DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
March 26, 2019
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson and City Administrator Kyle Dixon. Councilmember Cook MOVED to excuse councilmember Sievers’ absence. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of March 12, 2019. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. The city lift station just north of the Beeson home has been experiencing issues related to automated pump switch. Should be resolved soon.
POLICE REPORT: All is well in Palouse and Garfield. New hire has completed polygraph and psychological evaluations and passed both. Background checks out as well. Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson are excited to bring him aboard. New hire will be starting full time in April. Normally polygraph test is roughly $550. Polygraph administrator in Alaska offered to perform new hire polygraph for free. As such, Chief Neumann and Councilmember Wekenman are proposing to provide a travel stipend to new hire as moving expenses will be costly coming from Alaska. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to have new hire Leighton Cox reimbursed $550 for travel expenses after completion of first day of work. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 1 fire call and 4 EMS calls in March. Financials are good. The shop performing repairs on pumper truck will need another week to finish up. Vehicle acquisition from Pullman is still in progress. Once Pullman completes their approval process they will provide an invoice to the JFB and the FD can then take possession of the vehicle. State Ratings Bureau will conduct equipment tests at the FD sometime soon. Palouse has historically rated very well. This speaks to the dedication of our volunteers and excellence of our training program.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: We have received interest in the open WWTP Operator position and CA Dixon is confident that applications will continue to come in. The goal is to bring someone on board sometime during the early or middle part of April.
Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon traveled to Olympia last week to chat with our state representatives and several state agencies about what Palouse is working on and how they can help. Keeping these folks in Olympia informed about our successes and needs is a huge benefit.
TIB (Transportation Improvement Board) announced their Complete Streets awards for this year on Friday, March 22nd. Palouse was chosen to receive a $200,000 grant for sidewalk infrastructure leading from Palouse’s south hill and the two new developments down to Main St and eventually the city park via bridge access.
CA Dixon attended Avista’s 130th anniversary celebration in Lewiston. They announced some additional funding opportunities at this event that we believe the city may be able to take advantage of later on this year.
Update from Varela Engineering on Wastewater Facility Plan:
Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon met with the Director of the WA State Dept of Ecology in Olympia to discuss different options regarding the future of our wastewater treatment facility. Project costs for all current alternatives are extremely high. We discussed all possibilities and the best alternative seems to be water reclamation for irrigation and use in city green space. Also discussed what benefits our project could see for the Palouse River. Ecology is very interested in working with Palouse to improve the health of the river while also helping us meet permit requirements. This could prove highly beneficial when it comes to fund procurement for this project. Mayor Echanove believes that we need to perform upgrades to improve the quality of our effluent and proceed with a lagoon on city property for seasonal storage and winter discharge for the time being. Varela & Associates gave an outline of all current alternatives to council. They are seeking official direction from council to complete the wastewater facility plan. Purchasing land suitable for municipal wastewater use has proved to be difficult. High-tech alternatives are also not feasible due to high project costs as well as high ongoing maintenance costs.
Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to proceed with option 4 (plant upgrades/reclaimed water) with option 1a (seasonal storage on city-owned property and river discharge) as a secondary option. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Project timeline for pool painting should be finalized shortly. Job posting for lifeguards has been prepared.
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Toured the Lions Club regarding bird infiltration and other potential structural concerns. Will have full report at a later meeting.
Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper- Meeting to be scheduled in early April to review 1st Qtr financials.
Linda Jovanovich to discuss meeting the challenges of climate change:
Citizens Climate Lobby discussed some concerns regarding climate change and praised Palouse for some of the projects we have done in the past to address these concerns. They would like city council to acknowledge the effect of climate change in our area and perhaps pass a resolution advocating for state and national policies that will protect Palouse residents from events that could negatively impact their health. Measures include a tax on carbon emissions. Council will consider the matter.
The Bofenkamps are grateful for the HWY 27 speed zone changes just south of town. They inquired about a post near the tracks just as you leave Palouse that is currently without signage that may have been meant for another 25 mph sign. CA Dixon will inquire with WSDOT.
Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon met with Grangemaster in Olympia to see what a collaboration could do to save the building. Mayor Echanove sent pics of the grange in its current condition and relayed facility concerns. They will see what avenues are available to rehab the building to avoid a potential sale of the property. The city needs 3 additional members to keep the grange in good standing. Interested parties can inquire with city hall.
Meeting with DAHP resulted in rep looking at engineering report to provide a 2nd opinion on required upgrades to rehab the St. Elmo building.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid 3/26/19 Ck. 9916-9931 $20,993.82
ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM.
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________