Author: Mark Wilcomb

March 28, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 28, 2017

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to excuse Mike Hicks and Senja Estes.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 14, 2017.  Councilmember Stout seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

We thankfully didn’t end up needing the sand brought in for the flood.  Public Works used some for some minor projects but we don’t need anymore and there’s no room to stockpile the remainder.  We will use some to replace our worn or displaced sandbags used for various city projects.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to declare the remaining sand pile (after restocking city’s sandbags) as surplus for sealed bid.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT: 

Palouse had a burglary of a detached garage on north hill.  PD is still working on the case, watching pawn shops, websites, etc. Public information went out but still no leads.

A drunk driver sideswiped Officer Handley in his police vehicle today around noon on Hwy 27 just outside city limits.  Officer Handley was not injured.  Extensive damage caused to the both the police vehicle and the other car.  Eric’s Body Shop from Colfax came and towed both vehicles.  Washington State Patrol took the intoxicated driver and is handling the case.

Chief plans on installing the security cameras at the sewer plant, RV Park, compost site, this month.=

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

It’s still early in the year but so far financials look good.

Fire Chief Bagott reported:  1 fire call in February, 3 YTD.

Every two years we have to recertify on CPR and First Aid.  EMS helped the fire team update on both.

Capital expenditures for a new fire truck were approved by Palouse City Council and Rural.  The truck we were interested in already sold but we will keep looking.

No news on the air pack replacements but we are researching.

At this point it looks like we have four new firefighters joining this year.  The new recruits will start as wildlands firefighters and work up to structural fires.  This is a more efficient way to train.  All the new recruits should have some daytime availability which will really help us out.

EMS Coordinator Pillers reported:  9 EMS calls in February, 14 YTD.  No rural calls, only city and non-resident.

We’re working on negotiations for a contract renewal with Pullman for ambulance services.

We’re looking at online training options for EMT’s, for greater efficiency and to control training costs.

No funds allocated for wildland fighting equipment so we may want to look at that as a planning issue.

We need to plan for repairs to the fire station.  Ceiling repairs are needed resulting from water damage this winter.  Carpeting is also worn out.  For sanitary reasons, we will look at different types of flooring other than carpet.  We also need to add some built-in cabinetry.  Some of the volunteers might build the cabinets for us as long as we provide the material.  Fire and EMS would split the cost.

Communications Tower update.  Some Fire Board members have expressed concerns about possibly losing out on an affordable opportunity to improve emergency infrastructure because the Planning Commission hasn’t yet finished the policy.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

Got some numbers from PCI for antenna and equipment to measure solar farm production.  PCI cost would be $500 plus a monthly service fee.  First Step agreed to perform the install for $200 including labor and no monthly service fee.  We will still have to buy a router to secure the service at the site.  Total should be at or less than $300.  They plan to install around the week of April 10th or shortly after. PCI will then come set up the monitoring equipment and data reporting platform to have real time production numbers.

After discussing some final invoices with Apollo, it appears the Solar Project will come in roughly $60,000 under the budgeted total of $414,000. On the surface, this is great news. One caveat is that our State Treasury LOCAL Loan has IRS mandated spenddown requirements. If the State Treasury requires us to spend the remaining balance of the loan, we will look into possibly expanding the Solar Farm, as well as any other options that may present themselves. We will have until April 2018 to submit plans for expense of remaining funds should we need to. CT Dixon will follow up with the State Treasury later this year to determine final course of action.

Met with Avista’s Palouse rep Paul Kimmell to discuss Solar energy production reflected on our Avista bills and how to put a dollar figure on reported production to date. Also inquired with him about the City’s remaining LED streetlight credit. Follow up meeting with Paul and Avista billing specialist will be scheduled in the next couple of weeks. Avista is looking to partner with WSDOT to provide charging stations for cities in Whitman and Adams county to cover Highways 26, 27, 195 and 272. Currently there are two types of charging stations available to the area. A DC fast charger will charge an empty battery in 20-30 minutes and is more costly.  A Level 2 charger can take up to 3 hours to charge an empty battery, but costs much less to operate. We will continue this discussion with Paul and pass along any developments as we get them.

West Whitman Street bids close tomorrow, March 29th at 2:00.  Project engineer Munir Daud will be present for bid openings.

The replacement playground wood chips lost in the flood came in just under $1,900.00.  That unplanned cost is coming out of our park supplies budget.  The Palouse Chamber has received approximately $300 in donations to help offset this cost.  They are still accepting donations that can be mailed to the Palouse Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 174 Palouse WA  99161.  They can also be dropped off at City Hall.

The City is still searching for lifeguards for the pool this summer.  Anyone who is interested is encouraged to contact City Hall and they can walk you through the steps to get certified if necessary.

OLD BUSINESS:

Update from the Planning Commission on communication tower policy:  Chris Cook, chair of the Palouse Planning Commission.  The PC has been working tirelessly on the wireless communications tower policy.  There is a lot of literature out there so it has taken a considerable amount of time to go through it.  Their draft proposal should fill in nicely with the existing PMC.  There are three pieces to it: application, guiding principles, and work integrated into existing PMC structure.  Much discussion ensued.  Chris is hoping to have a draft ready by next council meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2017-03 accepting a state revolving fund loan from DOE for DOE-required Wastewater Facility Plan:

Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  The DOE is requiring the city to submit a Wastewater Facility Plan by December 31, 2017.  The estimated cost to complete this project is $167,670 and the city can’t fund this project from reserve funds therefore a loan is needed.  The loan amount is $167,670 at a 1% interest rate for five years.  This resolution is required by DOE but is merely a formality as this loan was awarded to us over a year ago.  The resolution states that the City “accepts” the loan that was awarded.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2017-03.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 953 – budget amendment to Water Fund 401 and Sewer Facility Reserve Fund 441:

Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 953.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson–  Deputy Clerk Thompson requested the pool committee meet to discuss the need to raise the cost for private pool parties.  With the raise of minimum wage, the city’s break-even point to staff a 3-hour pool party is $126 so the new price needs to account for that.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-  The letter to be distributed to every household regarding the sewer system and what not to flush is ready to go.  Council and staff will distribute door-to-door as soon as the rain stops for a couple days.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      03/28/17            Ck. #8184-8204 & EFT                          $28,642.40

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:34 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

March 14, 2017

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 14, 2017

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Councilmember Estes MOVED to excuse Councilmember Hanson’s absence. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 28, 2017. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Supt. Griffin and Chief Neumann discussed the potential for the Palouse river to flood this week.

POLICE REPORT:  Possible flooding on Wednesday and Thursday was discussed along with some historic figures. Residents may see flooding in basements along Main St. The city has sand and sand bags ready. The city is also preparing a volunteer list. Projections of the water level reaching 19.3’ have dropped to 17.5’. If projections rise again to anything over 19’, we may see some water in businesses on Main St. If this occurs, the city may need to pass a resolution declaring a state of emergency that could help us get support from the county and possible reimbursement for dollars spent and damages. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign an emergency declaration in the form of a resolution should it be needed. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT: The Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) has approved both petitions made by the city for the railroad crossings at Mill and Mary Street for the West Whitman street project. Bids for construction of the West Whitman street project will be accepted until Wednesday, March 29th. The funding agreement with WSDOT has also been finalized for this project.

OLD BUSINESS:

PCI Solar Project update: CT Dixon has approval from council to authorize PCI to install a communication device that will monitor the solar farm’s energy production. We were informed on March 9th that our PCI rep Sean Nordhagen no longer works for the company and a new rep has yet to be assigned to our project. CT Dixon has calls to PCI and Contract head Apollo Solutions to get this device installed and monitoring ASAP.

Wastewater Treatment Facility Update: The Palouse Wastewater Advisory Committee met with Varela on March 7th to discuss plans to update/upgrade the sewer system and treatment plant. By December 31st, 2017 the city must present plans for upgrades that meet standards acceptable to the Department of Ecology. Varela presented the city with 3 options:

#1. Seasonal storage and land treatment for nonfood crop (irrigation) during summer months. Discharge to river in winter.

Capital Cost $5 million

#2. Summer storage in lagoon and seasonal discharge to river in winter.

Capital Cost $6.5 million

#3. AKART(all known, available and reasonable methods of prevention, control and treatment) – Reasonable alternative for upgrading existing treatment plant if other options are not feasible.

Capital Cost unknown

Council discussed pros and cons of each option.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson- No report.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- Discussed letter to be sent to all city residents on sewer system addressing what can and cannot be flushed or otherwise enter the sewer system. Among many other items, “flushable” wipes are causing very costly and time consuming problems with the sewer system as they do not break down like toilet paper does. If the city continues to incur costly repair bills and extra hours unclogging pipes as a result of these items, the financial burden will be passed on to the customers in the form of higher monthly sewer rates. By comparison, Palouse has very reasonable sewer rates and it is the City’s intention to keep it that way.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Met with Supt. Griffin to discuss the construction of a new city shop up by well pump #3. Just looking to price out construction of a “shell” structure at this time. The Special Capital Projects Fund currently has $80,000 for the construction of a new city shop.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Estes- No report.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- Had a meeting with Officer Handley to discuss the possibility of choosing a different health care option that may allow him to “opt out” if our current plan will not allow any other FTE’s to do so without penalty. CT Dixon is meeting with the City’s insurance broker in May to discuss different options and will encourage all FTE’s as well as councilmembers to attend. Discussed Officer Merry’s upcoming retirement, including a possible end date of November 30th. Committee and PD would like to have a new hire on board by October 1st to train with Officer Merry before his departure. Discussed different advertising options for position. The Garfield contract to provide LE services is coming up for renewal at the end of the year.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- No report.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Stout- No report.

OPEN FORUM:

MAYOR’S REPORT:  Mayor is meeting with Cascade Services regarding fiber optic infrastructure for the city.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      3/14/17 Ck. #8163-8183 & EFT                          $9,963.73

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 28, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 28, 2017

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse Councilmember Estes’ absence.  Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 14, 2017.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  Dwayne, Don, and Marc had to clean out the sewer lift station at the sewer plant because it was clogged with things that should not be flushed.  We’re going to have a major catastrophe down there if people don’t stop flushing certain items.  Council discussed how we can make people understand the seriousness of this issue.  We’ve sent multiple notices on the list serve, put messages on the utility bills, and put signs about town.  Palouse has been very lucky so far that our sewer plant hasn’t had a major malfunction due to these things.  Last fall non-flushable items burnt up the motor at the lift station by the F Street bridge.  That was a $4,800 fix.  At that time public works put signs on the doors in that neighborhood. Council asked DC Thompson to draft a notice to be posted on every household on the sewer system about what not to flush and the problems being caused.  People CANNOT flush wipes of ANY kind (even if they say “flushable”), condoms, feminine hygiene products, diapers, hair, and more; please put those things in the trash not the toilet.

Marc Arrasmith is working on repairing the clock tower downtown.  It needs a special part.

Dwayne ordered a new blade for plowing snow.  This winter we’ve logged over 1600 miles plowing snow.  We may keep the old blade as a backup for the other pickup in a pinch.

City received a call Sunday about a smell of burning wires at Heritage Park.  Dwayne went down to check two times on his day off and couldn’t find anything.

There has been some misuse of the Heritage Park bathrooms.  Supt. Griffin will report to police every time so they can help.

 

POLICE REPORT: 

Officer Handley works in a few different jurisdictions and Palouse streets are great comparatively.  He attributes our lack of weather-related accidents to Supt. Griffin and public works for their great job keeping all our roads clear of snow and ice.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 

There was one fire call in January, 1 YTD.  There were two crew meetings in February.

The radio simulcast that has been promised for years is up and running.  It works well and Whitcom is largely happy with it.  It will really help us in any large fire situations.

Air packs will need to be replaced over the next couple of years.  The tanks will be 15 years old mid-2018 and 15 years is the upper limit; after 15 years it’s pushing major liability and reliability issues.  They’re expensive, approximately $2500 each.

There were five EMS calls in January.

EMS has started using Washington state electronic reporting systems.  It’s mandatory state-wide and very time-consuming.  One option is to subscribe to additional software to report in the field and then upload but that will require a tablet.

EMS had an advanced airway class here recently to comply with the latest state standards.

We received approval for our $1,200 pre-hospital grant for cones, vests, etc.

The Palouse Planning Commission is still working on whether or not to allow First Step to put in a 40’ radio communications tower by the fire station.  There are many factors to consider and if allowed it will require changes to Palouse Municipal Code.  The Planning Commission will report back to the city what they want/decide.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

Our snow removal salary budget has maxed out.

The advertising for a call for contractors for the West Whitman Street project opens March 1st.  Bids close on March 29th.

CT Dixon has been trying to gather additional information for our reserve fund balance ordinance that the auditors requested we implement.  He has spoken with other city clerks and they’re all in the same boat.

PCI was the subcontractor for our solar panels.  We can’t gauge the solar panels energy output until either a radio tower is installed, or PCI installs a separate device for roughly $500 if we don’t want to wait for a tower.  They have contracted with us to monitor the solar panels for five years; they offered to extend this service another 5 years for $300. CT Dixon will gather more information as to what exactly is being provided for this fee.  They guarantee a minimum energy output for 25 years.  If we don’t hit that mark they pay the difference.  Based on how long it may take to get a communications tower installed, if at all, Councilmember HICKS MOVED to authorize PCI to install their communication device, provided that a one-time fee of roughly $500 is all that is required.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  CT Dixon will talk to PCI tomorrow.

CT Dixon attended a SEWEDA meeting last week.  Their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) document is scheduled to be released at the end of March. When local cities/jurisdictions apply for grants and loans for various projects, state agencies review this document to verify the entity’s prior intent to update/improve said project. Our portion of this document was outdated so CT Dixon is updating it and will send it to SEWEDA once all suggestions have been brought to his attention. Examples include: The city’s intent to update our water system plan to include reservoir (5-year goal) as well as a new sports complex for football, baseball, softball, soccer (20-year goal).

CT Dixon will be attending a Complete Streets workshop put on by the Palouse Regional Transportation Planning Organization (PRTPO). TIB, who administers the Complete Streets grants, will be there along with WSDOT.  They give out grants to small cities who have a Complete Streets ordinance, which is a policy that states the city intends to integrate all modes of transportation and aesthetics into city streets.  He will attend the workshop to develop that ordinance to hopefully get more funding for our streets.

CT Dixon is also attending an annual report workshop in April. Annual reports are due to the auditor’s office May 31st.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 952 – Fire Equipment Reserve Fund budget amendment: 

Councilmember Wekenman reported.  Council established a reserve fund for fire equipment (10% of the property tax collected or just under about $20,000 a year).  There is $67,000 in that fund currently.  This is a potential year to upgrade the 1987 tanker which is the oldest vehicle in the fleet. The current 30-year mark is a good time to start looking at replacing vehicles so that we don’t fall behind as trucks age.  Chief Bagott is asking for an additional $50,000 from the reserve fund for a total of $52,000.  Rural will match that so we will have as much as $104,000 to purchase a new truck.  There will need to be in place a budget amendment to allow expenditures from the reserve fund so the money is available in case a truck becomes available.  The 1987 one will be sold once a replacement is purchased.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 952 as written.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:

League of Women Voters (LWV) of Pullman reporting on their study of poverty in Whitman County.  Mary Collins from LWV reported on their findings.  Their study looked at 8 areas:  Food security, housing, healthcare, transportation, education, eldercare, legal services, & childcare.  Some of these issues are concerns in Palouse.  Mary Collins touched on some of the many great programs available to people.  Discussion ensued.  Please see the results of their survey and important information at www.LWVpullman.org.  There is also a copy available to read at City Hall.

Aaron Flansburg reporting on the skatepark.  In 2016 they saved and collected donations through fundraisers.  Since February 2016 we’ve spent about $4,400 and taken in about $51,000.  That includes a $15,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation.  We’re trying to finish the skatepark portion by mid to late summer.  Last year we hired no labor, it was all done by volunteers: three from Palouse and the rest from surrounding areas.  We’ve partnered with the Palouse Arts Council to paint a mural at the skatepark.  The skatepark committee wants to establish handicap access on the lower level of the skatepark and the upper garden area to comply with ADA.  Once the skatepark is completed the next phase will be the 12’ x 80’ gardens overlooking the skatepark and Palouse.  There will be a 52” fence between the garden and the skatepark to keep people safe.  There will be six benches going in the gardens as well.  Aaron thanked the police for keeping an eye on things at the construction site.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor appointed Councilmember Stout to the Joint Fire Board along with Councilmembers Wekenman and Wilcomb.

Michelle Bly (TD&H Engineering) has applied for a pre-construction grant on the city’s behalf for a proposed water tank/reservoir on the city’s south hill.

MFA came last week to conduct their testing at the Brownfields site. If test comes back clean, only two more are required by the Dept of Ecology to greenlight area for future development.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      2/28/17 Ck. #8132-8147 & EFT              $41,083.67

Claims Paid      2/28/17 Ck. #8148-8162 & EFT              $  2,163.40

VOID lost check #8029.  Replaced with check # 8148

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:51 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 14, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
February 14, 2017

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Councilmember Hanson MOVED to excuse Councilmember Stout’s absence. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 24, 2017. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT:
No issues with the Brew Fest. Happy with the participants who took advantage of the transportation to and from Moscow and Pullman.

The river got into the Lions Club Park but the level has dropped back down.

We need to start the process for the replacement search for when Officer Merry retires in December.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT: Snow removal budget will be close to 100% of budgeted amount for year by the end of February. Supt. Griffin purchased a new snow blade for approximately $3,680.

OLD BUSINESS:
Update from Michelle Bly, our project manager from TD&H Engineering regarding city’s water system plan including a south hill water reservoir and Church Street water line upgrades: TD&H met with Dwayne Griffin and Don Myott to look at water infrastructure primarily on the south side of town and elevation of potential reservoir sites. DOH stated in writing that a water system plan amendment is required. There is currently a planning grant open which is due at the end of the month. The reservoir isn’t a water quality issue so it will be tougher to get the grant awarded to us. If the grant doesn’t come to fruition, the city will need to determine how to pay for the amendment. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hicks, authorizing the mayor to sign a grant application for our water system plan update and other projects. Motion carried unanimously. In addition to the water reservoir and water system plan, there is 1500’ of water line on Church Street that needs replacement and engineering assistance. Grant opportunities were discussed.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2017-02, Policy defining Small & Attractive items and capital expense purchases for the city: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This policy is something auditors want cities to have. The policy gives definitions and monetary thresholds for small & attractive items as well as capital expenses. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, to adopt Resolution No. 2017-02 as written. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson- Someone approached Doreen about possibly offering scuba lessons in the city’s pool this summer during non-open hours. City staff would need to see his credentials. The fee he charges his students would have to cover the city’s costs (lifeguards, insurance costs if any, etc).

Holly Leendertsen contacted Deputy Clerk Thompson and will be returning as pool manager this year.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-
Supt. Griffin would like a part-time, seasonal employee, approximately May-September, mostly in the parks and cemetery doing grounds work like mowing. CT Dixon ran the numbers and the city could afford it at $12/hour, 20 hours a week. The position will have to be closely monitored hours-wise so as to remain in budget. Our insurance requires the person be 18 or older. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to authorize public works to proceed with hiring a part-time, 20 hour a week, seasonal employee. No overtime, no benefits. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Supt. Griffin will oversee the hiring and, if necessary, the firing.
Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman-
Councilmember Wekenman wants to meet with Chief Neumann and Officer Merry regarding Officer Merry’s retirement and the hiring of his replacement. Wants the hiring to take place prior to Officer Merry leaving so Officer Merry can help train his replacement.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Liquor renewal for the Palouse Caboose. No objections.

West Whitman Street update from project engineer Munir Daud MD&A: There’s 415’ of old transite water line pipe under west Whitman Street. Transite pipe is super strong and safe until you cut it or smash it and it changes to powder. It does not rust like steel or other material. Transite pipe doesn’t break unless the backfill around it contains small sharp rocks that could puncture the pipe. It will cost an additional $20,000 to the project to replace the 415’ of water line. When we’re talking about an $800,000 project of which the city’s portion is only $20,000, another $20,000 to replace the old transite water line is worth it; the street will already be opened up so replacement will never be cheaper or easier. The benefits to doing it now are: no mobilization, insurance, sawing pavement, repaving, and clean-up, etc. We will instruct MD&A to replace 415’ of existing transite pipe as part of the Whtiman Street project.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 01/31/17 Ck. #8074-8090 & EFT $42,717.18
Claims Paid 02/14/17 Ck. #8092-8131 & EFT $25,666.13
VOIDS Ck. #8091, #8093, #8126, & #8127

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

January 24, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
January 24, 2017

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; Officer Joe Merry.

INTERVIEW COUNCIL APPLICANTS:
The city received 3 applicants for vacated council position No. 7: Tim Sievers, Bob Stout, & Greg Hooper. Council interviewed all three applicants separately with the same set of questions. After the interviews, council went into executive session at 7:38 pm. Council returned at 7:50. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to appoint Bob Stout to council chair #7. Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

SWEARING IN OF NEW COUNCILMEMBER: Mayor Echanove swore in new councilmember Bob Stout.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 13, 2016. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. January 10, 2017 council meeting cancelled due to no quorum.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Storm drains at corner of Main and Mary on north side of street are in bad condition regarding odor. Council has received several citizens’ complaints. Odor is caused by neighboring business pumping into storm drain.

POLICE REPORT: No Report. Left meeting to respond to a police call.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 4 calls in December. 37 for year. Overall very busy year. EMS had 8 calls in December. 110 for year. Slight increase in nonresident calls but varied causes for calls. Expecting another busy year, but maintained budget for 2016.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:
4TH Quarter 2016 Treasurer’s Report:
All funds came in at or better than budgeted for the year with the exception of the Joint Fire Board fund. Balance at end of year was $-2,550. This was due to a timing issue with reimbursement checks from the county coming January 4th, 2017 in the amount of $7,900. The auditor’s office in Pullman was made aware and the proper notes will be made on the city’s annual report for 2016. Telephone revenue continues to decrease, while permits, RV reservations, city assistance and sales/use tax revenues all came in well above their budgeted amounts for 2016. Snow/Ice control salary came in just under budget, which was a nice surprise considering how much snow the city saw this year. The snow blade for Dwayne’s truck will need to be replaced at some point before next winter. Initial quote was roughly $3,700. This purchase will likely be made some time during the summer. The state auditors held their exit conference with the city on Wednesday, January 18th. They reported that the city is in great shape financially and that city staff was quick and helpful in providing documents/information. The auditors did point out exit items that the staff will need to correct, but they were not material and will not be included in the audit report, which is scheduled for release on Thursday, January 26th. CT Dixon researched mileage reimbursements from cities across the state and found that Palouse was near the bottom at .40 cents per mile. State average is .54. Council discussed. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to raise the city’s mileage reimbursement rate from .40 to .54 cents per mile. Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously. CT Dixon will finish filing tax reports to the IRS for 2016 by the end of the week.

OLD BUSINESS:
Approval of Water/Sewer Committee’s consultant recommendation: Councilmember Slinkard made a motion to accept the water/sewer committee’s recommendation to proceed with TD & H Engineering as the city’s consultant for our Water System Plan update. This includes Church street upgrades and reservoir/water tower by Greenwood cemetery. Seconded by councilmember Hanson and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
Resolution No. 2017-01 salary schedule: Mayor Echanove read the resolution which includes a 5% pay raise for city staff and accounts for the statewide minimum wage increase to $11/hour. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt resolution 2017-01 with the updated mileage reimbursement rate. Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson- No report.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- See “Old Business”.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Brought up public works’ need for new snow blade on truck. Council discussed the success of the sidewalks project and possible directions it will go.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Estes- No report.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- No report.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- No report.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair- No report.

OPEN FORUM:

MAYOR’S REPORT:
WSU cycling club will be coming to town on April 15th. This will be the 14th year. Councilmember Estes MOVED to allow the WSU cycling club use of the park and public amenities. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
West Whitman street engineers and WSDOT met at city hall on Friday, January 20th to iron out minor details regarding supplies and funding. The city is waiting on TIB approval to go out to bid.
Brownsfield site contract has been extended and updated to allow for further required testing. 3 more ground tests are scheduled using the remaining $20,405 of grant funds to achieve desired results to deem site safe for future economic use/development. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept/sign contract extension. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
5th Annual Palouse Cabin Fever Brew Fest fundraiser for the Community Center will be Saturday, February 11th.
Appointments to Planning Commission: Mayor Echanove appointed Palouse residents Carly Schoepflin and Katie Cooper to fill the two vacated Planning Commission positions. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to ratify planning commission appointments. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Echanove read a letter from Palouse School District commending Public Works and notably Supt Griffin for his work this winter clearing city streets of snow and ice and helping with stuck buses.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 12/31/16 Ck. #7998-8016 & EFT $45,407.19
Claims Paid 12/30/16 Ck. #8017-8029 $24,272.69
Claims Paid 01/10/17 Ck. #8030-8040 $11,562.83
Claims Paid 12/31/16 Ck. #8041-8064 & EFT $17,787.95
Claims Paid 01/24/17 Ck. #8065-8073 $ 1,348.95

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

December 13, 2016

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
December 13, 2016

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing & Regular Council Meeting of November 22, 2016. Councilmember Langsett seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT:
Garfield is keeping them busy with some domestic violence calls.
Not too many snow-caused traffic issues yet.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:
2 fire calls in November, 35 YTD.
Had an excellent mass casualty drill/training.
11 EMS calls in November, 104 YTD.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:
Things are coming in right at or better fund-wise.
We’re wrapping up our 3-year financial and accountability audit with the state auditor’s office. No red flags, findings, etc. There will be an audit exit conference within a couple weeks.
Years ago when interest rates were close to 8% the city opened a sweep account with a monthly service charge. At the time it was well worth it. However with interest rates at .03%, it has been actually costing money in bank fees so we’ve closed the sweep account.

OLD BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 950 – Authorizing the operation of off-road vehicles within the city
Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to take from the table Ordinance No. 950 discussion. Councilmember Hansen seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Chief Neumann thinks it would be a great opportunity for Palouse, not to mention provides actual black and white rules on their usage and allowance. The city needs to either allow them or not; we can’t have it both ways. Some concerns of opponents are that users aren’t required to carry insurance, noise, disturbances, and the volume of traffic if legalized. The state does not require insurance on ATV’s or motorcycles but it is the Chief’s belief that most owners of ATV’s insure them because of their value. Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Hansen MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 950. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Up to this point there have been no complaints regarding ATV’s so we have a baseline to reevaluate the success or failure of this ordinance. Councilmember Slinkard abstained. Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 951 – Adopting the 2017 budget:
Left to discuss before adopting the budget is Chief Neumann’s proposal for police officers to have the option to cash out their unused admin leave. If all three police officers choose to cash out their comp time it will be approximately $4,500 out of current expense. CT Dixon and Mayor Echanove cautioned that we need to be careful of sustainability. Councilmember Wekenman thinks it will be sustainable especially with the several new houses being built which will improve our tax rolls. He also believes the amount cashed out will be less than half of the projected $4,500. If the city is going to do this administrative policy, it has to apply to city staff too which would bring it to $6,900 if all so chose. Councilmember Hansen MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb to allow an end of year cash out of administrative leave effective in 2017. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Echanove read aloud Ordinance No. 951 in its entirety. Estimated resources for each separate fund and aggregate expenditures for all such funds were set forth in a summary and read aloud. Councilmember Hansen MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 951. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- Water & Sewer committee along with Mayor Echanove, CT Dixon and Supt Griffin will be holding interviews with 4 engineering firms to update our Water System Plan. This updated plan will greatly improve the city’s chances to be awarded grants to improve/upgrade our water infrastructure. Dec. 21 with JUB, TDH, & Dec. 22 with Century West & Parametrix.
MAYOR’S REPORT:
Mayor thanked city staff and council for their service in 2016. Likewise, council thanked Mayor.

Council authorized staff to close the office on Dec. 23rd.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 11/29/16 Ck. #7935-7946 & 7948-7958 & EFT $42,822.15
Claims Paid 12/13/16 Ck. #7959-7997 & EFT $18,231.75
Voided Check 11/29/16 Ck. # 7947 for $661.67. Councilmember Hanson donated back her yearly paycheck.
Stop Payment on lost claim Ck. #7921 replaced by Ck. #7959

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

November 22, 2016

Palouse City Council
FINAL PUBLIC HEARING: 2017 Preliminary Budget
Followed by Regular Council Meeting
November 22, 2016

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Handley; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

FINAL PUBLIC HEARING: 2017 Preliminary Budget: Mayor opened the hearing at 7:01. Council discussed the preliminary budget. Minimum wage increase in 2017 is going to affect our pool salary expenditure. Councilmember Wekenman would like the city to consider giving the police the option of being paid for admin OT vs. time off. Much discussion ensued. Mayor reminded council it has to be financially sustainable. No action was taken at this time; it will be discussed prior to budget adoption. Hearing closed at 7:25 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Council Meeting of November 8, 2016. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:
Superintendent Griffin submitted a written report.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:
Palouse is having good development including a few new houses currently being built.

BI Gladwill recommends having the Planning Commission make their recommendations regarding the 40’ tower First Step Internet wants to construct near the public safety building.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:
Overall finances are looking good for the year. May need a budget amendment.
0 fire calls in October, 32 YTD.
Marv Pillers and Mike Bagott attended the recent County Fire Chief’s meeting. County-wide radio frequency coordination is in progress, may be completed by year’s end. A county-wide mutual aid agreement is in development; it creates a county-wide umbrella. With increasing numbers of full-county responses happening, it’s a very smart idea. It should be completed in 2017.
District 12 is hosting a large-scale training in December which Palouse is attending.

10 EMS calls in October, 99 YTD. New volunteers have been very responsive. Washington state is increasingly stringent on trainings so will be a significant increase in paperwork and audits.

JFB’s December meeting will be December 12, at 7:30 pm, at the PSB.

There was discussion on the various levies in the last election and the failure of the county levy. It was suggested that the JFB possibly coordinate with the city and run the rural and city levies together on the same ballot. It will be important to coordinate with one voice with EMS services for both the city and the county. Perhaps run on the August ballot so there is a second chance if needed on the November ballot.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:
Our 3-year financial and accountability audit started today. We’re having our entrance conference Wednesday.

The city is now up and running for accepting utility payments via debit/credit card. Can pay using debit/credit in person or online at www.GovPayNow.com.

Solar farm is up and running. Ribbon cutting tentatively December 2. More information to come.

The Department of Commerce is still holding $21,000 from the Brownsfield grant. Maul Foster wants Commerce to stretch that out for three more soil tests into 2018 and Commerce has agreed to hold that through 2018. This doesn’t prohibit private enterprise from being engaged.

OLD BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 946 decreasing the speed limit into and out of south entrance of town at SR 27: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Decreases the speed from 45 to 25. This ordinance is the next step in a multiple-step process for the city to change the speed limits. The State Department of Transportation still has to approve. This entrance into and out of town is the only one that has had a speed study done by WSDOT thus it’s the only one on this ordinance. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 946, with amendment to delete “Burlington Northern”. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
Ordinance No. 947 adopting the property tax increase for Emergency Medical Services for collection in 2017
Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This is a maximum allowable state increase of 1% totaling $273. It amounts to approximately .25 cents a person. Councilmember Langsett MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Slinkard, to adopt Ordinance No. 947. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 948 adopting the property tax increase for collection in 2017. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. The increase is the maximum allowable state increase of 1% totaling $1,688. This averages out to approximately $1.66 per person. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 948. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 949 setting the regular and special levy amounts for budget year 2017. Special Street Levy $44,000; Special pool levy $31,000; voted regular EMS levy $28,104; General Levy $174,243. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt Ordinance NO. 949. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 950 authorizing the operation of off-road vehicles within the city: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Estes, to suspend the rules for the reading of ordinance No. 950. Residents Chris Ricketts and Lynne Nelson were present to voice their opposition to the ordinance for a variety of reasons including having non-insured vehicles on the road, noise, etc. Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to table Ordinance No. 950 indefinitely. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard – is going to schedule a meeting to discuss the need for a new water reservoir. The reservoir was taken off-line December 14th for repairs due to damage from severe wind storm. CT Dixon will notify Brian Sayers from the Department of Health of our intention to pursue state funding for further repair/upgrades.

Finance, Property & Equipment, Chair Langsett – Held a finance meeting November 7th.
For personal reasons, Councilmember Langsett submitted his resignation effective Dec. 31, 2016. He sincerely thanked fellow council, mayor, and city staff and has appreciated his three years on council.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Councilmember Langsett MOVED to cancel the December 27 council meeting. Councilmember Hicks seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

MDA wants to go out to bid for West Whitman Street January 14th.
The city is no longer in need of the short-term line of credit from Banner Bank to assist in funding the West Whitman St project. This will save the city between $4,000 and $6,000 in loan origination fees and interest. It was originally needed as a buffer from the time the city would pay large invoices to the time we were to receive reimbursement back from WSDOT. CT Dixon scheduled a conference call with Gloria Bennett from TIB and Bob Westby from WSDOT, where verbiage in WSDOT’s contract was altered to allow the city to submit and receive reimbursement funds before invoices are paid.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid 11/22/16 Ck. #7914-7934 & EFT $99,671.09

ADJOURN: Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

November 8, 2016

Palouse City Council
PUBLIC HEARING: 2017 Preliminary Budget
Followed by Regular Council Meeting
November 8, 2016

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse Councilmember Hicks & Langsett’s absences. Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

PUBLIC HEARING: 2017 Preliminary Budget: Mayor opened the hearing at 7:01. Council discussed the preliminary budget. Hearing closed at 7:24 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 25, 2016. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:
Hired Woltering Concrete to repair a sidewalk at H & Main Streets.
Repaired a bad sewer plug because a residence flushed paper towels, hair, etc. Sewer plugs are often pinpointable, as was this one, to the specific house causing the plug. Supt. Griffin again stressed the severe adverse effects that flushing paper towels, hair, wipes and other non-degradable material has on our sewer system. If this continues, the city may have responsible parties clear the debris at their expense.

POLICE REPORT:
Had more incidents than usual at HP this year, mostly alcohol related. The PD brought in some hired help from Colfax and reserves to help this year. Chief Neumann is going to discuss with the Chamber of Commerce increasing pay for outside officers hired for HP next year.

There was a car accident coming into town from Pullman resulting in an arrest for DUI; the driver missed the corner and jumped the bank near the Lions Club Park. This wreck was caused by alcohol and speed. There have been five accidents at that location, including one fatality approximately 15 years ago. Officer Handley would like to see a guardrail there and is speaking with WSDOT about the possibility. It was suggested that a directional arrow notifying drivers of a curve ahead may be helpful as well.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:
Solar project is complete and they’re awaiting final inspection. Once that’s done the city will flip the switch.

Our audit begins November 22.

CT Dixon and Deputy Clerk Thompson are training Nov. 17th for our new process of accepting online debit/credit card payments. We’re hoping that will be up and running in December. Watch utility bills for more info.

OLD BUSINESS:
Update on speed reduction request at SR 27 & SE city limits: Mayor Echanove spoke with Jill Dvorkin, a legal consultant with MRSC, regarding whether the city has any authority to lower the speed limit on a state highway that runs through the city. Long story short, there is a multiple-step process for the city to change the speed limits. Once the steps are complete, the State Department of Transportation still has to approve. Ordinance 569 from 1983 set the speeds for our primary state highways Nos. 27 & 272. Council would like to see all five entrances into town be changed to 25 MPH for uniformity. City staff will send word to our attorney to begin the process of amending PMC 10.16.050, making all entrances into the city via state highways 25 MPH.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:
Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-
12 of the 15 sidewalks to be repaired by homeowners have been completed. The city will be sending a letter to the remaining three outlining what happens next.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 10/28/16 Ck. #7798-7800 & 7868-7884 & EFT $45,411.58
Claims Paid 11/08/16 Ck. #7885-7913 & EFT $79,033.10
VOIDS Ck. #7867

ADJOURN: Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

October 11, 2016

 

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

October 11, 2016

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb.  Councilmembers Estes, Langsett and Hanson were absent.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse all their absences.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard wants the chemical name (imidacloprin) added in the pine beetle report under New Business.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 27, 2016, as amended.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

Solar Panel project is going full-bore.

 

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann met with the Police, Fire, and Safety Committee to discuss his request for salary increases for his department.  He used Colfax PD salaries for his comparison wage study.

 

Officer Merry is retiring Dec. 31, 2017.  Chief would like to start a replacement search in August of 2017.

 

ATV ordinance is still with our attorneys for review.

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

3rd Q Treasurer’s Report:  No red flags.  CT Dixon gave a copy of the budget to each council member for review.

 

Credit/debit card utility payments:  Many utility users in Palouse have expressed a desire for an option to pay their w/s bill online using their credit or debit card.  CT Dixon has been researching this option in-depth with www.govpaynet.com.  There is $0 cost to the city for their services nor does the city make any money.  It’s just another option to pay w/s bills in addition to the normal way of paying with cash or check.  Only those people who choose to pay online will pay a service charge directly to the company for the convenience.  The average service charge for a $75 w/s bill is $1.75.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow CT Dixon to move forward with getting this set up with www.govpaynet.com pending legal review of the contract.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

West Whitman Street project update:

PW Supt. Griffin and CT Dixon met today with railroad engineers, UTC, Munir Daud, WSDOT, etc., to review plans and discuss start dates, signage and construction timeline. UTC approved the plans and will file a petition to allow for Munir Daud to go out to bid in January.  Initial project completion date was set for 2016, but due to delays and weather this late in the year, the project is tabled until next year to begin as soon as weather and ground conditions will allow.

 

2017 Budget discussion:  Mayor, staff, and council reviewed line-by-line the current expense fund (001) using the 2016 budget position to aid in the 2017 budget projections.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-  Avista is considering putting in two electric vehicle charging stations for free and may also give the city $2,000 incentive to do it.  The parking area to the west of Heritage Park would be an ideal, central location.  There are still a lot of unknowns so Councilmember Slinkard will continue researching with Avista.

 

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-  The sidewalk repair project is ongoing.  Chair Hicks has been in contact with a few remaining properties to discuss plans.

 

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman-

Chair Wekenman would like council to consider a 7% wage increase for all city staff.  As part of long-term budget planning, he’d also like council to consider implementing annual staff wage increases (vs sporadic pay raises).  Next year the Garfield police contract is up for negotiations and the committee wants to ask Garfield to help cover more of the expenses so salaries are sustainable in the long-term.

 

Councilmember Wekenman would like $400 added to the PD training budget.

 

The city received from a Palouse resident a complaint of harassment against Chief Neumann.  Committee met to review the complaint and agreed the complaint was unfounded.  Mayor also reviewed the complaint and sent a letter to the complainant.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

CT Dixon and Mayor Echanove are going to an IACC conference in Wenatchee next week.

 

Mayor commended PW staff on their water use efficiency; last month the city accounted for 97% of all water used.  That’s astounding.  PW staff have worked hard over the years on infrastructure.

 

CT Dixon, Mayor, and Councilmember Wekenman are attending the Mayor’s Roundtable in Colfax later this month.

 

City received a liquor license renewal for the Bank Left Bistro.  No council objections.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      9/30/16             Ck. #7779-7796, 7798-7800 & EFT          $45,664.40

Ck 7798 replaces lost payroll ck. #7700 from 8/31/16

 

Claims Paid      10/11/16            Ck. #7797, 7801-7832 & EFT                  $51,247,68

Ck 7797 replaces lost claim ck. #7651 from 8/9/16

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:23 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 23, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 23, 2016

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

1 fire call in July, 21 calls YTD.

13 EMS calls in July, 66 YTD.

 

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

 

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

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

 

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

 

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

 

OLD BUSINESS:

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

 

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

 

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

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

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

 

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

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

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

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

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

 

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

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 27, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

September 27, 2016

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse councilmembers Hanson and Wekenman’s absences.  Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Attorney Eric Hanson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 13, 2016.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT: 

Palouse Days went off without any problems.

The PD is dealing with the usual ongoing complaints.

 

JFB REPORT

On finance end we’re under budget. FD had a planned structure fire training in Potlatch Sept. 24.

There were 7 fire calls in August, 29 YTD.  There were 8 EMS calls in August and 74 YTD.

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

CT Dixon is at a training workshop in Tenino, WA.

Our 2013, 2014, & 2015 audit is scheduled for Oct. 10-21.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Fiber-optics in Palouse:  Jim Kusznir of NW Fiber is looking to bring fiber-optic internet, TV, & telephone to small communities in eastern Washington.  He envisions, as market demand increases, homes, businesses and schools having state of the art speeds up to 1Gbps.  He is licensed, bonded, and insured to install the fiber-optics.  100% underground network, no overhead lines.  It will connect into the Port of Whitman’s fiber feed.  Discussion ensued.  Jim said it is exempt from occupational taxes.  He believes Palouse having fiber-optics will lure more residents and businesses.  Mr. Kusznir still needs financial backing.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Mr. Kusznir/NW Fiber to proceed with and develop a deployment plan.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Steve VanFleet of WSU Extension Office to discuss the pine beetle infestation in Whitman Co:  Temperature and climate haven’t been conducive to the health of the trees locally.  Pine beetles have done significant damage to the Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs in Klickitat Co.  These pine beetles are moving north.  They are borers.  If you see small holes in your tree with sap coming out, there’s a good chance your tree is infested.  The infested trees die from the top down.  Those are the trees you want removed and taken away and burnt.  There are different treatments/remedies to help eradicate the beetles.  There are systemic pesticides available that work.  Beetles attack weaker trees so healthy, well-watered trees stand a better chance of resisting attack.  Education is key.  Palouse Librarian Bev Pearce will aid Mr. VanFleet in arranging some community talks/trainings for homeowners/residents.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

 

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-  Councilmember Hicks is pleased to report that the majority of people who received the letter to repair their sidewalk have done so or are in the process.  The deadline is October 31.

 

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Langsett-  Councilmember Langsett met with CT Dixon, Mayor, and former CT Bagott to go over the 2016 budget position and upcoming budget 2017.  Our 2016 revenues are up some.  Related, in the 80’s there was a federal program (CDBG Community Development Block Grant) that gave homeowners 0% loans to get home improvement work done.  Homeowners had/have to pay it back via house liens.  Fast forward 30+ years and one of those CDBG houses just sold and the city received $14,000 from that sale.  There are still four or five houses left in that program.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      9/27/16             Ck. #7754-7764 & EFT               $3,600.01

Voided checks                          Ck. #7748-7753

 

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

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 13, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

September 13, 2016

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse Councilmember Slinkard’s absence.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 23, 2016.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT: 

~The First Step Internet agreement which council authorized Chief Neumann to move forward on is ready for the mayor’s signature.  This is the agreement to install the camera equipment at the sewer plant.  They’re shooting for the week of Sept. 26th for installation.

~The invoice and agreement for the police department internet trainings has arrived.

~Resident Tony Wright is requesting a speed reduction on the highway coming into Palouse from Potlatch.  He would like the speed to be set at 25 MPH at every entrance into the city limits.  Mayor is going to contact WSDOT about trying to get the city the permission to set the speed limit.

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

~Budget season is upon us.  CT Dixon is meeting with Mayor Echanove, Councilmember Langsett, and former CT Bagott just to lay the groundwork on forecasting, etc.

~The groundbreaking for the solar project begins Monday, Sept. 19.

~We still have $20,500 remaining from a grant with Commerce for testing at the Brownfields site that is set to expire 12/31/16.  We are working with consultant from Maul Foster on a 12-18 month extension from ecology so we can test two more times using that money. Two more successful tests will greenlight that area for potential future public/commercial use from ecology.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

CT Dixon and Mayor are attending the IACC conference in October in Wenatchee.

 

Regarding the West Whitman Street projects, engineer MD&A wants a 90-day construction period and if weather turns bad there will be a grace period until a set date in June at the latest.  But the railroad has an approximate 8 day maximum window of closure.  The Utility and Transportation Commission is having a meeting with all parties on 10/11/16 in Palouse to work out/approve details.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      8/31/16                         Ck. 7686-7711 & EFT                             $46,867.28

Claims Paid      8/24/16 – 9/13/16            Ck. 7685 & 7712-7747 & EFT                  $49,036.13

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:46 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 9, 2016

 

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 9, 2016

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Mark Wilcomb.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse councilmembers Langsett, Estes, & Wekenman’s absences.  Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 26, 2016.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT: 

PD is working on an abandoned motor home.  It’s more difficult than junk cars because junk yards won’t receive it.

Have had some ongoing issues: barking dogs, an assault, noise, theft, etc.  Chief asked council if they might want to adopt some kind of noise ordinance.

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

Kyle and Supt. Griffin will meet with Brad Davis, Joe Hojnacki (Apollo Solutions) and Kirsten Wilson (DES) regarding the final submittal for the solar project on Thursday at 11AM.

CT Dixon has been talking with Olympia about charging for scanning.  They told him the normal charge is $.20/page for up to 10 pages and $.10/page after, with a percentage paid up front.  City staff spends many hours scanning documents for PRR’s and need a way to recoup some of that time.  CT Dixon will continue researching and perhaps bring a resolution to the next meeting.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

West Whitman Street Update:  Had a meeting last week between Engineer Munir Daud, CT Dixon, Mayor Echanove, Bob Westby (WSDOT) and Paul Weber (Rail Project Manager).  They want to go out to bid with the project.  The state wants to proceed for the project to begin still this summer.  The TIB funding is in.  Project discussion ensued.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Munir Daud to go to bid on the West Whitman Street project.  Councilmember Hanson seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2016-05 – amending the 2016 salary schedule:  The only change is adding “consultant to clerk-treasurer” at $9.50/hour to pay former CT Bagott if/when he comes in to train new CT Dixon.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Slinkard, to adopt Resolution No. 2016-05 as written.

 

Ordinance No. 945 – Budget Amendment:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  The city is receiving a grant of $276,551 for the installation of Solar panels at well pump #3.  So this amendment increases the estimated revenues and appropriations by that dollar amount.  It’s grant money so it comes in and goes right back out.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson to adopt Ordinance No. 945 as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-  Chair Slinkard is still researching a grant through Avista for an electric vehicle charging station in Palouse.

 

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-  Chair Hicks is going to review the sidewalk progress and those who haven’t yet begun the required repairs will receive another letter along with the required lien resolution.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      7/31/16             Ck. 7607-7635 & EFT                 $50,123.11

Claims Paid      8/9/16               Ck. 7636-7663 & EFT                 $18,052.23

 

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

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 12, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

July 12, 2016

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett. Councilmember Estes MOVED to excuse Councilmember Hanson’s absence. Councilmember Langsett seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of June 28, 2016. Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Busch Distributors and Roach Construction need council permission to work in city right-of-way to work on the Busch Gas Station construction project. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to approve permission for Roach Construction and Busch Distributors to work in city right-of-way. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Supt. Griffin would like council permission to surplus an old metal 8’x14’ 4” flatbed off the old water truck. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Slinkard, to surplus the old flatbed via sealed bid, with a minimum bid of $100, and a closing date of July 25, 2016, at 3:00 pm. Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT:

The camera installation at the PD is completed. We also did a site review with First Step Internet at the sewer plant for how we are going to mount the cameras and install the data terminal etc.

The application for database access has been completed. We have a site security review next week. Once that’s done and approved we’ll have a meeting with Whitcom to see about getting up and running.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

CT Bagott’s last day is July 29th. The next council meeting is his last as an employee.

2nd Q Treasurer’s Report: Revenues throughout all funds are within expectations. The trend I’m seeing is rebound in some of those areas that have been fairly depressed for a while. Sales tax revenue is up 17.1% over this same period last year; Building Permits have already exceeded budget for the year; City Assistance (shared revenues from the state) up 24.9% which is $3,000 additional revenue. Liquor excise tax is already 113% of what we had budgeted; RV Park is $8 away from reaching the entire amount budgeted for revenue for whole year. On the expenditure side there are no red flags. Pool will be close to its budget this year. Cemetery is going to be tight budget this year, revenue isn’t really generated up there other than rare grave sales or open/close and there’s no way to predict those revenues.

Quarterly report on the police confidential fund. No expenditures to date. It continues to sit at $500 in cash.

A Tekoa councilperson called and spoke with CT Bagott about some crime concerns they’re having. They currently contract with the sheriff’s department and are considering switching to their own police department again. They’re seeking alternatives and perhaps a cost vs. benefit discussion. They’re just brainstorming. Chief Neumann has done some cost vs benefit reports and will call this councilperson.

Solar update: CT Bagott has gotten all the requested documentation to the Dept. of Commerce so our grant contract can be created. There will have to be one or two budget amendments to get all the revenue and expenditures into the budget. This should be tidy with the expectation that nearly all of the expenditures and revenues will be recorded this year. We will know in August what our final loan terms will be through the LOCAL program. LOCAL representatives have advised that we will receive a better rate (60 to 75 basis points) by dropping our funding term from 15 years to 13 years. CT Bagott conferred with Finance Chair Langsett and Mayor Echanove to confirm that this was acceptable and has advised LOCAL to make the change.

WWTP update: Have finally received formal notice of loan award from DOE to assist in funding the remaining portion of the Wastewater Treatment Plan. CT Bagott will be in contact with DOE to finalize the terms.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool Committee – interviewed seven people for the CT position and have narrowed it down to their final two candidates. City staff will meet with them this week.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- Has been gathering information and getting acquainted with the committee expectations. Plans to meet next week with Public Works to tour the sewer plant and the wells.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Wrote a rough draft follow-up letter to send to the sidewalk repair recipients. It will accompany the mandatory resolution from the city attorney.

OPEN FORUM:

Charlotte Omoto – Charlotte is a “National Drive Electric Week” advocate. She wants the City of Palouse’s blessing to host an informative event Sept. 10 in the City Park. Additionally, she will rent two RV spaces in our park for those people needing to charge electric vehicles. Palouse supports renewable energy; between our LED lights and are soon to be completed solar project, council thinks this is a great idea.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Jim Farr sent another complaint against the mayor, not liking his response regarding his water. The city is not going to build a water distribution to his property. The Dept. of Health has told Mr. Farr on how they need to do that and that’s the final answer.

A notice from the Wa. State Liquor Board for a beer garden on July 30 during the Palouse Music Festival. No council objections. The PD has had no problems with this in the past.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 6/30/16 Ck. #7538-7563 & EFT $44,876.99

Claims Paid 7/12/16 Ck. #7564-7591 & EFT $14,741.25

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

June 28, 2016

Palouse City Council

Public Hearing for 2017 Revenue Sources

Followed by

Regular Council Meeting

June 28, 2016

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse councilmember Christopher Langsett’s absence. Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; City Attorney Eric Hanson; Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

PUBLIC HEARING: 2017 Revenue Sources– Mayor opened the public hearing at 7:02 pm. Mayor read aloud, at Nicole Wood’s request, her written question for the public hearing regarding expenditures for the Taylor Engineering mapping project. Expenditures have not even been developed yet and are not reviewed during revenue source public hearing. There were no other comments. CT Bagott explained that in the aggregate our taxation across the board is an increase of only a few hundred dollars. There is hope with the new development going in that we will reclaim some of the valuation that has been lost in the last few years. On the general levy, the state law allows us to take a 1% increase every year without a vote by the citizens but the valuation has to rise enough to allow that to happen. Sales tax revenue, city assistance from the state, etc. have increased in 2016.

On the pool side of things, the pool levy doesn’t pay for the major pool repairs, such as sandblasting and repainting, which are long overdue. CT Bagott suggested that one option would be to increase the pool levy for one year to cover this expense. He estimated that a one year increase of $6,000 would cost the owner of $175,000 house about $20. There is value to our community in maintaining the pool. Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:24 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of June 14, 2016, as written. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

The city received two bids for road oiling: Lyman bid is $.05 cents per sq foot, $8,624.00 with tax; BST Surfacing bid $.049 cents per sq foot, $8,451.52 total. We’ve used BST in the past and have been happy with them. Road oiling takes 20% of our street levy right there. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to accept the low bid from BST for street oiling. Councilmember Hanson seconded. This is standard maintenance that is done every year. The motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT:

Officer Merry reported that Chief Neumann got some of the new cameras installed today near the PD. The rest will be installed soon.

JFB REPORT:

On the financial end, everything is normal.

3 fire calls for May, 12 fire calls YTD. They had a recent training with the 10 new wildland fire shelters.

9 EMS calls in May. EMS is on pace for 104 total calls this year if this rate continues. 5 of the 9 calls in May occurred within a 16 hour period. All 5 new EMS students passed training. There is a new storage container arriving soon on site to make more room within the station. The hole has been dug for a new emergency radio tower at the station. The Kamiak Butte fire on 6/26/16 was almost certainly caused by an illegal campfire on the butte. There were about 9 different fire agencies assisting on that call. No one was hurt.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

Reps from Apollo and DES came today for a meeting for the solar project now that everything has been awarded. They’re in the design/engineering phase right now. The end of October is their estimated completion date for construction.

DOE notified us that we received the loan funding for the development of the Wastewater Treatment Plan. Funds currently being collected for wastewater reserve should be adequate to cover the loan payments.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson- Committee met to review the applications received thus far. Committee will be interviewing candidates for Clerk-Treasurer position next week. Upon completion of the interviews, the committee will submit their recommendations to the Mayor. The city will continue to accept applications until someone is hired.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Councilmember Hicks wants to send out another letter to the people who got the sidewalk letter. It is councilmember Hicks’ hope that this letter will give people the opportunity to go over their questions and concerns with him, and to alleviate their frustrations and help them better understand the situation. Along with that letter will be included a mandatory resolution from our attorney outlining the specifics of the needed repairs and the deadline.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Last Thursday (6/23), CT Bagott and DC Thompson spent 13 combined hours completing approximately 35 in-depth PRR’s with multiple attachments. More have been received since. Additionally, the city received another complaint from Jim Farr against CT Bagott and Mayor Echanove. He is being answered in public tonight at this meeting. Mayor read his complaint aloud regarding the city’s lack of giving him water service on his land with a 2” water meter. Mayor reviewed for council the history of this issue and some of our past responses. For further clarification, his opinion that he can proceed without engineered plans nor DOH approval was spelled out in a May 11, 2016, letter from the DOH to Nicole Wood in which DOH told them they were wrong. Our WSP states through ordinance passed by the city council that ¾” meter is our standard. Jim Farr and Nicole Wood have been told countless times that a ¾” meter is what is available and we will not be installing a 2” meter. In 2014 public works (Dwayne Griffin and Don Myott) began putting in service to his property and Jim Farr got into it with them and they left his property. WSP chapter 6.2 clearly states that PW Supt Griffin is licensed by the state to be the authority on the city’s water system. PMC 13.08.070 has nothing to do with a $250 hookup fee. Approximately five years ago the city paid $2,500 just to have plans engineered on how to get water to his property and Jim Farr still did nothing. He has wasted too much of the city’s time. He is not interested in a resolution to this; he told CT Bagott in February of last year that he was willing to drag this out five more years if he doesn’t get a 2” water meter.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 6/28/16 Ck. #7524-7537 & EFT $5,988.64

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________