETING : 7:02

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 9, 2008.  Councilmember Schorzman 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.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on all the snow plowing.  Empire Disposal will NOT go down alleys; move your garbage cans to the streets.  PW plows some alleys because it’s their ONLY access but not all alleys will be plowed.  Community has been very helpful with moving cars for plowing.

Some pipes in the men’s restrooms at Heritage Park froze.  The damage wasn’t permanent and will be fixed.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported we received one bid for the Crown Victoria for $201.00 + tax.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept the bid.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The car was properly advertised.  This was our only bid.

Turkeys are residing at our city park.  Unfortunately, they were hand-raised then released so they are at risk of harassment by humans and dogs, etc.  Chief Neumann reminds the public that harassment of any wildlife is punishable by arrest.  Chief is looking into the ownership.

The PD roof is leaking inside.  The drain and gutter system on there are inadequate.  PW will look at it.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT .  Councilmember O’Neill reported Rick Wekenman was nominated for president.  The equipment and capital committee have joined as one.  Fire calls are down by one third from last year.  EMS remains active.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2008-18 – Amending the 6-Year Transportation Improvement Plan to include the H Street Sidewalk Improvement Project as Priority No. 1.  Mayor and Supt. Bev Fox reviewed the packet from TIB.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to approve Resolution No. 2008-18 as discussed.  Councilmember Bailey seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  We will need a call for engineers.  The Streets and Sidewalk Committee will review.

Ordinance No. 856 – Amending the 2008 Budget.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED , and Councilmember O’Neill seconded to suspend the rules for reading the ordinance.  The motion passed unanimously.  Clerk Beeson explained that the cemetery fund is the only one with a dollar effect to the end budget.  We’re increasing the cemetery salary by $900.  In current expense we’re moving $730 from travel to police chief salary, and in the street fund we’re moving $4,500 from capital expenditures to street salary to cover all the overtime for snow plowing.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to approve the overtime for PW for snow removal.  Councilmember Milano seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ord. 846, Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Milano suggested increasing comp time carry over for the PW, as long as they can use it.  Joyce will investigate the comp time policy.

OLD BUSINESS:

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported our park project has been identified as a project that might be part of the state and federal stimulus proposals.  Projects must be ready to begin by April 1, 2009.

There is a March 2nd deadline for our byway grant for our trail and pedestrian bridges.  We got an estimated price back from Munir for two bridges.  Mike will discuss it with him.  The ownership of the Lions Club Park was questioned.  It appears the Lions have a 99-year lease from McGregor’s.

President-elect Obama has made rebuilding “Main Streets” across America part of his economic recovery proposal.  Local jurisdictions have been contacted by engineers and policy makers to document projects that can be “shovel ready” in 2009. The city has brushed off the water capital improvement work from the late 90’s and is having Munir update the estimates for the reservoir project on south hill.  Just being prepared will be a distinct advantage for the city.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey presented a preliminary planning commission zoning map.  A public hearing will be set at a later date.  The last zoning map proposed but not adopted will be available to compare with the new one.  The changes are minor; mostly to the Critical Areas.

Councilmember Bailey talked to DOE grant administrator.  She thinks we’ll still get the funding for the Bobcat since it was part of the initial grant application.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Wekenman thinks there should be street signs on the NW corner and the SE corner of “Main & SR 27”.  Darcie will contact the state sign guy.  It will match our existing signs.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Trevor Villa turned in his bill for his Eagle Scout project for the gates on Shady Lane Trail.  The total was less than half of what council allocated.  There’s a design change that Avista and PW have required.

The mayor reported he received the comprehensive planning grant application from DOE for the Brownfields and would like to proceed with the application.  It is 100% funded by Ecology with no cost to the city.  The mayor also contacted the DOE about property acquisition possibilities from the same program utilized with the mobile home acquisition project.  The mayor discussed this possibility with Atty. Bishop prior. This would be a separate project from the mobile home project.  Councilmember Wekenman advised making sure it doesn’t cut the MH project short.  Mayor explained it would be a separate funding opportunity to purchase the property.  DOE will be looking into whether or not the purchase would qualify for the FCAAP program for reuse possibilities are the ultimate goal for this particular project.  It was also noted that in order to move to the phase of clean-up and reuse, we have to be the owner.  Once purchased, we’ll have to assume the liability of that site.  All of this is part of the planning grant that John Means from DOE will provide at no cost to the city should the city be successful in its application.

The city received a request from the liquor control board to renew the Green Frog Café and McLeod’s (Thurman’s) Market liquor licenses.  No objections from council.

Our new BIAS software includes a maintenance agreement contract.  Council approved signing the contract.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:17 PM.

December 9, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
December 9, 2008

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

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

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

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin reported on normal maintenance and preparation for the winter.
He reported that the booster pump on North hill was out for about an hour while Strom Electric made electrical supply modifications. The sanding gravel has been purchased from the county and they are ready to plow snow.  He is participating in the NIMS training as provided by the county.

OPEN FORUM :  Whitman County Commissioner Greg Partch congratulated Palouse on being awarded TIB funding for the H street sidewalk project.  He then recapped county programs being used in Palouse such as the chipper, junk car removal, and the purchase of sanding gravel. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that the surplus police car has been stripped down and is ready to go if any bids are received.  To date, no bids have been received. Chief Neumann asked council if he should simply have the car removed by a scrap dealer.  Council agreed to the idea. The chief reported that he is also attending the NIMS training and handed out the November activity log for Garfield and Palouse.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 849 – Increasing the rate charged for water service :  Councilmember Milano MOVED to suspend the rules for reading Ordinance No. 849.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Mayor Echanove explained that this ordinance would increase the amount charged for city water by one dollar for each single service and incrementing the same from there as in the past ordinance.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 849.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 850 – Increasing the rate charged for sewer service : Councilmember Milano MOVED to suspend the rules for reading Ordinance No. 850.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried.  Mayor Echanove explained that this ordinance would increase the amount charged for city sewer by one dollar for each single service and incrementing the same from there as in the past ordinance.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 850.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 851 – Increasing the fee charged for dishonored checks:   Mayor Echanove read the ordinance.  This ordinance would raise the fee charged for dishonored checks from the current $10 to $25.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 851.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 852 – Increasing the fee charged for late water/sewer payments:   Mayor Echanove read the ordinance.  This ordinance would raise the fee charged for late payments from the current $5 to $10.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 852.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded.  Discussion included a comment against from the gallery.  One vote opposed, Councilmember Schorzman.  Motion carried.

Resolution No. 2008-17 – Establishing certain policies and procedures for authorizing issuance of payments :   Mayor Echanove read Resolution 2008-17.  He asked council how they want to proceed.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-17.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded.  Discussion included a question by Councilmember Milano asking if the language from this resolution is consistent with the State Auditors Office.  C-T Beeson answered yes.  Motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 854 – 2009 Final Budget and Budget Message :  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to suspend the rules for reading Ordinance No. 854.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried.  Mayor Echanove explained no changes have been made since the version was handed out at the last meeting.  The impact to Palouse of the Streamline Sales Tax is still a big unknown.  He asked council how they want to proceed.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 854.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Clerk Beeson reminded the Mayor of one more ordinance to address that should probably have been considered before Resolution 2008-17.

Ordinance No. 855 – Authorizing the payment of claims or other obligations by check:   Mayor Echanove read the ordinance.  This ordinance would allow the use of checks rather than the current warrant process.  He asked how council wants to proceed.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 855.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported the he is working toward getting preliminary estimates for the two pedestrian bridges across the river.  Nicole Flansburg has joined with the Little People’s Park Project and will be gathering estimates on enhancements to our walking trails.  The Little Peoples committee would like the city to look at a piece of equipment they are considering for the park.  They ask that public works review the drawing of the equipment and possible placement site.  Mayor Echanove asked when he expects to know whether or not he gets the state award for park improvements.  Councilmember Milano answered this spring.  If awarded, this grant is for 12K and will go toward providing handicap accessibility and proper groundcover.  A memorial bench has been purchased to honor Roger Marcus II and Karl E. Nelson.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
The mayor reported on the most recent Brownfields meeting.  Reuse was the focus and several ideas were mentioned including retail, housing and a combination of both.  Also mentioned were light industry, and green space.  The main focus of reuse kept going back to using the river as an asset.  There are many steps to this process and the meetings will continue every month.  Dennis Griner has put in for a $10,000 grant to involve the high school students in this process.  Steve McGehee stated that with the zoning recommendations from the planning commission, be careful to maintain a degree of flexibility since the reuse of this property has not been determined.

Mayor Echanove relayed that with a stimulus package being considered by the President-Elect, communities across the State have been asked to identify infrastructure projects that are ready to construct.  The mayor asked all present to consider what infrastructure projects are most important and ready to go.  Some of the projects mentioned included the comprehensive park plan, reconstruction of West Whitman (including the rail line), a new Public Works building and a new South Hill water reservoir.  Also mentioned was the Fisher’s Addition sewer extension project as well as basic replacement of water, sewer and storm drain systems citywide where needed.

The City received TIB award of $130,000 for H Street sidewalk project, beginning in 2009.  One of the requirements is that this project be on the city’s 6 Year Street Plan.  A public hearing will be scheduled for the next regular meeting, December 23rd.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM.

November 25, 2008

PUBLIC HEARING FOR 2009 BUDGET
followed by
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
November 25, 2008

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

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

PUBLIC HEARING:   Mayor Echanove opened the 2009 Final Budget Discussion Public Hearing at 7:01 pm:  No public comment.  Public hearing closed at 7:02.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Under Old Business, add the following sentence: “In addition, anticipated connections from a development in the area did not materialize.”  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the corrected minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 12, 2008.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin reported on normal maintenance and preparation for the winter.
At the RV Park, the kiosk light works but none of the pad lights are working.
The storm drain in front of AWB has a broken clay pipe.  They hate to tear it up this time of year but will if it’s an emergency.
Regarding the Palouse River Walk Park, it will be mostly native grasses and trees.  Palouse Conservation District wants to get grass down this fall but it’s too muddy right now.  Two rows of trees between the road and the park will provide a buffer zone.  PW will spray the Poison Hemlock as soon as possible.  There is 400’ of chain-link fencing that they will either declare surplus or find a city use for.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported ongoing cases and issues.  Regarding the new patrol car, they found 7 comparable vehicles.  On average, the high was $28,000, the low was $13,900.  They purchased the one from Bagott Motors for $13,500.  It meets all the requirements and gets 22 mpg.

The car-crushing is finally in-process.  They picked up 9 cars from our area.

JFB REPORT :  The new fire truck is here.  EMS calls are up, fire calls are down.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 853:  Amending certain funds within the 2008 Annual Budget :  Mayor read the Ordinance 853, an ordinance making the necessary accounting adjustments to the  2008 city of Palouse budget accounting for a $4000.00 donation to both the city and rural fire district for the purchase of the new fire vehicle.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 853, second by Councilmember Snook.  Motion passed unanimously.

Resolution 2008-16:  2009 Salary .  The only change is the minimum wage went up $.47 cents per hour which will affect our lifeguards.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-16.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
2009 Final Budget and Budget Message :  No changes from prior meetings.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported the Little People’s Park Project has over $24,000 in savings.  They will meet soon to discuss ground cover, etc.
Regarding the Palouse River Walk project, Palouse Conservation District is a $10,000 partner and FCAAP awarded us $130,000.  They’ve put it in $100,000 so far.  The city’s portion is $35,000 in in-kind work and in cash.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY :  Councilmember Wekenman reported that he and Jerry went over the new vehicle to make sure it would work.  Rick thinks it’s a great investment.  He reminds people to be careful with space heaters, slick roads, wood stoves, etc.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported the planning commission needs volunteers.  Those are appointed, at-large positions and meet monthly.  The biggest task right now is going through the comprehensive plan and zoning.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Pete Hertz, a member of the Whitman County Solid Waste Advisory Board reported that Feb. 25 at the Colfax Fairgrounds they’re having a composting class for the public.  In January at Pullman Disposal they’re taking e-waste (TV’s, computers, CPUs, laptops, monitors) for free.

Our next Brownfields Meeting is December 8th at City Hall at 7:00.  The topic will be re-use for the site.

The City received TIB award of $130,000 for H Street sidewalk project, beginning in 2009.  The city is a $10,000 partner and the school is a $5,000 partner.

The City received an award from Inland NW Partners for our outstanding achievements in improving our economy by promoting economic development through infrastructure improvements.

Munir Daud questions the stop sign behind the PO.  Should we change it to a yield sign?  We need to check with the State to understand State requirements.

Supt. Griffin and the mayor have met regarding storm drainage issues by the new school gym.  The Palouse School District needs approx. 40’ of culvert installed near the AG shop to help alleviate flooding issues.  The council agreed to provide city labor for the project.  The school will purchase the needed materials.  It was agreed that this project was an excellent partnership with the school.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:14 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     #13500 – #13531                     $19,889.08
Payroll Paid

November 12, 2008

PUBLIC HEARING FOR 2009 BUDGET
followed by
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
November 12, 2008

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; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Mike Milano.  Also present: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present: Nathan Cocking, Pete Hertz, Dixie Reber, Diane Mecham, Steve McGehee.

PUBLIC HEARING:   Mayor Echanove opened the 2009 Budget Discussion Public Hearing at 7:00 pm:  No public comment.  Public hearing closed at 7:01.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 28, 2008.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin reported on normal maintenance and preparation for the winter.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that the monthly police log is now available for public viewing on the City of Palouse website.

The Palouse Chamber of Commerce donated $200 to the PD to be applied to the youth safety program.

We had our 6-month review pertaining to the Garfield police services contract.  Both sides are satisfied and the contract will continue for another 6 months.  At that time (1 year mark), if both sides agree, we’ll begin setting the contract for yearly renewal.  Either party needs to give 6 month notice for cancellation of the contract.

We are moving ahead with the patrol car contract and seeking a lease-return car.  Palouse currently owns two active patrol cars but we need three since we are a 3-officer department.  Garfield’s intentions are to retain their vehicle for emergency back-up.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to surplus the PD’s Crown Victoria by sealed bids.  Bids will be opened at the December 9th council meeting.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution 2008-15:  Authorization to purchase used police vehicle under special market conditions .  Mayor read the resolution in full.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED , and Councilmember O’Neill seconded to adopt Resolution No. 2008-15.  The Palouse PD is seeking to purchase a used or lease return 2007 or 2008 Dodge Charger with the following specs: 2.7 V-6 liter with traction control or 3.5 liter high output V-6; silver, blue, or white; under $15,000.00; mileage shall not exceed 30,000.  The vehicle will be modified for police after purchase.  We found vehicles with these specs in Spokane and in Oregon. Bagott Motors is also able to meet these specifications.  Councilmember O’Neill pointed out that the new destination-based sales tax doesn’t apply to vehicles.  Purchasing locally, however, enables the city to recoup sales taxes.  Chief Neumann will work very closely with Clerk Beeson on this to ensure that the bid laws are met and Councilman Wekenman, chair, Police, Fire and Safety will provide council input and direction into the purchase.  The plan is to replace the Intrepid in 2009 and begin a 5 year cycle for each car.  The intrepid still has a value between $8,000-$9,000 if traded by next summer.  Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
2009 Budget Message:  Mayor read the 2009 preliminary budget message.  Clerk Beeson included in this version, budget to re-side the buildings at the cemetery.  Also, the funds in 305 (building maintenance fund) are set aside for a PW shop/building project although it probably won’t be spent in 2009.  Joyce has been analyzing the breakdown of personnel labor and is increasing the percentages that go to water and sewer.  She has forecast the revenues low to be on the safe side.  She’ll be working on budgeting the RV Park numbers for next year as spending still continues.  She’s hoping to pay the retainage for A& R and Spokane Rock still this year.  Even if the retainage to Spokane Rock isn’t able to be paid this year, she’s hoping they’ll close out so TIB can make their final payment.  Clerk Beeson also outlined her intent to service and pay off the short-term commercial loan of $70,000.00 for the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension Project.  The original loan payoff timeframe needs to be extended due to the unanticipated solid rock costs incurred in the project.  It is estimated that the loan balance will be approximately $56,000.00 by January, 2009.

Brownfields Update :  There was a Town Hall meeting on Monday to discuss the city’s potential Brownfields project.  Councilmember Wekenman thinks it’s something we should go forward with.  DOE reps were here and they stated that this is a viable and straightforward project that can be accomplished within a few years.  John Means, Dept. of Ecology, indicated to the group that perhaps up to 90% clean-up funding could be available to Palouse.  Non-eligible costs include property acquisition and any legal fees.  The city would also be responsible for any match funds.  Pete Hertz attended the meeting and voiced his support for moving forward.  There will be another Town Hall meeting on December 8th to continue the public discussion.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott reported that we should hear November 20th whether or not we got the sidewalk grant from TIB.

WATER & SEWER :   Councilmember O’Neill attended a meeting of the Wastewater Advisory Certification Committee.  He explained that Don will have to have all his CEU’s completed by the end of 2009.  In three years he’ll need 30 hours training, 10 of which are wastewater specific.  Currently, in the state of Washington, there are approximately 1,972 certified wastewater people and over 4,000 water certified people in the state of Washington.  Also, as of February 2009, any and all certifications will be done by computer.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Mobile Home Acquisition Project enters phase 2 tomorrow as the city will meet with the Palouse Conservation District to discuss restoration and replanting efforts.  The conservation district is a $10,000 partner in the project and will provide assistance and guidance for the new park.

The mayor read a Liquor License application for Bank Left Gallery for in-house beer and wine service.  No objections.

A thank you note was read from the chamber expressing their appreciation to the city for the services provided during Haunted Palouse.  The note also stated that a net profit of $31,000 was raised at the event.

Mayor asked Dwayne about the storm water work behind the new gym.  Dwayne indicated that he is awaiting direction and materials to proceed.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:02 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     #13465 – #13499         $49,348.66

October 28, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
October 28, 2008

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 14, 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.
Steve McGehee asked if the Mayor’s policy about not entertaining comments regarding personnel has changed because at previous council meetings the Mayor would verbalize the policy in addition to it being stated in writing.  No, the policy has not changed.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported that nine of the overgrown trees were trimmed at the park.

They’ve been working on the sprinklers at the RV Park; once the main trunk line is in they will start on the roads.  There is a small amount of excavating left to do at the RV Park which they will do this fall if the weather holds.

They’re finishing up on Whitman Street, replacing a manhole and clay pipe.

The chipper pile is full again.  The county will be here Nov. 7th to chip.  The city will try and get the word out to residents that they are welcome to take the chipped material; it makes great mulch.

Poe Asphalt allowed us only 18 tons of asphalt mix for patching on Fairview and C streets.  We need a few more loads just to finish off but with the shortage of asphalt we won’t be able to finish this year.  They will do some shoulder work on Fairview.  Poe charged us $65/ton which is the same price we paid last year.

In regards to trailer #3 at the mobile home park:  We’ve gone down all the appropriate paths to sell it as surplus.  The city received an offer from a man who would like the trailer.  He will do all the removal and clean-up.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to sell trailer #3 for $1.00.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded, provided the home is moved on or before November 8th.  Motion carried unanimously.  Otherwise, the city’s cost to remove and dispose of it would be $2,400.

Spokane Rock applied a test seal between the railroad track rubber interface and the rail to seal it up. Indications look to be that the process will work.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported no police issues during Haunted Palouse.
Chief Neumann gave an anti-drug presentation to the Palouse grade school for Red Ribbon Week.  He also gave a Halloween safety talk and handed out candy bags.
Chief Neumann spoke with some people who continue to illegally park on the north side of Church, Alder, and Mohr streets.
There have been no burn complaints.

JFB Update :  The meeting focused mainly on the new fire truck.  The truck is ours and will be delivered around mid-November.  It will undergo a few modifications and be in service after the first of the year.  There have been only a few fire calls; mostly mutual aid for grass fires.

NEW BUSINESS:
3rd Quarter Treasurer’s Report: The arterial street fund is in the red because we’re awaiting TIB money.  The final numbers are being developed by Munir Daud so the project can be closed out.  Our expenditures are in line except for the budget amendment for parks.  Once we convert to our new software, hopefully we’ll be able to get rid of some of our old funds in a more streamlined process.  Councilmember Wekenman inquired about our CDBG fund.  It was a fund developed years ago for home improvement grants.  There are still a few homes out there that don’t pay off until ownership changes.  The program income is unencumbered.  There will be some finish-up work at the RV Park and the mobile home park where that money could be used.

OLD BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 848:  Budget Amendment .  Mayor read the ordinance.  The ordinance increases the Current Expense-General Parks fund by from $30,400 to $38,400.  The bulk of the $8,000 increase was tree-trimming (unforeseen safety issue) and high fuel costs.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 848.  Councilmember Milano seconded.  Councilmember Wekenman asked if there is a little bit built in for contingency?  Yes.  Motion passed unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano met with USDA Rural Development grant managers.  They’re interested in ADA access projects, public works equipment, fire and police equipment.  Chief Neumann got an application for 35% for a new police vehicle.

Greg’s electric is still working to fix the light on Whitman Street.

Carrie Sundstrom from WSDOT sent a recommendation to the Palouse Scenic Byway committee on our behalf for trail improvements.

Mike met with Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).  They talked about trail improvements and future projects.  RCO showed interest in our trail and bridge project.  The federal byway grant money would probably be 80% and the RCO money would be the 20%.

The RV Park driving areas will be gravel.  They would like a recycling area near the RV Park for city residents and park users.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY:  Councilmember Wekenman reported they had a civil service board meeting.  They completed the policy and procedures manual and discussed their roles and obligations.  They passed a motion to not meet until January unless business comes before the commission.  Members were made aware of the police procedures and manual.  The state obligation to create this board has been fulfilled.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey and Supt. Griffin discussed ideas for the $13,000 grant money from DOE, possibly getting a bobcat tractor for the compost facility.  In a follow-up with Glen Curtis, Councilmember Bailey told Glen the city’s concerns and options, possibly selling him that stretch of road.  We first must confirm that the city owns it.  Attorney Bishop is investigating that and our options.  There is still no update on the car crushing.

PERSONNEL & POOL :  The personnel committee met again for further consideration of staff salary increases.  They took into consideration the Cost of Living Allocation (COLA), AWC salary survey, and additional workload.  The salary increases range from 4%-8%.  Police Chief and Police Officer – 4%, Clerk-Treasurer, WWTP operator, and Public Works Assistant – 5%; Deputy Clerk, Public Works Superintendent, and Police Officer in Charge – 8%.  They tried to at least cover the COLA for everyone.  There’s going to be added work for staff this coming year with the RV Park.  The city isn’t growing much population-wise but the workload is increasing as we improve our infrastructure and programs.  There’s a much bigger daily workload for the staff at City Hall and the city crew.

Councilmember Wekenman asked if the contract amount from Garfield covers the increases for the officer’s salary.  Increases were built into the existing contract so the contract amount is not going to be raised in 2009.  There are industry standards for the different categories of jobs and we want to get it on an even keel.  With the exception of the PW Supt, we’re getting close to meeting the industry standards for the staff positions.  We’re in the middle range on most of the positions.  COLA was used as a baseline with added percentages to the positions that come in low.

WATER & SEWER:   In regards to Ordinance No. 847, amending the Breeding’s Addition hook-up requirements, Councilmember O’Neill stated the state law is mandatory at 200’ and we’re at 210’.  The Whitman County Public Health Safety Office has the authority to ultimately make the decision should a system fail.  We’re following the same path as the county and the state.  They are pushing to get away from septic systems where ever possible.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Mayor reported he traveled to Tacoma last week to attend the 2008 Brownfields and Land Revitalization Conference and is ready to explore with the citizens of Palouse the possibilities of developing a Brownfields project within Palouse at the old Palouse Producers site.

Community input is the first step in developing a successful project and the mayor would like to schedule a Town Hall meeting at 7:00 pm, November 10th at City Hall to begin.

Due to Veteran’s Day, the next council meeting will be on Wednesday, November 12th.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:24 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     Warrant #13441 – #13464       $9,331.13

October 14, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
October 14, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent were:  Darcie Bagott.  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 Jana Mathia; and Steve McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Amend the minutes as follows:  Under PD Report, the Bridge Street had damage caused to the pavement not the actual bridge, and it was caused not by a wide truck but by a wheel and tire.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of September 23, 2008.  Councilmember Bailey seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported they have been working steadily on the RV Park; Marc is working on getting costs for the sprinkler system because they’d like to get that done before putting in the roads (at the RV park).

The first experience with the chipper went really well.  The chipper operator is available to come any time.  The city asks that if someone has a large amount of chippable waste, to please call City Hall so we can be prepared.  The chippable waste needs to be clean, with the least amount of dirt and no rocks.

They will begin patching on North River Road; we won’t get the whole thing done this year.  They put in another sewer extension at Breeding’s and will be putting in another one this week.  There have been inquiries on water hook-ups also.

They’re trying to expand the holding area for sand because the county only wants us to buy sand from them once a year.  Last year we didn’t have enough sand and we had to beg for more.

They are concerned with some trees at the park, particularly near where the gazebo will go in.  Marc got a couple bids to trim the dead out.  R-C Tree Service bid $3,500 + tax; Wilson’s bid $165/hour based on 2-4 hours per tree (8 trees).  Joyce said she will have to do a budget amendment out of parks general maintenance.  It wouldn’t change our ending balance since Marc would hold off spending more this year on the sprinkler program.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the bid from R-C Tree Service for $3,500 + tax.  Councilmember Milano seconded.  Councilmember Wekenman wondered if we should remove a tree or two, instead of just trimming, if they’re going to have to be removed within 4 or 5 years anyway.  It was decided to leave the dollar amount and if public works work can come up with a better maintenance plan, go for it.  Motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Milano reported that the Lions club is helping with the kiosk roof at the RV Park.  With $3,500 budgeted for sprinklers, materials and installation, we’re currently at $3,000 so we have a little wiggle room.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported the training they signed up for is $15.00 per video course, which is an excellent price.

He reminds people that from Division Street all the way to H Street, there is NO Parking on the north sides of Church, Alder, and Mohr Streets.  He’d like to look at possible solutions to make those streets flow better and safer.

There have been a number of dog issues for which citations were issued.

PPD made two arrests of juveniles in Garfield for defacing political signs.

The Civil Service Board met for the first time.  They were able to go through the entire policy manual.  They’ll have a special meeting on Monday Oct. 20, with regular meetings beginning the first Monday in November.  Meetings are public and held upstairs of the PD at 6:00 pm.  Minutes will be available to the public.  We will try and get them posted online.

JFB :  Chief Bagott and fireman Bruce Beeson went to NY to inspect the potential new fire truck.  All reports so far are the truck exceeded expectations and it will be purchased.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 847:  Amendment to Ordinance No. 839, Breeding’s Addition:  Mayor read the ordinance.  There are certain homes within the 210’ requirement that are not even feasible to hook-up to sewer.  In particular, Kirk Burnham would have to add a culvert and cut through private property.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 847, seconded by Councilmember Milano.  Discussion: Supt. Griffin asked if there will be interest accruing.  At the time we can extend that sewer pipe, he’ll pay his $7,000 plus his share of the extension cost, plus the hook-up charge, which is currently $250.  He will not be paying interest on the $7,000 initial cost.  What if his system fails tomorrow?  It’s still within the ordinance that if it fails he’ll have to do whatever needs to be done to connect to the city sewer.  His property will no longer be exempt and he understands that.  Motion carried unanimously.

River Gauge Monitoring Contract:  authorize Mayor to sign:  This is our annual maintenance that we share with the USGS for our rivergauge monitoring system at Kennedy Ford.  It has gone up its usual amount, 6%.  Our share for 2009 will be $1,420 if we sign this contract.  This provides an excellent service for our community.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , and Councilmember O’Neill seconded to allow the mayor to sign the agreement for continued usage of the monitoring gauge at Kennedy Ford.  Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
2009 Budget Discussion:  See committee reports below.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano reported that we had $900 for some updated wiring at the park, which may increase to $1,800 to also feed power to the gazebo and update the existing wiring at the shelters.  He would like to try soliciting some outside donations from event organizers.  Supt. Griffin thinks it will be money well spent.  It’s also a real safety issue.  It was agreed to include $2,000 in park improvements for ‘09 budget for electrical work at the park.  Clerk Beeson reported that we have set aside $50,000 for a public works building.  That is not enough, but with the higher costs and effects to the general fund, the transfer out to Building Reserve fund could go down from $12K to $2K.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY :   Councilmember Snook had a personnel committee meeting to discuss salary changes for next year.  Chief Neumann brought up the purchase of the third police vehicle.  No extra money will be required for the third officer equipment because they were able to use their surplus.  The PD would like to include Garfield on the dog contract with Whitman County.  We probably need to amend our contract with them but hopefully, not the dollar amount.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION Councilmember Bailey reported that we were awarded a grant from DOE for $13,000 total, with the city share of 25% or $3,250 for construction and improvements to the compost facility.  The problem is we’ve already completed those in-house so we’re looking at where we could best use the grant.  They are considering a capital purchase for equipment.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT :  Clerk Beeson brought up the need for new software for the city.  We’ve been operating with an old DOS system.  Councilmember Bailey concurred that what the city is using is almost obsolete and needs to be updated to keep up with the new state requirements.  We’ve received two proposals for new software.  Basically, it would cost about $5,000/year for 5 years, and an additional $3,000/year for support.     

PERSONNEL & POOL:  Councilmember Snook reported the personnel committee met to discuss salaries for the 2009 budget.  They used the AWC’s (Association of Washington Cities) annual Salary & Benefit guide, using cities with populations of 500-1500.  Regarding salaries we propose the following:  City Clerk- 5% increase to $3,587; Deputy Clerk- 5% increase to $2,100; Police Chief- 3% increase to $4,017; Police Officer in Charge- 5% increase to $3,360; Police Officer- 2% increase to $3,264 upon completion of his probation; PW Supt- 5% increase to $3,638; WWTP Operator- 3% increase to $3,640; Public Works Assistant- 3% increase to $3,189.  Lifeguards minimum wage goes to $8.55/hour.  These figures will increase our budget by $11,807.  In general, all these salaries fall just below or right at the average.  One considerable exception was the PW Supt. which is much lower than the average.  That range was $59,000 – $75,000.  Councilmember’s Bailey and O’Neill are concerned with our PW Supt. making significantly less than the state average.  Clerk Beeson also explained that the Deputy Clerk is at the same time frame as Dwayne and is working into her position also.  Mayor stated that when we’re talking about a 5% increase for the Deputy Clerk, we’re talking only $100/month.  Councilmember Wekenman expressed concern about the amount of money spent over the last few years.  Councilmember Bailey realizes it’s going to be a tight budget next year, but he doesn’t think salaries are where we should skimp.  Mayor said our personnel are our biggest single asset to the city.  We’re trying to keep up with cost-of-living.  The increases for insurance are:  8.2% for medical, 0 for dental.  Mayor requested the personnel committee put these numbers into the budget and the committee can fine-tune it and instruct the mayor how to proceed.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Clerk Beeson submitted her third billing to TIB for Whitman Street.  After this third reimbursement, all that will be left is the retainage plus about $4,000 for Spokane Rock.  The only request for the 2009 budget is the H Street sidewalk project.  The city’s share is $10,000 so we need to make sure we have that money in our arterial street fund.

WATER & SEWER:   Councilmember O’Neill reported that the Finance Committee made a recommendation to increase the water/sewer rates by $1.00 each, increase the NSF check fee (bounced check) from $10 to $25 and increase the late fee from $5 to $10.  Councilmember O’Neill presented a report from AWC comparing water/sewer rates.  We’re well under the average for other cities.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED , and Councilmember Milano seconded instructing Clerk Beeson to draft an ordinance raising the water and sewer $1 each, increasing NSF fee to $25 and the late fee to $10.  Councilmember Snook talked with cities our size at the AWC conference and their rates were out of sight compared to Palouse’s.  Clerk Beeson pointed out that of the $26 for sewer, only $20 goes into operating.  The balance is going to loan payments for the new sewer plant and belt press system.  When you consider we’re actually operating at $20, it’s on the really low end.  Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:   Our insurance carriers indicated a 6-8% increase.  Our employee health care coverage will be an 8% increase; we’ll make it 10% in our budget to cover our bases.  Councilmember’s Snook and Milano attended an AWC conference last week; apparently we’re really fortunate we got our big projects done when we did because the money from the state isn’t going to be trickling down to the cities.

The mayor received a scholarship to attend a Brownfields conference in Tacoma next week.

Regarding trailer #3 at the MH Park, the surplus to the person in Garfield fell through.  However City Hall was contacted last week by a man in Genesee who wants to purchase it for $300 plus he’ll pay for all the moving expenses.  As soon as everything is all clear, we’ll move forward on that.

In regards to the car-crushing extravaganza, the county contractor will no longer tow the cars from personal property, only from one central location.  We’ve had an offer from Bud Bagott to tow vehicles to the central location.  At this time, we still don’t have a concrete date.  Once we know more, we will be notifying those people signed up.  People can still call City Hall to sign up.

We’ve had a request from Glenn Curtis who wants to use the old city dump road as a driveway.  He’s asking the city for permission to use it, make improvements to it.  According to Don, the city actually owns the road.  It’s currently a fair-weather road only.  Councilmember Bailey would rather sell it to him than give him the right of way.  Attorney Bishop’s concern was if we allow him to improve it, that the city isn’t liable for any accidents, plowing, up keep.  There are a few different options:  sell the road and retain the easement, sell it as a cooperative.  We will investigate further.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:47 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims VOID:  #13392
Claims Paid     #13393 – #13440         $193,821.63

Payroll Paid     #6968 – #6990             $  35,794.98

September 23, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
September 23, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent were:  Andy O’Neill & Norm Schorzman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were: Pete Hertz, Mike Bagott, Jana Mathia, Sharon Tharp, Dave Tharp, Kirk Burhnam, Diane Meacham, Steve McGehee, and Jon Fleischman.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:    Amend the September 9th minutes as follows:  Under PD report, “The 6-month review of the Garfield contract will be up for review in November” and under Policy & Admin, it’s the chipper not the crusher.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 9, 2008.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin submitted a written report.  Councilmember Milano added that Greg’s Electric would like to begin the electrical work at the RV Park next week.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported from a police standpoint, Palouse Days was very successful.  Haunted Palouse is coming soon and he anticipates they will be busy; Reserve Officer Snead may be available as an added officer for Haunted Palouse.  Chief Neumann reminds drivers to watch for kids.  He’ll be getting to both elementary schools to discuss Halloween/traffic safety.  Chief Neumann met with the state for critical mapping for the schools; basically it’s an emergency preparedness plan.

Councilmember Wekenman asked if we ever heard anything back about the damage to the Bridge St. bridge caused by a wide truck.  It’s a state issue because it’s a state highway.

Pete Hertz reported that the car crushing is still on schedule for October.  There is still the issue of who will sign off the cars (city vs. county).  Councilmember Bailey will look into it.

Joint Board-Fire & EMS :  Councilmember Snook reported that they discussed getting back into the FEMA grant program.  The equipment committee met and went over our specs for a replacement vehicle.  Chief Bagott found a truck for sale in NY that meets our specs.  It’s a 1987 diesel pumper tanker with a 2,000 gallon capacity, automatic, etc.  The price started out at $60,000, and it has dropped to $43,000.  The JFB along with Chief Bagott believe now is the right time to move so the board voted to pursue the purchase of the truck.  Chief Bagott explained that the purchase of this truck is the culmination of what they’ve been working on to solidify their capability of water supply in our fire district.  Some other points:  some of our hydrants just aren’t beneficial without creating suction in the water supply system.  The old pumper is a 38 year old, temperamental, manual transmission, 1970 Dodge; it needs to be removed from front line service.  It only has a 750 gallon water tank.  With the purchase of this newer truck, it will give us 8,500 gallon total department capacity.  This will improve our firefighting capabilities and give us the opportunity to aggressively fight fires throughout the district.  This will be a cost of $26,000 plus $4,000 from the non-profit Emergency Services of Palouse.  This cost includes delivery.  A new fire truck like this at the most basic level would cost $275,000.  Barring grant funding, we will probably never purchase a new fire truck again.  Chief Bagott and firefighter Bruce Beeson are scheduled to go inspect the fire truck October 13th.  Assuming it passes inspection, it will be trucked out here.  The non-profit end will kick in to absorb some of the travel costs.  Chief Bagott pointed out that fire trucks like these are not very common; at the time of the board meeting last week there were a grand total of 5 fire trucks with our specs in the continental US.  Clerk Beeson said we have that money in reserve.  Councilmember Snook MOVED and Councilmember Bailey seconded to ratify the JFB decision to approve the purchase of the fire truck pending inspection.  The motion carried unanimously.

Building Inspector Report : Dan Gladwill reported that building permits in Palouse are down, but they have been picking up this fall.  Dan just got back from MN at the final action hearing for the state building code just adopted.  It will directly affect what he does and what everybody can build.  The firefighters rallied and got mandatory residential sprinklers on all new construction starting in 2011.  It adds $3,000-$7,000 to every new house built.  Not sure if it will apply to manufactured homes.  The city will need to consider the different demands the sprinkler systems will put on the city’s water system and how they connect to homes.  Public awareness is part of the process as everyone will view it as an added expense instead of a life safety.  Chief Bagott stated that in some places the water system is woefully inadequate, so for a small town and a volunteer fire department, it’s a great idea.  Councilmember Wekenman inquired if Dan has been working with the Lions club for the gazebo at the city park.  Councilmember Milano will contact the Lions and make sure they know to work with Dan.

NEW BUSINESS:
Habitat for Humanity project in Palouse :  Sue Ritter from Habitat for Humanity (HfH) gave a powerpoint presentation on what they do.  HfH serves our neighbors in need.  They recently purchased two lots on Union Street in Palouse.  There is currently a house located on the lots which HfH is willing to give to a needy family for the price of moving it; several people have expressed interest in it.  It’s an older house and doesn’t meet HfH’s needs.  The house is in the middle of the 2 lots so, if renovated, they would actually lose one lot.  They hope to eventually put two homes in.  HfH would like to begin building within the year.  The houses they build are simple but meet all building codes and are highly energy efficient.  HfH tries to choose families that would be a good fit to the community.         

Resolution No. 2008-14:  Authorize the JFB to enter into the purchase of a used fire truck under special market conditions :  Mayor read the resolution and explained that in the used market there is not time to go through the full bid process when you find something that meets specifications.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt resolution
2008-14. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 846:  To amend certain funds within the 2008 budget .  Councilmember Milano MOVED to suspend the reading of the Ordinance.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The Current Expense fund increase is for pollution control programs such as composting and chipping and allows a transfer out to Police Car Reserve for the 3rd police car.  The Street fund increased because of the snowy winter and higher than usual overtime costs.   The Arterial Street fund increase is to transfer unspent Whitman St project budget that should have been budgeted in 2008.  The total project budget did not increase.  The Police Car Reserve fund increases to purchase the third police car.  The Fire Equipment Reserve fund increases for the city’s share for the purchase of a used fire truck.  Mayor asked Chief Neumann about how the Garfield contract is allocated toward the police car program.  Of the $66,000 contract, 6% goes to Police Car fund.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED and Councilmember Snook seconded to approve to adopt Ordinance 846.  Motion carried unanimously.

2009 Budget Revenues :  We need to add a revenue line item for RV Park fees.  The destination tax will be helpful if people take advantage of it.  It’s a very easy way to help the city.

OLD BUSINESS:
Civil Service Advisory Board Appointments:   Mayor updated council on the process of getting a civil service board together.  As per our last council meeting, we’ve got our policy manual together.  The Mayor spoke with all 5 applicants for the Civil Service Commission.  There are three staggered positions; one 2-yr, one 4-yr, and one 6-yr.  The Mayor recommends Dave Tharp, Tony Wright, and Anne Larison.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to confirm the three appointees to the Civil Service Commission.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Chris Langsett has 75% of the headstones transcribed and he’ll add that to the website.  He volunteered to paint the cemetery sign.  Councilmember Milano spoke with chamber members whose businesses recently went under.  They stated the biggest obstacles to making a business work are the costs of rent and energy.  Paul Kimmell from Avista walked through Palouse’s business district to see what kinds of ways commercial businesses can save on energy costs.  We’ll ask him if he can look at city properties as well.

Councilmember Milano talked with Kathy Parker at SEWEDA.  They’re still looking for a Whitman County representative.  Kathy plans to come visit us this fall.  We also want to get Roger Brooks from Destination Development out here to talk about economic development.

Carrie Sundstrom the WSDOT grant manager will be here this Thursday.  She can offer advice on DOT grants.  She also works on DOT projects for pedestrian and bike safety.  We’ll talk to her about what we are doing in the park and the need for a pedestrian bridge.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey recapped the chipper program event in early October.  The chipper will be here October 6th-8th.  Having enough space to accommodate everyone’s yard waste is a potential problem.  This will be the first time having the chipper so we’ll work out the kinks.  Regarding the form for request for access to public records, Councilmember Bailey compared it to a couple other cities and it is verbatim what Pullman is using.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED , and Councilmember Milano seconded to adopt as policy the form Request for Access to Public Records.  Motion carried unanimously.     

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Spokane Rock is going to start testing emulsion and how it reacts with the new rail and street and let us know which one will work.  It needs to be repaired before the snow flies.  The landscaping is complete.  Munir Daud has started a punch list of minor things that still need work.  The reason the city got one, wider retaining wall instead of the initial two walls was explained as a utility issue.  It’s the same number of blocks but in a different configuration.

MAYOR’S REPORT Liquor License transfer from Thurman’s Market to McLeod’s Market.  No objections.
November 11th is Veteran’s Day so council meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 12th instead.  Ann will be putting together a newsletter and councilmember’s and staff need to get their info in.  The final Interlocal Agreement between Whitman County and City of Palouse for the chipper needs to be reviewed by our attorney before we sign it.  Councilmember Snook MOVED and Councilmember Milano seconded that we authorize Mayor to sign the Interlocal Agreement pending confirmation from Councilmember Bailey and legal approval.  The motion carried unanimously.
Local resident Jill Griffin dropped off copies of the publication ‘WSU Today’ which has a great article praising Mayor Echanove’s work for the city of Palouse.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:58 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims VOID:    #13344 – #13374
Claims Paid:     #13375 – #13391                        $16,561.60

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 9, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
September 9, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook.  Absent were:  Rick Wekenman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  Rich Villa, Trevor Villa, Patty Villa, Kirk Burnham, Steve McGehee, Pete Hertz, Jay Iverson, Greg Partch, Jerry Finch, Dave Mayhan.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano 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.
Trevor Villa – Eagle Scout Presentation.  Trevor presented his Eagle Scout project to build two gates; one on each end of Shady Lane walking trail to prevent snowmobiles and 4-wheelers from riding on the trail.  The gates will hinge open to allow authorized vehicles access.  He asked how big the walking gap should be and what kind of sign is going to be needed.  Late October is the planned finish date.  The city will have possession of the gate keys and can distribute them to public works, fire, police and Avista.  Trevor is requesting $1,063.10 from the city in order to complete the project.  Clerk Beeson said this money would come from the Park Improvement fund and the current budget would allow the expenditure.  Trevor will contact city hall to arrange a meeting to finalize his plans.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to fund Trevor’s Eagle Scout project for $1,063.10, pending review and approval by city staff and Fire Chief.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Whitman County Commissioner Greg Partch updated the council on activity at the county level, including economic development in the Moscow Pullman corridor.  Partch informed the council that the county had received an Economic and Development award from the Governor’s office last week at the Governor’s Conference in Lynnwood for their economic development work on SR 270 for which he and Mayor Echanove attended.  Commissioner Partch highly praised the city of Palouse for the Whitman Street Project.  He explained to council how well received the Transportation Improvement Board’s (TIB) evening in Palouse went in June. He also praised Palouse for their other projects and the City for getting things done.

He then introduced Commissioner Jerry Finch then left the council meeting.  Mr. Finch is running for his third term as Whitman County Commissioner.  He spoke of his accomplishments and future goals if re-elected.  He praised Palouse’s success at getting .08 funding in the past and the economic development it has helped to stimulate.  He ended by saying how proud we should be of Palouse.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported the new swings are in at the park and the slide has been reassembled and installed.  They started on the water system at the RV Park and will try to clean up and level the lot for parking.  Whitman St. is open to traffic and the lights are still coming.  A water pipe broke and flooded the new booster pump that we put in a year ago.  Strom Electric has it for repairs and the back-up pump was installed temporarily.  There was about a 4-hour outage as a result.  The crosswalks were painted.  They installed another sewer hook-up last week in Breeding’s Addition and another is ready to hook up as soon as they can get to it.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported he is working with ongoing yard nuisance cases.  Like anything else, it’s a long process.  The PD is doing active patrols near schools every morning now that school is back in session.  The 6-month review of the Garfield contract will be up in November.  We’ve been working diligently on the PD lower level, installing a new doorway allowing for better access throughout.  They’d like to repaint the garage doors to match the new light poles and all the new work on Whitman Street.  The paint should be about $100 and they will provide the labor.  Chief Neumann handed out a projected budget that would allow them to replace a police car after 5 years of service.   In doing so, the vehicle would maintain a higher equity for trade.  Chief Neumann recommended to council that they purchase a third car before the end of 2008, reminding council that they are only borrowing the Garfield car and then replace the existing fleet on a rotational basis.  Every two and half to three years, one of the police cars will be rotated out under this plan.  The civil service manual is completed and ready for the future civil service board to adopt.   Councilmember Milano asked if the safety programs at Palouse schools will extend to Garfield schools.  Yes.  Councilmember Bailey asked if there have been any complaints about compression brake usage this fall.  Chief Neumann hasn’t received any complaints but is aware of one driver in particular who uses them.  Chief has spoken with him and reminded him that unmuffled compression brakes are illegal in the county, not just in Palouse.

Dave Mayhan complained that someone has moved property pin and it’s a felony.  Chief Neumann said he’ll discuss it with him as soon as council is over tonight.

JFB meeting :  The FD is looking into possibly purchasing a used pumper fire truck.  Any costs will be half city and half rural.  This is to replace the old Dodge.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution 2008-13 :  Cancel and replace lost warrant #13062.  Mayor read the resolution.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-13.  Councilmember Bagott seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Review Carpet cleaning bids :  Three written estimates for carpet cleaning at city hall and library were submitted.  More bids were solicited but no more were received.  Bestway Cleaning $312.12; Castle Carpet $471.24; ABM $225.00.  The lowest bidder did not seem to be the most responsible as they did not physically come to the premises to look and we were left unsure about hidden charges like stain removal and travel.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to accept the most responsible bid as Bestway cleaning.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  More bids were solicited but no more were received.

OLD BUSINESS:
Surplus item – 1966 Trailer :  The surplus and sale of the 1966 Mobile Home is still pending.  State relocation laws are being reviewed by city attorney Bishop.  As a result, we will not put it back up for surplus or dispose of the unit until we receive clarification.
Civil Service Advisory Board :  The Civil Service Rules and Regulations Handbook has now been developed and a list of interested parties given to the mayor.  The mayor will review, contact candidates, and give his recommendations to the council at its’ next meeting for ratification.

Breeding’s Addition Sewer :  Munir Daud submitted the final billing statement for A&R Construction.   Mayor Echanove explained that this was a quantity bid and he listed the quantities that changed as well as the two field orders.  Both Munir Daud, project engineer and Mayor Echanove recommended that this statement be approved for payment as final except for retainage.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that we pay the total amount for Payment #3, $54,030.13 leaving only retainage.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Steve McGehee asked whether the $228,653.50 total price included the price of engineering.  No, this amount was for construction only.  The price for engineering, legal and mapping was $6,918.00.  Steve McGehee wants a total cost of all monies expended on this project.  The total price, including engineering, is about $235,000.00.  Steve McGehee asked about the loans the city has for this project.  Clerk Beeson explained that loans included a short term note at AWB for up to $75,000 and Interfund loans that total $100,000.  Steve McGehee wanted to know where the money would come from to pay the final $60,000 for Breeding’s Addition.  The Mayor stated to McGehee that any numbers he was talking about were simply from him and that he could discuss the budget with Joyce and himself any time.

Kirk Burnham inquired about the asphalt repairs that are currently underway.  Dwayne told him the repair that is underway is a state project along their right of way.  Atlas will be in town tomorrow for some Whitman Street work and they will also do the asphalt repair in order to fulfill our requirement with the state.  This is not a good time to get asphalt bids with the shortage of oil and higher costs.  Instead of costing $10-$15/yard, it’s $100/yard.  Poe is not accepting new bids until they’ve fulfilled their prior obligations.  If we can’t get a bid this fall, we’ll have to incorporate into next year.  Supt. Griffin would like to see it get done this fall and will do his best to get some bids.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano discussed Palouse Days plans.  Mike is expecting 175 cars for the show.  The flyover for the ping pong ball drop is at 2:30.   Palouse city staff is the grand marshals for the parade.  The RV Park project is going well.  Hopefully the electrical work will be installed this fall.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported he was asked to look at providing police logs to the Boomerang.  Mark spoke with Chief Neumann and reviewed Moscow and Pullman’s procedures.  He recommends posting logs to the city’s website so anyone who wants that information can view it.  WhitCom will only have dispatched calls which aren’t a true representation of what the Palouse’s PD does so Chief Neumann will have to submit the logs.  Putting it on our website is the most efficient way to go.  Councilmember is reluctant to put into policy but thinks it should be more like a public courtesy that the PD can provide as long as time allows.  Chief Neumann agreed.

Councilmember Bailey looked at the strip of land on Pauline Lane and thinks it would be fine for the car crushing/hauling site.  Confirming that the railroad right of way is 20’ from center, there should be enough space there.

The chipper will be here Oct. 6, 7, & 8th.  Citizens can bring their yard debris to the compost facility beginning October 4th.  Supt. Griffin is concerned about how things will flow.  With the space available, we may have to limit the amount of debris we take in.  The first few times with the crusher will be very busy but will probably slow down after that.      

PERSONNEL & POOL : Councilmember Snook, Supt. Griffin, and Clerk Beeson will be meeting with pool manager Kasey Manning Sept. 10 for an exit conference.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott reported that the new trees on Whitman Street are being watered by city staff and volunteers for the first year until they’re established.  Engineer Daud is looking into getting a three year warranty on the sidewalks.

WATER & SEWER: Councilmember O’Neill is working with city attorney Bishop to amend the city’s sewer ordinance to allow residents like Kirk Burnham to be excluded from the 210 foot requirement to hook-up to city services if such a hook-up would be deemed impractical.   The change will be to include the words “where feasible and practical”.       

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Whitman Street dedication is this Saturday   Dave Mayhan asked why, if Munir Daud cared so much about the sidewalks, he didn’t put rebar in the sidewalks.  Dave stated he was required to put rebar in his driveway.  Mayor told him they were poured as per code.  Councilmember Snook explained to Dave that sidewalks aren’t driven upon, driveways are.

Deputy Clerk Thompson is drafting a ‘Requests for Access to Public Records’ form.  It is modeled after Asotin’s version.  Council will review for approval at next meeting.

The mayor discussed with council a thought on videotaping council minutes and putting them online for public viewing on the city of Palouse’s website.  The intent would be for residents to get a fair and accurate reporting of council meetings at their disposal.  Councilmember Bailey explained some of the pros and cons he sees at the City of Pullman.  There is some cost and labor involved.  Councilmember O’Neill thinks the city is doing a good job providing copies at City Hall and now at the grocery store, online, and various other locations around town.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember O’Neill wants to get the word out to people that when they buy big items for delivery such as furniture, appliances, and cars to make sure to designate our city’s zip code so the taxes go back to Palouse.  Over the counter sales are exempt.  It’s a destination-based tax.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                  #13312 – #13343            $71,683.73
Payroll Paid                  #6934 – #6967                $44,096.62

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

August 26, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY

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.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
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: ________________________________

August 12, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
August 12, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook.  Absent were:  Rick Wekenman.  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:  Carol Towne; Bryan Bryngelson; Jana Mathia; Steve McGehee; Heather McGehee; James Farr; David Mayhan; Ed Griner; LuJane Nisse; Angie, Wyatt, and Payson Griner.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Under approval of minutes change name spelling to Labaw.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 22, 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.
Jamie Farr expressed his issues with the water and sewer cost estimates to develop his property in Breeding’s Addition.  Basically, Mr. Farr wants to be able to install one meter at this time and extend water line across private property as he sees fit.  Supt. Griffin has explained to Mr. Farr a number of times that he needs to abide by the same requirements that everyone else has.  The infrastructure needs to be systematic and within city right of ways or easements.   Mayor explained the multiple reasons it’s not feasible to allow people to put water/sewer lines anywhere they want on their property and expect to be allowed to connect to the city system.  Mr. Farr explained that the street right of ways were vacated up there and based on the city’s answer to his development question, he will not grant any utility easements in the future.  Mr. Farr further explained that he will not be told that he must install a fire hydrant where there is no utility easement.  Mr. Farr stated that his next issue with the city is his rock pit off of Fairview Ave.  He stated that he did not give permission to anyone to dump road material there.  Superintendent Griffin stated that this is an issue between A & R Construction and Farr.  Supt. Griffin reported that Rob at A & R Construction said it was as per Jim Farr’s request that dirt and asphalt were moved there.  Jamie Farr denies this and blames the city.  Lastly, Mr. Farr has an issue with the sewer easement on 7th street where he claims the sewer line missed the easement.  Mayor said that Engineer Munir Daud said he will set corner pins so everyone can see that the sewer line is within the easement.  Mr. Farr stated that if this is how this whole thing is going to go; if the sewer line is outside the easement then he wants the line removed and he will be taking the city to court on his issues.

Steve McGehee asked if there are any other newly submitted A & R invoices.  No.  He also asked for any requests for proposals that the city has out for additional work on the project.  Superintendent Griffin explained that he has requested bids from Poe and Spokane Rock for asphalt repair on Fairview.  The project is small and these requests were made by phone, no formal RFP went out.  When the bids are presented to council, anyone is welcome to view them.

Dave Mayhan wants to know if the city is going to fix West Whitman Street where the construction crews damaged it.  Supt. Griffin explained that if the city does anything, it will be next spring and the work will be minimal.  West Whitman Street was in deplorable condition prior to construction and needs total reconstruction.  Dave Mayhan asked council for a sign at the bottom of the hill for children at play.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported they’ve been busy working on MH Park.  Cove Road has been fog sealed.  They are working on sewer at RV Park and will probably begin putting in water next week.
The pool is closing the 20th of August.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that National Night Out went well.  They’re working with Palouse Chamber on entertainment for Palouse Days.  He’s looking at a motorcycle stunt teams but is concerned with possible street damage.  The issue with the resident on Bluff Street issue is being resolved.

NEW BUSINESS:
2nd Quarter Treasurer’s Report .  Clerk Beeson presented the treasurer’s report to council.  She is learning more about the new state standards for auditing and reporting.  The quarterly financial report will improve in the future.  There’s a certification page for council to sign.  She encouraged council to review, ask questions and make comments on the certification.  It looks like we’re on target with the 2008 budget but will have to make a few budget amendments before the year is done for higher operating expenses last winter and with fuel.

Resolution No. 2008-12:   Cancel lost warrant No. 13067.  It is lost and has not been cashed.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2008-12.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 845 – Junk vehicles.   Mayor read the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Bailey explained that the wording is standard throughout Washington State.  Councilmember Milano is concerned that the police may not be able to determine what is junk vs. collector car.  Chief Neumann explained they know the difference.  Councilmember Milano wondered whether Quakes Brakes might be an exception.  Chief Neumann pointed out that he would be exempt because he’s appropriately zoned.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED that we adopt Ordinance No. 845 as written.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
Whitman Street Update:  Ed Griner of Spokane Rock updated council on the progress on Whitman Street.  They are currently installing the electrical.  Concrete will be in next week to finish sidewalks.  Landscaping will be going at the same time.  On the 29th the signs and striping should be done, which puts them 2 weeks ahead of schedule if everything goes as planned.  Supt. Griffin complimented Spokane Rock on their work and professionalism.  Ed is working with Munir Daud and Paul Weber our rail engineer in Spokane to make sure the damaged seal is functional and up to spec.

MH Acquisition Project update:    Trailer number 3 is now empty.  Carol Towne’s son Bryan Bryngelson spoke on her behalf.  He’s concerned with the dollar amount offered as a relocation payment.  He would like either $10,000 and they take the trailer or they’ll take $8,000 and the city can keep the trailer and pay for removal.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to go into executive session at 7:52 regarding Carol Towne’s contract.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Council reconvened at 8:03 pm.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to continue negotiations with Carol Towne.  Councilmember Bagott seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano attended a Recreation and Conservation Office grant evaluation meeting.  He gave a 12 minute presentation followed by an 8 minutes comment period.  The comments were very positive.  We won’t hear anything until June of ’09.  He is requesting 12,000 from the state for playground equipment.  He read a letter from Schweitzer Engineering in which they donated $3,000 for the playground equipment in memory of Logan McReynolds.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Mark Bailey explained that the Whitman Co. Emergency Communications department is in a state of flux right now.  There has been a resignation and the 9-1-1 director is out of commission for 5 or so months.  Ecology has the chipper but no one has been hired to operate it.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Darcie said they will be applying for a TIB grant for sidewalk replacement on H Street, from Main Street to Alder Street.  The total project is currently estimated to cost $120,000.  Mayor recommends the city securing 10%, $12,000, which comes from our arterial street fund.  The School District will pledge $5,000 towards this project if we get the grant.  The project includes sidewalk, gutters, hand rails, etc.  The school district is thrilled with this potential project.   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to move forward with TIB to pursue a grant for sidewalk improvement.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The school is continuing with the gym floor legal issues and they assume part of their problem is the water coming off of F Street.  There are no catch basins.  They would like to meet with the city, school board, architect, Supt. Griffin, Darcie Bagott, and Munir, to come up with a solution to tie into what the city has or carry it from the gym down to Alder Street.  They need to know where the water is coming from and prevent it from ruining another gym floor.

MAYOR’S REPORT:  The mayor would like to surplus trailer no. 3 at the MH Park.  There has been interest in that home.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to surplus trailer #3.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.   

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:52 PM.

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 22, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
July 22, 2008

CALL TO ORDER : Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

ROLL CALL :  Council members present were:  Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  Absent were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  Pete Hertz; Susan Williams; Pat O’Neill; John Means; Steve McGehee; Carol Towne; Heather McGehee; Dixie Reber.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES :  Correct the last name to Joanne Labaw under Old Business.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the corrected minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 8, 2008.  Councilmember Wekenman 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.
Pat O’Neill, candidate for County Commissioner, District 2 introduced himself.  He’s from Colton.  He explained his policies and beliefs.

Susan Williams, a resident of Palouse is neighbors with a woman recently stopped by one of our police officers.  She stated that if her understanding of the situation is correct, she believes the woman was “assaulted” and is concerned that our small town might have officers who are unapproachable and out of control.  The Mayor reiterated that personnel issues are not discussed at city council meetings; there are forms and procedures for formal complaints.  Chief Neumann explained that all of our officers are very approachable.  He can’t discuss this incident because it’s ongoing, however it began as a soft contact about the leash law.  Regardless of gender, age, or size, if threatened, officers must take protective measures.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT Dwayne Griffin reported Cove Road was chip sealed.  A & R Construction is finished on Breeding’s Addition.   Both the Mayor and public works praised A & R and the quality of their work.  We have asked for bids for the patchwork on Fairview.  Whitman Street is going great and is about 3 weeks ahead of schedule.  Road oiling is complete for the year.  We got our first utility bill on the booster pump since installed; what was $1,000 in June last year was $600 this June so it is going to pay for itself.  We’re still working at the mobile home park; two more trailers should be gone this Saturday.  Regarding Whitman Street, next to be done is the curbs, then paving, then sidewalks, lighting, etc.

Councilmember Snook MOVED to bring from the table discussion on the retaining wall on Whitman Street.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Munir has had a chance to review concerns and he doesn’t think there will be a problem.  Avista won’t move their gas line until they have definite elevations.  Munir is confident that it will be a TIB eligible cost.  Basically we have three options:  1. Fill with dirt and plant grass; 2. Have Spokane Rock build the walls; or 3. have our own public works build the wall.  Councilmember O’Neill reminded council that the price we got was a good-will gesture with no professional mark-up.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED that we approve the extra expenditure of $10,000 to accomplish the construction of the 2 tier retaining wall pending TIB and public works approval.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion carried unanimously.

Steve McGehee asked if A & R has submitted their final bill for Breeding’s Addition and how much extra has been spent.  The contract has a “to be determined” clause for the quantity of solid rock, which doubled.  So there was an added $46,800 which included the solid rock and 20 Wyes.  The mayor explained that 29 hook-ups are required for the break-even point, currently we have had three.  Mayor reminded everyone that this is a long-term strategic move.

Heather McGehee asked whether or not the city’s policy about not publicly discussing personnel issues is valid.  The mayor explained that while personnel will not be discussed, policy and procedures can be.            

POLICE REPORT With the Potlatch Highway remaining closed, traffic enforcement has been slow.  The park has been very busy but no problems have been reported.  The lease for the police motorcycle has been bumped from $500 to $800.  That price is locked in for life.  The Durango is down with brake issues.

JFB REPORT :  FD has 9 calls ytd, with two being in June.  They’re attributing the decrease in fire calls to our no-burn policy.  The DNR grant for equipment is all in and installed.  We’re having pump issues on the 413 brush truck and we’re getting it fixed.  We had 9 firefighters participate in the training last weekend.  EMS had 9 calls in June and 39 ytd.

Pete Hertz said the county is still looking for someone to run the chipper at $13.50/hour.  It’s a 3-month position.

NEW BUSINESS :
John Means, Ecology:  Brownfields Program.  John works with local governments and manages a small program to deal with contaminated sites that communities want to breathe new life into and make useful.  He is a planner not a regulator.  He explained a brand new grant program, called Integrated Planning Grant.  It is for local governments considering acquiring contaminated property and taking it to the clean-up phase.  There are costs and considerations such as, title searches, community outreach, planning, design, permitting that this grant would pay for.  It is for up to $200,000 with no match requirements.  This grant would also help us develop a more comprehensive application to various funding partners for the clean-up phase.  The grant funding for clean-up is very competitive, but with the Integrated Planning program, we would be presenting a project that is ready to go and more likely to be funded.  He thinks what we’ve got going here rivals any case study out there currently.  All it takes from the city is a good solid commitment.  He would help with developing the application.  The law won’t allow them to pay for the acquisition of the property or attorney fees.  Readiness to proceed is the key to getting this funding.  It’s wiser to take a little more time and draft a proposal that really tells your story.  Once awarded, the integrated planning could take up to two years, or as little as one.

John explained that this is a remedial action grant and is supported through a hazardous substance tax.  He then described various clean-up grants which may be available if and when the city is ready.  Steve McGehee asked what the liability issue is if the city were to acquire the property.  The liability is basically, if you acquire the property, you take the liability on.  Ecology isn’t going to be heavy handed about clean up.  That’s not the spirit of what we do, they work to develop partnerships.  What’s different today is they now have money to work with local governments.  When council last addressed this 14 years ago the regulatory approach was much more command, control and regulation.  That entire philosophy has changed into how they can help with contamination clean-up.  The city is not required to follow through with the clean-up if the liability is too large.  Curtain trenches were installed in the 80’s to protect the river.  This is petroleum so it’s not as bad as pcb’s or dioxins.  The state has jurisdiction on the cleanup even if you use EPA dollars.  This site is not on anyone’s radar, there are literally 1000’s of these sites (gas stations, etc).  Ecology doesn’t have the manpower to mandate these lower risk sites.

The Mayor stated that he has spoken with the property owner and he is comfortable with the city moving forward and see where it takes us.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to authorize the Mayor to apply for an integrated planning grant from Ecology.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS :
Resolution 2008-10:  For the purpose of funding street oiling and street improvements, the City proposes to impose an excess property tax levy in the amount of $40,000, an estimated $1.025 per $1,000 of assessed value in the year 2008 for collection in 2009.  Mayor read the Resolution in full.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-10.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2008-11:  For the purpose of funding and operation and maintenance of the swimming pool, the City proposes to impose an excess property tax levy upon all taxable property within the City in the amount of $26,000, an estimated $.67 per $1,000 of assessed value in the year 2008 for collection in 2009.  Mayor read the resolution in full.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-11.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 842:  Adopt the 1% property tax increase.  Mayor read the Ordinance in full.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance 842.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 843:  Adopt the 1% property tax increase for EMS.  Mayor read the ordinance in full.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance 843.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Ordinance No. 844:  Set the regular and special levy amounts for the 2009 Budget.  Mayor read the ordinance in full.  Special Street Levy $40,000; Special Pool Levy $26,000; Voted Regular EMS Levy $16,602; and General Levy $103,584.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance 844 as written.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

      Award sealed bids for surplus:  The City received one sealed bid for the circular swing.  Paula Bauer of Viola, Idaho bid $211 + 7.8% tax.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept the bid from Paula Bauer.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  The City received one sealed bid for the RV trailer at space #9 of the mobile home park.  Dwayne Griffin of Palouse bid $9.00 + 7.8% tax.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to accept the bid.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Echanove asked council to consider going into executive session for the purpose of contract negotiations.  He asked that Carol Towne be included.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED and Councilmember Snook seconded to go into executive session at 8:44 p.m. inviting Carol Towne to join them.  Motion carried unanimously.  Council reconvened at 8:57.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept the mayor’s proposal of $8,000 for relocation assistance to Carol Towne.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT Superintendent Griffin will work with Jerry Moss on correcting his drainage issues on Saint Elmo St.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM.

 

July 8, 2008

PUBLIC HEARING
and
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
July 8, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Brian Dentler; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  Nancy Wolf; Jana Mathia; Mike Wolf; Julia Killinger-Wolf; Lisa Fisher; Mary Estes; Fire Chief Mike Bagott; Emily Bagott; Cheryl Rajcich; Debra Alchbari; Shelly Slocum; Heather McGehee.

PUBLIC HEARING:   2009 Revenue Sources.  Mayor opened the public hearing for public comment at 7:02.  Hearing none the Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:03.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 24, 2008.  Councilmember Bailey 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.
Nancy Wolf requested the city have a burn week in the fall and spring to accommodate those people with large amounts of yard waste that isn’t acceptable to compost.  She thinks if the city sets aside specific dates in advance, people who are bothered by the smoke could stay inside or leave town.  Mary Estes supports the idea.  With the cost of gas, it’s really frustrating to drive to Pullman.  Since weather can be an issue, we could have a secondary date.  Nancy suggested maybe May and October.  Mark Bailey said the city can still burn following state law because we’re not a Growth Management Act city.  He pointed out that Spokane County allows the burning week, but not cities within the county, only rural.  4x4x3 is still the maximum size of a burn.  Lisa Fisher asked if we could burn only until we get a chipper in town.  The chipper should be here in late September, they’re just waiting to hire someone.  Councilmember O’Neill asked about whether the city should require advance permits for the burn.  Mary Estes stated there could be an “inversion” clause, so if the weather was wrong for burning, the date could be changed.  Councilmember Bailey thinks the compost site may be able to accommodate pine needles in the future. Chief Bagott said burn complaints in 2008 have dropped dramatically since the burn ban:  Last year we had 9 or 10 calls at this time, this year we have had 2.  He also stated that a burn day is more practical than a burn week so people affected would not have to stay in or be gone for a whole week.  Active enforcement by either the PD or the FD would be needed.  There are many people in town with a long track record of burning illegally, so the ground rules will have to be spelled out very clearly.   Bagott stated that he expects we’ll get the complaints, and if we do, the firs, though permitted, would have to be put out.  We have to err on the side of caution.  He isn’t opposed to trying but the advertisement and the enforcement have to be strictly followed.  Mary Estes stated that she sees a community need.  Norm suggested that Mark Bailey set up the rules, regulations, permitting, etc.  Chief Bagott said late September to late October would be the best burn times.  By state law burns can’t even be smoldering at dusk.  In spring, the variability of the weather is the issue.  It was also pointed out that if we get a chipper in September, there perhaps, won’t be a need for the burn days.

Chief Neumann introduced our new officer, Brian Dentler.  He was then sworn in.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported A & R should be close to finished by the end of the week.  Whitman Street is ahead of schedule; they’re doing a great job.  The site for the playground equipment has been dug out.  They have been hauling dirt to the RV Park.  Griffin reported breakdowns with equipment this week.  Road oiling should begin Sunday or Monday.  Will be cutting down on how much oiling is done.  Councilmember Bailey asked Dwayne if PW would be interested in Mark applying for a 25% match grant for a Bobcat.  Dwayne said they could use one.  Palouse Cove will be chip sealed on Friday; we get $25,000 from TIB for that.  The state is charging the city $500 for the work they did for patching Fairview.  Councilmember Wekenman said that when the RR construction crew took their machine off the track on Whitman Street, they left some major gouges abs asked if anything can be done to make it right with the city.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  WE have had some issues with dog problems and dog bites.  ALL dogs must be on leashes when not in their yards.  A trailer damaged the road at Main & Bridge; we’re working with WSDOT on fixing the damaged asphalt.  WSDOT will charge the responsible party for the road repair.  No complaints over the 4th of July.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution 2008-08 :  Mayor Echanove read the resolution in full.  Accounts receivable to the City of Palouse for water and sewer service have been determined to be uncollectible.  The bad debt left was for $66.00.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-08.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.
Resolution 2008-09 :  Mayor Echanove read the resolution in full.  The resolution authorizes Mike Milano, the Palouse City Council Parks Committee Chairperson, to apply to the RCO for funding assistance.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-09.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS :  Mayor Echanove updated council on our Brownfields project.  Our brownfield site in Palouse is the old Conoco station next to Bagott Motors.  In 2006 the EPA investigated the site.  The results came back from EPA Region 10.  There are three phases:  1. Assessment; 2. Clean-up; 3. Re-use.  Unlike our MH Park, where DOE wants green areas, the EPA wants re-use, be it private or public structures.  The contact through EPA feels that our next best step would be to switch from the EPA to the DOE brownfields program.  John Means, DOE representative, proposes the city apply for a development grant which would outline a program of the steps to a complete project; a sort of planning project.  If we are successful, John has some funding to pay for this planning phase.  The Targeted Brownfields Assessment for the sity indicated the clean-up and monitoring of that site would cost approx. $285,000.  By the time you have property acquisition and removal of bldgs., etc. it would easily be over $350,000 project.  The city would have to own the property before moving forward with clean-up.  Cities get grants, private individuals needs loans.  The owner is willing to sell.    Joanne XXX with the EPA is willing to have a conference call with us to discuss clean-up and re-use.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Ray Hansen memorial dedication is planned for 7/13 from 11-12.  It’s being arranged by the UI College of Engineering along with the Hansen family.  The sculpture will be at Heritage Park and is being professionally installed by Garlinghouse and they have guaranteed there will be no damage to any city property.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the Raymond Hansen memorial rock to be placed at Heritage Park.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Regarding our park project, Canfield and Associates has some funding available and it will be roughly $800-$1,500.  Councilmember Milano will pursue that.

Greg Harazin from Greg’s Electrical walked through the park with Steve Brink.  Councilmember Milano would like to move that project back to next year to accommodate our park changes.  He will get more electrical bids.

JFB :  Councilmember Wekenman said the Capital Improvement committee met.  Chairman Perkins will be talking with Representative Schoessler about our needs and possibly getting the ball moving on some funding.  We’re trying to get new turnouts (fireproof coveralls), a new truck, etc.  We’ve talked about speaking with banks, etc. about sponsoring an individual fireman to provide turnouts.  The WSFFA mobile burn trailer will be in town July 19 & 20 for training.  It’s designed to simulate structure fires.   Someone in the gallery asked if a v=tax levy has ever been considered for equipment needs for the fire department.  Mayor Echanove explained that the city transfers funds from the general fund every year, some years more that others.  A separate levy has not been recommended by council.

WATER & SEWER:   Councilmember O’Neill requested a committee meeting with PW and city staff to update everyone on issues concerning the Breeding’s Addition hook-ups.  Clerk Beeson reminded Andy we need to start moving now on 2009 rate increases for NSF fees, rate changes, and late charges.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Mayor Echanove reported the most recent valuation for regular and special levies and also what was levied for collection in 2008.  Based on this valuation, an increase of 1%, the maximum amount allowed, would bring in an additional $1,026 to the general levy and $164 to the EMA levy.   Unless council approves an increase, the special Street levy of $40K and Swim Pool O & M levy of $26K would remain the same.   With this 1% increase, total taxes levied in 2009 would go from $184,995 to approximately $186,185.  This amount does not include new construction or changes in the state assessed property values.   By law we are allowed a 1% increase and the mayor asked for council consideration.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize staff to include an increase levy by 1% in the paperwork setting the levy amounts for 2009.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.   Members of the gallery asked if the city has considered charging out of town patrons of the pool.  Clerk Beeson explained that even when we used to collect for daily and seasonal passes, the amount collected was only an average of $5K a year, a fraction of costs.  Also, the amount of time and money to audit this revenue was great.  It would be very difficult to audit whether or not a pool patron is a tax payer and that all non-tax payers were being charged.  There are signs posted encouraging out of town patrons to make a donation at city hall.    

Mayor discussed Munir Daud’s proposed change order for two small retaining walls on Whitman Street, next to the PD.  The $10,000 price covers both walls, but the city will get reimbursed from TIB for one of the walls.  Mary Estes asked if it is possible to get water to the area.  Superintendent Griffin is very concerned with the potential damage to water, sewer, and gas lines because it has already been excavated so much and crews are dangerously close to their lines.   Councilmember O’Neill asked what was in the original engineering plans in this particular area.  It was just sidewalk.  Munir realized after the excavation, that there should have been a retaining wall.  Councilmember Wekenman wants more information and more definitive answers before moving forward.  Councilmember MOVED that we allow acceptance of this bid UPON REVIEW from TIB for funding and engineering approval by our PW department.  Mary Estes stated that perhaps the bid should include a bid breakdown.  Mark Bailey reminded people that this is a  prevailing wage project.  The retaining wall the city just installed on Steve Brink’s property on Whitman cost over $70,000.00 which puts the price in better perspective.    Councilmember Wekenman MOVED that we table this discussion until next council meeting.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried.  Councilmember Milano did not second the vote.

Due to the added amount of cubic yards of hard rock that A & R had to go through and the additional footage of sawing through existing pavement, and the addition of wyes, there were $48,600 added to the project.

Councilmember Bailey MOVED and Councilmember Bagott seconded to go into executive session to discuss the purchase of personal property at the MH park.  The motion carried unanimously.  Council convened back into regular session at 9:16 PM.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to enter into a contract with an owner of a home at the MH park for $7000.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to put the travel trailer from space #9 up for city surplus.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Milano MOVED that the city also include the circular swing from the park for surplus, disassembled, as scrap.  Councilmember Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:27 PM.

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

June 24, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
June 24, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Libby Akin; Kim Akin; Deb Nelson; Rachel Nelson; and Steve Haugen.

PUBLIC HEARING:   Six-Year Street Plan
Mayor Echanove opened the public meeting at 7:01 and asked for public comment on the proposed 6 Year Street Plan.  Hearing no public comment Mayor Echanove closed the public hearing at 7:03 PM.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman asked that the record be removed Under Open Forum “Councilmember Wekenman asked if it is flood-proof.  It’s as flood-proof as anything down there.” having not made this statement.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of June 10, 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.
Girl Scout presentation of project – Libby Akin and Rachel Nelson from Girl Scout Troop #2315 gave a slide presentation describing the requirements of a Bronze Medal Award and their accomplishments to this point.  Along with leadership, planning and communication skills, the bronze award must provide a community service not done in the past.  Libby and Rachel asked for council approval to build five or six birdhouses and install them along the Palouse nature trail on West Main.  Some of the birdhouses would attract the small birds and others the larger ones.  The girls explained that they are not requesting funding as they have already earned what they would need.  They would place them on posts high above the ground to protect the birds from predators.  The birdhouses will be marked with their names.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested they check with Don Myott for placement.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to approve the Bronze Medal Award project for the building and installation of 5 or 6 birdhouses along the Palouse nature trail.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported A & R hit another stretch of hard rock along Fairview Ave. but will continue and finish according to the plan.  Griffin commended A & R for their fine work and stated that the project should be complete in 2 to 3 weeks.  Mayor Echanove asked if there was more hard rock than expected.  Griffin reported yes, especially north of 7th St and along Fairview.  Whitman St. is ahead of schedule, the first train ran on the new tracks Wednesday, June 17 at 3 pm.  The pool is working well after adjusting the filters.  The city received a verbal estimate of $5,000 to replace the heater.  They recommend that we plan to replace it next year before the pool opens.  It is understood, however, that if problems arise it will have to be replaced sooner.  Compost is still coming in and being used.  Public Works has hauled about 2/3 of it to the RV park site.  They are using the old pool solar pipe to water the compost.  They continue to spray weeds, read meters and remove and cap off the city utilities as units at the MH Park are removed.  Supt. Griffin asked what the policy is to surplus material from the site.  After discussion, it was decided that items of value would be put up for surplus bid and items of little or no value will be given away on a first-come first-served basis.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to surplus cinder block as a first-come first-serve basis at no cost.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  It was decided to provide an area free of debris for the blocks.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Mayor Echanove stated the Garfield police car is being utilized in Palouse.  CIAW representatives reviewed police officer candidate Brian Dentler’s application for employment and reported all tests were completed and met.

NEW BUSINESS:
Animal Control Contract :  Mayor Echanove presented the 2008-2009 animal control contract with Whitman County Humane Society.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the Extended Animal Shelter Contract with Whitman County Humane Society.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Palouse Car Wash Agreement :  Mayor Echanove presented a Memorandum of Agreement between the City and Palouse Car Wash.  The agreement provides tokens to be used for official city vehicles in exchange for the city crew to clean the gravel and rock trap with city equipment.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Palouse and the Palouse Car Wash.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2008-07 – Adopt Six-year Transportation Improvement Plan:  Councilmember Bagott explained how the street plan is used by different agencies to track projects.  To receive funding, a project must first be listed on this annual plan.  She stated that Fairview Ave. was added as the seventh project but may be bumped up at any time.  This is for overlay to the length of the sewer project.  Mayor Echanove read Resolution No. 2008-07.  Councilmember Milano asked which project had a priority shift.  I Street from Alder to Mary and N. F Street from Alder to Cannon was moved to priority #2.  Councilmember Schorzman asked if W. Whitman is on the plan – Yes and can be moved up if needed.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adopt the Six-year Transportation Improvement Plan.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
Mayor Echanove reported updates on the MH Park project.  The city has purchased 6 units to date.  Mayor Echanove asked for council direction on proceeding with negotiations on unit #9, the RV in the last spot.  The owner has relocation plans and is interested in the city purchasing his RV.  The RV was gifted to the resident and with little to no value this would be considered a relocation payment rather than a buy-out.  Council discussed options.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize the Mayor to purchase unit #9 for $750.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion.  Councilmember Schorzman stated that no more than $500 should be offered.  Councilmember Milano reminded council that this is a purchase and relocation project.  Councilmember O’Neill said the city should pay $750 and move on with the project.  Councilmember’s voiced concern that payment may not be a resolution to relocation.  Withdrawing his previous motion, Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the Mayor to purchase unit #9 for $750 only upon immediate possession by the city.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded it and the motion passed.  Councilmember Wekenman voted no.  Mayor Echanove stated that he is working with the owner occupants of the final two units.  They will be dealt with differently since they both hold value.  Council will be included in the decision for the final buy-out amounts.  The budget is getting tight but we are saving money on tipping fees at landfill.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 
JOINT FIRE BOARD:   Councilmember Wekenman will have a report at the next meeting.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano reported that he made his presentation to the state for the parks and recreation grant program.  The agency gave him suggestions on the development of a more comprehensive project and more effective application and power point presentation.  As a result they will try to increase the local match by providing a handicap accessible play area and access to it.  He reported that perhaps access could be accomplished in conjunction with a walking trail that wraps around the perimeter of the park.  The WSDOT grant manager asked him if Palouse has any project plans.  Milano told him the city is considering a foot bridge across the river to the city park. 
 
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION Councilmember Bailey asked for direction from the council on the purchase of a Bobcat.  The previous grant applications for this purchase are not applicable to the current grant cycle.  The city can apply for the purchase of property through a 75/25% recycling grant.  Grants to build structures are also available.  Councilmember Bailey asked if he should add the Bobcat to a grant application that would require a $5,000 match from the city.  After discussion the consensus was to include $5,000 in the 2009 equipment budget for the purchase of a Bobcat for the recycling program.  Councilmember Bailey then asked if they should look for property to purchase to use for a city-wide recycling program.  Mayor Echanove asked if we can lease property instead.  Bailey said no, the city would have to own the land.   He also stated his recommendation that the area be big enough to provide a full recycling program.   It was decided that sites would be explored by his committee.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS:   Councilmember Bagott reported that Munir presented the next payment request for the Whitman Street project.  It is pending approval.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The recent installation at the Mobile Home Court is being questioned by a neighbor.  The setback requirement from I Street is their point of concern.  As recommended by Attorney Bishop a letter went out to the park owner requesting a confirmation of the final setback from I Street.  Councilmember Milano asked if the building inspector gave approval for placement.  The mayor stated that Dan looked at alley setback but is unsure of the I Street setback.  Councilmember O’Neill asked why the installation was allowed.  The mayor indicated that public works staff is the most knowledgeable on setback issues and he should have had them take a look at it. Councilmember O’Neill asked if the installation encroaches on neighbors.  Mayor Echanove said no, it is within the fence on the property line and lines up with the neighbor’s garage.  It does, however, seem to not meet the 20’ setback required by code.

The City received a letter from Jerry Moss about the construction of Saint Elmo Street by developer David Lee.  Saint Elmo abuts Mr. Moss’s property and he has concerns about the way the road is sloped and the mess it makes in his yard.  Councilmember Bailey said there is construction issues involved and the actual property line needed to be determined.  It was pointed out that record has not been found that this street was ever accepted by the city.

The City received a letter from a neighbor’s attorney on the condition of the mobile home on Bluff St.  The concern is that there has been no resolution.   Mayor Echanove asked for suggestions from council for a fair and humanitarian way to resolve this issue.  The building inspector has recommended moving forward the abatement of this property.  Mayor Echanove and Attorney Bishop are concerned about the human element.

Mayor Echanove reported that he is responding to a personnel complaint regarding the Police Department.

Mayor Echanove requests that city staff advertise for citizens interested to serve on a civil service board for the Police Department.  The mayor reminded council that the next meeting will include a public hearing for 2009 revenue sources.  Councilmember Bailey stated that it appears an Avista truck tore up the Shady Lane Trail while servicing the lines.  He asked if he could speak to Avista on the city’s behalf to have them repair the trail.  Nobody objected.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Milano on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce invited city staff to serve as Grand Marshall of the Palouse Day parade.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      #13148 – #
Claims Paid
Payroll Paid

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

June 10, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
June 10, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  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:  Jana Mathia; Loren Estes; Bruce Beeson; Brian Dentler; Cheryl Rajcich; Brian Conklin; and Randy Zehm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Under the Mayor’s Report we need to change the wording from “three requirements” to “three phases”.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 27, 2008.  Councilmember Wekenman 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.
Loren Estes, Lions Club, discussed the gazebo that they want to purchase and install at Heyton Greene City Park.  He explained where at the park it would work best for different events such as music events, weddings, etc.  It will be elevated to approximately 3’.  It should be low maintenance since it is vinyl clad with composite decking. Councilmember Wekenman asked if it is flood-proof.  It’s as flood-proof as anything down there.  If approved, they’d like to begin work soon.  Exact placement would be determined so as to avoid sprinklers or anything else underground.  The City would provide electrical.  Councilmember Wekenman reminded them that the foundation will have to pass the critical areas process and that Heidi Kite may have some insight on where to locate it.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to authorize Palouse Lions Club to purchase and install a gazebo at Heyton Greene Park.  Councilmember Snook seconded it and the motion passed.  Councilmember Wekenman voted no.  Councilmember Wekenman stated that perhaps a gazebo is not what the city needs for music, he’d rather see a covered stage with storage.  Loren pointed out that bands bring and haul home their equipment and wouldn’t need storage.  Loren reminded everyone to check out the memorial rose garden at Heritage Park.  Mary Estes and Jill McKinney would be working with Marc to install a drip watering system.

Chief Neumann introduced Brian Dentler, candidate for the open police officer position.  Brian has interviewed with the personnel committee and both mayors.  He wanted to introduce himself and meet council.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin reported that they have a few more days left of work on Whitman.  They discovered the PD needs new sewer service.  A & R Construction is making good progress on Breeding’s.  No one has been hooked up yet to sewer.  Approximately 10 Y’s have gone in so far.  Mayor stated we need approximately 25 hook-ups to make the program a wash. The new solar system has been installed at the pool.  The heater at the pool has a hairline crack so it did not pass state boiler inspection.  We contacted two HVAC companies and Reidinger Heating was the only one to respond.  They will submit bids to fix or replace it.   Lightning damaged some of our street lights; Strom Electric repaired them.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported they have been at Garfield for over a month now; things are going well.  Chief thanked the Jennifer Marcus family for donating to the PD a service weapon that belonged to Roger Marcus.  Councilmember Snook added that in his interview with the personnel committee, Garfield residents praised the PD for their work.

OLD BUSINESS:
MH Park Update:  Bids for removal .  Mayor Echanove met with Tim Davis of the Whitman County Landfill to further discuss disposing the mobile homes at the MH Park.  The city will be charged $75/ton for empty ones; $95/ton for non-empty ones.  Non-empty homes will need to be scheduled in, whereas empty ones won’t.  The average weight is 10 tons.  Mayor contacted 3 recycling companies.  They all indicated that due to the price of fuel, labor, and landfill fees it would not be profitable.  Two bids will be considered for removal:  Base Construction bid is $1,740.00 per unit; Ace Elliott bid is $2,744.25 per unit.  They both have Washington Contractor’s Licenses.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested making sure the City is released from any damage caused during transport; Attorney Bishop will take care of that.  Avista is going to cut gas off at all units but #3.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept Base Construction Inc., bid for $1,740.00 per unit, subject to contract being put together by our attorney.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  All things of value that are removed from the homes will be surplused.  We will inventory anything of value prior to removal of homes.  Mayor is still working with the owner/occupants at the MH Park.

 

Resolution 2008-06:  Salary Schedule .  Due to a scrivener’s error, the Police Chief’s salary was incorrectly stated in Resolution 2008-04.  It should have read $3,650.00-$3,900.00 per month.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-06.  Councilmember O’Neill inquired what happens to the salary if the Garfield contract gets discontinued.  Councilmember Snook explained that is what the smaller amount in the range is for.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS :  Councilmember Milano talked to the UI regarding the Raymond Hansen memorial.  They have come up with a mounting for the plaque and would like to place it at Heritage Park prior to the Ice Cream Social on July 13th.  Mike is off to the Recreation Conservation Office in Moses Lake to review the park project with the grant managers.  He will be getting together with Marc Arrasmith to discuss placement of the new swing at Heyton Greene Park.  DOT will be here and Councilmember Milano plans on discussing with them the possibility of having a bridge installed connecting Lions Club Park to Heyton Greene Park.  The Antique Car Club “Cranker’s” will be passing through Palouse on July 6th, bringing approximately 300 people with them.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY :   Councilmember Wekenman stated that the Personnel Committee interviewed the potential new officer.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey reported that the Planning Commission met last week to discuss the zoning map.  A few changes were made in R2 and, incorporating the Critical Areas.   

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott reported that the public hearing for the 6-year street plan is set for next council meeting on June 24th.  She presented the preliminary plan.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Pete Hertz gave the Mayor correspondence regarding recycling funding programs available.  Councilmember Bailey reiterated that Ecology will not grant-fund anything that is not on city property and a possible site has not been located.  Mayor thanked everyone who went to the TIB dinner.

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:  The council meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims VOID     #13109 – #13111
Claims Paid      #13112 – #13147            $38,413.05
Payroll Paid      #6839 – #6865                $33,515.76

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

May 27, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
May 27, 2008

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

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 13, 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.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported he attended a water certification course in Spokane.  The second coat of paint has been done on the pool locker room floor.  Strom Electric installed the VFD on the booster pump.  We were using 65 amps, now were using 30-35 amps, so we’re using half the electricity.  They still have 5 or 6 days left on Whitman Street.  A & R did some blasting.  The city may have to amend the dollar amount charged for hooking up, due to the extra amount of rock.

We had a pre-construction meeting last week for Whitman Street.  The start date is June 7th.  They’re starting with the railroad track.  According to WSDOT, the line can be down for 11 days at the most.  The south side of West Whitman will be used as a staging area for the 400’ length of old and new rail.  Mary Street will have to be barricaded for no more than 4 or 5 days.  Due to the rise in the cost of steel, there has been talk of trading some in-kind work on the proposed rose garden tier to offset their costs.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that the Garfield contract is going smoothly.  They gave away 25 helmets at the Palouse school as part of the bike safety program.  Chief Neumann met with personnel committee chairman, Jeff Snook, for the ongoing officer hire.  They’re still working on that.  The Rat Rod show and graduation are this weekend.  They will barricade and direct traffic, ensuring good flow for the local businesses.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:   Building Inspector Gladwill reported that it’s that time of year where things are picking up.  He will not be participating in the FEMA flood training as hoped but he’ll apply again next year.

OLD BUSINESS:
MH Park Update:   Mayor has discussed recycling with three people.  The tipping fees don’t offset the costs of transportation and waste.  We received one quote for removal, based on five homes.  Ace Elliot will give us a bid for the homes.  Each home is going to be a unique situation to remove.

Resolution 2008-05 – A resolution adopting the Palouse Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan.  Councilmember Milano explained that this is a living document that we can update and change any time we want to.  It will be nice to have on file with the state to show the need.  Councilmember Snook MOVED that we adopt Resolution 2008-05.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano is still trying to organize a meeting between the Little People’s Park committee and Public Works regarding the playground equipment and installation.  They’re ready to move forward.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:   Councilmember Bailey proposed a junk vehicle ordinance.  He ran it by Attorney Bishop whose only suggestion is that we exempt vehicles that are screened by fencing.  The only remaining thing to determine is how many days we need to wait between notification and removal; we want to do it in as short as time frame as possible but you have to allow for people who may be out of town, etc.  Council advised Councilmember Bailey to move forward with it.  Councilmember Bailey also included information regarding noise ordinances in regards to the last council meeting.  Cindi Leper is no longer working at the county.  As far as the chipper, we’re still shooting for July 1st.

PERSONNEL & POOL:   Councilmember Snook spoke with Kasey regarding the pool.   The lifeguards are hired.  She has been planning for swim team, etc.

JFB REPORT:  We had a total of 6 fire calls this year, 8 EMS calls last month for 27 this year. The blood drive was successful.  There was talk of a request to have a street name change and readdressing on Fairview Avenue.  There is confusion with some of those addresses.  The suggestion is to change it to North River Road just as we did with South River Road.  Streets and Sidewalks Committee may have to meet for discussion and approval.  Steve Dyson, radio engineer for the county, put together a plan through Motorola to do a trunk radio system, spread out over the county.   The hope is that it will all be paid by the 1/10th of 1% sales tax initiative.  The plan is that when the time comes, all the agencies will essentially give all their radio equipment to the county.  This county radio division will provide all the agencies with the same radios and be compliant with current deadlines.  This initially starts with fire and safety, and eventually growing out to PW, school districts, etc.  The further down you venture, the less applicable the 1% is.  He wants to be done in five years for police, fire, and EMS.  The only budgeting we would have to account for would be when PW wants to go which are 5 or 6 years down the road.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Last Friday we received our Brownfield’s assessment from EPA, Region 10.  When working with EPA on a cleanup site there are three requirements:  1. assessment (which we have already done); 2.  clean-up; and 3.  Re-use with either private enterprise or a municipal use.  This is going to require public input and direction.

We received the renewal notice for the Palouse Tavern’s liquor license.  There were no objections so the license is renewed by default.

June 5th, TIB will be holding a dinner in Palouse at the museum. The Mayor will be giving a presentation.

Clerk Beeson said that the Annual Report has been reviewed and is now complete.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:28 PM.

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

May 13, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
May 13, 2008

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; and Jeff Snook.  Absent were:  Mayor Michael Echanove.  Also present were:  Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  Jana Mathia, Leti Mondragon, Larry Zeller, Tom Wolny, Mary Estes.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 22, 2008, and Special Council Meeting of May 5, 2008.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :
Leti Mondragon and her husband Larry Zeller are concerned with night activity, revving engines, loud kids, etc. at the city park.  They would like to consider implementing closing down the park at night.  She has taken to videotaping the kids at the park in an attempt to scare off any would-be criminal activity.  Chief Neumann explained that there is lack of proof or evidence.  Leti asked if the high school does anything as far as K-9 searches for drugs at the school.  Chief Neumann explained that the school is able to initiate drug searches; law enforcement can’t search lockers without warrants.  Chief Neumann explained that the city doesn’t have a noise ordinance but does have a nuisance ordinance, which would cover loud noises at the park, etc.  Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman said the best approach is to call the police department when the problems are happening.  Councilmember Bailey explained that noise ordinances are a very difficult and expensive code to enforce.  He suggests using the police for a while.  Larry asked if a curfew at the park can be considered.  Mayor Pro Tem Wekenman responded that curfews have been considered in the past.  Instead he suggests first to continue doing what they’re doing, monitoring the park and calling the police if there is suspicious activity.

Mary Estes stated that her group would like to plant six roses at Heritage Park around the statue.  The big area near the PD is a very large project which she’d like to do over time.  She asked whether PW could/would terrace the bottom of the grassy area near the PD as a start to the larger rose garden.  Clerk Beeson responded that it probably could not be part of the Whitman Street design.  Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman told Mary she needs to talk to Public Works to get approval.  Supt. Griffin cautioned that there are utilities and bedrock under the grass.  Ultimately, Marc Arrasmith has final approval on any work they might do there.  Eventually Mary would like to see a rose park that people could sit in, wander through but knows it will take time and planning.  Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman said they’ll have to look at the plan to see how it would be incorporated.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported they have been very busy.  Friday they did their yearly crackseal throughout town.  The pool house roof is done and is now ready to put in the solar tubing.  One coat of paint is on the floors, ready for another coat.  There is still wood at the park if anyone is interested in sawing it up and taking it.  They are working on Whitman Street; with a goal to be done by June 1st; prior to construction beginning.  A & R has been working, really battling the rock.  They will consider blasting.  A part-time worker has been hired for the summer.  On Thursday Strom Electric will be here to install the VFD on the booster pump.  Dwayne is taking a 3 day class in Spokane this month for his water certification.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:
We’ve been in Garfield since the 1st; and that’s going well.  We have a couple decent applicants who applied for the third officer position.  May Days is the 17th, we’ll bring in some extra help so Palouse will be covered at the same time.  We’ll have the bicycle rodeo at the school next week.  Our goal is to get a helmet on every kid.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 841 :  amending Ord. No. 838, amending certain funds within the 2008 Annual Budget.  Mayor ProTem Wekenman read Ordinance 841, increasing the total law enforcement budget by $34,720 to cover the new officer and the rise in fuel costs.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 841.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
Discussion of park plan:   Councilmember Milano reported he got information back from county parks.  City parks and trail systems are essential for quality of life everywhere.  He checked again with state recommendations for park planning; it’s pretty simple, get public input and include a 10-year plan.  Mike will apply the demographics and a needs-assessment to the park plan then distribute it to council for review.  He is hoping to adopt it by resolution at the next meeting.     

Whitman Street update :  Construction to begin June 9th:  Pre-construction meeting May 22nd.

MH Park update :  We’re still looking into ways to remove the trailers.  Reports back indicate there isn’t enough metal to offset the fees for waste disposal.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano stated that Shelley Goertzen wants to get together with city staff to discuss installation of new park equipment.  Need to discuss with PW which apparatus at the park will be removed, if any.  Anything removed will have to be surplused.  Clerk Beeson questioned the request to remove the small slide since our insurance company has no problem and it’s still used and loved by the kids.  Councilmember Milano said if it is decided that it should be kept, then it can be moved elsewhere in the park.

PERSONNEL & POOL:
Kasey, our pool manager is handling the phone interviews for the lifeguards.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  
Clerk Beeson reminded council that the deadline for the 6-year street plan is coming up as well as the public hearing for revenue sources.  She also reminded council that with current SAS 112 requirements, the annual report needs to be reviewed by an outside party, preferably council, before sending in.  The deadline is May 31st.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:59 PM.

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

April 22, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
April 22, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  Absent were:  Councilmember Andy O’Neill.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were: Mary Estes, Jon Fleischman, Jana Mathia.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 8, 2008.  Councilmember Bagott 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.
Mary Estes asked to incorporate a small rose garden in Palouse, possibly at Heritage Park or Hayton Greene Park.  There are 4-6 volunteers who want to put it in and work along with the city to keep it maintained.  They will purchase and plant the roses.  It will start with only 5 or 6 roses, then possibly add additional roses if it is successful.  Councilmember Milano will work with Mary and PW Marc Arrasmith on this.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin submitted a written report.  Mayor spoke with A & R Construction and they should be in town May 1st.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that the PD will be going into the school with the internet safety program and a bicycle safety program.  The city-wide clean-up went well.

JOINT FIRE BOARD UPDATE :  Councilmember Snook reported that FD had two calls last month.  The burn ordinance seems to be working.  EMS had 5 calls; 19 YTD.  There is a blood drive at the PSB on May 19th.  Mike Bagott is working on updating the policy manual for the FD.  We have one new EMT.

NEW BUSINESS:
Clerk Beeson presented the 1st Quarter Treasurer’s Report and asked for council comments and questions.  Mayor Echanove noted that the budget is right on track.

Resolution 2008-03 :  Adopt Critical Areas Handbook:  This handbook was developed by Studio Cascade with a grant through CTED with Palouse as the lead agency of a consortium of 5 other communities.  It sets the procedures when a building permit comes in.   It is simply a guide and does not change the critical areas ordinance.  BI Gladwill and Councilman Bailey both thought it would work.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to approve Resolution 2008-03.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Law Enforcement Agreement with Garfield and Resolution 2008-04 :  We got our contract from Attorney Bishop and it has been reviewed by office staff and Council.  Chief explained that the flexibility of scheduling staff would mean a great deal to the officers.  We would go from working a 10 hour shift with 14 hours on call, to working a 12 hour shift with only 2 hours on call.  We’re trying to work the schedule so officers will never be on-call on days off.   With the addition of the third officer on the force we will have to establish a civil-service board made up of three Palouse community members appointed by the Mayor.  Under civil service rules, you cannot have the residency requirement but can still have a minimum response time.  Councilmember Bailey recommended a change on page 2, line 4 – the words “at least” changed to “for an average of” to allow for the 911 call outs.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to hold an open public meeting about this.  Motion failed for lack of a second.  Council stated that this council meeting was an open public meeting.    Discussion continued on the contract agreement with Garfield.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the Mayor to enter into an agreement with the town of Garfield for law enforcement services as described in the contract before us and amended by Councilmember Bailey.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried with one nay vote by Councilmember Schorzman.
Resolution 2008-04 : Salary adjustment for Chief of Police.  The salary will change to a range from $3,650 – $3,840 per month.  The increase to #3.840 will compensate for the added responsibility and work hours if and when the contract for police services to Garfield goes into effect.  The third officer’s salary will fall into current range for police officer.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-04, changing Police Chief Neumann’s salary to a range of $3,650 – $3,840 per month.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
Palouse River MH Park Acquisition Project Update :  Volunteers and city staff have begun cleaning up the grounds.  PW wants to be able to mow and begin weed control.  Two homes have been purchased and one more is in the works.  We will begin working with the remaining owners.  Atty. Bishop has requested that authority be given to the Clerk-Treasurer to write warrants outside of regular council meetings for the purchase of property within the guidelines.    Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize the Clerk-Treasurer to issue warrants for the purchase of trailers between council meetings.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The Mayor reminded everyone that they need to keep a log of hours and expenses at the MH park for reporting in-kind contributions.
Whitman Street Update ;  Award bid for construction.  Senator Schoessler and Representative Hailey joined us on speaker phone.  Mayor reminded council that one year ago in January Senator Schoessler worked hard for us to get a $210,000 line item in the Senate budget and Representative Hailey, once it got into the House, really worked for us.  Senator couldn’t be happier with all the progress that’s happened in Palouse since he first visited in 1992.  Representative Hailey said it’s very rewarding to watch a project come to fruition.  He is still working on getting the railroad on the west part of Whitman St. done.  Councilmember Bagott read the bids as follows:  Motley & Motley, $632,356.85; M.L. Albright, $643,165.35; Spokane Rock, $570,570.00; Western Construction, $640,914.05.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to accept the bid from Spokane Rock for $570,570.00 for the construction phase of Whitman Street.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Wekenman stated that the right of way at Whitman and Beech Street still needs to be cleared for this project.    Mayor Echanove reported that the landowners will be working have this area cleared including the building before June 1st.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:
RV Park Electrical Bid :  Councilmember Milano reported that he is ready to award the bid for electrical work at the RV Park.  He has only one concern to address to the lowest bidder and that is to assure us that they understand that this is a prevailing wage project.  He read the bids –   M&M Harrison, $21,950.00; Strom Electric, $24,970.00; Pullman Heating & Electric, $32,000.00, Greg’s Electric, $13,274.00.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to award the bid to Greg’s Electric for $13,274.00 pending the prevailing wage question.   Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Playground equipment project .  Councilmember Milano discussed the plans the local playground committee has put together.  They have $14k to purchase equipment.  It is hoped that this will be matched by a 50/50 grant from the state.  Options are being considered, with the goal of quality, safe equipment for 2 to 5 year olds in the area where the small slide and circular swing currently are.  The group wants to find funding for fall zone material as well.  Essentially this is a $20,000 project including $6,800 for excavation and groundwork.  Installation goal is summer 2009.

Jon Fleischman stated that the Lion’s Club would like to build a gazebo at the park and asked council if this is anything the city would be interested in allowing.  The Lion’s Club would take this on 100%.  It was brought up by council to take care to preserve open space.   Mayor Echanove told Jon to go ahead and develop a plan and bring it back for consideration.

Joyce suggested shaded bleachers for the pool watchers for a future project.  Councilmember Milano said there are recreation improvement grants available.  In regards to the MH Park, Councilmember Bailey reminded everyone that anywhere there is state funding supplied, ONLY native plant materials can be used.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey inquired what the city thinks of the county’s offer of Gnaedinger’s rock quarry for the junk-car site.  The council agreed that the rock quarry would work well.  There is still no word on the chipper.

PERSONNEL & POOL :  Councilmember Snook reported that we have received six applications for lifeguards.  He will be contacting Kasey (pool mgr.) soon to start scheduling interviews.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS:   Councilmember Bagott spoke with DOT regarding signage on HWY 27.  They plan on changing the pedestrian crossing sign with a bigger sign, to include the distance warning.  They are going to change the striping on the crosswalks before school is out in June.  If this works, they’ll leave it, if it doesn’t they’ll look into including curb bump-outs.  

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The city received two letters last week from attorneys on two separate homeowner issues.  Our attorney is investigating and responding.    

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

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:43 PM.

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

April 8, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
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.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:
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.

OLD BUSINESS:
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.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:
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.

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

WATER & SEWER:
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.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  
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: ________________________________

March 25, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
March 25, 2008

CALL TO ORDER:  Pro-Tem Mayor Rick Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 11, 2008.  Councilmember Schorzman 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.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  In addition to his submitted written report, Superintendent Dwayne Griffin added:  Munir Daud sent a letter to A & R Construction requesting they contact us and give us a schedule.  Dwayne believes it’s too wet on top but he thinks A & R could be working on the trunk line on Fairview Avenue.  Don is attending a Wastewater Treatment certification class in Yakima this week.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann is getting literature on internet safety for kids, and will go into the schools and interact with them.  He also stated that when it comes to dogs, county residents are not under the same guidance as city residents, however when county dogs come into the city proper, they become accountable to city laws.  As weather gets better we’ll begin bicycle safety at the schools again.

JFB UPDATE:   Mayor PT Wekenman postponed report until the next meeting.

OLD BUSINESS:   Palouse River MH Park Acquisition Project Update:  As of Friday, March 21, 2008, the MH Park belongs to the city.  We will begin working with Attorney Bishop on a case-by-case basis.  If the trailers can be moved in one big piece, then we will not have order an assessment done for hazardous materials.  If they have to be cut into pieces on-site, then we have to go through the hazardous materials abatement processes.  There will probably be stipulations from DOE considering the proximity to the river.  There have been a number of people who have volunteered their labor on this project.

Whitman Street Project bid opening date has been extended to April 1st.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:
Councilmember Milano talked with the Recreation Conservation Board about getting a grant for park equipment.  He also has a request in for 50% match from the state.  He needs to figure out what the city’s cost for installation will be.  He talked to the state grant manager for DOT on the Palouse Community Center federal grant.  After reviewing, it doesn’t seem feasible to apply for federal grants.  He did speak with them about the MH Park Project

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION: 
Councilmember Bailey forwarded some information to Bishop on the junk car ordinance.  The Planning Commission met about the trailer park with a group from the UI who is doing a park layout plan.  He has been working with them about the requirements from the Conservation District and Ecology.  At this point it looks like it has to be all native plants; all the sewer and water hook-ups have to be removed, etc.  We have not yet located a spot for the junk cars.  Chief Neumann reminded council that one stipulation is that it has to be city-owned property.  Dwayne Griffin suggested the city dump as a possibility for the junk cars and will do some research.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS:
Councilmember Bagott reminds residents with sidewalks in front of their homes that they are responsible for their maintenance.  They need to sweep the gravel off of them and if they can’t, contact Darcie Bagott.  DOT has come up with a couple solutions for the pedestrian signs by the car wash and possibly a crosswalk.  Councilmember Milano reminds people that there is a tree-planting party on April 12th at 9:00 a.m.  There is a volunteer breakfast at 7:30 at the Federated Church.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:44 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      Warrant #12965 – #12983            Payment:  $84,162.34
Payroll Paid      Warrant #6770 – #6793               Payment: $30,052.82
Voids:              Warrant #6776 and #6790
APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

March 11, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
March 11, 2008

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7.00 PM.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 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.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  In addition to his submitted written report, Dwayne Griffin added:
Public Works still has some repairs to do on the F St. Bridge.  Mayor asked about the damage the beavers are causing to the trees along the river.  Councilmember Rick Wekenman suggested leaving the downed trees there so the beavers don’t damage more trees.  Dwayne Griffin reminded council that homeowners are responsible for keeping sidewalks free of gravel and debris.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Chief Neumann reported that he and Officer Merry cleared out a theft and burglary and recovered several stolen items.  In doing so they depleted their evidence stock for packaging them.  Chief dealt with a burn issue and said not everyone is clear on the burn ban.  He reminds the public that there is no burning of yard waste, junk wood, wet wood, etc.  Dry, seasoned firewood is the only thing allowed to burn in a recreational fire burn.  Officer Merry is fitting in well.  The Northwest Collegiate Cyclists Bike Race is coming April 26th.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution 2008-02 – Review Interlocal Agreement for Criminal Justice Services.  The language is still the same other than the cost.  There is a 12% increase in fees due based on Palouse’s population of 1,010 persons.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-02 authorizing the Mayor to execute an Interlocal agreement for criminal justice services to be provided to the City by Whitman County.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. 

OLD BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 840 – Repealing Ordinance No. 837 and adopting Palouse Municipal Code 2.14.030, thereby relocating those portions of Ordinance No. 837 pertaining to the creation of the office of Deputy Clerk from Palouse Municipal Code Chapter 2.12 to Chapter 2.14.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to approve Ordinance 840.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:
Councilmember Milano is looking into grants from the state Recreation Conservation District (RCD) to possibly double our funds.  He would like to submit a pre-grant application.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to appoint Councilmember Mike Milano to be city representative for the grant application process for playground equipment to the RCD.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Milano asked the county for a six-month grant extension on the RV Park.  He’ll hear back from the commissioner’s office on March 17th.  He decided to suspend the water/sewer purchase until we hear back from them.  If any citizens or groups would like to purchase a park bench, forms are available at City Hall.  They cost approximately $600.  Councilmember Milano is also working on possible funding options for the Palouse Community Center Building.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY:
Councilmember Wekenman reported that they held a committee meeting to discuss the burglary situation.  We’re pleased with hiring Officer Merry.  The Intrepid has been repaired.  The trade-in value on the Intrepid is substantial; there’s a good possibility of getting enough money out of the Intrepid to purchase a Dodge Charger.  It was suggested looking into possibly surplussing or auctioning the PD’s old Crown Victoria.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION: 
The Planning Commission meets on the 20th with the landscaping design on the trailer park.  Councilmember Bailey has done some research on junk vehicles.  He needs further direction on where we want to go.  We need clearer language on defining junk vehicles.  Are we going to change our current ordinance or draft a new one?  Is this something we’ll actively enforce or just enforce based on complaints only?  It was suggested to have a couple committee meetings to reword it.  Councilmember Bailey said they will draft a proposed change and make sure the wording is very clear.

PERSONNEL & POOL:
Councilmember Snook spoke with a possible candidate for pool manager.  Personnel committee will discuss it.  Superintendent Griffin said public works staff hasn’t decided whether or not to hire summer help.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  
The City received a signed sale agreement for the MH Park.  It’s set to close March 25, 2008.  Whitman Street is out to bid.  Closing bid date is March 18th.  The City continues to receive compliments on the snow removal this winter.  The city spent approx. $13,200 on snow removal, gravel, sand, and overtime this winter.

Sandy Schorzman requested the Mayor’s signature approving the Palouse Arts Council selling liquor at their Saint Patrick’s Day dinner.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Wekenman asked the Chief to reiterate the city’s dog policy.  Dogs must be walked on a leash, they cannot run at-large or loose, and people cannot own more than 3 dogs except for a litter for 6 months.  Dogs also cannot be nuisances, such as constantly barking.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      warrant # 12933 – 12964             $17,145.50
Voids:              warrant # 12949
APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 12, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
February 12, 2008

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook.  Absent was:  Rick Wekenman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Attorney Stephen Bishop; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were Cindi Lepper from Whitman County Solid Waste; County Commissioner Greg Partch; Don Myott; Holly White; Heather McGehee; Tom Wolry; and Pete Hertz.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 22, 2008.  Councilmember Bagott 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.

Don Myott spoke about the spring tree planting.  Americorp is proposing 195 plants this year.  The cost is $692.50.  Palouse Conservation District (PCD) is running out of their grant money and Don would like to use the $400 voted on in 2006 to help defray PCD’s costs.  PCD has covered all the costs the last two years.  The planting is tentatively scheduled for April 12th.  Marie Dymkoski will head up the volunteers.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to reauthorize the $400 to help pay for trees by the wastewater facility.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Dwayne Griffin submitted a written report.  Pete Hertz praised PW on their excellent snow removal work.  Dwayne reported this year’s heavy snow has been hard on their equipment.  The truck is showing some wear and that thought should be given to replacing it in the next year or two.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Things are going as well as expected with all the snow.  There have been minimum accidents in Palouse.  The current PD Policy & Procedures Manual is outdated; approx 15 years old.  Chief Neumann revised it following state procedures.  Officers will now be able to reference the manual when any questions with law enforcement arise.  It includes our goals, mission statement, as well as procedures.  Council member Bailey said he has reviewed about 60% of it and once complete the Policy Committee will meet to discuss whether or not to present it to council for adoption.  The city received roughly $1,300 in grant money from WASPC for updating the cities speed reading equipment.  In regards to the South River Road addressing project; we sent out  letters to affected property owners which explain why this was necessary and what their new address is.  We’ve had two city staff meetings addressing any flooding concerns.  The snow is thawing slowly and the consensus is there is no imminent fear of flooding.  Private individuals and businesses will need to develop their own action plan.

NEW BUSINESS:

  • Award bid for Variable Frequency Drive for booster pump .  PW Supt. Griffin reported that we received three bids:  Strom Electric $8,200; AES $13,886; and N.A. Degerstrom $8,408.40.  Strom Electric is the lowest bid.  Griffin explained that this will pay for itself within 18 months just in the electrical costs.  This drive is compatible with our old pump so if it fails we can put our old one back in while it is being repaired.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that we proceed with accepting the bid from Strom Electric for the Variable Frequency Drive for $8,200.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  • Update from County Commissioner Greg Partch :  The snow is a big issue for the county as well.  Things are going as well as can be expected.  Commissioner Partch attended the Legislature Rally last week and took a letter stating that the county spent $240,000 in December alone.  They’re estimating $500,000-$600,000 for January.  In prior years their annual budget was $250,000/year.  We’d like funding for the counties that are impacted.  The Governor’s declaration of emergency only allows us to bypass the bidding system for help.  But there’s no financial help available.  It does help the schools so they don’t have to make up the storm days.

    Commissioner Partch sits on the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB).  He presented a copy of Palouse’s Whitman Street final scored application.  TIB has a project book which includes all submitted projects which includes 500-600 applications.  TIB meets regionally every month.  We’re meeting in Pullman May 29 & 30th  and representative for the city are encouraged to attend to say thank you to TIB.

    Whitcom has stayed very busy in the last month.  In October the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) opened for the first time.  It performed an exercise on an epidemic influenza outbreak in which they were judged by the state.  They got one of the highest ratings of anyone in the whole state.  It is a great asset for Whitman County.  If Council would like to see it just request a tour.   We’re working on reverse 9-1-1.    Reverse 9-1-1 allows 10,000+ phone calls simultaneously.  Commissioner Partch added his thanks to all volunteers, including Pete Hertz who sits on the solid waste committee.

  • Cindi Lepper, Whitman County ?????? to discuss Ecology grants :  Cindi reported that our 2008 sub-grant application for recycling scored very high, however it was not awarded to Palouse this year, it was awarded to Oakesdale.  Cindi suggests resubmitting.  Councilmember Bailey asked if the additional funding is coming from Ecology.  No, there is supplemental funding from Ecology available in July.  Most of the awarded projects don’t look like they’re going to get spent out so some funding may still be available.  There was a press release from Ecology last week talking about air quality money separate from the funds available through her program.

    The inter-local agreement gave strength to the application for a county-wide chipper.  They were awarded the grant for a chipper and funding for a full-time employee to run the equipment.  This employee will maintain schedules, transport, and operate the chipper.  Each city will be asked to provide manpower on the days the chipper will be operating.    Superintendent Griffin stated that the city will be able to use all the chips produced.

    Cindi explained that they are advertising to see what kind of interest we can get from Whitman County residents for having a vehicle crusher come to area communities.  The goal is not to create work for community law enforcement; the only participation we need from law enforcement is to run the VIN numbers.  The Department of Health does the enforcements for solid waste violations.  We would need a city owned lot for the cars to be left on until the crusher comes in, which would be no more than 30 days.  The crusher will use their own tow trucks and trailers to haul the junk cars from people’s houses who have called in to participate.  The car crusher will handle all release forms.  Once the junk cars are on the city lot, they become abandoned vehicles.  Rural residents would be able to participate.  Ecology will do all the advertising.  The car crusher removes all the tires, glass and fluids.  The lot will be left perfectly clean.  Council agreed they would consider this request.

  • Award bid for lawnmower bid.   Marc Arrasmith has worked hard and done a lot of research on zero-turn mowers.  He received six bids.  _Fill in with names and bid amounts .    Griffin is hoping to be able to run this mower for three years before it is turned.  We will have to wait and see how many hours it will actually get in a year since the other mower will be kept for leaves, spraying and other duties.  Marc estimates this new mower will cut his mowing time by at least 1/3.  Councilmember O’Neill asked if the budget allows for the mower, the VFD, and the pickup?  Joyce budgeted for all three.  Mayor stated we keep increasing the amount of grass we maintain and with the RV Park coming, there will be even more.  Councilmember Snook asked about the smaller deck size.  Marc prefers the 48” deck for maneuvering in the cemetery.  Marc thinks Guy’s Outdoor Equipment has the best bid.  Guy’s Outdoor bid is for a Toro.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to accept Guy’s Outdoor Equipment bid for the Z453 for $6,880.77.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  • 2007 Year End Treasurer Report .  Mayor is pleased with the year end number.  Nothing went over budget and we’re not overspending.  Clerk-Treasurer Beeson always budgets the revenues low and the expenditures high; it helps in maintaining a healthy ending balance.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:
Councilmember Milano stated the park equipment fundraising leader, Shelley Goertzen, said their group would like to have pour-in-place ground cover under the new playground equipment.  The cost of the material is estimated at $10,000.  We’ll look for sources of funding to help the group pay for that material if possible.  Thankfully, the group has done a great job of fundraising so they may already have a good source for match monies if needed.  Wood chips and peas gravel aren’t preferred because of the maintenance issues and they wash away when the park is flooded.

PERSONNEL & POOL :  We met last night and have been discussing a replacement for our second officer.  We talked with Joe Merry from Garfield.  He expressed interest in joining our force and moving to Palouse.  He’s looking at a 4 or 5 year commitment.  He’s academy trained and has a full background in police work.  There was a follow-up interview with the Mayor.  The committee unanimously agreed Joe Merry was a good hire.  Mayor said he met with Marshall Joe Merry this evening.  He’s a very good candidate.  The Mayor stated his concern for hiring someone away from our sister-city, Garfield, but this opportunity has come up.  Mayor told Marshall Merry that pending background checks and an internal investigation of his application, the Mayor would entertain a motion hiring Marshall Merry as Palouse’s second officer.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to hire Joe Merry as Palouse’s second officer.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Mayor reminded Council of all the challenges they’ve had in the past finding willing, qualified officers to commit.
 
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Planning commission is in favor of reimbursing the UI Landscape Architecture Department $125 to cover supplies for their mobile home park landscaping proposals.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Munir and Paul Weber have just a few things to iron out before the Whitman Street construction phase is ready to go out to bid. We’re almost there.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  
The Mayor and Councilmember Snook missed the AWC conference due to the storms.

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

ADJOURN:  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott 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      Warrant # 12875                                    $5,220.00
Claims Paid      Warrant # 12876-12915                           $30,048.61
Payroll Paid      Warrant #6748-6769                               $30,702,03

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

January 22, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
January 22, 2008

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

ROLL CALL : Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent were: Norm Schorzman and Andy O’Neill. Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present were: Heather McGehee; Boy Scout Troop 326 from Moscow.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES : Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 8, 2008. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : Boy Scout Troop 326 from Moscow came to observe a City Council meeting.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : In addition to his submitted written report, Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin added that in researching used pick-ups, he found what looks like a good deal through the state surplus program. He asked council to set the maximum amount he could spend on this vehicle, allow a purchase under the special market conditions of a government surplus program. He reported that he is considering a 1995 Ford, 250 xl, with manual transmission, 2wd, and a utility box for $5,200. He needs something dependable and bigger than what they have now. The 2008 budget is $18,000 which will buy the new lawnmower and this pickup. Public works will use both pick-ups, Marc will take over the 1987 half ton dodge, while Don & Dwayne will use this 1995. If council approves they will pick it up Thursday or Friday. Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize Dwayne Griffin to spend up to $6,000 for the purchase of a vehicle. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT :
Everything is business as usual. Traffic enforcement has been stepped with Officer Eaton’s presence. The Personnel Committee met and discussed ongoing search for 2nd officer. We’re meeting again in February, hoping to bring candidates in. Chief Neumann has started the process of replacing the Intrepid. He’d like a more traditional police vehicle, fully marked, and more visible. He’s looking at a used Dodge Charger. The intrepid still holds value for trade-in. Chief Neumann would like to update our vehicle every 5 or 6 years. Councilmember Bailey inquired about pricing of the Charger vs. a Crown Victoria. It’s the same engine in both vehicles; we’re dealing with a vehicle size issue more than anything. A used ’07 charger is between $14-15k. The trade-in value of the Intrepid is between $5-$6k. Councilmember Wekenman asked if council needed to discuss the rationale for two vehicles for a town this size and police force this size. Chief Neumann replied that if we’re looking to rotate vehicles every 5 to 6 years it would keep the wear and tear down a little bit. At times there is one vehicle down, etc. Councilmember Wekenman added that a lot of departments are going towards Chargers. Chief Neumann met with the Communications Advisory Board, going over bylaws, policy, etc. Whitman County is in a good position with .08 funding. We’re well ahead of the curve of other counties.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT : Dan Gladwill reported things were very busy until about Dec. 1st, then they slowed down as normal. He’s been working with WABO and joined a technical code advisory group, revising building codes for ’09. He’s going to Minnesota this fall for more training on the legislative side of it, stopping bad stuff from going to print. Getting the WABO seal on things really looks good. At the convention Dan represents both Whitman County and the City of Palouse. Our building permits are down a little from last year but considering the building recession, that’s okay. It’s the same in the county as well. City Clerk Beeson said our valuation went up about 3 million since last year, making it 39,186,000, as reported by the county assessors office.

JOINT FIRE BOARD : Councilmember Snook said they had a quick meeting. Our Fire Chief noted we have not had any calls since Nov. 2nd. EMS had four calls last month. We’re in the process of ordering equipment and new radios for trucks using money from the DNR grant. Chief Bagott thinks the burn ordinance has been a success; we have not had any nuisance calls since that was passed.

NEW BUSINESS : No new business

OLD BUSINESS :
Ordinance 839: Adopt terms and costs associated with connecting to the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension .
Councilmember Snook MOVED to suspend the reading of ordinance in its entirety. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Councilmember O’Neill reviewed the wording and all points were acceptable. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance 839. Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Update on Whitman Street Project ;
Councilmember Bagott reported that we’re very close to going out to bid. Munir is working with Paul Weber from DOT Rail design. The final design is complete, contract documents are 95% complete, we just have to attach the cost adjustments. It takes time because we’re working with both the Railroad and TIB to get this finished. We have to meet one more time before it goes to Gloria Bennet at TIB. Once approved by Bennett it will then out to bid. The only other part TIB is waiting for is for Ecology to sign off on the DAHP study done by Rain Shadow Research. Mayor Echanove said everything is right on target for the project. Paul Weber’s salary is being paid by WSDOT Rail so it’s reducing our total project costs.

Mobile Home Acquisition Project : We received the appraisal last week. Numbers came in as expected. At the next meeting, council will be asked to approve the purchase of the property. Councilmember Wekenman asked if we have been in contact with anyone regarding the possible recycling of any mobile homes acquired by the city. The Mayor reported that our efforts to date have been strictly focused on the real estate acquisition piece for the project.

The Mayor asked Dwayne Griffin about A & R Construction’s progress on Breeding’s Addition. They’re waiting out the weather. Councilmember Bailey reported to Dwayne that A & R Construction is referring people to Dwayne in regards to property lines on personal property. It’s not Dwayne’s job; if A& R wants the work, they should be figuring out where property lines are, etc. not public works.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS :
PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Councilmember Milano reported that an electrical contractor will be in town on the 5th to look at hookup sites and park improvements.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS : Councilmember Bagott reported that the South River Road and Lynd Street signs are in. She inquired whether or not the South River Road residents have been contacted about this change. Letters will go out informing residents of their new address. Darcie found a contact perso at DOT regarding SR27 signage. She will have a report at next meeting. Mayor added that with the pending acquisition of the MH park, we should consider a crosswalk between there and the Shady Lane trail. Since it is crossing a state highway, it would be a prime candidate for TIB funding. Let’s think about putting a sidewalk on the carwash piece and a crosswalk to Shady Lane.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY : Councilmember Wekenman reported that the Personnel Committee will meet shortly to discuss the hiring of a new officer.

MAYOR’S REPORT :
Joyce has all the year-end figures if anyone wants to see them and will have a 2007 year end report for the next council meeting.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:54 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Warrants: #12855 – #12874 Payment: $9,842.41

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

January 8, 2008

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
January 8, 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; and Rick Wekenman.  Absent was:  Darcie Bagott.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  Crystal Bailey and Heather McGehee.

Swearing in Council Members : Councilmembers Snook and Wekenman, and Mayor Echanove read their oaths of office, which was followed by signings.  Councilmember Schorzman was previously sworn in at the Auditor’s Office.  Mayor Echanove recommended and Council agreed that Councilmember Wekenman should continue as Mayor Pro-Tem.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 11, 2007.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :
Crystal Bailey with the Palouse Community Center Committee (PCC) came to update Council on the community center.  She brought some rough sketches of the proposed building.  PCC understands that City Council is offering them a wider piece of land.  In addition PCC would like an update on what’s going on with the parking lot in the back because they would like to amend their lease if that area is retained by the City.  Crystal detailed all the dimensions on the proposed site.  Mayor talked about the city’s land exchange with the Kite’s.  The city now owns the north end of the Kite’s lot to allow improvements to Whitman Street and the Kite’s own an additional six foot strip along the west side.   Attorney Bishop said we need to make a lot-line adjustment on the remaining city land that is leased to the PCC to make one lot instead of two.  As part of the Whitman Street Project and future funding, the Mayor proposed that the city retain ownership of the PCC lot to develop a public parking lot.  PCC thought it was a good idea for the city to own and maintain the proposed parking lot.  The storm drain issue was discussed in conjunction with the Whitman Street project.  Councilmember Milano asked about getting an estimate from Munir on the parking lot for planning purposes.  Mayor Echanove asked council if they were ready to act on the request from PCC to amend their current 99 year lease.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to amend the PCC lease to include ’56 x ‘110 foot lot and proceed with a lot-line adjustment.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  In addition to his submitted written report, Dwayne Griffin added:  No news from A & R.  They’re on hold due to weather.  They did dig from Fairview to 7th Street, probably only 1% done.  There is a 90-day clause which only includes workable-weather days.  The Mayor reported that we may get a request to open a previously vacated street in the area of the Breeding’s sewer extension.  The Mayor informed Council that he has no problems with the PW working overtime plowing the streets.  He’s received many compliments on the job they’re doing.  PW Superintendent Griffin said there were kids being delinquent in the Heritage Park bathroom, making messes but no damage.  We’ve received a few bids for the Variable Frequency Drive.  A local company has come in lowest so far.  Dwayne has done some research and learned that the new drive will pay for itself within a year.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Scott Ellsworth submitted his resignation.  He decided to return to school.  His last effective day was Dec. 31st.  It’s been just Chief Neumann since then, basically on call 24/7.  We brought in a reserve officer last weekend allowing him a few days off.  Chief Neumann has been focusing on traffic enforcement, proactive type patrols.  Illegal turns are down.  He had two infractions and a couple paper enforcements.  Things are in good shape.  Thankfully there has been only one weather-related accident so far.   Councilmember O’Neill asked Chief Neumann about his options for replacing Officer Ellsworth.  Chief Neumann is actively looking and is hopeful he’ll have a replacement towards the end of January or first of February.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance 839:  Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension Connection Requirements and Costs:  The Mayor read the entire ordinance.  Councilmember Bailey voiced concern with the 210’ distance requirement.  What if someone builds just beyond the distance and doesn’t hook up?  The Mayor explained how the past council came up with that distance and that the county would most likely be reluctant to allow a septic system with city sewer available in the area.  Councilmember O’Neill was concerned with the paragraph regarding penalty – 13.46.040.   He would like to have a clearer penalty section.   The ordinance was tabled and sent to committee for review.  Chief Neumann asked to be included in the meeting.
Resolution 2008-01:  Setting the terms and conditions for the construction loan for Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension:  The Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2008-01.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
Update on Whitman Street Project ; The Mayor showed a map which includes some changes to the plans. For example, a roundabout by the PD was added and parallel parking on Whitman St.  The Mayor read a note from Munir updating City on his progress.  The construction phase will go out to bid in January.  With the right of way along Kite’s secured, the state can continue with the construction phase of the railroad.

Update on MH Park Acquisition Project :  Attorney Bishop received the figures from the property appraisal and the figures were right in line with what we expected.  The appraisal includes just the land purchase, not the individual trailers.  We’re proceeding with the land acquisition portion.  Homeowners were informed by the landlord a couple months ago of the situation.  The City is not yet able to receive rent.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano heard from DOT regarding the signs for public restrooms to be placed on HWY 272 and 27.  They should be in place in March.  RV Park electrical bids are due in January.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Councilmember Bailey had a request from WHITCOM about Elmo Street.   They need clarification on the actual name – is it Elmo or St. Elmo Street?  We will verify, change signage if necessary and service addressing.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Mayor explained that the City needs to design Whitman Street how we want it to be 20+ years from now because as we all know, it will be this way for many, many years.  Whatever we do there is going to be permanent.

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 Schorzman 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                  Warrants: #12813 – #12824         Payment:  $7,967.24
Claims Paid                  Warrants: #12825 – #12854         Payment:  $29,944.27
Payroll Paid                  Warrants: #  6723 – #  6747         Payment:  $30,240.91

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

December 11, 2007

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
December 11, 2007

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Mark Bailey arrived at 7:40 pm. 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: Tom Boone, Chris Ricketts.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Amend the November 27 minutes as follows: Under Mayor’s Report, it was Councilmember O’Neill not Wekenman who inquired if we should be concerned with future development or annexations outside the current code of 210’ from a sewer main. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to approve the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 27, 2007. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM: Chris Ricketts asked council to adopt a zoning regulation/ordinance about light pollution. He has a neighbor who is ready to put in a 24-hour pole light which shines directly into his bedroom window. It may be too late in his case but he’d like an ordinance so this doesn’t happen to anyone else. This is addressed in the city’s comprehensive plan; however no ordinance has been adopted. Mayor said this will be presented to the planning commission to consider. Clerk Beeson asked if council could write a letter to this individual pointing out the language in the comp plan. Councilmember Wekenman said the Planning Commission is currently reviewing the comprehensive plan. The Mayor said they would draft a letter to this person addressing this issue, with a recommendation from council for the best way to proceed.

Tom Boone expressed his concerns with the Breeding’s Addition sewer. He thought that he and two others were given a pass on the time-limit to hook-up. Mayor explained the hook-up system and that council feels this is the fairest way for everyone. Tom Boone just wanted to make sure he understands that he has until 2020. Councilmember Wekenman stated there was discussion at the time about the useable life of a septic system before they need major work and it was agreed that 12-15 years is average.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: In addition to his submitted written report, Superintendent Dwayne Griffin added that the weather has temporarily halted the Breeding’s Addition project. A & R Construction will probably get back to work now that the ground is frozen. They’re doing a good job but they’re going to hit more rock; it’s a lot better than they thought it would be. We’re waiting on some easement paperwork from our attorney. The F Street Bridge work is going well. We’ve had a few equipment breakdowns but we’ve gotten everything fixed. Marc has been working on streetlight repair; some ballasts have gone out, etc. The clock tower is currently working.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported things are quiet. No weather-related accidents so far. He applied for a couple grants through the state for radar equipment. Councilmember Wekenman asked about the status of Officer Ellsworth’s training. We extended his academy date and the next available academy is in February. He’ll have to meet the physical exam requirement in January. Officer Ellsworth is a reserve officer rather than a certified police officer. If he fails to qualify for this academy, we’ll actively seek a replacement officer.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 837. Because Bev is leaving to run her quilt store, Ann is moving to an 80% Deputy Clerk 80% position. The council approved this as qualifying for benefits and included the appropriate amounts in the 2008 budget. The Mayor read the entire ordinance. An ordinance of the City of Palouse amending Ordinance Nos. 276 and 721, and Palouse Municipal Code 2.12.030, thereby designating the Deputy Clerk as full-time employee whenever the Deputy Clerk is employed to regularly work at least 32 hours per week. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance 837. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
Adoption of the 2008 budget. Councilmember Snook MOVED to suspend reading of the entire budget. Councilmember seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The Mayor briefly read Ordinance 838. We’re budgeting 85% more than last year because of our projects. We have 2.9 million listed as expenditures for next year. Whitman Street is 649K; 629K is from grants. Our sewer extension project is all internally funded with property owners paying through connection fees. Our MH Acquisition Project at 181k; 135k is externally funded. The assessed valuation city wide is just over 36 million. We estimated 186k in 2008 from taxes. Councilmember Milano asked Clerk Beeson if this budget would raise red flags with auditors. Clerk Beeson doesn’t think so. We may get a single audit, but it just happens that we have three huge projects in one year. We just have to be organized. The Mayor said Charges for Services are up for 2008 because it includes Breeding’s Addition connections.

Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance 838 as written. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

WATER & SEWER: Councilmember O’Neill brought up the idea of paying now but hooking-up later for Breeding’s Addition sewer. Attorney Bishop said interest would accrue so yes, you can pay any time and hook-up at a later date. The construction fees will be addressed separately from the hook-up fee. Attorney Bishop stated that he has a draft ordinance ready for review and asked Clerk Beeson to make copies for council to consider and recommend changes. Councilmember Wekenman reminded staff and council that if someone pays now it needs to be recorded and tracked clearly at City Hall.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS: Councilmember Bagott said she will have the list of needed signs to Dwayne tomorrow. Darcie and the Mayor walked Whitman Street with the plans in hand and trouble-shot a couple areas. Darcie pointed them out to council. Council discussed changing the parallel parking to angled parking along Whitman Street in front of Dillard’s land. The safety of parking near the tracks is also a concern. Council wants Darcie to bring it up with Munir. The Mayor said that the piece of property in front of Verizon building is TIB eligible for funding so it’s included in the project. This will go out to bid in the next two weeks. We should be reviewing the bids at our 2nd council meeting in January. Councilmember Wekenman asked if the railroad work is subcontracted. Yes, Munir said there will be a specific time set for the tracks to be done so commerce can be resumed. Councilmember Wekenman also wondered if we should we reduce the speed of the trains since traffic will pick up once Whitman Street is renovated. We need to look into that. There are approximately 15 new lights to be installed on Whitman Street. Darcie went down the entire map and placed the trees, lights, etc. The lighting is the same as Main Street but will be set back an extra foot. The trees are the same also and will be set behind the sidewalk. There’s no irrigation system to the trees. But there are duplex boxes for electricity, etc. Councilmember Bagott said we did do ADA parking by the police station; it will be rolling curve.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS: Councilmember Milano said he got 1 of 3 bids in for electrical work at the RV Park. He looked into ADA signs from our walk-through; they will be about $120 to be purchased in January.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION: Mark Bailey spoke with someone at DOE about how we could use Biosolids at the compost facility. We will have to get permits. We can give biosolid compost to anyone, not just farmers.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
The mayor asked Attorney Bishop if he had any issues for council. He reminded council to get drafts of the ordinance to be critiqued. If it seems there’s a consensus, he can write the final draft.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN : Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:17 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Warrants: #12718 – #12742 Payment: $4,051.50
VOIDED Warrants: #12743 – #12777 VOIDED
Warrants: #12778 – #12812 Payment: $12,312.53
Payroll Paid Warrants: #6695 – #6722 Payment: $31,617.48

APPROVED:________________________________ ATTEST:________________________________

November 27, 2007

CITY OF PALOUSE
PUBLIC HEARING
2008 FINAL BUDGET
November 27, 2007 * 7:00 PM
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY

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

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

PUBLIC HEARING 2008 Final Budget.  Hearing no comments, the Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:02.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 13, 2007.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :
Pete Hertz expressed his concerns about Palouse not having an ATM.  Particularly during Palouse Days, Haunted Palouse, etc., does he notice the absence of an ATM.  Pete asked the city to put a little pressure on the bank to install an ATM.  Mike Milano explained that the Chamber has been working with Tim at the bank.  The corporate side of AmericanWest Bank doesn’t think it’s worthwhile here.  Will Thurman from the grocery store has also been talking with Tim about it.  The chamber is looking at fees, etc.  There are some big financial barriers with the associated costs.  The Mayor agreed to craft a letter to AmericanWest Bank in support of an ATM in Palouse.

Mayor thanked Pete Hertz and the Solid Waste Advisory Committee for their excellent program and the success of our compost facility.  There is no news on the chipper.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  In addition to his submitted written report, Superintendent Griffin added that A & R Construction started digging on