COUNCIL MEETING

July 13, 2021

DRAFT (Not Adopted by Council)

 PALOUSE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA

Regular Council Meeting

July 13,2021, 2021 @ 7:00 pm

120 E. Main City Hall

 

CALL TO ORDERMayor Cook called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL:

Deputy Clerk La Follett took Roll Call

Council members present Mary Welcome, Bill Slinkard, John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper.

Council members absent: Tim Sievers.

Councilmember Fielder introduced a MOTION to excuse Councilmember Sievers, MOTION seconded by: Councilmember Cooper. Council unanimously passed the MOTION.

City staff present: City Administrator (CA) Coughenour, Deputy Clerk (DC) Misty La Follett; Police Officer Joel Anderson; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf.

CHANGES TO AGENDA:

Mayor Cook requested the “Open Forum” portion of the meeting be moved to the front of the agenda.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

June 8th, 2021, minutes: Councilmember Welcome introduced a change to the June 8th, 2021 minutes. CA Coughenour will insert Councilmember Welcome’s requested language into the minutes.  Councilmember Akin introduced a MOTION to approve; Councilmember Slinkard seconded MOTION. Council unanimously approved.

June 22nd, 2021, minutes: Councilmember Welcome introduced a change to the minutes to clarify that Councilmember Slinkard could join the meeting via Zoom. CA Coughenour will correct the language in the minutes. Councilmember Cooper also introduced language to clarify that the Spillman police call report was omitted from the Council’s packet. CA Coughenour will correct the language in the minutes to reflect this request.  Councilmember Synder introduced a MOTION to approve the minutes; MOTION, seconded by Councilmember Slinkard, MOTION passed unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:

Three citizens registered to address the Council:

Angie Griner: Presented a question to the Council relating to civil service classifications within the Police Department. Mayor Cook responded that Council’s only action was acknowledging that the previous Civil Service Commission was not established correctly. Ms. Griner also emphasized her support for Chief Neumann and his 15 years of service and dedication to the city.

Brad Pearce: Requested information on Chief Neumann’s employment status, new chief search criteria plan, and city employees’ retention plan.

Ron Weller: Inquired about the city’s position on funding or defunding the police department. Mayor Cook emphasized that the city will fund the police department.

Audience: Numerous citizens in attendance questioned the councils’ actions on adopting or not adopting Civil Service Rules for employees. For reference, the previous discussion on civil service and steps taken by the Council regarding civil service were discussed in the minutes dated February 23rd, 2021.  Councilmember Synder provided a short history of the actions taken by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and previous Council. Councilmember Synder informed the audience that the CSC was never adequately formed, nor did any appointed commissioners maintain the required meetings and minutes. The mayor did remark that the Council’s personnel committee serves in the role of personnel actions.

Other members of the community provided various comments and discussion points for the city council to consider.

Jill Weller volunteered to write the “For” statement for the pool and special streets levy.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT

 Supt. Wolf provided the city council with his written report. Supt Wolf verbally briefed the city council on the city facilities, roads, and the public work personnel. Supt Wolf also updated the city council about the potential chlorine shortage from June 22nd, 2021, and that the issue has been resolved. Supt Wolf also informed the Council that water consumption was up approximately 50% from last year. Mayor, Council, and city staff all recognized that the Pool staff was performing very well considering their experience level.

*Report attached to the minutes.

POLICE REPORT

 Officer Anderson presented his report to the city council. There were 24 calls for service since the last council meeting.

*Report attached to the minutes.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR/DEPUTY CLERK REPORT:

CA Coughenour presented the City Administrator Report. The pool has received $800.00 in donations from patrons. The water Consumer Confidence Report was completed and published, continuing to work with the state on the Water Efficiency Report, 2nd quarter finance documents have been either sent or printed. CA is waiting on two state offices to confirm the change of administrators.

CA Coughenour and Deputy Clerk La Follett received partial training on the BIAS financial software. CA Coughenour has learned of some efficiencies that could be adopted. These changes would need to be confirmed with the state auditor’s office (SAO) and review internal policy and procedures.

Road oiling bid was published and will close on July 16th, 2021, at 5 PM.

OLD BUSINESS: 

 FY 22 Levy Process:

CA Coughenour explained the process to the city council for completing the Pool and Special Streets levy process and the action items the city staff and Council must complete before August 3rd and 17th, 2021. CA asked the city council to confirm the levy rate for each levy. Mayor Cook recommended that Streets, Property, Facilities Chair Sievers, the pool manager, and the public works superintendent provide funding recommendations based on operations and repairs identified to maintain and operate the pool. CA Coughenour will draft the levy resolutions for the July 27th, 2021, council meeting. Additionally, the city council needs volunteers to write the “For and Against” language for the November 2021 voters’ pamphlet or decide to take no action specifically for the “For and Against” language.

Cove Sidewalk Project Update:

CA Coughenour updated the Council on the project. At this time, the engineering firm of Munir Duad and Associates is developing the award bid and contract based on the city council’s approval on June 22nd, 2021. These changes are about asphalt versus concrete for the sidewalk and base rock that the city agreed to supply,

Meeting Minutes:

Councilmember Cooper opened the discussion about the drafting and timeline of the city council minutes and when draft minutes should be made public. The Council supported the idea of making the draft minutes available to the public in approximately one week or less. This allows council members the opportunity to receive feedback before the next council meeting. CA Coughenour was made aware that the city council generally reviews a draft of the minutes before posting the minutes. This process allows each council member the opportunity to correct, add, delete, or modify the draft version before the draft minutes being made public. Councilmember Akin wanted to ensure the minutes provided clarity and brevity, but at the same time, provided the citizens with enough information concerning actions taken by the Council. Mayor Cook also emphasized the need for the actions to be timely for the Council and citizens.

NEW BUSINESS:

Mayor Cook requested the Council to confirm Jacob Billington as the city’s “Building Inspector.” Councilmember Welcome introduced the MOTION to confirm Jacob Billington and Councilmember Cooper seconded the MOTION. The Council unanimously passed the MOTION. Mayor Cook also informed the Council that Mr. Billington might need to take on additional responsibility as the building inspector and the building plan reviewer. The former plans reviewer has not shown an interest in the role of the plan’s inspector.

Safe Streets Grant Application: CA Coughenour informed the Council that the Safe Streets Grant application period was open. The general concept of the grant application is to expand the Cove Sidewalk to the Bridge St pedestrian crossing, install pedestrian crossing warning lights, and install steps into the Lion Parks.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

 Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome

Chair Welcome presented the Council with a comprehensive plan from the finance committee, developed from past actions and identified needs. The whole Council commended Chair Welcome on the in-depth and comprehensive report.

Councilmember Cooper introduced a MOTION to adopt the plan; Councilmember Fielder Seconded the MOTION, Council passed the MOTION unanimously.

Overview of ARPA Funding:

Councilmember Welcome gave an overview of the Finance Committee’s budget recommendation regarding the funding coming to the City of Palouse from the American Rescue Plan Act (see the attached summary). Councilmember Welcome reviewed expenditures and community results from the 2020 CARES Act funding and summarized eligible uses of the incoming ARPA funding. The suggested allocation of the first and second payments is based on critical needs and community research. The recommendation prioritizes investment of the local recovery funds directly back into the community, business sector, and non-profits in the first deposit.

The Finance Committee recommends the following usage of the ARPA funding:

35% to support Community and Public Services, Non-Profits

– Joint Fire Board, Fire/EMS, Palouse Community Center, Palouse Print Museum, Palouse Library, Educational Programming, Gar-Pal Schools, Youth Advisory Board, downtown reader board

24% to support Business Relief and Recovery Efforts

– Chamber of Commerce business advocacy and redistribution of recovery funds directly to business owners

31% to support Infrastructure and Local Municipal Upgrades

– PPE stock for public and business use, support funding for Water/Sewer infrastructure projects, support funding for Palouse Cove Sidewalk Project, support funding for the Palouse Community Pool, support funding for research and development of community broadband or other communications technology infrastructure

10% in contingency, to be decided based on need

– For further support funding on eligible expenses, to address unforeseen impacts, and identify future needs.

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers: No Report

 Personnel, Chair Snyder: No report

Water and Sewer, Chair Slinkard: No report. Chair Slinkard informed the Council of an upcoming meeting on July 14th, 2021, at 1 PM with the Department of Ecology about the 100K “forgivable loan /grant” for conducting a value study to confirm the city needs of our wastewater.

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper; No Report

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder: Chair Fielder did not present a report since the board has not met. Councilman Fielder emphasized the Red Flag warning. He also asked the city to consider fronting the costs for the radios for the fire department in the amount of 8K with the intent to use the American Rescue Plan Act funds to reimburse. Councilmember Welcome and CA Coughenour advised that this would not be a normal process and could cause grant reporting issues but investigate the matter.

 EXECUTIVE SESSION: No session was held.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Mayor Cook informed the Council of the request from “The Congress” to renew their liquor license. No opposition from Council or city staff was made, Mayor Cook approved the license.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Synder introduced a MOTION to allow payment of the bills listed on the check register; Councilmember Akin seconded the MOTION, MOTION unanimously passed.

ADJOURN: Councilmember Synder MOVED to adjourn; Councilmember Akin seconded the MOTION. The MOTION was carried. The council meeting adjourned at 9:07 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

Public Works Superintendent Report

 

July 13th, 2021, WATER: June’s water usage was up 56% from June 2020, with a little more than *.5 million gallons pumped. May was up 44% from May 2020. Installed two new water meters for new builds in the city. Many locates Read water meter’ June 24th and 25th Chlorine shortages are solved as we are now getting the same product strength out of California. Booster Pump on north hill burned a connection on July 4th, so residents on the booster pump were under reduced pressure for about three hours that day. KME out of Troy ID came and fixed the problem. Sent out a request to reduce water by 20% but was not mandated a week ago. We have had a couple of complaints since then. STREETS: We got around 350 tons of gravel delivered to us in the last three weeks. $5000.00. Swept streets last week. I picked up a dead deer on Cove Road last week. PARKS: A phone line came down off the pole blocking the swimming pool parking lot entrance. Avista came and restrung the line to the pole. Parks are getting browner and will continue to do so as we conserve water. CEMETERY: Working on getting it cleaned up. I have got a 3–4-year plan in place to get it back into shape like it was. We have had some complaints about the appearance. We are also doing less watering. COMPOST: We have watered the pile to help the compost to mature faster. POOL: We have been working with the pool manager on daily issues. Things are getting better as time goes along.

Police Department Report

May 25, 2021

Regular Palouse City Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing
May 25, 2021

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper; Bill Slinkard (7:17 pm). Staff present: Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; incoming City Administrator Brad Coughenour; incoming Deputy Clerk Misty La Follett.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of May 11, 2021. Councilmember Fielder seconded.  Motion carried.

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

We have enough chlorine to get us through the season (during this current national chlorine shortage).

Councilmember Welcome praised Public Works for the condition of the cemetery.

PW Supt. Wolf will discuss with Mayor Cook next week the possibility of hiring a seasonal helper.

Thanks to resident Monty Nearing for all his volunteer work caring for the nature walk.

PW Supt. Wolf thanked Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson for everything all these years.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

DEPUTY CLERK REPORT:

-DC Thompson submitted the April 2021 Treasurer’s Report. Everything is balanced. No red flags at this time.

-The reservations are really starting to pick up at the RV Park for the upcoming summer.

-DC Thompson began training her replacement (Misty La Follett) yesterday (5/24). Ann is optimistic and confident that Misty’s skills will prove beneficial to the city.

-This is DC Thompson’s 277th and final council meeting as an employee of Palouse. Her last day is Thursday.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Michelle Bly of TD&H gave an update on Water System Improvements: Luke and Morgan from TD&H met with PW staff and went through the project with them and after that submitted the report and plans to DOH for review. We’re hoping to get comments back soon so we can address them before our contract expires. The PWTF loan expires June 30, 2021. The city needs to submit requests for reimbursement before this deadline. TD&H did not use the full amount of the contract. Moving forward from there it has been TD&H’s intent to help Palouse find funding for construction for the Church Street, Culton Street, and H Street looping main. Costs are escalating for materials. When pursuing construction funding it would be the recommendation of TD&H to pursue funds where the construction funds requested are in excess of 40% greater than the construction estimates. Michelle doesn’t believe Palouse will need all that funding but it’s a placeholder so the city isn’t put in a cash-poor position if the city wants TD&H to find funding for city. There is an opportunity with PW Board for construction funding. Councilmembers Sievers and Slinkard think the time is right to move forward to get an application in and see what happens. Michelle will proceed with application with the PW Board and should come before council at second meeting in June. In meantime she will be working with PW Board on city’s behalf to work toward closing out the preconstruction loan city has.

 

Ordinance No. 1007 – adopting K Street vacation: This is the formal adoption of the K Street vacation previously discussed at the May 11, 2021 public hearing.  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1007. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 1008 – Budget Amendment to Water System Reserve Fund 412:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adopt Ord. No. 1008. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

 

Resolution No. 2021-06 – New salary schedule to add the salaries for the new City Administrator and the new Deputy Clerk. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2021-06. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

Executive Session – Council adjourned at 7:28 pm to go into Executive Session to discuss Building Inspector position. Council reconvened at 7:41 pm.

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome

-We have ready our recommendations for the allocation of our Cares Act funding. We’re anticipating the arrival of those funds mid-June and when they’re distributed there will be a new set of guidelines. Councilmember Welcome will ensure that the spending will be in compliance with Dept of Commerce and that the expenditures are a sound use of the funds.

-At the request of outgoing Deputy Clerk Thompson, Councilmember Welcome will be doing an exit accounting of the city’s petty cash funds.

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers-

-DC Thompson met last week with Councilmember Sievers and pool manager Beck Meisel to try, before her departure, to go over everything pool-related. Councilmember Sievers took a lot of notes in hopes of moving forward.

 

Personnel, Chair Snyder– *See Mayor’s report.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

-Committee met to continue discussion about ways to address the feral cat problem in Palouse. The committee is toying with idea of putting into city code a requirement that outdoor cats have to be spayed or neutered. There is still a lot of discussion to be had.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Council took a moment of silence in recognition of former councilmember Steve Alred who passed away earlier this month.

 

Appointment of Mayor Pro-Tem: Councilmember Cooper is stepping down from the position effective May 27. Councilmember Welcome MOVED to nominate Councilmember Sievers. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

Hiring of new City Administrator and new Deputy Clerk:  Misty La Follett was hired as the new Deputy Clerk and began training yesterday (5/24/21) with outgoing DC Thompson. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to confirm the hiring of Misty La Follett as DC. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.  Brad Coughenour was hired as the new City Administrator to begin work tomorrow (5/26/21). Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to confirm the hiring of Brad Coughenour as City Administrator. Councilmember Akin seconded. Motion carried.

 

Mayor Cook thanked Deputy Clerk Thompson for her service to Palouse. Mayor Cook has requested to retroactively increase DC Thompson’s salary to that of the City Administrator salary effective from date of CA Dixon’s departure until her departure because she has been fulfilling the role of both positions by herself. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to retroactively increase the salary of DC Thompson to the salary of City Administrator from the time of CA Dixon’s departure date until her departure date. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. Councilmembers thanked DC Thompson for her years of service to Palouse.

 

The only bid received for the Palouse Cove sidewalk project came in high. Mayor Cook spoke with TIB to see about getting some additional funds for this project. He also spoke with the bidder, White Diamond Concrete, to see if they could cut back on their bid. There was a $40,000 increase in this bid from previous bid.  Engineer MD&A isn’t happy with the bid and how this is unfolding. He is of the opinion that unless TIB and White Diamond Concrete pick up those costs, the city should consider a different project. Discussion will continue. Mayor Cook will notify council when he hears a response.

 

Youth Advisory Board update. Councilmember Akin and Mayor Cook held an informational meeting last week with interested students in the Youth Advisory Board. They have received four applications so far. Other teens in the Palouse area are still welcome to apply. Councilmember Akin will keep council informed of the progress.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  There was some concern over an invoice from Hemphill Electric for $850 to install a 20-amp circuit so the vending machine could be relocated from inside the pool house to outside the pool house (check #11626). Discussion ensued about the project. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED that, with the exception of check #11626 for Hemphill Electric, the remaining bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Fielder seconded. City staff will hold check #11626 until Mayor Cook discusses the cost with Hemphill Electric and advises staff how to proceed. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 5/25/2021               Ck# 11622-11632 & EFT            $53,820.01

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Akin MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Welcome seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:24 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

May 11, 2021

Public Hearing to decide Kyle Waterhouse’s petition to vacate a portion of “K “Street
followed by Regular Palouse City Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing
May 11, 2021

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf.

 

PUBLIC HEARING: Council received last month Kyle Waterhouse’s paid application for a petition to vacate a 30’ wide x 250’ long portion of “K” Street. The land is at the dead-end of street and the abutting land is not owned by the city. If expansion were to ever happen then the city has access to build from “I” Street. Vacating this small portion on “K” Street would not result in any land denied access now or in the future. The existing Avista easement will remain in place. Mayor Cook opened the public hearing at 7:03 pm. Kyle Waterhouse added that the land is vacant and it’s a steep hill that turns into a marshland. The only affected neighbor is Monica Burleson and she signed her support of this. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the street vacation request. Councilmember Akin seconded. Motion carried. Public Hearing closed at 7:10 PM.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Welcome MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 27, 2021. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

DEPUTY CLERK REPORT:

DC Thompson reported she has balanced and closed April’s Treasurer Report.

Fast-Signs installed the new signs at the pool last week.

DC Thompson submitted her resignation letter on May 8. Her last day will be May 27, 2021.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Council went into executive session at 7:22 pm to discuss personnel. Council reconvened at 8:05 pm.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel, Chair Snyder- We are looking at filling three city positions: City Administrator, Deputy Clerk, and Building Inspector. On Thursday the Personnel Committee and Mayor Cook will be conducting a second interview with one of the CA applicants. The Deputy Clerk position is currently being advertised online. The city is going to look at combining the contract for Building Inspector services with other communities.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Bid closing for the Palouse Cove Sidewalk Project was May 4 at 2:00 pm. The city received only one bid. White Diamond Concrete LLC bid as follows: Alternate A – $240,550; Alternate B – $230,530. The city has $197,000 in TIB funds for the project. The project is currently in Mayor Cook’s hands awaiting more information on how to proceed and what kinds of funds might be available.to supplement either this project or perhaps to apply to a completely different project.

 

Councilmember Cooper has resigned her position as Mayor Pro-Tem effective May 27, 2021. Another councilperson will need to be appointed to that role.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Akin MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Fielder seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 5/11/2021               Ck# 11601-11621 & EFT            $14,396.62

Voided Check                           Ck# 10607

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

April 27, 2021

Regular Palouse City Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing April 27, 2021

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf. 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Welcome MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 13, 2021. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. 

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log. 

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Bids for the Palouse Cove Sidewalk are due next Tuesday, May 4th at 2PM. DC Thompson will be the city’s representative to open bids and award the project to the ‘apparent’ low bidder. Low bid will be presented for council consideration at our next meeting on May 11th

 

The City of Palouse will have simultaneous FTTH (Fiber to the home) installations for fiber internet access very soon. Inland Fiber Networks (formerly NW Fiber) is in the process of installing via underground microtrenching; Ziply Fiber will be going overhead using Avista Poles. These businesses, along with First Step Internet have inquired about how to get information about their product to our residents. Since the city cannot advertise for private business, we have encouraged these companies to connect with the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to get their information out. The city can work with the Chamber to get this information out to the public, with information possibly posted on the website when it becomes available.

 

CA Dixon is working on the 2020 annual financial report for the city. It is due May 31st. It would be a good exercise for the incoming Administrator to review, finalize and submit this report to the State Auditor’s Office.

 

Completed packets for the application to vacate the northernmost portion of K St will be sent to Mayor and Council tomorrow for the public hearing and council decision scheduled for May 11th

 

Mary Estes of the Palouse Rose Group has requested more planter space at Heritage Park and $120 for landscaping rock. They provide a very nice service to Palouse. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the Palouse Rose Group’s request. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried. 

 

CA Dixon’s last full day with the city is this Friday, April 30th. He thanked the residents, staff and leadership for welcoming him into the community and this role and will be forever grateful. He will consult and assist when possible until a new Administrator steps into the position.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Varela update on next steps for Wastewater Facility Plan: John Patrouch gave an update. City had provided a letter to ECY in February asking them to re-score our funding application for design phase improvements. They responded in April saying they weren’t going to re-score but they are providing a $100k forgivable principal loan for value-engineering to evaluate existing options and other potential solutions. Art Jenkins & David Dunn from ECY indicated they are a couple weeks away from finalizing agreement for the city at which time they will meet with city to go over work scope. John spoke to Art and asked to be part of finalizing the scope due to Varela’s history with this project. The funding agreement will require city to hire a third-party engineer who will then provide a report that confirms our current plan for improvements or provides another alternative for the city to consider. The earliest John believes we could get funding for construction is 2024 or 2025 if everything goes well. Follow up meetings with Varela and ECY will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Ordinance No. 1006 – Budget amendment for Current Expense and Arterial Streets funds:  This is mostly housekeeping. In anticipation of the Palouse Cove sidewalk project, to give us flexibility with those bid documents coming in next week, we’ve allocated an additional $20,000 for expenditure in Arterial Streets. In Current Expense, we’re allocating an additional $7,000 for an engineer’s structural inspection of the walking bridge over Palouse River. Another budget amendment will be needed when we get the COVID American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1006. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- Has created a budget recommendation spreadsheet for the incoming COVID ARP money. She will be following up for edits before submitting. 

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder- 

February 2021: Had two fire calls and three meetings/trainings. Also had annual fit testing for masks and equipment. Had ten EMS calls (7 city and 3 rural), and two meetings.

March 2021: Had two fire calls and three meetings. Had two fleet vehicles repaired. Had nine EMS calls. There were 32 EMS calls in first three months which could be a record-setting year if trend continues. 

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

Mayor Cook and Councilmember Akin presented to council their draft Youth Advisory Board application packet. Council had no changes, so they will continue to move forward with that. 

 

Last Thursday Councilmember Welcome and Mayor Cook attended the Mayor’s Roundtable meeting. Good meeting, in particular the discussion on various entities’ plans on spending their ARP funds. 

 

Council adjourned to Executive Session at 7:37 PM to discuss a personnel matter. Council reconvened at 7:56 PM  

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Akin MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried. 

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 4/27/2021 Ck# 11572-11584 & EFT $27,407.93

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

April 13, 2021

Regular Palouse City Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

April 13, 2021

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf. 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cooper MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 23, 2021. Councilmember Sievers seconded.  Motion carried. 

 

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

The city is soliciting applicants for a part-time, seasonal (approx. May – Aug), public works assistant for mowing, weed-eating, etc. Those interested can contact City Hall for an application. 

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log. 

Council discussed the various types of police reports available and which report style council wants in the future.  

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

The city received a response from ECY last week addressing the letter we sent them back in February. They will authorize the $100K forgivable loan to conduct a value planning review, which is a combination of a brief overview of work done to date as well as identifying any potential alternatives yet to be considered. We will invite our wastewater engineers Varela, and possibly some contacts from ECY to our next council meeting, as they will be acting as partners in this process.

 

As part of the latest round of pandemic-related federal stimulus legislation, cities are slated to receive direct payments as early as next month for the following: Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, covering costs incurred from the public health emergency, addressing negative economic impacts on local businesses and nonprofits, and making necessary improvements in critical local infrastructure. Palouse is estimated to receive $234,000 in total, with payments coming in two separate installments from the State Treasurer’s Office. Unlike the previous round of pandemic-related funding last year which had to be spent within months, cities have three years to spend these dollars. Councilmember Welcome will address this further in her report.

 

Palouse Cove Sidewalk Project engineer Munir Daud has created two options for us to proceed with soliciting bids for this project. 1) Proceed with block wall along sidewalk as originally proposed last year, and 2) introduce fill material to reduce the slope and eliminate the block wall. If a bid comes within the budget, the first option is preferential. Bids will be presented to council for consideration in May.

 

On April 16th Whitman County will move back to Phase 2 of Gov. Inslee’s phased approach to reopening after failing both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations. Businesses are reduced to 25% capacity. A full list of Phase 2 guidelines can be found on www.coronavirus.wa.gov . The next evaluation for counties is scheduled for May 3rd.

 

DC Thompson has been actively recruiting and advertising for lifeguards for the pool this summer. Staffing the pool has become a challenge for the past few years. This issue is much larger than Palouse, as surrounding towns, including Pullman are also experiencing a staffing shortage for lifeguards. Assuming we are eventually able to hire a full staff, the pool will be open as normal. However, if we enter the pool season short-staffed, days and hours may need to be cut accordingly. Anyone who is interested in becoming a lifeguard for us this summer is encouraged to contact City Hall and we can guide them through the process of getting certified. 

.

City council candidate filing deadlines are coming up in May. Entities looking to place excess levies on upcoming ballots must now establish “for” and “against” committees in an effort to provide additional information to voters.

 

CA Dixon has accepted an offer from the City of Liberty Lake to be their Finance Director beginning May 3rd. His last day in a full-time role with Palouse will be Friday, April 30th. The city has posted this position and will be scheduling interviews in the next week.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Luke Antonich & Michelle Bly, engineers from TD&H Engineering – update on our water main reconstruction/upgrades on West Church and Culton Streets as well as the H Street Looping main. 

WSDOT has reviewed the plans for the main. They need an internal review. CA Dixon reported that we need the project reports completed soon because our PWTF funding expires in June. Michelle is hoping for some council direction on pursuing funding on the water main projects. CA Dixon said the city needs to see an estimated project cost before deciding on how to move forward. 

 

Ongoing discussion on Civil Service Commission (CSC): Councilmember Sievers has continued to look into the CSC and our present position. It appears that the CSC has operated outside its own rules and regulations from the beginning (not deliberately or with malintent). They haven’t enforced their own term limits; meetings have been irregular, spontaneous, and without public knowledge. They are exercising enormous influence and power over an important area where we already have a council personnel committee that has been charged with handling these responsibilities. The city needs a fresh start when it comes to the CSC. Councilmember Sievers wants to put some policies and procedures in place that we can follow and come up with a new path forward. Councilmember Fielder added that the Personnel Committee has taken an active and large role in the review and interview of police officer candidates. Councilmember Snyder brought up due process measures that are in place. If we assume those due process measures go through the Personnel Committee, then Councilmember Snyder supports this Resolution. We need to move forward with a balanced and fair process for all employees. Council thanked the CSC for their service and efforts over the years. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2021-05 (from prior council meeting) which affirms that a CSC has never been established by the city and repealing the act of appointing commissioners to serve on a purported Civil Service Commission. Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion. Councilmember Snyder opposed. Motion carried.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 2021-04 – setting a date to hear the street vacation proposal for all of North K St. west of lots 2,3,4,5 & 6, Block 1, Johnston’s Addn. This is just a procedure to set the date for the hearing at a council meeting. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2021-04. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried. 

 

Humane Society contract renewal: This is essentially a continuation of our contract but they have now included cats and three “trap and release” events annually. The cost is $1,200 a year and is split 50/50 with Garfield. This contract will be from April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022. This will be a trial run for one year and if all parties are satisfied, it may become a three-year contract moving forward. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to accept the Humane Society contract. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

Ongoing development and business opportunities report: Local resident and realtor Connie Newman reported on the real estate market in the county right now. There are currently only 40 homes for sale in all of Whitman County which is a drastically low supply. County-wide out of the 40 homes for sale the average price is $340,000. In Pullman, there are only 28 single-family homes for sale and they are going for an average price of $413,000. As a result, more people are wanting to move to Palouse. Currently there are only two homes for sale in the Palouse zip code. There is ongoing construction in the new developments at Amber Ridge and Harvest Loop. Those listings will be opening up in a couple days. 

 

State Bank and Pullman Regional Hospital have both signed leases with the owners of the old gymnasium building on Main Street in Palouse. Both businesses will be on the first floor. The owners are still looking for additional potential lessees. 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- Councilmember Welcome is working with CA Dixon on the disbursement of the American Rescue Plan Funds. She is working on distribution recommendations that she will bring to committee for discussion. The money will come in two payments; the first one coming in June. She wants to push the money back into our community immediately to assist our local businesses. When the second payment comes in, we can reevaluate need and shift the focus to local infrastructure.

 

With Whitman County going back to Phase 2 (in regards to COVID), mask-wearing is just as important as ever and we need to set good examples. 

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- Committee met a couple weeks ago with CA Dixon, Chief Neumann, and PW Supt. Wolf, WSDOT, UTC and the rail owners to discuss repairing and improving the signage at the railroad crossing by grain bins. Also discussed the large retaining wall at the back of the RV Park. It needs cleaned up, repaired, reinforced, and/or replaced. WSDOT also performed a preliminary inspection of the Bridge Street Bridge and indicated it’s another area that needs attention. All of these are currently ongoing discussions with WSDOT. 

 

Personnel, Chair Snyder- Anticipating another resolution to resolve the Civil Service Commission issue.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper– Still working on a way to get cats addressed in the Palouse Municipal Code that makes sense.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

Scott Adams, the CEO of Pullman Regional Board, has informed Mayor Cook that at this time they aren’t moving forward with combining Palouse into Pullman’s taxing district. In the future, if it comes up again, Palouse and its surrounding district will be able to decide for themselves if this is something they want.

 

School Supt. Johnson thanked Mayor Cook and the city for assisting them with acquiring no-touch sinks at the Palouse School using COVID relief dollars last year. 

 

Mayor Cook met with Councilmember Akin regarding the Palouse Youth Advisory Board. They’ve come up with an application. 

 

The city received a thank you letter from John and Chris Bofenkamp for helping install the speed sign coming in from Pullman, along with two other issues they would like to see addressed: 

1) loud semi-truck compression brake noise by their house on the highway. Chief Neumann explained that when we dealt with WSDOT, they are concerned with removing safety equipment from semis. Chief has a highway below his house as well and hears the jake brakes. Its just something he accepts living near a highway. Compression brakes are loud in general and annoying but we need to learn to live with it living in a farming community with heavy equipment and many trucks. 

 

2) vehicle speed when leaving Palouse at city limits. The Bofenkamps appreciate the flashing speed sign coming into Palouse. However, they are requesting the following: a) another flashing sign placed heading out of town; b) the outgoing 55 mph sign was placed incorrectly and should be moved farther down the highway outside of the city limits; c) increased patrols/visibility by the Palouse PD. Chief Neumann reminded all that WSDOT put the signs up and has the final say.  

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Akin seconded.  The motion carried. 

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 3/31/2021 Ck#11508, 11525-11544 & EFT $48,449.39

Claims Paid 4/13/2021 Ck# 11545-11571 & EFT $29,971.89

Void Ck #11568

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:39 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

March 23, 2021

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

March 23, 2021

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Snyder MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 9, 2021. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Wolf submitted a written report. Repaired the West Church Street water line and a 6” main at the cemetery last week.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

Chief Neumann has contacted numerous residences around town regarding out-of-state plates. People who reside in Washington (including renting), have 15 days upon residence to get their license transferred to Washington. These people are long past that 15 days. Chief hasn’t cited anyone yet or been aggressive because the first ticket is $500, the second ticket is $1500 and the third ticket is a felony tax evasion. Chief is trying to encourage people to do that on their own such as the law states. Chief will next submit letters and copies of the law and give them a compliance cutoff date.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

The Dept of Ecology updated CA Dixon on their timeline for a response regarding a path forward for wastewater facility upgrades. An official response will be sent in the coming days for mayor and council to review and discuss at our next council meeting.

 

We received clarification from the Dept of Health regarding requirements for water main upgrades on Culton and Church St. Originally, our engineers TDH indicated, with concurrence from DOH, a transition to a new water system management plan was going to be required. After further discussion with additional staff at DOH, CA Dixon was informed that in lieu of this updated management plan, construction documents and a project report added to our existing water system plan will be sufficient. This clears the way for us to proceed with our proposed main upgrades. TDH Engineering will be at our next council meeting with an update. We do not need a new water system plan.

 

The Whitman County Humane Society is currently in the process of crafting our upcoming 3-year renewal for animal control. Among the areas of consideration is the possibility for them to allow for the intake of cats. The Policy Committee has been discussing different strategies for controlling the feral cat population in Palouse, and this may provide an avenue for addressing that. We will know more details next month. The city has budgeted for the purchase of humane feline traps this year.

 

CA Dixon is working with an applicant that is requesting the city vacate the northern most 250 ft’ of K St. Once the application has been finalized and fees paid, CA Dixon will collect department reports and schedule a hearing via resolution. City Council will then consider the application at an upcoming council meeting and vote to approve or deny.

 

CA Dixon and Munir Daud and Associates are ready to proceed with the legal notice to solicit bids for the Palouse Cove Sidewalk project. We will present these bids to council for approval at the council meeting following the closing date.

 

Public Works Assistant Taylor Redman’s last day with the city will be next Tuesday, March 30th. She has accepted another opportunity and we wish her all the best. She was a great addition to the PW team and will be missed. We are going to proceed with three employees. We feel good with where we’re at and three people can handle the workload. Four people were too many for our needs. If temporary seasonal help is needed that can be tackled at the time.

 

Upon entering Phase 3, we will continue to monitor for transitioning back to in-person meetings.

Andres Sena update on 2021 swim team: The league coaches have begun to reengage and discuss swim league. They are wanting to have swim team this year (assuming Covid allows it). Andres is open to organizing things in non-traditional ways to abide by whatever guidelines. He offered to volunteer his time in the process.  

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Ongoing discussion on Civil Service Commission: This came about for a couple reasons: 1) the size of our department doesn’t legally require a CSC. Three FT officers is the threshold that requires a CSC. Less than three FT, the CSC becomes optional; 2) because the CSC was never enacted legally. Mayor Cook reiterated that this is not an attempt to “defund the police” or dissolve our police dept.

 

Councilmember Snyder – When talking employment law, once you engage in a certain level of due process rights it becomes extremely difficult to back out of those due process rights and I don’t know if its appropriate. We still have a process even if it wasn’t properly enacted; it’s still there. If we dispose of it, we could be making a small problem bigger than it needs to be.

 

Councilmember Sievers: I reviewed the history of this. Only very few references to the CSC creation in the minutes and no enacting legislation from council as the resolution addresses. The city operates through our city code and sets up a manner of how we do business. We have commissions which are outlined in our city code and that does not exist for this commission. Having a commission out there with some authority they’ve created themselves and hasn’t’ been approved by any council since, muddies the waters of who does what and who has what responsibility. Essentially, we’ve operated in an unlawful manner for 14 years. We did not establish this in our city code. We give authority but have no accountability or structure. Councilmember Sievers is uncomfortable operating under the current situation. It’s not good to go forward without an enacting legislation and with members whose terms expired long ago.

 

Councilmember Welcome’s concerns are similar to Councilmember Sievers’. My red flags are around compliance. Our CSC isn’t in compliance with these rules (term limits, procedures, minutes). Would like to discuss where we can go forward from this.

 

Councilmember Cooper: Has concerns about transparency and openness of the meetings. If we have a city-based commission then there should be some kind of public notice of when the meetings are and where, similar to Council meetings. That doesn’t seem to be the case with the CSC.

 

Councilmember Fielder: when on the Planning Commission, we dug through the rules and we worked hard to be in compliance and to fix anything that wasn’t. We have something well-intended but not built properly.

 

Chief Neumann echoed maybe it is broken but he would like to move forward and do what we need to do to become compliant. The CSC provides a service to the PD.

 

Mayor Cook: Palouse already has code in place to address fairness. We have a personnel committee to have checks and balances. If the chief or an officer has a grievance, they take it to the Personnel Committee.

 

Much discussion ensued. Council is very appreciative of the time and energy put in by the volunteer CSC members. Council will continue deliberation on this and will make a determination on how to proceed at a subsequent council meeting.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Amended Solicitor’s Permit policy: The new policy now requires solicitors to 1) pay a $15 application fee per person (not per company); and 2) upon clearance by the PD, each solicitor pays a $25 daily fee to solicit. We are hoping this new policy will discourage any unscrupulous solicitors. Other entities have taken these exact measures. Councilmember Welcome MOVED to amend our solicitor’s policy by adding these fees as written. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

Resolution No. 2021-03 – amended fee schedule: This adds the two solicitor permit fees and the contractor rate at the RV Park as voted on at last council meeting. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Reso. No 2021-03. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- Have a meeting coming up with WSDOT to discuss the railroad crossing on W Main, the retaining wall near the RV Park and also the Bridge St bridge.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

Councilwoman Akin is filling the vacancy on the JFB. The JFB consists of the Palouse FD, three council representatives and three rural commissioners.

 

FD is looking at purchasing a used fire truck for the fleet. They’re putting together a list of necessary requirements.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Creation of Youth Advisory Council: Mayor Cook continues to work on the creation of this. Councilmember Akin offered to assist. This will be open to any teenager who resides in the Palouse School District.

 

Pullman Regional Hospital taxing district update: The PRH Board of Commissioners is going to reconsider their position on redistricting. It’s a positive sign. They are going to advance the conversation at their May meeting.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Fielder seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 3/23/2021               Ck# 11509-11524 & EFT            $12,469.96

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Akin MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:29 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

March 9, 2021

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

March 9, 2021

 

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

 

OATH OF OFFICE: Mayor Cook swore in new councilmember Libby Akin.

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Libby Akin; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 23, 2021. Councilmember Sievers Seconded.  Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Wolf submitted a written report. Water line replacement on Fir and W Church should be done this week. Beeson lift station has been repaired. Boards on the foot bridge have been replaced. Supt Wolf passed his water certification test today. Public Works will be grading roads this week.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:  No major updates to report.

CA Dixon is waiting on information to proceed with various projects including:

-Response from ECY regarding comments submitted last month to review wastewater alternatives by a 3rd party engineer.

-Official statement from the Dept of Health indicating what the city needs to provide to proceed with water distribution improvements on Church and Culton Street.

-Bid documents from Munir Daud and Associates to proceed with Palouse Cove sidewalk project

-Whitman County Landfill is looking to acquire additional community recycling bins at the new biennium (July 1st). CA Dixon has Palouse on their list if they are ultimately funded.

-Community-wide cleanup this spring. Whitman County Landfill has not announced their spring cleanup dates yet, and there is a chance they do not offer this service in 2021.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Citizens Climate Lobby advocating for Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act:

Linda Jovanovich from the Citizens Climate Lobby was on the call to give an update to council on what they are working on and to answer any questions. She updated council on specific bills and where they sit in the legislative session. The Citizens Climate Lobby updated their request to advocate for climate change in general as opposed to any specific proposal. Council will consider the material presented and proceed with a statement if they choose to do so.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper- 

Councilmember Cooper and the Policy Committee recommend the following changes to the Palouse RV Park policies as a mutually beneficial option for both the city and those who are improving and expanding our community:

A contractor rate of $700/month will be offered at the RV park subject to the following conditions:

-Must have active building permit within city limits of Palouse

-Maximum of 5 spaces for the contractor rate at any given time, subject to availability

-Refunds approved with 2-week notice

-Must adhere to RV park rules at all times or stay will be terminated

Councilmember Cooper MOVED to approve the proposed changes. Councilmember Fielder seconded. The motion carried.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

There were 6 fire calls for January: 1 mutual aid to Garfield, 2 down power lines, 1 traffic accident and 1 false alarm at the Community Center. 3 meetings and 2 trainings in January.

There were 9 EMS calls in January: 6 city residents including 1 fire standby; 1 rural; and 2 non-resident.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Cook provided an update on his proposal to create a youth advisory board and will have a document to run by council when finalized.

Proposal for pool house upgrades were discussed. Will be finalized soon.

Palouse Family Foods liquor license up for renewal. No concerns.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 2/28/2021               Ck# 11469-11484 & EFT            $41,756.54

Claims Paid 3/9/2021                 Ck# 11485-11507 & EFT            $12,359.22

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Akin MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Fielder seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 7:37 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 23, 2021

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

February 23, 2021

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 9, 2021. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Wolf submitted a written report. Additionally, the following M&R issues were reported:

-Had a water leak on 8th Street service line which has been repaired.

-Have a water leak on a service line at intersection of Church and Fir Streets. We hit the galvanized line with the backhoe yesterday so Roach Construction is coming tomorrow to replace with a poly line.

-The high flow alarm at the Beeson lift station has been going off about twice a day lately. PW washed the lift station this morning but are still experiencing some issues with the alarm. KME is coming tomorrow to replace a portion of the pump that continues to trip the alarm.

-One of the pumps/motors on the snowplow blade is going out.

-The sander has been repaired with a few minor tweaks to work out.

-The 1-ton has a flat tire, getting fixed.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Comments on the results of our wastewater funding application with ECY as discussed at our last meeting were submitted on February 11th and we are now awaiting their response.

 

WSDOT will be scheduling a site visit to replace railroad crossing equipment on West Main Street/Spokane Street this spring. We will also have them look at the retaining wall just north of the RV park as well and discuss some options to restore and enhance that area.

 

The Citizens Climate Lobby of Palouse will be at our next council meeting to discuss steps that they would like city leaders to take regarding climate change initiatives.

 

The Dept of Health is reviewing our path to finalize Church and Culton Street water main upgrades. We should be in a position to give TDH direction on next steps in March.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2021-03 – repealing the act of appointing commissioners to serve on a purported Civil Service Commission (CSC): To summarize, traditionally Palouse has been a two-person department based on our size and budget; however, in 2008 Palouse entered into an agreement with Garfield for a joint department with three full-time officers which then required a CSC.  However, we have discovered that our CSC was never established through an enactment of council legislation which thereby means the commissioners had no authority to act on civil service matters. Fast-forward to March 2020 when we discontinued our contract with Garfield and returned back to a two-man department, which means the requirement for a CSC ceased. Thus, there is no longer a need for a CSC and this resolution clarifies both points.

 

While there was intent, the management and operation of the CSC hasn’t really operated in conjunction with or had good dialogue with the council to any degree. At this point in time, the resolution is really about addressing an issue of how it came to be. Mayor Cook stated “this is 100% not a means to defund or dissolve our police department”. This was technically an issue that wasn’t done right in the first place and now we need to address it. He looks at this as an opportunity to reset and move forward. We have an opportunity here to pause and see what makes the best sense for Palouse, garner community-wide input and increase transparency. Council can then make a decision on what’s best for Palouse. There are some management pieces that need some addressing.

 

Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson both want to retain the CSC as some form of protection for the officers. It makes Neumann and Anderson concerned for their future with the city of Palouse PD. Chief wants to recognize what we already have in place and take the steps to enact it properly. Dave Tharp of the CSC pointed out that they (the CSC) have the best interests of the city and that the policies in place should remain because the CSC is still beneficial, even if the requirement no longer exists. He would offer to resign from CSC if others expressed interest in serving.

 

Much discussion ensued. Atty Hanson reiterated that since no legislation was enacted by council, the CSC was never properly established and never had any authority to act as such. Councilmember Snyder indicated that if we gave the CSC adjudicatory powers, properly or not, with regard to complaints within the PD, we may have an issue if we’re taking a benefit away from our police unless we have something set up to take its place.

 

No action was taken on the resolution and council will investigate further on how to proceed.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Policy committee is still looking into how we can best update the solicitor’s policy. We’re considering having a fee associated with the permitting process.

 

Policy committee is considering the idea of offering a contractor rate at the RV Park to contractors with an active building permit within the city limits. They would be subject to all the existing rules. City would limit the amount of contractor spaces and the window of availability.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Liquor license renewal for Palouse Caboose. No issues or concerns.

 

Interview for Council Position # 6:  The city had two Palouse residents apply for council position #6: Libby Akin and Ron Weller. Both applicants attested to being registered voters within Whitman County. Both applicants were asked the same set of questions, separately. Council went into executive session at 8:20 pm to review the interviewees. Council reconvened at 8:30 pm. Mayor thanked both applicants. Both did an excellent job. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to appoint Libby Akin to council position #6. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Slinkard inquired about the Jones Truck and Implement bill for DOT Fire Vehicle inspections. Half of this cost is covered by Rural Fire District #4. Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Snyder seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      2/23/2021          Ck. #11451-#11468        $19,107.47

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Welcome seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:36 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 9, 2021

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

February 9, 2021

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf. 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 26, 2021. Councilmember Welcome seconded.  Motion carried. 

 

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

Check valve on chlorinator and then the pump went bad last week. Everything has been replaced but we need to purchase a spare. 

 

Phone line going into the well is working again. Got a quote from Bigfoot Technologies for alarms for about $2,700. They will install a box to communicate emergency alerts to our Public Works phones. 

 

Hoping to have the sander up and running by end of next week.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

Covid numbers are down about 50%. 

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

 

CA Dixon has resumed discussions with Munir Daud & Associates to put the Palouse Cove Sidewalk Project out for bids again soon. We put this project to bid last year but wound up rejecting all bids due to cost vs projected budget. We have eliminated the block wall along Palouse Cove, opting for winding the sidewalk more with the terrain, away from the road, which will cut a substantial cost. The rapid flashing beacon won’t be included either but we can purchase one later and have our Public Works install. We will present final plans to council to put out for bid likely at our next meeting.

 

NW Fiber LLC is building out their fiber network in town. Originally, they planned to begin micro-trenching this week, but weather has pushed it to next week for now. We will send out information to the community to connect to their network when it is provided to us. Ziply Fiber, who initially planned to install fiber last year, is also scheduled to begin their buildout in town sometime this spring.

 

We sold the ’95 Ford F250 last week for $400.

 

Sumner foot bridge inspection is scheduled for this summer. In the meantime, Public Works will be replacing boards and securing railing. The bridge may be closed to the public intermittently while these repairs take place.

 

The Washington State Legislature is currently in session. Early feedback on proposed budget indicates that State Shared Revenues to cities will remain stable which is always good news. Cities will likely see another allocation of COVID relief but it’s too early to predict size and scope. They are also looking into ways to expand cities’ use of Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) funds. Palouse currently has roughly $140k in this fund. Major area of focus for legislators is social justice and policing policy reform. Again, too early to speculate which bills will make it to the floor for a vote. CA Dixon will provide an update when we have a better idea of which bills are likely to advance. The 2021 session concludes on April 25th.

 

On January 11th, the Washington State COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery plan was unveiled. Palouse is in the East Region, which is currently still in Phase 1 of reopening. In order to advance to Phase 2, a region must show improving trends in 3 of the following 4 metrics: Case rates, Hospital Admission rates, Percent ICU occupancy, and Percent positivity. Currently the East region is showing improvements in Hospital Admission rate and Percent ICU occupancy. The next update will be reported on February 12th for potential phase movement beginning February 15th if the East region meets 3 of the 4 criteria.

 

The City of Palouse is still accepting letters of interest for vacated council position #6 until Tuesday, February 23rd at 5PM. 

 

DC Thompson processed 13 building permits in last two weeks, 12 of which are for new houses. 

 

TD&H touched base with council, continuing to remain on standby for the completion of the Palouse Water System Improvements project. Palouse will reach out to them when we are ready to reengage but there are too many other mandatory and more pressing projects going on at this time.  It is not in our best interest right now to go after any major water improvements because we aren’t scoring well on funding applications because our water system is adequate. We’ll look to finalize main upgrades on Church Street and Culton Street this Spring after the Dept of Health gets back to us regarding specific requirements.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Varela Engineering to discuss design phase funding for WWTP: John Patrouch from Varela was present to give overview. We summarized preferred path forward as discussed in our last meeting. Palouse likes the idea of value engineering to review work done to date to see if another firm can identify any less-costly alternatives to comply with upcoming NPDES permits. It is rare for ECY to offer this alternative. We also want to demonstrate to ECY that we corrected the funding application and would like them to re-evaluate it. A comment letter is due to ECY on Feb. 14th. The letter will ask to extend the 2024 temperature permit deadline to coincide with our Dissolved Inorganic Nitrate permit scheduled for 2030. The letter will also request ECY expedite this process to show good faith on the part of the city.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper- Committee met to preliminarily discuss Palouse’s solicitor’s permit ordinance. There seems to be a large percentage of Palouse residents who aren’t comfortable with for-profit, door-to-door solicitors. Do we want to make changes? Just eliminate for-profit soliciting completely? Put a moratorium on soliciting during pandemic? Committee will continue researching the legalities.

Committee also discussed options to address the ongoing feral cat problem in Palouse. Humanely trapping, then spaying/neutering and rereleasing is one solution. Monthly volunteers will be needed. Committee is still exploring the potential of a policy forbidding unfixed cats outdoors. Topic is still being researched.   

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

Mayor sat in on Pullman Regional Hospital’s executive board meeting on the topic of boundary annexation. Their president acknowledged receiving our letter and indicated that Palouse’s concerns are valid but they are still pointing to the upcoming November election for annexing Palouse into their hospital tax boundary. This summer is our community’s only opportunity to voice concerns. Mayor or a council representative will continue to attend the meetings so Palouse is represented. 

 

Mayor would like to create a Palouse Youth Advisory Board which would have a single representative attend one of our monthly meetings. 

 

We are still moving forward with pool facility upgrades. Mayor and staff met with Fast Signs today to continue with new and improved graphics/signage at the pool. 

 

The city received a letter of interest from Jay Iverson for the Board of Adjustment vacancy. Mayor Cook appointed Jay Iverson to the BOA. Council approved. 

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded. The motion carried. 

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 1/31/2021 Ck. #11416-11431 & EFT $40,558.01

Claims Paid 2/09/2021 Ck. #11432-11450 & EFT $  5,964.25

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snyder seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

January 26, 2021

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

January 26, 2021

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Mayor’s report is amended to include dates and a couple minor wording changes. No material changes. It will read as follows:

“It came as a surprise to Mayor and Council last week to learn that Pullman Regional Hospital (PRH) is looking to expand their taxing district to include Palouse, which may increase taxes in Palouse substantially via subsequent levies. Pullman citizens voted down the PRH tax levy bonds in 2019 and are seeking a larger tax base (Albion all the way to Palouse, including county), to help carry their tax burden. On January 5th and 6th Mayor Cook communicated with PRH CEO Scott Adams to better understand the process, mindset, and ultimately get some questions answered as well as express our concerns. That very day (1/6/21) the PRH board was already voting on continuing down this path. Mayor Cook expressed that Palouse hasn’t had a voice despite what was perceived to be a transparent relationship. There are a number of issues with this, including the fact that Palouse’s population also uses Gritman, Whitman, & Lewiston hospitals. Palouse has some major infrastructure issues coming and our own street and pool levies are vital for ongoing O&M costs; if PRH goes through with this, it may force Palouse residents to choose between city levies and the hospital levy. We need to make sure PRH is aware of Palouse’s stance on this and Palouse voters need to be made aware of this. PRH needs to know this is not good for Palouse and PRH needs to hear our position prior to them moving forward. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to send a formal letter from Palouse City Council to PRH CEO Adams and the PRH Board of Commissioners, outlining our concerns as well as requesting they open the public comment period early to give Palouse an opportunity to voice our concerns on the matter. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.”

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

-Supt. Wolf met with Whitney Equipment to look at updating the well telemetry and sewer plant. The new telemetry would include an emergency alert system directly linked with PW cell phones in the event of a breakdown at the wells or sewer plant. The estimate for this upgrade on the water side alone is approximately $20,000.

-City is without our street sander right now because the gear box went out. Supt. Wolf is going to have it repaired.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-2020 taxes have been completed and submitted electronically.

-The city as accepting bids on the surplus 1995 Ford pickup until this Thursday, January 28th, at 2 pm.

-City is accepting letters of interest for vacant council position #6 until Tuesday, February 23rd, at 5 pm or until filled.

-City is accepting letters of interest for Board of Adjustment vacancy.

-Whitman County did an inspection on the Sumner foot bridge (walking bridge over the river that connects the south hill residential area to downtown). Additionally, a structural engineer from Spokane is coming down for a structural inspection. When/if it passes the structural inspection, Public Works will address the superficial repairs identified by the county.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Update from Varela & Associates on the funding application for wastewater upgrades:

ECY did not fund our application to proceed to design phase of improvements.

Varela submitted a written update in regards to the ECY funding application & offer. The funding list was published in mid-January and Palouse scored low and was not funded primarily due to two factors:

  • In October, when submitting Palouse’s application for funding for our wastewater treatment project, Varela uploaded the wrong city’s project budget file with Palouse’s application. Therefore, ECY was not able to properly score parts of the funding application.
  • An overall concern by ECY that the project cost is high and unaffordable to Palouse residents.

.

As a result, Palouse was not offered design funding this funding cycle. Palouse was instead offered $100,000 of forgivable loan, which is the same as a grant, to have a third-party value engineering review of the project (instead of Palouse’s request for $1.8 million for design funding).  Much discussion ensued.

 

Options moving forward are:

Option 1 – Request a re-evaluation of the funding application

  • During the 30-day comment period that ends February 14, 2021 request that ECY re-evaluate/ rescore Palouse’s funding application, with the correct budget information.
  • Indicate to ECY that without having design funding this cycle, the ability for Palouse to meet its effluent temperature limits by 2024 is significantly decreased.
  • If the request for re-evaluation is denied, or if reevaluation still scores too low, the City could move forward with 3rd party value engineering of the current project.
  • If the request for re-evaluation succeeds and the requested $1.8 million design loan funding is granted, then Palouse would be compelled to move into the design phase.

 

Option 2 – Move forward with the ECY value planning / engineering offer

  • Prepare a memo that acknowledges that the City is interested in accepting ECY’s alternate $100k (forgivable loan) to conduct value engineering.
  • Also, acknowledge to ECY that this approach is appealing to the City as it strongly favors exploring whether cost reduction or a less costly alternative exists.
  • Acknowledge that if the design funding was available now, the ability for the City to meet the 2024 deadline to reduce effluent temperature is questionable. Denying the design funding in this cycle further exacerbates the ability for the City to meet the deadline.
  • Request that the temperature deadline be extended to coincide with the nitrogen effluent limit deadline to provide time for value engineering and possible changes to the wastewater plan.

 

Varela has had internal discussions regarding ECY’s approach and think that the third-party value engineering of the project could potentially benefit the City by:

 

  • Providing a pause and a formal review, with ECY’s support and involvement.
  • A final effort to potentially find a less costly solution(s)
  • Potentially allow further regulatory discussion on effluent temperature and the use of adaptive management to phase improvements to water quality.
  • If value engineering efforts identify significant cost reductions, the resulting project will receive stronger funding support by funding agencies and/or by the Legislature.
  • And, if value engineering does not result in significant cost reductions, the resulting project will also receive stronger funding support by funding agencies and/or the Legislature, with the knowledge that all avenues of cost reduction and cost effectiveness have been explored.

 

Discussion on the history and timeline of the project ensued. We feel like we have done everything that has been asked of us from ECY and we keep running into obstacles. Communication within ECY seems to be lacking as the Eastern Region approved the facility plan back in October of 2020 but the funding arm of ECY is telling us this project is not viable due to high cost of improvements. We absolutely agree that the cost of this project is too high and that these improvements would represent a major waste of public funds. This is not the first time we have received conflicting information from ECY on this project. The timeline for meeting the temperature TMDL by the Summer of 2024 is already quite aggressive, this setback has the potential to eliminate it as a possibility. A discussion with ECY and Varela regarding moving the temperature TMDL compliance requirements to the summer of 2030 (to coincide with the timing of our Dissolved Inorganic Nitrate TMDL) is encouraged. Palouse and Varela should provide the updated budget during the comment period to show that we have corrected this error, but we like the idea of having a 3rd party engineering company review the work done to date and see if any other less expensive alternatives exist. This will be discussed further at our next council meeting on February 9th with Varela.

 

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

-Councilmember Fielder will be the chair of the JFB for 2021.

-There were 0 fire calls in December, and 54 for year. There were 32 training sessions.

-There were 7 EMS calls in December. 126 for year.

-Most of Fire/EMS personnel have had both rounds of COVID vaccine.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Cook sent a detailed letter on behalf of Palouse City Council to president of PRH Board and the CEO of PRH addressing Palouse’s concerns regarding the potential expansion of taxing district boundaries, outlining the city’s position, summarizing our concerns, and requesting early community feedback options.

 

Mayor Cook, CA Dixon, and Supt. Wolf met with the Garfield Mayor and PW Supt to discuss the potential of sharing Palouse’s newly-created 4th public works position. Garfield wasn’t sure on their need so for now the plan is to share for six months and then evaluate both city’s needs moving forward. Whatever hours are worked in Garfield will be paid by Garfield.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Fielder seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      01/26/2021        Ck. #11398-11415 & EFT           $14,881.78

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 7:37 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

January 12, 2021

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

January 12, 2021

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Jim Fielder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse Councilmember Snyder’s absence. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 8, 2020.  Councilmember Fielder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Wolf submitted a written report. Water reservoir overflowed on Sunday as a result of telemetry failing. And Friday, a lift station pump and the clarifier at the sewer plant had an issue due to run-off. Problems are solved but Supt. Wolf is getting quotes for equipment that can alert the crew in real time via their cell phones when the city infrastructure alarms are activated.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

-Chief Neumann is monitoring the river flow for potential flooding.

-Getting some preliminary numbers for the replacement of the 2007 Durango patrol car. Looking at a 2017 or newer, under 40,000 miles. Price range is in the $25,000-$28,000 range, plus $2,000-$3,000 in equipment.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

We anticipate ECY releasing the results of their latest round of funding sometime this week or next. Assuming our application is approved, we will begin the process of designing wastewater facility upgrades while also continuing to investigate all possible alternatives that will reduce the final cost of the project.

 

Effective this month, base rates for sewer utilities have increased bringing the total water & sewer bill from $73.06 to $77.18 for a standard single-family residence. These increases will be used for the sewer operating fund and the sewer facility reserve fund in preparation of impending facility improvements and increasing operation & maintenance costs.

 

NW Fiber LLC, out of Colfax, has started trenching and installing underground fiber internet infrastructure in town. Beginning at the city hall building, their plan is to work north up Beach St. and expand east/west through side streets and alleys, where appropriate. No timeline for fiber internet access in homes has been given at this time. Ziply Fiber is also in the final planning stages before they begin installation of their own fiber infrastructure in town.

 

The red 1995 Ford pickup is long past its useful life and has been sitting by the Public Works shop for the last month. CA Dixon and PW Supt Wolf would encourage City Council to declare it surplus so we can attempt to sell it via sealed bid with a minimum of bid of $500.00. Councilmember Welcome MOVED to surplus the 1995 Ford pickup. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

CA Dixon is working with one landowner off Palouse Cove Rd on a minor subdivision, and another on North K St on a proposed street vacation. When the minor subdivision is ready to proceed, it will be heard and voted on by the Planning Commission. Petitions for street vacations are heard and voted on by City Council.

 

CA Dixon will process 2020 year-end tax paperwork and have W2’s to city employees on or before next Friday, January 22nd.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2021-01: fee schedule – As discussed in 2020, fee increases effective Jan. 1, 2021, are for cemetery plot $500, burial cost $750, water connection fee $1,825, and sewer connection fee $1,825. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2021-01. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried.

 

Resolution No. 2021-02: salary schedule – Only change was to reflect minimum wage increase from $13.50 to $13.69 for extra labor. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2021-02. Councilmember Fielder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

In November there were five fire department calls and 11 EMS calls.

All 16 Fire/EMS staff have received both rounds of their Covid vaccinations.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

It came as a surprise to Mayor and Council last week to learn that Pullman Regional Hospital (PRH) is looking to expand their taxing district to include Palouse, which may increase taxes in Palouse substantially via subsequent levies. Pullman citizens voted down the PRH tax levy bonds in 2019 and are seeking a larger tax base (Albion all the way to Palouse, including county), to help carry their tax burden. On January 6th Mayor Cook called PRH CEO Scott Adams to try and get some questions answered and express our concerns. That very day the PRH board was already voting on continuing down this path. Palouse hasn’t had a voice in this. There are a number of issues with this, including the fact that Palouse’s population also uses Gritman, Whitman, & Lewiston hospitals. Palouse has some major infrastructure issues coming and our own street and pool levies are vital for ongoing O&M costs; if PRH goes through with this, it may force Palouse residents to choose between city levies and the hospital levy. We need to make sure PRH is aware of Palouse’s stance on this and Palouse voters need to be made aware of this. PRH needs to know this is not good for Palouse and PRH needs to hear our position prior to them moving forward. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to send a formal letter from Palouse City Council to PRH and the PRH Board of Commissioners, requesting they open the public comment period early and give Palouse an opportunity to voice our concerns on the matter. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

The city will be accepting letters of interest for vacant council seat #6 until 5PM on Tuesday, February 23rd. This is a council appointed position to serve until December 31st, 2021 and eligible for reelection on the November ballot.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Welcome seconded.  The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      12/23/2020        Ck. #11339-11354 & EFT           $29,201.09

Payroll Paid      12/31/2020        Ck. #11355-11374 & EFT           $48,686.81

Claims Paid      12/31/2020        Ck. #11375-11388 & EFT           $  6,661.12

Claims Paid      01/12/2021        Ck. #11389-11397                      $  9,252.76

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:49 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

December 8, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

December 8, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Welcome MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 24, 2020. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. 

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

There have been some queries about where people can legally target shoot. The Garfield Gun Club is a safe and legal place for target practice. 

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

No significant updates to report. Working on various year-end items. 

 

With the demise of the old red pickup, we will repurpose the 3rd PD patrol vehicle for use as WWTP Operator Fealy’s vehicle and also as a vehicle for parts runs. We will credit the fair market value of the vehicle to the PD Vehicle and Equipment Fund. 

 

CA Dixon is meeting with representatives from Ziply Fiber tomorrow. No revised timeline yet for fiber service to homes. Will have an update at our next council meeting.

 

NEW BUSINESS

New owners of 305 E. Main (old gymnasium) to present plans for the building: Connie Newman introduced the new co-owners David Birge and David Grizwald of Spokane and then gave a brief history of the building along with a slide show of the building as it currently exists. The building was originally built in 1928 as a gymnasium. There was even a roller-skating rink in the building in mid-1900’s. The building is 10,000 sf, 5,000 on each level. The new owners want to have commercial on the ground floor and luxury but affordable 1- and 2-bedroom apartments upstairs. They are working with an architect on the plans, and a structural engineer to address any structural issues to make sure the building is structurally safe and legal before moving on to the renovation. They hope to accentuate the architectural appeal and preserve the historical integrity of the building. 

 

Ord. No. 1002 – setting new rates for Sewer, Sewer Reserve, and sewer connection fee, effective Jan. 1, 2021

We have been talking about these increases for over a year now. This ordinance raises the fee from $250 to $1,825 to connect to the city’s sewer system. The fee has been the same for over 40 years. The committee did a lot of research on neighboring cities and towns as well as those of similar size across the state to come up with this rough market average. Additionally, the base sewer rate and the sewer reserve rate will both increase $2 per month, per unit. This increase is a necessity because it is a good faith effort to show ECY that the city is a partner for these upgrades and it is incumbent upon us to share the cost of these upgrades. We are taking appropriate steps to tackle these improvements. This ordinance also allows for sewer rate and fee increases to be done via council resolution instead of ordinance. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1002. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried. 

 

Ord. No. 1003 – setting new water overage rate and water connection fee, effective Jan. 1, 2021

This ordinance raises the fee to connect to the city’s water supply system from $200 to $1,825. The fee at other entities is $3,000 and up. The fee has been the same since its inception over 40 years ago. The committee did a lot of research on neighboring cities and towns as well as those of similar size across the state to come up with this figure. Additionally, this ordinance increases the water overage rate from $1.25 to $1.50 per each additional 100 cubic feet of water metered over the base 600 cubic feet. This shows that the city is taking steps to encourage water conversation. Base water rates are not increasing at this time. This ordinance also allows for water rate and fee increases to be done via council resolution instead of ordinance. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1003. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. 

 

Ord. No. 1004 – 2020 Budget amendments for Current Expense, Cemetery, and Sewer funds

This is standard end-of-year housekeeping to address budget issues we weren’t anticipating. We had to spend some more money than anticipated for labor on cemetery upkeep. We also hired two public works assistants instead of one so there are additional labor hours. Sewer had a lift pump purchase and a lift pump repair and other outside labor issues we weren’t anticipating in 2020. But we are still in the black. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1004. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. 

 

Ord. No. 1005 – 2021 Annual Budget

We have some solid rollover dollars. Looking at about 1.2 million in our reserves due to good stewardship of previous years administration. We are holding tough. CA Dixon sees current expense ending where it started. Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 1005. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried. 

 

Whitman County Public Works Interlocal Agreement:

This agreement is just an updated agreement of the old agreement. It allows for Whitman County to provide labor, equipment, and materials as requested by the city, at a discounted price. Whitman County is a great partner. Overwhelmingly it is streets and materials that Palouse uses them for most. The contract is indefinite. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the interlocal agreement between WC and Palouse. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried. 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- 

Requesting to use the RV Park for a drive-in movie night on December 19th to bring some much-needed Christmas cheer to the community. The storage building will be the screen. Palouse Federated Church is loaning their local radio transmitter for the audio. This will provide a COVID-safe way for some entertainment. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to allow the event. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried. 

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

There were 7 fire calls and 10 EMS calls in October.

As of today, EMS has had 121 calls and fire has had 54 calls. It has been a busy year.  

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

The Heritage Park public restrooms were temporarily closed again due to COVID concerns. They are open again. Moving forward, the bathrooms will be open seven days a week, from 8 am to 7 pm. Public Works will unlock them every morning and the PD will lock them every evening at 7 pm. The city will look into a product such as Google Lock for the doors which could then be operated remotely by the PD and PW via their smart phones.   

 

Emily Akin has submitted a letter of interest for the vacant spot on the Planning Commission. Mayor appointed her to the PC.

 

Councilmember Cooper MOVED to cancel the second meeting in December. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried. 

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 11/30/2020 Ck. #11259-11268, 11291-11308 & EFT $54,293.11

Claims Paid 12/08/2020 Ck. #11290, 11309-11338 & EFT $98,538.92

VOID Ck. 11269

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:14 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

November 24, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

November 24, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. 

Councilmember Alred submitted his letter of resignation today. He is thanked for his service and wished well. The city will seek his replacement after the holidays.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Welcome MOVED to approve the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of November 10, 2020. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried. 

 

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

PW ordered a spare drive for the booster pump so there will always be a spare on hand.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

-Thanks to the generous donation of a community member who wishes to be anonymous, Palouse PD was honored to be involved with the giving of gift cards to deserving Palouse families. 

-Chief would like council to consider his request for a tiered city staff vacation policy to reward career longevity and loyalty.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

ECY sent us notification on Nov 18th that our Wastewater Facility Plan has been approved to construct seasonal storage lagoons to eliminate river discharge during periods of low river flow between April and October. While this should be a considered a milestone, it is important to understand that it took roughly 6 years and $300,000 in planning dollars to get this approved document. ECY rejected this identical proposal back in 2017 and we subsequently vetted several other alternatives that all eventually proved unfeasible or were again rejected by ECY. Perhaps as important, we lost those 3.5 years of design and funding prep to move this project forward. We are now faced with an aggressive timeline to fund and construct our proposed improvements. We are still planning to meet with ECY and various funding agencies via video teleconference before the end of the year to chart our course leading up to construction. We applied for design phase funding back in October and approvals will be announced in January. CA Dixon will continue to lobby for legislative funds in Olympia. Water and Sewer Committee Chair Slinkard will discuss the committee’s recommendation for 2021 utility rate increases in his report.

 

The city’s statutory general and EMS levy increase is 1% per year and must be passed annually by Ordinance. The rate of inflation has averaged roughly 2% over the last 5 years and climbed as high as 4% in a preceding year. As such, the current trajectory of only accepting the statutory 1% increase each year will see our tax rate per $1000 of assessed value continue to fall. When the tax rate is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of city operations, a levy lid lift may be necessary to increase the tax rate to an appropriate level. This will be discussed further during our next budget cycle in 2021 once next year’s valuations are finalized. 

 

2021 budget adoption, 2020 budget amendments, and 2021 water/sewer utility rate proposals will be on the agenda for council vote at our next meeting.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Pullman EMS Interlocal Agreement Renewal for 2021-2023: This contract is up for renewal every three years.

Every time there is an EMS call, an ambulance from Pullman is dispatched to Palouse. It’s a big benefit to the community. New negotiated contract is as follows:  

  • 2021, 1.0% increase, to $18,995
  • 2022, 1.5% increase, to $19,280
  • 2023, 2.0% increase, to $19,666

 

Councilmember Cooper MOVED to accept the agreement as written. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

Ord. No. 999  – adopting property tax increase for collection in 2021: The dollar amount of the increase over the actual levy amount for the previous year shall be $1,940.70 which is an increase of 1%. Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adopt Ord. 999. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. 

 

Ord. No. 1000 –adopting the property tax increase for EMS services for collection in 2021: Excess levy specifically for EMS services. The dollar amount of the increase over the actual levy amount for the previous year shall be $305.24, which is an increase of 1%. Councilmember Snyder MOVED to adopt Ord. 1000. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried. 

 

Ord. No. 1001 – setting the regular and special levy amounts for the Budget Year 2021: the regular and special levy amounts as follows:

  • Voted Regular EMS Levy – $31,233.35
  • General Levy – $198,574.92

 

Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ord. No. 1001. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried. 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers– Thanked city staff for getting the Sgt. Jacob Demand street signs ordered and put up. 

 

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard– Committee met with Kyle to discuss some potential changes to sewer and water rates effective in January. With the upcoming major wastewater improvements, we couldn’t let a year go by without increasing the rate. Being proposed will be a $2 increase to the base sewer rate, and a $2 increase to sewer reserve fund. Also being proposed will be a .25 cent increase to the water overage rate. 

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper– Committee met to discuss a possible ordinance addressing the feral cat problem in Palouse. They have been looking at various ordinances from other cities. Committee is looking for something that would limit the number of outdoor cats that are allowed. 

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder– On behalf of the Joint Fire Board, he thanked the council for approving the Pullman EMS Interlocal Agreement. 

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

Mayor has had some ongoing conversations with Garfield about the possibility of a contract to split 50/50 our 4th public works employee Evan Weagraff. This would allow him to stay full time between both cities and possibly get benefits. 

 

The City of Palouse is giving $5,000 from its emergency COVID funds to the Palouse School for the purchase of touchless faucets to mitigate potential virus spread on high touch areas.

 

The Congress is up for liquor license renewal. No police concerns. No council objections. 

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  The motion carried. 

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 11/24/2020 Ck. #11258, 11270-11289, & EFT $38,464.97

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Welcome seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:43 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

November 10, 2020

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Public Hearing – 2021 Preliminary Budget

Followed by

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

November 10, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

 

PUBLIC HEARING WRITTEN COMMENTS ON 2021 PRELIMINARY BUDGET:

No written comments received.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 27, 2020. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

2021 Budget prep ongoing but nearly complete. Possibly ready for adoption at our next council meeting, but no later than December 8th meeting. With the onset of the pandemic and uncertainty of how the economic shutdown will impact revenues in 2021, CA Dixon is not recommending any staff salary increases or decreases for next year.

 

Old John Deere tractor used for plowing sidewalks is at the end of its useful life and breaks down frequently. Local resident Phyllis Montgomery offered her ATV w/ plow, trailer, and winch at a significant discount as a gesture of gratitude for everything the city crew does. A big thanks to her.

 

Ordinances for adoption of annual 1% property tax increase for General and EMS levies will be ready at our next meeting.

 

We heard back from two sign companies last week regarding SGT Jacob Demand Way and will likely proceed with purchasing 5 from the lower offer later this week.

 

Planning Commission update: Chair Echanove updated council on the Planning Commission’s discussion on Accessory Dwelling Units and how or if the city would like to incorporate these into our existing code. Commission is considering requirements such as separate water/sewer hookups, residence requirements for property owners, minimum lot size, additional permitting process..etc…Commission will continue research and draft recommendation to city council when ready. This process will take time. They are looking at what other entities are doing to address this topic as well.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Staff Compensation and Benefits Proposal: Chair Snyder and Mayor Cook gave a brief overview of work done to date to develop a salary and benefits model that serves city staff and stakeholders in a responsible fashion. Future salary increases will be based on formula that accounts for marketplace averages of similar entities and would also incorporate Direct Job Experience, Longevity with the City of Palouse, and Merit increases supported by staff evaluations. If approved, the model and evaluation process would be implemented in 2021 with any compensation adjustments beginning in 2022. Discussion ensued. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the compensation model [with correction of discrepancy in outstanding merit adjustment scale from 1.6-3.0% to 1.1-3.0%] beginning in 2021. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carries.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome

 

Streets, Property & Facilities, Chair Sievers-

 

 

Personnel, Chair Snyder- Chair Snyder thanked those who submitted feedback during the compensation model discussion.

 

Water & Sewer Slinkard-

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper- Planning to schedule follow up meeting to discuss potentially setting limits on number of cats that property owners are allowed to keep.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

 

MAYOR’S REPORT– Reiterated thanks for those who submitted feedback for compensation model discussions. Still planning to meet with ECY this month regarding wastewater funding. Council discussed complaint received regarding property appearances. Proposed Spring-cleaning event will be an opportunity to address areas that may be in violation of junk, health, and safety Ordinances. Chief Neumann has been working with property owner to address these issues.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Welcome seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      10/31/2020        Ck. #11197-11213 & EFT           $45,343.82

Claims Paid      11/10/2020        Ck. #11214-11257 & EFT           $42,844.58

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 7:53 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

October 27, 2020

Palouse City Council

Public Hearing – 2021 Preliminary Budget

Followed by

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

October 27, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

PUBLIC HEARING ON 2021 PRELIMINARY BUDGET:

No written comments received.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 13, 2020. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Wolf submitted a written report. Due to the unexpected snow and freeze, water meters won’t be read until April or May. Public Works will still winterize the meter boxes.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

2021 budget prep is ongoing. Major expenses in the budget include new a PD vehicle, replacing the old, red PW truck, various PW shop equipment, and a spring-cleaning event to address some properties in town that violate junk/health/safety/nuisance ordinances. The spring-cleaning will be a jumping-off point with the intention to then start cracking down more on violators. Junk yards were the biggest concern received on the city survey.

 

The city will continue to solicit written public comment on the 2021 preliminary budget up to the November 10th council meeting.

 

The brick building (old gymnasium) on Main Street between the Brownfields site and the Palouse Health Center sold last week. New owners would like to present their ideas for the building at an upcoming council meeting.

 

CA Dixon along with Mayor Cook and W/S committee will meet with ECY and various other funding agencies in November to discuss options for funding wastewater improvements. After that time, CA Dixon will make recommendations for any 2021 water and sewer rate increases.

 

Water system sanitary survey report from Dept of Health was received last week. Two items noted in their report were:

-Seal access port used to track the groundwater level in the well

-Begin tracking regular inspections of the reservoir interior and exterior. Annual inspections recommended.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2020-06 – renaming “H Street” to “Sgt. Jacob Demand Way”: “H Street” from Main Street north to Mohr St. is being renamed “Sgt. Jacob Demand Way” in honor and recognition of Sgt. Jacob Demand, a graduate of Palouse HS. Jacob served in the US Army from 1995-2004 and received both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Jacob gave the last full measure of his devotion while serving our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2020-06. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ord. No. 996 – amending 13.20.100, so that the reconnection fee is set via fee schedule instead of via ordinance.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Ord. No. 996. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Ord. No. 997 – This is a housekeeping item for code consistency. It combines 15.34 “Mobile Home Installation” into PMC 17.16 “Mobile Homes”. Both chapters cover mobile homes (includes manufactured homes). Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 997. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

Ord. No. 998 – repealing PMC 15.34.  PMC 15.34 was moved into PMC 17.16, thereby making PMC 15.34 unnecessary.  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adopt Ordinance no. 998. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome– encourages people to submit in writing any 2021 budget concerns or recommendations.

 

Personnel, Chair Snyder-  Met last week with Palouse PD in regards to their compensation. Councilmember Snyder thought we had some things worked out but more questions have since arisen. He will bring committee suggestions to the next meeting.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper- Met with local veterinarian Andi Edwards regarding the feral cat problem in Palouse. Committee will investigate possible solutions.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

In September there were 11 fire calls: 7 were mutual aid to other cities and 4 were local (2 were false alarms).

There were 12 EMS calls in September, 99 for the year so far.

The ambulance contract with Pullman is pending.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Alred seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      10/27/2020        Ck. #11183-11196 & EFT           $20,254.80

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:34 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

October 13, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

October 13, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Snyder MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 22, 2020. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

New lift pump for sewer plant should be here this week. Irrigation systems almost winterized. Asphalt patching and crack fill prep ongoing.

Supt Wolf would like to grant Nagle Construction permission to work in city right of way to install water and sewer utilities at the corner of 8th and C St. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to grant permission. Councilmember Fielder seconded and the motion carried.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log. Furnace in PD is being repaired this week. PD ordered a replacement printer.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

ECY has reviewed our latest facility plan submittal and has only minor comments. Varela will address those comments by next week and we will have an approved facility plan. We received one public comment on the SEPA process that we will address in the final plan as well.

 

ECY funding application for design phase of wastewater facility upgrades was submitted today. ECY will publish results of this round of funding by mid-January.

 

Preliminary budget should be completed by early next week. CA Dixon is still gathering information. City will still solicit written public comment on the proposed budget on October 27 and November 10 council meetings. Preliminary budget will be available upon request once completed.

 

Palouse Chamber of Commerce is seeking council approval for a maximum of $14,500 of the city’s $49,000 allocation of CARES Act COVID Relief Funds. This money will be put toward program and communications development for the Palouse business community in response to COVID-19 and the subsequent changing landscape of local business. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to approve Chamber request. Councilmember Sievers seconded and the motion carried. Councilmember Welcome abstained.

 

RV revenue has bounced back some from loss of revenue due to COVID cancellations. It is at 63% YTD

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- Will be meeting next week to discuss budget.

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- Putting forth a proposal to rename ‘H Street’ to ‘SGT Jacob Demand Way’. Chair Sievers will welcome feedback leading up to next meeting. Public may request copy of proposed resolution by contacting CA Dixon.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Discussed messaging from city regarding safe Halloween practices with CA Dixon. City will send out info and post flyers promoting best practices.

 

Chair Cooper and CA Dixon will meet with TLC Animal Care owner Andi Edwards next week to discuss feral cat population in town and how the city may help mitigate growing numbers. Chief Neumann said local businesses can certify as authorized feral cat catchers, set humane traps, and send cats to vet to get fixed.

 

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Bank Left Gallery up for liquor license renewal. No objections.

 

Mayor Cook provided update on water task group. Doug Willcox and group have had ongoing discussions with Keller Associate’s Angela Taylor and will consult with additional regional engineer to vet concepts prior to bringing any recommendations to council.

 

Items acquired by law enforcement grant received by Garfield/Palouse PD back in 2009 will potentially be split between the two departments. Currently with Atty Hanson for review.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      9/30/2020          Ck. #11129-11149 & EFT           $48,810.85

Claims Paid      10/13/2020        Ck. #11150-11182 & EFT           $42,772.87

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Alred seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 7:32 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 22, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

September 22, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 8, 2020. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

DOH did their inspection on our reservoir and it needs some repairs. They will send us a written report and we will pursue options. Depending on scope of work, the repairs might get tied in with the water project.

 

Councilmember Fielder will notify the skatepark committee that the tree on east end of skatepark needs trimmed again; it’s blocking street light.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

The Wastewater Facility Plan was submitted again to ECY with responses to comments from their initial review. Major change to the plan was the elimination of the short-term potable water blending alternative with a goal to have lagoons constructed by 2024. Permit Manager Diana Washington indicated that they will not be able to begin their review of this latest submittal until the end of October. We are still proceeding with an application for design funding assuming the facility plan is approved.

 

The post for the radar speed sign requires a 5’ hole drilled with an auger. The city does not have this equipment, but our local Avista rep has agreed to assist us with this hopefully by the end of next week.

 

2021 budget prep continues. Mayor Cook will present a rough draft budget document at the next council meeting that will be amended and fine-tuned leading up to budget adoption at the second meeting in November or the first meeting in December. The city will solicit written public comments on the proposed budget that will be shared during the public hearing portions at the October 27 and November 10 council meetings.

 

Quote from Ziply Fiber representative to Port of Whitman regarding fiber buildout in Palouse: “In Palouse we have finished our design and submission to Avista. I am hoping to see an approved joint pole agreement from them here shortly.” …… “Looking to move the crews in mid to late October, with service before the holidays.”

 

We are anticipating next week a completed building permit application for the vet clinic from the owners of the Brownsfield site. It will be stick-built with an elevated, slab concrete foundation because it’s in the flood plain.

 

TDH submitted a written update regarding status of water system improvements. Phase 1 is for the replacing and upsizing of mains under Culton and Church Streets. Phase 1 is moving forward.  Phase 2 is for the full water system improvement upgrade. Phase 2 is on hold right now because we have other more pressing projects on the sewer side. There is a citizen workgroup still looking at options and alternatives for Phase 2. We will reach out to them regarding their timeline for presenting recommendations.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers– Committee will have an official resolution up for consideration at the next meeting for the renaming of H Street (school house hill) in honor of Sgt. Jacob Demand, a Palouse native who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The city will solicit written public comment on the proposed resolution between the October 13 meeting and the October 27 meeting. No one lives on H Street so no addresses will be affected.

 

Councilmember Sievers is still working with FastSigns about modifications to interior pool signage. Should be finalized before winter.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Ordinance No. 995 – adding Patriot Day to the flag policy:  This ordinance adds September 11 (Patriot Day) to the existing list of designated dates for flying the flags. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 995.  Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

FD had three regular meetings and two special meetings in August. We have three new firefighters and three retired firefighters came back on crew.

FD had seven fire calls in August: 6 mutual aid & 1 in-district.

EMS had 11 calls and 2 trainings in August.

The FD voted to purchase equipment for fit-testing EMS N95 masks and FD airpacks. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the purchase of the fit-testing system out of COVID funds, not to exceed $12,500. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. The city received a $32,400 CARES Act distribution for the purchase of COVID supplies and will be receiving another one for $16,800 shortly. The city has worked with the Fire Dept., EMS, the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to purchase COVID-related supplies.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

All the park bathrooms were reopened Sept. 4.

 

Liquor License Renewal for Palouse Lions Club. No objections.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Sievers seconded.  The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      8/22/2020          Ck. #11113-11128 & EFT           $14,352.07

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:41 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 8, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

September 8, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse Councilmember Welcome’s absence. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 25, 2020. Councilmember Alred seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

A reminder to watch for elementary kids walking to and from school.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Varela & Associates is finalizing our Wastewater Facility Plan for submittal to ECY later this week. A meeting is tentatively schedule for the 3rd week of September to discuss with us, Varela, and ECY to solidify path forward for design phase and application for funding.

 

CA Dixon is getting estimates for wireless water meter reading devices. Going wireless will provide a host of benefits to our system, but the conversion is costly. We will be investigating funding options with the hope to have the majority of the project funded by grants. The goal is to have enough information by the end of the year to develop a cost estimate for the 2021 budget.

 

The rail line that services the tracks through town was recently acquired by a new company (Spokane, Spangle and Palouse Railway). We have received complaints about the storage of the PROCOR tanks in city limits. CA Dixon has reached out to them and they confirmed that there is nothing in the tanks and that their plan is to have them removed by the end of the month.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ord. 994 – NWFiber, LLC franchise agreement: The city is authorized to grant non-exclusive franchises for the maintenance of fiber optic cable networks. This agreement is identical to First Step’s agreement. It grants NWFiber LLC, the right, privilege, and authority to construct, operate, maintain, replace, acquire, sell, lease, and use all necessary facilities for a fiber optic cable network in Palouse. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 994 as written. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

Resolution 2020-05 amends the 2020 salary schedule to reflect the changes to the new Public Works Supt’s pay, the new Public Works Assistant’s pay, and to add the Entry Level Public Works Assistant position and pay. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2020-05. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel, Chair Snyder- Working slowly and steadily on the pay and promotion model. We will take to city staff for feedback and then present it to council.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder- In the last three weeks the Palouse FD has responded to 10 mutual aid fire calls including two last Saturday (8/29/20). There were multiple serious fires in Whitman County yesterday (9/7/2020). A total of 14 firefighters were either deployed or on call for 12 straight hours. They were at three different scenes concurrently. During the Malden fire the water tender truck suffered a breakdown; it has since been repaired. Our gratitude to all the firefighters and EMS.

 

OPEN FORUM:

GPHS student Christian Burt is seeking permission and funding to paint 17 of the city’s fire hydrants as part of his Eagle Scout project. He will be painting all the yellow hydrants which are part of the FD’s color-coded hydrant system. He estimates $500 to cover supplies and paint. Councilmember Alred MOVED to fund up to $500 towards supplies to paint the 17 fire hydrants. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. He will return any usable leftover tools & supplies to Public Works.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Native Plant Walk is looking great and people have been seen enjoying it this week.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Snyder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cooper seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      8/31/2020          Ck. #11075-11093 & EFT           $50,042.47

Claims Paid      8/08/2020          Ck. #11094-11112 & EFT           $18,451.12

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Cooper seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 25, 2020

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

August 25, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse Councilmember’s Sievers absence. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 11, 2020. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Wolf submitted a written report. Public restrooms are still closed.

Another irrigation line broke at the cemetery. We will see more of this as time goes on because the pipes there are thin-walled PVC and 40 years old. PW will replace this broken line and will continue to fix and replace with better pipe as we go.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

We have hired two new employees to join our Public Works team: Taylor Redman has accepted our offer for the Public Works Assistant position. Her first day will be next Monday, August 31st. Evan Weagraff has accepted the newly created Entry Level Public Works Assistant position and his first day was August 17th. We are excited to have both aboard and to get the crew settled into their new roles.

 

We are finalizing agreement with WSDOT to relocate one of their speed signs on northbound HWY 27 at south end of city limits to accommodate the radar feedback sign currently installed at the railroad crossing.

 

The Palouse Native Plant Park was trimmed up last week with the help of Chief Neumann and resident Monty Nearing. A big thanks to both for their work improving the appearance of the park.

 

The Port of Whitman has officially partnered with Ziply Fiber (formerly Frontier) to build fiber to the home in Palouse. The agreement maintains an open-access network, where other providers will still be able to lease the fiber infrastructure and give customers more service options. According to the press release, buildout will begin this year and continue into 2021. They will pass along a more definitive timeline once those details are finalized.

Jim Kuznir of NW Fiber, LLC has submitted a proposed franchise agreement similar to the agreement we have with First Step internet to build out fiber infrastructure in Palouse as well. It is with Atty Hanson for review.

 

Every year we pass resolutions authorizing the county to place on the November ballot excess property tax levies for the swimming pool and arterial (project-based) street levies. Due to an oversight by CA Dixon, those resolutions were never prepared for council consideration, and the deadline to file for the November ballot has since passed (August 4th). Last year, Palouse voters approved the pool levy for $34,000, and the arterial streets levy for $44,000 for collection in 2020. 2021 Levy amounts would have been reduced significantly for both. We likely would not have had enough information by our 2nd meeting in July to provide an accurate forecast of needs for the pool in 2021 due to the pool closure this year. Similarly, TIB denied our funding request this year to turn the remainder of West Whitman street to Fir street from gravel to a hard surface street. We also did not proceed to construction on the Palouse Cove Sidewalk, so a large portion of the levy collected this year for Arterial Streets would be held over for next year. The next opportunity to place these levies on a ballot will be in April of 2021. This affords us time to put together a much more accurate assessment of need for each of these levies. Another option would be to roll these smaller amounts into our yearly levy forecast for the ballot next November. In either scenario, current reserves and 2020 levy collection will be able to cover normal operations in 2021. Our proposed General Levy for 2021 is $196,011 and proposed EMS Levy is $32,381. Both include the 1% increase from the prior year. Levy information is available upon request. CA Dixon has started working on the 2021 budget and will provide regular updates leading up to budget adoption in November.

 

 

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Wastewater Facility Plan update: John Patrouch of Varela, the city’s principal engineer on the project, submitted a summary update. Since the last meeting on July 27, they have reviewed the latest ECY comments and discussed strategy to revise the WWFP. Approach is to construct seasonal storage lagoons on city-owned property to meet both temperature and nitrogen effluent limits. ECY requested a resubmittal by Sept. 1, 2020 but Varela isn’t going to have it ready until around Sept. 11.  ECY funding apps are due by October 13, 2020.  Mayor Cook met with Art Jenkins of ECY to get his take on city’s direction and to confirm ECY would support the timeline for improvements should 3rd parties seek to exploit compliance issues. Art Jenkins acknowledges Palouse has a documented history of trying to solve this problem and he is very supportive of Palouse’s efforts. The city would like to perhaps try to deliver our revised facility plan combined with our funding application at the same time.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- Councilwoman Cooper inquired about the executive order regarding payroll tax. CA Dixon discussed his concern with implementing this until something more formal was put in place. At this time, it would be considered a deferral, which indicates any payroll tax payments suspended now would become due in a lump sum when employees file 2020 income taxes. CA Dixon will consult with employees and provide updates when more information becomes available.

 

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

3 fire calls in July:  1 assist on car wreck, 1 garage fire in city, 1 smoke detector alarm in city.

3 fire meetings in July – Wildland training, pump operations, on-scene structure fire scenario, and station night.

Fire department will be adding some reserve firefighters to the roster for summer wildland fire responses, three of whom are former Palouse firefighters with experience.

 

15 EMS calls in July: 9 Pullman ambulance transports to PRH, 2 Pullman Ambulance transfers to Colfax, 1 Private transport, 1 no transport, 1 fire standby, and 1 non-resident Pullman Ambulance transfer to LifeFlight to Sacred Heart. Rural fire had 0 calls. 85 calls total for year so far.

2 EMS trainings in July.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

As a gesture of good will, the city paid our lifeguards for the entire month of July even though the pool closed on July 6th.  Today, the city received an email from resident Andres Sena. He wants the city lifeguards to be paid for the entire season, through August 15. The city tried to strike a balance between doing right by lifeguards but also right by the taxpayers. Lifeguards were well-informed of the potential of pool not opening/staying open prior to the start of the season. Council is satisfied with the city’s actions already taken on this matter.

 

Planning Commission vacancy. Letters of interest can be submitted to City Hall.

 

The Palouse chamber of Commerce emailed council requesting the city’s help to ensure and communicate public safety measures in regards to the state’s COVID-19 response and requirements (enforcing masks & social distancing). Chief pointed out that businesses have the right of refusal of service; if someone refuses to leave, call police and he will support the businesses wishes. Chief will meet with businesses if they want, but businesses need to self-regulate and enforce. Chief said the pop-up music performances around town need to stop; those are strictly prohibited under the governor’s guidelines. Councilmember Cooper asked that a message about mask requirements be put on the readerboard. Mayor Cook brought up that a lot of this is compliance issues; people are aware but just don’t want to comply. At the heart of the matter is there are folks who have their views. Councilmember Cooper asked Chief to meet with chamber to see how they can work together to make people comply. Perhaps showing solidarity between the city and the businesses will go a long way in aiding.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Fielder seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      8/25/2020          Ck. #11064-11074 & EFT           $5,622.70

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Welcome seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:02 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 11, 2020

Palouse City Council via Zoom Teleconferencing

Regular Council Meeting

August 11, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Councilmembers present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Welcome MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 28, 2020. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

The Heritage Park restrooms have been the victim of some disgusting vandalism involving excrement. The cleanup and sanitizing require an extra hour each time, not to mention the associated health risks to public and staff.  PW Supt Wolf Would like to temporarily close the public bathrooms for a couple weeks until the third PW position is filled. At that time, we can open on a trial basis during business hours and see how it goes. Chief Neumann offered to lock the bathrooms every evening when the time comes.

 

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted a police log.

-Radar sign is ready to be installed, just waiting for WSDOT authorization. The sign will be for northbound traffic (coming into Palouse from Pullman).

-Chief requested a meeting with the personnel and budget committees to go over some issues.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

City is still working with WSDOT regarding placement of radar speed sign on HWY 27 at the south entrance to town. They have very specific restrictions, so it is not as simple as putting a post in the ground wherever we choose in their right-of-way.

 

There should be an update from our wastewater engineers at our next meeting regarding the timeline for a response to ECY comments on the facility plan.

 

CA Dixon will have a proposed update to the city’s 6-year street improvement plan (STIP) for the street committee’s consideration by the end of the month. It cannot be formally adopted until a public hearing is held. As we get into budget season, if in-person meetings are unlikely to resume, we will solicit written comment and proceed with adoption. He will also have 2021 revenue sources available soon. This is an estimation of taxes to be collected next year. The finance committee will meet in September and October to discuss the 2021 budget, with emphasis on pool levy numbers and potential impacts the pandemic will have on our revenues in 2021 and beyond.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- Met last week to discuss increase to fees for cemetery plots and opening/closing gravesites. Committee is close to a recommendation.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper- Met to discuss whether we want to pursue a policy for street naming/dedicating. After researching, committee is recommending we address these rare requests on an ad-hoc basis.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Twenty people applied for the position of Public Works Assistant. Interviews are being held this week.

We are also potentially looking at an additional part-time hourly helper.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cooper seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      7/31/2020          Ck. #11018-11040 & EFT           $51,808.08

Claims Paid      8/11/2020          Ck. #11041-11063 & EFT           $19,352.10

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 7:27 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 28, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

July 28, 2020

Via Zoom Videoconferencing

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 14, 2020. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

Repaired and replaced pump at sewer plant

 

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

PD is still having an ongoing issue with a habitually loose dog who acts aggressively in the neighborhood. We are going to hold the owner accountable through the legal system.

 

Chief wants to remind residents to not mess with people’s private property; leave yard signs alone even if you disagree with the message. Chief stated that video evidence is wonderful and admissible.

 

Council addressed concerns with people not following the mask mandate and wanted to know how this could be better enforced. Chief indicated that responsibility falls on the health department to hold people accountable. Chief isn’t going to be the mask police but will try and encourage people to wear them.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Effective July 20th, the state implemented additional limitations to slow the spread of COVID-19. The number of individuals allowed in social gatherings during Phase 3 has been reduced from 50 to 10. As such, city council meetings will be held via Zoom until this order has been lifted and in-person meetings have been deemed safe to resume.

 

This is Supt. Griffin’s final week with the city after 14 years of service. He has been integral to the operation and appearance of the City of Palouse and we are sad to see him go.  Mike Wolf was offered and has accepted the PW Supt. position on a one-year interim basis. He has been training with Supt. Griffin. The city is now advertising for Mike’s replacement, which is a Public Works Assistant in charge of the cemetery and parks. We hope to have this role filled by mid-August. Garfield has assured us that they will assist us indefinitely if needed for emergency infrastructure repairs with the understanding that we will do the same if called upon.

 

Mary Estes expressed need for some plant work at Heritage Park that is outside the Rose Ladies’ capabilities. CA Dixon will hand over to PW to address and if they are unable, they will hand it over to an outside party.

 

We continue to receive complaints about the Native Plant Park. They are supposed to be down there working on July 30. One of their goals is to clean up and identify the various plant species.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Palouse Cove Sidewalk Bids:

Bids closed July 16th. We only got two bids, but one bid was in the ballpark. Looks like we will have an extra $30k over what we had originally planned. Cost of construction materials increased significantly. We were still confident that we could see bids in our price range but it didn’t happen. TIB (Transportation Improvement Board) normally would cover these overages, but the majority of their funding has been cut for this year. CA Dixon needs direction from council on how to proceed. This project was originally supposed to be funded by 100% grant, but now it’s upwards of $30k needed from city to proceed. We have until March of 2022 to expend grant funds.  Easy solution is to reject all bids and regroup while CA Dixon seeks additional funding.  CA Dixon will also continue outreach to property owner adjacent from proposed sidewalk to assist the city in cutting a major cost of the project.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to reject all bids.  Councilmember Alred seconded. Motion carried.

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, Major Acquisitions – Chair Welcome:  Had a great meeting last week with CA Dixon. Sidewalk project would take unexpected chunk out of Arterial Streets fund if we proceed. Garfield police contract line item will show major shortfall, but city is saving money from the elimination in March of the 3rd police officer position.

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities – Chair Sievers: Committee revisited the pool closure issue. Took into consideration the governor’s July 16 order decreasing public gatherings from 50 to 10, increase in county COVID cases, and other pools around the state choosing to remain closed. We looked at online scheduling to use the pool and other options but none of them were feasible. It is the committee’s recommendation that the pool remain closed.

 

Received a request from Paula Echanove to rename H Street in honor of Sgt Jacob Demand, a Palouse native who was killed in Iraq in 2004. They chose H Street because it doesn’t change anyone’s address. Committee likes the proposal but isn’t ready to take action yet. The intent is a great thing however there is potential for unintended consequences. There are a host of deserving people in our community and does this create a scenario where the city sees an increase in these requests. Does this set a precedent? The city might need to set up procedures and criteria for these kinds of requests going forward. Streets Committee and Policy Committee will meet to discuss.

 

The city received another letter from the Bofenkamps regarding issues by their house on the highway: speeding and noise from compression brakes. The city is awaiting WSDOT approval to install the recently purchased flashing speed sign. Councilmember Sievers wants to continue to seek out grants to purchase more of the flashing speed signs for all entrances to town. Chief will look into cost of repairing the radar trailer.

 

Councilmember Sievers would like to see the city take on the responsibility for care of the Native Plant Walk because it’s not working with volunteers. Public Works is already stretched thin. It is going to require additional funding for staffing if Public Works is forced to take on the upkeep of city-owned areas previously maintained by volunteers. Mayor Cook thinks perhaps a blended model with volunteers and some level of city involvement is a possibility.

 

Had a citizen complaint about the upkeep at the cemetery: gravestone that had been moved off its base and weeds around the gravestones. It is not what we’ve come to expect from our cemetery. Committee would like to see this rectified moving forward. If Public Works can’t give it the attention needed, we will need to address it from outside hire.

 

Spoke with CA Dixon about the Palouse Arms building. We will reach out to state fire marshall again to discuss a meeting to note safety issues and notify owner.

 

Water & Sewer – Chair Slinkard.

Chair Slinkard provided some background on facility planning timeline. Went to Spokane and met with ECY regarding our Facility Plan earlier this year. During that discussion it seemed that two things are set in stone: timeframe to address effluent temperature TMDL by summer of 2024 and elimination of river discharge during low river flow periods by 2030. Alternatives to address temperature TMDL were industrial chillers or effluent blending with aquifer water.  Both options are very wasteful and temporary.  Water/Sewer Committee believes at this point the most appropriate course of action is to try to fast track installation of lagoons (eliminating river discharge during low flow periods) because that will be required eventually. There is funding available through ECY and USDA Rural Development and CA Dixon has met with state legislatures for the past 3 years in the hope to get additional funding in the state budget as well. We need to move fast because the first benchmark is 2024.  John Patrouch from Varela was present via zoom.  If we miss deadlines, we open ourselves up to litigation from 3rd parties. Lagoon alternative was first proposed three years ago and ECY rejected it. And now three years later, investigation of several other alternatives and associated costs, we are back to the same alternative. CA Dixon would like to see ECY take some ownership over this because they are culpable for the time and funding issues before us.  With current available funding for upgrades we would have to charge between $80-$120 for sewer alone for each residential unit which has the potential to be devastating to our community.  Varela will be replying to comments issued by ECY on our facility plan with an emphasis on lagoon construction by 2024.  City will be very aggressive in our pursuit of any additional funding possibilities.  Meeting with ECY will be scheduled for sometime this fall to further discuss our direction.

 

Policy & Administration – Chair Cooper: Appealed to fellow councilmembers to respond to emails.

 

 

 

Joint Fire Board – Chair Fielder:

-On the financial side, JFB is over budget due to COVID expenditures but is being reimbursed from CARES Act.

-There were two fire calls in June. One station night.

-There were 11 EMS calls in June (7 city, 1 rural, 3 non-residents).  60 EMS calls total through June.  Had two EMS hands-on training nights.  The ambulance contract with Pullman is up for renewal.

-There will be an increase to budget next year due to official DOT truck inspections. Total initial cost is $10,000 ($5k from city, $5k from rural) because we haven’t been doing the inspections. But after initial large expense, ongoing costs would only be about $300 per truck and not necessarily annually. CA Dixon said this won’t be a budget problem.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT: Covered in other areas of meeting

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Snyder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      7/28/2020          Ck. #11006-11017 & EFT           $6,992.42

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Welcome seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:32 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 14, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting held at Palouse Community Center due to COVID restrictions

July 14, 2020

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Attorney Eric Hanson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 23, 2020.  Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 993 – adoption of rules & regulations for the display of flags, banners, and signs on city light poles:

Mayor Cook read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. The ordinance states the following banners and flags may be flown on street lamp posts within the city or the flag standards affixed to them and no others:

  • the national flag of the USA;
  • the WA State flag;
  • the POW-MIA flag;
  • the Palouse city flag;
  • and any other flag or banner which the City Council may choose, via resolution, to be flown from time-to-time.

The above-mentioned flags may be flown, by the city, on the dates adopted by City Council from time-to time. Currently, the holidays designated for flying them are as follows:

  • March 30 (Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day);
  • April 9 (Former Prisoner of War Day);
  • 3rd Saturday in May (Armed Forces Day);
  • Last Monday in May (Memorial Day);
  • June 14 (Flag Day);
  • July 4 (Independence Day);
  • July 27 (Korean War Veterans Armistice Day);
  • 2nd Saturday after Labor Day (Palouse Days);
  • 3rd Friday in September (POW/MIA Recognition Day);
  • November 11 (Veterans’ Day);
  • December 7 (Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day).

The ordinance is not intended to prohibit or curtail individuals from carrying flags or banners in public and/or displaying them on private property. No person or entity shall paint, mark or write on, or post or otherwise affix, any hand-bill or sign to or upon any public crosswalk, curb, curbstone, street lamp post, hydrant, tree, shrub, tree stake, or guard, electric light or power or telephone pole, or wire appurtenance thereof or upon any lighting system, public building, drinking fountain, street sign, or traffic sign. The penalty for violation of this ordinance includes removal by either the Palouse PD or Palouse Public Works. The person(s) responsible for any such illegal posting shall be liable for the cost incurred in the removal thereof.

Councilmember Alred MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 993.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

 

OPEN FORUM:

Jessie Twigg Harris. Thanked council and mayor for all their work on the flag policy. Urged council to develop an anti-racism statement and to publish it on the chamber’s website.

Dominick Mylett. Read aloud his letter to council asking for the pool to be reopened.

Diane Mylett. Advocating for the pool being reopened. Suggested a pass system for residents, thereby restricting pool usage so only city residents have access. Thinks there may be some kind of compromise. She offered some ideas.

John Sykes. 1) Wants pool to reopen with more restrictions, no swim lessons, etc.  2)Wants better development of basketball courts at the park, perhaps something similar to what Farmington just put in.

Becky Manning. Thanked council for coming up with a flag policy. Agrees with issuing an official response to racism. Her daughters were both pool managers and knows it’s a lot of responsibility during the best of times to keep standard protocols in place at the pool; don’t rely on young lifeguards to try and enforce Covid restrictions. She’s sad to hear it closed but has confidence and trust that city leaders are leading us through this with a purpose. There’s such division on the COVID subject, maybe community members could be part of the discussion so they had more of a voice.

Andres Sena. Swim team coach. Would like pool to reopen. He thinks there are safe ways to do it. Must be mindful and respectful of each other through this process. Thinks RV Park should be closed for safety. Black Lives Matter. Thinks we all need to be accepting of each other.

Nancy Whitesell. Feels like people are creating a racism issue in town that doesn’t exist. Palouse isn’t about racism or hate and it never has been. Things need to take a step back and remember who we are. We live in a small community because we don’t have to deal with big city issues. Why bring it here when it’s not the face of our community?

Mike Burkhart. This community has never been white supremacist or racist. The Lions Club has never ever put that forth on their agenda. Our goal is to serve our community. Yes, we (Lions Club) flew the Blue Lives Matter flag. We’ve flown it for six years. Why is it an issue now?

Jim Morrison. Thanked council for adopting flag policy. Asked if flags would be hung on just the one specific date or if the flags would be hung for a few days before and/or after each holiday. Councilmember Cooper responded that the new policy doesn’t preclude only hanging flags on the specific date so yes, they can be hung on surrounding days (i.e. weekend surrounding the holiday).

Connie Newman. 1)Agreed the Lions aren’t racist or a white supremacist organization and she didn’t hear that sentiment from other people but can appreciate that the Lions felt that way.  Palouse is special; we’re watched by other communities because we’re thriving. She feels this has been an important dialogue in Palouse and the conversation is important. She detailed how this topic has caused deep dialogue with all three of her children and initiated understanding and healing. We’re all on the same page. 2) She’s sad that the pool closed but discussed her time as a lifeguard and pool manager and conveyed that we can’t expect lifeguards to be responsible for social distancing and masks etc. on the deck. She would volunteer though to help it reopen.

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

Mayor Cook outlined his reasons for closing the pool on July 6.  Based on COVID safety and the welfare of our community; National and regional COVID trends; How quickly COVID flares, etc. all gave Mayor Cook concern. Staff have a specific job to ensure safety of people in the pool; asking staff to ensure COVID safety compliance is problematic. At end of the day, kids are going to be kids. They don’t social distance. They play. He still thinks keeping the pool closed is the right and prudent thing to do. The state is talking about tightening things up if things don’t get better. There are basically three options:  1) keep closed; 2) open as normal; 3) a hybrid solution. Councilmember Sievers stressed that council’s interest is the safety of the community; there was no bad intent in closing the pool. Councilmembers Sievers, Alred, Slinkard, & Cooper all think the city should err on the side of caution. Public safety is a very serious issue for all ages. Facilities committee will research the issue and report back at next meeting.  There are unintended consequences of asking people not to come to our pool.

Public Works Supt. Update: The city only received five applicants for outgoing Supt. Griffin’s position. None of the applicants had Supt. Griffin’s levels of comprehension or skill set. We have had ongoing conversations with Garfield to assist should problems arise. We are currently working to train up our existing staff.  We lose Supt. Griffin on August 1 and will have challenges ahead with his departure.

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

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log. Chief Neumann reminds people when doing sidewalk art, only use chalk, not permanent paint. It’s a criminal act.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

The city is accepting bids for the Palouse Cove Sidewalk project until this Thursday, July 16th at 2PM. Our engineer has fielded questions from interested contractors, so we are hopeful that competition is going to drive bids lower. As you may recall, inflated costs have our engineer worried that the bids will come in over our budget which has the potential to suspend construction until next year. CA Dixon is currently working to acquire additional funds with the goal to see the full project scope, including a pedestrian bridge across the river to the city park, completed next year. We will have an update regarding final bid amounts for council consideration at our next meeting.

CA Dixon and Finance Chair Welcome will have an update on first half of 2020 financials at our next meeting. RV revenue is expected to take another major hit with fan participation becoming less and less likely for WSU athletics this fall. The city has seen reduced revenue in other areas as well but overall is getting through these difficult times okay.

Spoke with ECY regarding the status of our Wastewater Facility Plan that was submitted to them back in March. They will have comments to us and our engineers prior to our next council meeting.

If pool remains closed for the rest of the year, we have a mechanism to account for unspent pool levy dollars for next year’s levy.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- meeting and will bring report to next council

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- will meet to discuss pool

Personnel, Chair Snyder- Hoping to bring human resources packet to next meeting.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Welcome seconded.  The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      6/30/2020          Ck. #10932-10958 & EFT           $51,616.53

Claims Paid      7/10/2020          Ck. #10959-11005 & EFT           $42,713.95

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Welcome seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

June 23, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting held at Hayton Greene Park due COVID-19 restrictions

June 23, 2020

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Mary Welcome; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Terry Snead; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse Councilmember Slinkard’s absence. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Alred MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 9, 2020. Councilmember Fielder seconded.  Motion carried.  Councilmember Snyder MOVED to approve the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of June 18, 2020. Councilmember Alred seconded. Motion carried.

 

OPEN FORUM ON FLAG POLICY:

The Lions Club have hung flags on Main Street for years and it’s a great benefit to the city and very much appreciated. However, in recent weeks the city has received numerous letters raising concern over the Thin Blue Line flag being allowed to hang. Palouse doesn’t have a clear policy over displaying flags so may be construed as a public forum. Policy & Administration Committee is researching best practices to move this matter forward. Mayor Cook issued a cease & desist order to Chief Neumann from removing anything from light poles until we have a policy in place. We are here to solicit public comment regarding a flag policy. The goal is to take this feedback into consideration while a formal policy is crafted.

 

The following people spoke aloud during the open forum, in no particular order: Libby Akin, Emily Akin, Jessie Twigg-Harris, Sarah Bofenkamp, Kurt Brantner, Damon Estes, Carly Schoepflin, Michael Echanove, Jens Hegg, Ann Barrington, Brad Pearce, Ken Alsterlund, Dave Caudle, Leslie Sena, Lynn Gearhart, Caleb San Miguel, Darrel Goertzen, Sinclair Watkins, Jerry Hibbard, Adam Cochran.  Additionally, CA Dixon read aloud letters from Katryna Newman, Claire Echanove, Shandra Bohn, and Ron & Lana Redman, which were submitted for the forum.

Upon completion of the open forum at 8:11 pm, Councilmember Alred MOVED to take a 10-minute recess. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.  Meeting readjourned at 8:23 pm

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

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police call log.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

The city has been looking into alternatives to address the condition of the Native Plant Park in a timelier fashion. We continue to receive complaints on a regular basis. CA Dixon invited resident Jamie Gaber and Palouse Conservation District representative Garrett LaCivita to discuss how we can team up to expedite improvements.

Jamie explained about some of the plantings and progress thus far. Had a good survival rate from last year’s plantings. Currently have people working on signage to continue educational efforts with species identification, etc.  They’re also hoping to wire cage all the plantings and complete the path. Once that’s done, mowing can be done around the wire cages and signs. Mowing native grasses will be better if done after July 1 which eliminates risk to nesting songbirds and damage to grasses. The public would like to see functional pathways, river access, weeds cut down, and manicured to some degree.  Jamie could use more volunteer help.

The city received two bids for our annual road oiling: BST Surfacing $10,564.40, & Mort’s Dust & Erosion Control $17,248.00.  BST has bid the lowest cost for the past several years and they do good work. Supt. Griffin recommends council accept their bid. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to accept the low bid from BST Surfacing. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

RV Park reservations have increased significantly since Phase 3 approval.

Palouse Chamber has ordered a first round of masks/PPE from the state appropriation from COVID-19 related expenses. CA Dixon will also be reaching out to other entities (i.e. local food bank, FIRE/EMS) to determine needs and eligibility for these funds.

OLD BUSINESS:

Wastewater Operator Contract with Garfield:  Palouse doesn’t have a Level II certified operator in Palouse. Garfield has one. This agreement allows us to trade with Garfield eight hours of our public works services for eight hours of their Level II certified operator services.  Language is also in the contract which allows for us to call on Garfield in the event of sewer facility emergencies. Traded hours are 1:1 with no exchange of funds. This will satisfy ECY’s requirements.  Councilmember Alred MOVED to adopt the contract. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

Palouse Cove Sidewalk Bid Documents:

Engineer Munir Daud has continued to price alternatives to remain within budget for our project. His recommendation is to proceed with bids without the block wall and the pedestrian lights (which would be added later). We are still in discussions with property owner in Harvest Loop development to better utilize the terrain to avoid the block wall. We can also give contractors three months to finish the project, to better work with competing schedules, which should also result in a lower bid. If the bids still come in too high, we reserve the right to reject all bids. CA Dixon is still working on additional funding opportunities. The original grant of $200,000 received for this project does not need to be spent until March of 2022. Even then, in light of current events, an extension of this deadline would likely be approved.  It is the engineer’s and CA Dixon’s recommendation to put a call for bids for this project ASAP. A determination to proceed to construction can be made after a review of submittals.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the call for bids. Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel, Chair Snyder- has some action items forthcoming.

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Flag Policy Discussion: Committee has met twice with attorney. They have done a lot of research on this issue.  There are three options: 1) The city could take no action, effectively ‘opening’ the street lights as public forums without regulation, whereby anything could be posted or hung at any time by anyone. 2) Adopt a policy that applies time, place and manner restrictions. This would create a permitting process that would require pre-approval to hang flags/banners at predetermined places and times. The city would not be allowed to regulate content. 3) Adopt a policy that ‘closes’ the public forum. Only city owned flags and banners would be allowed on city owned property to be hung only by authorized city personnel. They will have another committee meeting this week to consider all the input heard today and will present their recommendation to council at the next regularly scheduled council meeting.  There are no other special meetings scheduled at this time.

Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

There were four fire calls and two trainings in May. There were five EMS calls in May: 3 city, 2 non-residents. Also had two EMS trainings in May.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      6/23/2020          Ck. #10917-10931 & EFT           $33,251.80

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Alred seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

June 9, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 9, 2020

Via Zoom Videoconferencing

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 26, 2020. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

Supt. Griffin thanks the Palouse FD and residents Jeremy Hodson and Monty Nearing for their assistance with storm cleanup.

 

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted a written report.

-Chief Neumann also thanks those who helped out with storm cleanup.

-Chief has ordered the speed reader radar sign to be placed on HWY 27 coming in to town from Pullman. It will have the capability to record and monitor all speeds detected over a period of time. It will have customizable and changeable messages.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

While we originally believed that the Wastewater Facility Plan that was submitted back in March would have a fairly quick turnaround time, we received word yesterday that it is still a few weeks out. Based on that conversation, we are not expecting comments back from them until sometime in July. They have a long window to review and provide comments. No specifics on their review thus far has been reported.

 

Our project engineer MD&A is concerned with the cost of materials for the Palouse Cove Sidewalk Project. We are working through these overages and vetting alternatives. We will present the bid documents to council once we have a more palatable budget.

 

We have received several complaints regarding the appearance of the Native Plant Park. In spring of 2019 [April 23 & May 14, 2019 minutes], resident Jamie Gaber asked City Council for authorization to introduce additional native plants to the area, add bark and other improvements, and to perform maintenance. Council granted her approval provided additional support was not required of our PW Staff. While we have seen some sporadic activity at the park, regular maintenance and upkeep have not happened. CA Dixon spoke with Jamie today and she reported that she has partnered with the Palouse Conservation District to finalize improvements to the Native Plant Park. On Thursday, June 11th PCD will be out laying material and spreading bark on the pathway. They will also finish clean-up of the overgrown portions of the park. She reports they have planted roughly 100-150 plants. PCD is currently working on plant signage. A portion of the park has been dedicated to a blooming garden.  CA Dixon will follow up with Gaber and PCD regarding progress and will report to council. If improvements do not proceed as planned, council may authorize an alternate solution.  A huge thank you to Dennis and Vickie Griner who resigned in March from their years of volunteering time, labor, and equipment keeping the Native Plant Park looking nice. Our PW Staff cannot take this project on. If there is anyone in town that would like to lend their time to maintaining this area once it has been cleaned up, please contact City Hall.

 

We had originally planned to have the updated Wastewater Operator Interlocal Agreement with Garfield ready to review and sign tonight. Our Attorney has been on National Guard duty, so we do not have a timeframe yet on when that will be presented. The deadline to have an agreement in place is in August so the timeline will not be an issue.

 

Water/Sewer committee met last week to continue the discussion regarding updating/increasing water and sewer hookup fees. These updates will be presented to council for further discussion when finalized by the attorney

 

The Personnel Committee are in the process of reviewing applications for the PW Superintendent position.

 

Whitman County has transitioned into phase 3 of reopening. Part of phase 3 allows gatherings of up to 50 people. Mayor and Council will need to determine if/when it is safe and appropriate to resume in-person council meetings.  CA Dixon will continue to assess how and where council meetings will be held moving forward. Masks will likely be required if/when we go back to in-person meetings. City Hall will open to the public on Tuesday, June 16th and will resume normal business hours. Public restrooms at the parks will open tomorrow.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 992: Budget amendment for Coronavirus Relief Funds and Palouse Cove sidewalk project:  Affects Current Expense Fund and Arterial Streets Fund. The coronavirus relief funds administered by the Dept Commerce will reimburse any costs related to COVID-19 prevention and costs associated with economic shutdown. The Palouse Cove sidewalk project is funded by a $200,000 dollar grant from TIB, which was moved from and ending balance to an expenditure line item for construction. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 992 as written. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities – Chair Sievers:

-We’ve been working with FastSigns for signs at the pool. Councilmember Sievers is working on getting their bid more in line with our needs and budget.

-Chair Sievers met with city staff to discuss how we will move forward at the pool this summer with regards to allowing out of town patrons. Maximum capacity at the pool is normally 112, so at 50% it will be 56. From data gathered last year, having more than 50 patrons was rare (3 instances), and was not seen at all in June. If current trend holds, Whitman County will transition to Phase 4 of reopening allowing for full capacity at the pool before the end of June. We will monitor usage closely as the pool opens and evaluate daily. At this time, the pool will open as normal, but if we see unexpected usage and wait times due to max capacity, pool committee will reevaluate and propose appropriate restrictions.

 

Personnel – Chair Snyder: Committee has two big things coming up: 1) vetting process for employee review/salaries/raises/etc. & 2) hiring Supt. Griffin’s replacement.

 

Water & Sewer – Chair Slinkard. Committee met to finalize the ordinances for the cost increase to hook-up fees for water and sewer as well as the code change to year-round charges for service, regardless if active or not. This was introduced in November but due to Covid, we’ve pushed the effective date from July to September. There will be a public hearing prior to voting on proposed changes. The ordinances are with the attorney for review.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

For years the Palouse Lions Club has hung the US flags on Main Street for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day etc.,  About five years ago they wanted to add flags to honor those who protect & serve so they added flags of our five military branches and the flags of our first responders: fire, EMS, and police which is the national “Thin Blue Line” flag.  This particular flag has unfortunately been adopted by “Blue Lives Matter” a national countermovement to “Black Lives Matter” .and now represents a lot of hurt and harm to people of color. The city recently received letters from four residents asking that the “Thin Blue Line” flag be removed.  The city would like to find some kind of mutually agreeable solution that upholds the 1st Amendment but also looks out for and is sensitive to people of color.  Palouse wants to honor the police but also want to make it known that prejudice and hatred are not tolerated here. CA Dixon offered to have the city purchase an alternative police flag to replace Thin Blue Line flag. Agreement for potential alternatives could not be reached. Lions Club “see no reason to remove a flag that honors our local and national law enforcement officials”.  Council discussed in-depth the situation.

 

Flag Day is this Sunday. The city wants to come up with a resolution to address this in the interim and one in the long-term.  Ultimately, the city has no flag policy in place.  Without a policy we’re walking dangerous ground. There’s no legal obligation to fly any flags so until there is a policy, we can opt to not hang any but no one wants to see that. This is a very complicated and sensitive issue. The city is responsible for created equitable policy. City does not just represent the majority.

 

Councilmember Alred MOVED to suspend any flags being flown until there is a flag policy adopted by the city. Councilmember Sievers seconded.  Motion failed.

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED that city council respectfully ask the Lions Club to only fly the US Flag, the Washington State Flag, and the POW/MIA flag for Flag Day as per RCW 1.20.017, until a policy is adopted by the city.  Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried.  CA Dixon will contact the Lions Club. This will now go to Policy Committee.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      5/31/2020          Ck. #10881-10896 & EFT           $41,137.23

Claims Paid      6/09/2020          Ck. #10897-10916 & EFT           $20,207.94

 

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

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

June 18, 2020

 

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Special Council Meeting

June 18, 2020

Via Zoom Videoconferencing

 

CALL TO ORDERMayor Cook called the Special Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: City Administrator Kyle Dixon

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2020-04 Rescheduling June 23rd City Council Meeting

Whitman County transitioned into Phase 3 of Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan earlier this month which allows for gatherings of up to 50 people. Under normal circumstances, city council meetings usually fall within this threshold. However, accounting for the continued social distancing guidelines still in place, city council chambers (city hall) are not large enough to accommodate council meetings. CA Dixon reached out to the Palouse Community Center to inquire about moving the meeting to that venue. Red Cross is sponsoring a blood drive the day of our regularly scheduled council meeting so it would need to be rescheduled if in person meetings were to resume. An additional condition for in person meetings would be the requirement for everyone in attendance to wear facial coverings. This is for everyone’s protection, but especially those at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. As of this evening, Gov Inslee extended 23 proclamations, of which one was the waiver of the OPMA (Open Public Meetings Act) laws and requirements until July 1st. This gives council the ability to continue virtual meetings and/or require additional safety restrictions as a requirement to attend council meetings in the interest of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Council discussed pros and cons of transitioning meeting to the community center on Thursday June 25th versus holding another virtual meeting at the regularly scheduled time. A concern was raised that prior commitments would preclude those wanting to participate in this discussion if the date was changed. Councilmember Welcome proposed the idea of keeping the meeting on the same date and time but moving the location to in-person at the city park. It seems to allow the desired platform for discussions while keeping everyone properly socially distanced. Current weather forecast for next Tuesday in Palouse is 80 degrees and sunny. An additional special meeting for the week after, if needed, was also discussed. CA Dixon read the amended Resolution aloud.

Councilmember Cooper MOVED to approve Resolution 2020-04 relocating the June 23rd regularly scheduled city council meeting to Hayton Greene Memorial City Park. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Councilmember Slinkard will not be voting on this resolution or attending the next council meeting due to potential recent exposure to COVID-19. Motion carried.

CITY ATTORNEY REPORT:

The Policy and Administration Committee met with Atty Hanson earlier this week to begin discussions and continue research into the formal adoption of a flag policy. Atty Hanson reviewed the history of the flags flown on city owned street lights and provided guidance on how the city may craft a flag policy. City property such as parks and sidewalks are considered traditional forms of “Public Forums”, where people are free to express themselves in a manner of their choosing. Alternately, city property such as city-owned buildings or street lights are not considered public forums unless they have been designated as such. By allowing the Lions Club to hang flags on city owned street lights, the city ‘designated’ those street lights as public forums, whether intentional or not. Atty Hanson outlined some options for a flag policy going forward. One option would be to ‘close’ the public forum by addressing it specifically in a policy. The city would then be solely responsible for determining what flags would be hung, and by authorized city personnel. Another option would be to leave the designated public forum ‘open’, whereby a permitting process would be initiated by policy to designate a time, place and manner restriction on what flags would be flown at what times. The city would not be able to regulate content of flags in any form. A third option would be to leave the public forum open without restrictions whereby anything could be posted or hung by anybody at any time. Issues of aesthetics and safety were discussed. City council expressed interest in receiving public comment on this matter prior to adoption of a formal flag policy. Those wishing to speak publicly on the matter would be invited to do so at the next council meeting held at the city park next Tuesday at 7PM. Those wishing to submit written public comment for consideration during the next council meeting may send an email to CA Dixon at cityclerk@palouse.com, or drop it off in person at city hall. Those comments will be read into the city minutes of the next council meeting.

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

May 26, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 26, 2020

Via Zoom Videoconferencing

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 12, 2020. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

Councilmember Cooper commended staff on how nice downtown looked for Memorial Day.

 

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted a written report. PD had six call-outs between May 13-25.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:  CA Dixon submitted a written report.

-We have posted the job announcement for the Public Works Superintendent job. Depending on initial interest, we will coordinate interviews with the Personnel Committee once per week hopefully beginning the first week of June.

-CA Dixon is finishing up 2019 Annual Report. No issues to report. Waiting on updated code clarification on some line items from the State Auditor’s Office. Will submit at the end of this week.

-CA Dixon spoke with ECY permit manager Diana Washington last week. They will have comments on Wastewater Facility Plan prior to our first council meeting in June. At that meeting we will have our engineers Varela & Associates provide context on ECY comments and our plan to proceed.

-We are collaborating with the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to provide masks for businesses in town as they plan to reopen. Some of the funding from Palouse Cares Act can go towards that purchase. Funds can’t be used to replace lost revenue but can be used for emergency expenses.

-Deputy Clerk Thompson is finalizing the updates and rewrite of our water and sewer connection fee ordinances as discussed at the November 12th, 2019 council meeting. Water/Sewer Committee is meeting to discuss later this week and will have an update at the next council meeting.

-Hoping to have the pool open June 20th if the governor’s Phase 3 schedule allows it.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Palouse Cove sidewalk bid documents: MD&A has presented initial bid documents for review by council. The two main costly items will be the block walls with chain link fence and the pedestrian push button flashing beacon sign.  Costs should be available by next meeting.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Contract with Garfield for temporary Level II Certified Wastewater Operator: This came from ECY’s requirement that we have a Level II Operator in order for us to be in compliance. The town of Garfield is willing to contract with us for use of their Level II operator’s services for eight hours per month. As compensation for his services, Palouse shall provide Garfield with a sewer operator to perform any needed sewer operation services for eight hours per month. No exchange of money. Contract term is June 1, 2020, through December 31, 2022. Council expressed concern that there was no language in the contract addressing the need for a response in the event of an emergency. Mayor Cook and CA Dixon will follow up with Garfield to see what language we can include to address this. No action taken on contract.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions – Chair Welcome:

CA Dixon reports that Covid-19 shouldn’t affect our sales tax revenues too bad. Sales tax revenue will take a hit for a couple months but the vast majority of our sales & use tax revenue is through online sales so if anything, that has increased. However, the RV Park revenue has taken a big hit. We are hoping that reservations bounce back and we don’t get any more cancellations.

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities – Chair Sievers: Met with FastSigns regarding signage and design work for interior of pool facility.

 

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Councilmember Fielder reported.

-Financials are a little tight due to upgrading supplies for Covid-19. Some of the purchases will be reimbursed by the Palouse Cares Act.

-There were two fire calls in April to assist with traffic control for two accidents; Zero trainings due to Covid-19;

-There were five EMS calls in April: two city residents, one rural resident, and two non-residents; Zero trainings.

-Additional volunteers are needed.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

-Regarding the ongoing sewer complaint, Mayor Cook has met with complainants. The city’s insurance will continue to handle this claim.

-We have put together a Citizen Water Advisory Committee consisting thus far of Doug Wilcox, Moses Boone, and Robert Lopez. CA Dixon will look into enlisting a couple more people for the committee. The committee’s goal is to explore fundamental principles as well as technical issues of our ongoing water system improvements.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      5/26/2020          Ck. #10870-10880 & EFT           $4,448.20

 

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

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

May 12, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 12, 2020

Via Zoom Videoconferencing

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cooper MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 14, 2020 as written. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

-Thank you to the Rose Ladies for their work on Central Park at City Hall.

-New mower for Mike Wolf will be here soon; the mower we received was ordered wrong from factory.

-Fuel pump went out in Walter’s 2000 pickup. It has been replaced.  A replacement vehicle will be needed in near future.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted a written report.

-Had to replace the battery in 2013 Dodge Journey vehicle #3; 2013 Dodge Journey vehicle #2 is having the same battery issue;

-Chief will be working with CA Dixon to finalize the purchase of a speed reader display sign for south Hwy 27 entrance into town.

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Councilmember Fielder reported.

FD had three meetings in March: two were trainings and one was a station night.

FD had three mutual aid calls in March, and two in-district calls.

EMS had 14 calls in March: 11 were city residents, 1 rural resident, and 2 non-residents.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:  CA Dixon submitted a written report.

-Supt. Griffin has announced his retirement July 30th. He leaves enormous shoes to fill. We are incredibly fortunate to have had his work ethic and skill set for as long as we did. Palouse will immediately begin prep to find his replacement.

-No comments back from ECY on wastewater facility plan.

-Atty. Hanson is drafting an interlocal agreement for exchange of services between Palouse and Garfield’s respective Public Works departments on an hour-for-hour basis. This will allow for Palouse to utilize Garfield’s Level 2 Wastewater Operator to satisfy ECY requirements. CA Dixon will send the contract to council for review once completed.

-Washington State (and Whitman County) is currently in Phase 1 of reopening. Excerpts from Whitman County Commissioner Art Swannack: “Whitman County is planning to apply for a phase variance to go from the Governor’s phase 1 opening to phase 2 opening rules (currently scheduled for June 1st). The Whitman Co. Board of Health and Whitman Co. Commissioners have each scheduled a special meeting to consider the application package for the variance and vote on it. If/once approved by both entities, our Public Health Director will submit the plan that same day to the Washington State Dept of Health. If Whitman County has a Covid-19 case diagnosed before the afternoon of May 13th, we will not be able to submit the request.”  If approved, Whitman County will move to Phase 2 of the reopening.

-The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) has allocated up to $32,400 for the City of Palouse, provided that payments from the fund may only be used to cover costs that: 1) are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19; 2) were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020; and 3) were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.  CA Dixon will consult with AWC and will solicit input from the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to identify all expenditures eligible for reimbursement.

-Palouse Pool is tentatively scheduled to open on June 20th. Governor Inslee’s phase 3 of reopening allows for public pools to open at 50% capacity. We will continue to monitor this timeline and adjust accordingly. Park restrooms will probably open at the same time.

-Streets Committee, Mayor Cook, and CA Dixon met with Palouse Cove Pathway engineers yesterday. They will provide updated plans to council prior to our next meeting and will be seeking final approval at our first meeting in June to proceed to construction;

-Benches and trash cans for Shady Lane improvements that were on back order have just shipped. In addition, we have minor excavating and a bollard to install to finish up this project. CA Dixon will consult with Palouse Boy Scouts to provide local historical and/or environmental information to display at each landing.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Luke Antonich from TD&H gave an update on Water System Improvements project:  Luke discussed the pros and cons and estimated costs of the four alternatives to address the city’s pressure, fire flow, and water storage.  Estimated costs ranged from $2.1 million to $4.1 million.  Council will review options and provide direction to TDH when appropriate to do so.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Viking Crew Booster Club requests for 2020 GPHS seniors: Due to the circumstances of the pandemic and the seniors having to forego their traditional celebrations, the Viking Crew has a couple requests. These are one-time only events due to the pandemic, not a yearly or recurring thing.

Request 1: they would like to honor the 2020 GP graduates with a kind of reverse parade on June 6. The idea is to space each senior along Main Street and allow community and family members to drive down the street honking, waving, etc. Social distancing will be practiced. The street will be closed off.

Request 2: the Viking Crew would like to put up banners for the month of June along Main Street to honor each graduate. They will be responsible for the purchase of the banners and will be happy to assist in the hanging up and taking down of the banners.

Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve both requests as presented. Councilmember Alred seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- Hoping by the next meeting to have updates on the Palouse Cove Pathway project and on the new signage at the pool.

 

Personnel, Chair Snyder- Committee is taking significant steps in developing the annual staff evaluation and pay grade processes.

 

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard– Reiterated the need for council to thoroughly review options for water system improvements and solidify a direction for TDH.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

-Reiterated thanks to the Rose Ladies for their work at Central Park and elsewhere downtown: Donna Thompson, Mary Estes, Jeanne Jeffers, & Janet Brantner

-Reiterated gratitude to Supt. Griffin and the challenges that will arise with his departure. Recruitment begins immediately.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      4/28/2020          Ck. #10812-10826 & EFT           $27,733.20

Payroll Paid      4/30/2020          Ck. #10827-10842 & EFT           $41,194.32

Claims Paid      5/12/2020          Ck. #10843-10996 & EFT           $57,036.05

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:18 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

April 14, 2020

 

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via Zoom Teleconferencing

April 14, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present via Zoom Video Teleconferencing: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 10, 2020.  Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried. There was no March 24, 2020 council meeting due to Coronavirus.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt Griffin submitted a written report. Making really good progress on sprinkler system in the park that will save the city a substantial amount versus having a professional service do the install.

 

POLICE REPORT:  Police Dept has closed the front office to all walk-ins. Information is provided on the front door with phone numbers for contact. They are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week at 509-332-2521.

 

Police Dept has closed all city parks and the skate park on Whitman St. They have worked with area businesses that have been deemed essential in educating them on directives concerning the Governor’s and the state liquor control board orders.

 

PD continues to reach out and educate the public and area youth on safe distancing. They are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with no new reported cases of COVID-19 in Whitman County in the past 7 days, holding at 12. 4 of the 12 are fully recovered. (*NOTE – additional case was reported in Whitman County after Chief Neumann submitted his report).

 

The Police Dept is currently stocked with N-95 face masks (provided by Whitman County Emergency Operation Center), protective gloves, and an adequate supply of hand sanitizer.

 

Also included in report: Calls for service log and Whitman County Situation Report concerning COVID-19

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: Incorporating IT assistance for 2020 and beyond has proven to be very beneficial to city hall. Staff has full remote access to our desktops. Those calling City Hall will be prompted to contact either staff member on their cell phones as well. Some time in City Hall every week is unavoidable, but we have adapted well to the new normal.

 

First quarter financials are as expected. No red flags. Historically, general fund balance lags in the first quarter and balances out in the second quarter when we see the first wave of property tax payments come in. I will meet with Finance Chair Welcome in July to discuss first half expenditures and any areas of concern as they arise.

 

CA Dixon will be sitting in on several virtual meetings and webinars in the coming weeks to get an idea of what financial impacts Palouse can expect on a state level resulting from the pandemic.

 

TDH Engineering is continuing distribution design work for our water system. We will have them present to council once in-person meetings can resume.

 

Met with engineers to get pricing info on our Complete Streets sidewalk project that will connect the south hill residential area to downtown and eventually the city park. We will proceed with bids and construction when appropriate.

 

We sold the 2016 Bad Boy lawnmower for $2,800.

 

CA Dixon has been in contact with the State Fire Marshall regarding the Palouse Arms Building. He hopes to schedule a meeting with their department, Fire Chief Beeson and Building Inspector Gladwill once in-person meetings can resume.

 

Council received a letter from Colleen Boone requesting installation of electrical outlets at the Palouse Native Plant Park for the tree lighting event during the winter holiday season. CA Dixon spoke with Paul Kimmell from Avista and he has agreed to facilitate this on Avista’s behalf.

 

The final Wastewater Facility Plan was sent to ECY for their review back on March 30th. As you are all aware, EPA guidelines that ECY are then forced to implement have left us with no reasonable options to address the temperature and dissolved inorganic nitrate limits. At this time, the current preferred alternative to address the temperature TMDL, endorsed by ECY, is mixing with municipal water. This is the least-cost option for the city by a substantial margin, and it is also very temporary. Once lagoons are constructed, which is currently scheduled for completion 5 years after the mixing begins, we will no longer need to address the temperature TMDL. Varela and the city will proceed to the design phase of these upgrades once ECY has approved the facility plan. CA Dixon, Mayor Cook, and council revisited the other options and recent meetings with ECY. The city will continue to entertain all viable options that will address ECY requirement to their satisfaction.

 

JOINT FIRE REPORT: Councilmember Fielder presented:

Scott Beeson, Fire Chief, reported

-There were three meetings held in February: 1) training entanglement, 2) station night, and 3) RIT (rapid intervention team) which means there is a team outside to help the team inside;

-There were three fire calls in February: 1) mutual aid with Potlatch for a barn fire, 2) river rescue, and 3) Ellis Street cable down, blockade

-The six new radios are in. Marv Pillers is working on programming them. One new radio will be with Fire Chief Beeson, and one will be with EMS Coordinator Annie Pillers. The remaining radios to be distributed to personnel with higher response levels.

 

Annie Pillers, EMS Coordinator, reported

-EMS interviewed two wonderful candidates; unfortunately, at this time they are not able to join.

-There will be a class in October for new EMS members

-11 calls in February; 6 city residents, 2 rural residents and 3 non-residents.

-Postponing monthly training due to Covid-19 virus, going to online training instead

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome- Meeting with CA Dixon will be scheduled after 2nd QTR Treasurer’s Report is made available.

 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers- Chair Sievers is looking into proceeding with pool house upgrades. Staff and committee will make a determination on how to proceed with the pool season in the coming weeks. Lifeguard certification classes have been cancelled for now so staffing may be an issue if we are able to open the pool as currently planned.

 

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- Reiterated that the city does not have any reasonable options, but preferred alternative for Wastewater Facility Plan was endorsed by both ECY and our engineers. ECY has ultimate authority on our path forward.

 

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper- Ongoing historic buildings preservation research.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Cook sent out two communications to the community regarding Covid 19. Emergency Proclamation 2020-01 was signed on March 24th. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to ratify Emergency Proclamation 2020-01, Councilmember Fielder seconded, motion carried.

 

Palouse will begin to discuss possibility of using Garfield’s Wastewater 2 Operator to satisfy our requirements with ECY. Meeting scheduled for next Tuesday.

 

Liquor license renewal for Palouse Market was presented. No objections.

 

Staff evaluations with department heads will be conducted in the next few weeks.

 

Mayor Cook received a letter from GPHS student Brook McCulla who is interested in improving the Welcome to Palouse signs entering town. Coincidentally, one of the signs is already currently being repaired and repainted (by Butch & Kurt Brantner).  Mayor discussed possibility of upgrading the signs in the future. Coucilmembers Welcome and Alred discussed ways we could improve and/or add community information to the existing signs.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Alred MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      3/24/2020          Ck. #10740-10758 & EFT           $42,184.85

Payroll Paid      3/31/2020          Ck. #10759-10779 & EFT           $47,023.35

Claims Paid      4/14/2020          Ck. #10780-10811 & EFT           $18,089.96

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:51 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

March 10, 2020

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 10, 2020

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; Public Works Supt Dwayne Griffin; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 25, 2020 as written. Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried.

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

Facility upgrade for public works. The old wooden shed at base of H Street is city’s equipment shed, (used for equipment storage, sand pile, signs, barricades, etc.) is in disrepair. The brick building next to the shed is the current public works shop, subject to yearly flooding. The city can look at replacing the shed in existing location or relocating altogether. Supt. Griffin would like to see a new shed & shop go up by well #3 on the city-owned 5 acres NE of the solar panels. Pros would be out of the flood plain and would allow all three public works to be in same shop (currently Mike Wolf works out of a different shop on Whitman Street). Supt. Griffin would like to have two buildings at the same site: one with an office and 5 bays for storage and the other one a pole building to use as a shop. Lots to consider: pole building vs metal building, etc., security, etc.  Mayor Cook wants Supt Griffin to meet with committee and get some bids for both locations.  It’s important to maintain good equipment and provide good work space for our public works. There is money in that fund and REET money contributes to it. If council decides to relocate, city could surplus the property if so wanted.

POLICE REPORT: 

-In last 14 days there were 10 calls in Palouse, 5 in Garfield.

-Equipment is fine.

-Officer Snead’s last day is Thursday.

-Still waiting for info back from WASPC on grant for flashing speed signs.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-Started our Level 2 operator search for our WWTP. There is one outfit that will come to Palouse and provide service and they are $100/hour. We’re looking for something closer to $50/hr. We have until August so will keep looking. We need to find somebody that also offers a training component for Walter.

-TD&H engineers will be here on the 24th for an update on water system improvements.

-Sale of Brownfields site was already voted on and approved by council however our lawyer is requesting a resolution by council to sign the deed. To have a completed conveyance we need an exact condition of the planned build, therefore, based on available plans, new language will contain “2,160 square foot vet building”. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to have Resolution 2020-03 read-in. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution 2020-03. Snyder seconded. Motion carried. Official closing paperwork will be completed tomorrow at Bishop Law.

-Spoke with Pullman Fire Marshal about the Palouse Arms Building. Area fire inspector doesn’t have regulatory authority but the state fire marshal does. CA Dixon will put him in touch with our fire chief and our BI. Our fire code states that these buildings can be subject to inspection yearly so this gives us some authority to move this forward.

-CA Dixon read aloud a letter from Vandal Cycling Club. The club is having their annual race in Walla Walla instead of Palouse this year. There has been concern from city staff in the past about the challenges of hosting the race and the labor and costs the city incurs without a clear economic benefit to the city. Mayor Cook hopes that the cycling club in the future reaches out to Palouse sooner to collaborate. There are a lot of options for them including finding an alternate route, paying Palouse for our services, and/or providing their own flaggers, set-up, and tear-down. Student organizations don’t typically have a lot of resources at their disposal. This will be up for council consideration if they intend to return.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome-

Councilmember Cooper asked committee to consider installing diaper changing stations in park restrooms.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-

Wastewater Facility Plan update: Mayor Cook, CA Dixon and Bill Slinkard had a follow up meeting with ECY and Varela Engineering to verify the city’s direction to maintain permit compliance. Varela has been negotiating with ECY to determine specifics and a strategy to accommodate their desires. We’re looking at mixing groundwater with the effluent to bring the temperature down to an acceptable level and the means to do that. That is a short-term, as well as lowest-cost, strategy to get us into compliance with ECY. The long-term plan is moving to lagoons which will address both the temperatures and the nitrates. The plan has to be in by end of this month. We’re right on target with their schedules. Supt. Griffin reminded council that regardless of the path taken with ECY, the city still has to comply with DOH on their Water Use Efficiency requirements and this short-term strategy could negatively impact that. Completed facility plan will be to city for final review in the coming days.

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Councilmember Cooper is still looking through the ordinances to establish historic preservation committee. She and CA Dixon will be meeting soon with the Planning Commission.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

City received a letter of interest from Michael Echanove for the Planning Commission vacancy. We have received no other interest in the position. Mayor Cook appointed Michael Echanove to Planning Commission.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      2/27/2020         Ck. #10697-10712 & EFT          $42,344.32

Claims Paid      3/10/2020         Ck. #10713-10739 & EFT          $39,374.08

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:01 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 25, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 25, 2020

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

CITY COUNCIL POSITION #5 APPLICANT INTERVIEWS:

The city received two applicants for the vacancy: Jim Fielder and Andres Sena. Both applicants were asked a set of questions, separately. Council went into executive session at 7:31 pm. Council reconvened at 7:41 pm.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to appoint Jim Fielder to council position #5. Councilmember Alred seconded and the motion carried.

SWEARING IN OF NEW COUNCILPERSON: Mayor Cook swore in Jim Fielder to city council position #5.  This term ends Dec. 31, 2020.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 11, 2020 as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT:

-Chief Neumann reported there were 20 calls for service in last two weeks: 13 in Palouse and 7 in Garfield.

-Reserve Officer Snead is done at the end of March.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Councilmember Cooper reported. Finances are all good. The new JFB secretary is Susan Lopez. There were four fire calls in January and 3 trainings. There were 14 EMS calls in January (which is high); hoping that number goes back down.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-TD&H was initially scheduled to provide council an update on water system improvements at this meeting. They are still waiting to finalize their deliverable so they will instead be invited to our March 24th meeting.

-CA Dixon, Mayor Cook, & Councilmember Slinkard as well as our wastewater engineers will be attending a mtg with ECY in Spokane on Thursday to tidy up our wastewater facility plan. We are looking for concurrence that we have an approvable facility plan.

-CA Dixon is corresponding with ECY regarding compliance of our permit with having a Level 2 operator. We are doing everything in our power to get Walter Fealy trained up but it realistically takes about three years. We had zero interest from certified Level 2 operators when our longtime operator Don Myott retired last year. ECY said we need to contract with someone to satisfy that permit obligation. They’re comfortable with our education plan but are taking a firmer position on oversight of that position. Deadline to get Level 2 operator is August 20th. The Level 2 operator will have to be on-site “regularly scheduled” as per our permit states and that person will work directly with Walter to further his training and education.

-CA Dixon is working on a USDA application for pedestrian foot bridge as a secondary piece to the Complete Streets grant providing pedestrian access from south end to downtown and city park.

-Looking at fencing for Shady Lane improvements and further leveling pad nearest foot bridge. Will get some concrete footings for fencing. Should be done by end of March if weather holds. We have funds from Whitman Co to cover this.

-Public Works is proceeding with mower upgrade for the park and cemetery as discussed during budget season last year. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to surplus the 2016, 54” Badboy mower via sealed bid with a $3200 minimum bid. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. Money from the sale of the mower will be applied to the purchase of new mower.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 990 eliminating grave liner fees: The city does not sell grave liners thus that sentence was removed from PMC 2.48.050. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 990. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 991 clarifying that 2.48.050 is for burial costs and 2.48.060 is for cemetery plot costs: This is just a housekeeping issue to fix an error from 2001 in which the fees for burials were erroneously put in PMC 2.48.060 instead of 2.48.050. This ordinance sets everything back to rights and keeps the burial costs in 2.48.050 and puts the cost for cemetery plots back in 2.48.060. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 991. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers-  Committee met to discuss various items:

-Committee would like to purchase City of Palouse flags to fly downtown (there is currently one flying outside of City Hall along with American flag). Councilmember Sievers thinks it will be about $500 for those flags. There was discussion about flag-flying etiquette/laws. Councilmember Snyder MOVED to purchase up to seven City of Palouse flags. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.

-Met with FastSigns to finish signage for the pool.

-Committee is going to have our Fire Chief & Building Inspector do another assessment on the condition of the Palouse Arms Building. Another letter needs to then be sent to the owner because it seems to have stalled. If we’re consistent with our timeline given to owner, then we need to be prepared to take the next step. Our last letter didn’t accomplish its intended goal for the building.

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Councilmember Cooper has investigated what it takes to become a Certified Local Government (CLG). It is a lengthy process, beginning with an ordinance from the city establishing a historical preservation committee and their bylaws. If Palouse gets delegation as a CLG, then qualified owners are able to apply for funds for historic preservation, surveying, etc. The hope is to have this be an empowerment tool for private owners and give them more resources to preserve their historic buildings.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

-Mayor Cook is optimistic that we will get good direction at the ECY meeting on proceeding with our WW Facility Plan.

-Had a staff meeting with city supervisors about the staff evaluation process. Evaluation form is now with the personnel committee for finalization.

-Garfield Police Contract. Garfield elected to not renew the contract for policing services with Palouse. The current contract ends February 29, 2020.  However, Garfield has requested a one-month contract extension through March while they get their own policing services set up. They would pay for the additional month.  Mayor Cook would like Chief Neumann and his department to put personal differences aside and aid Garfield and its citizens for this additional month.  Chief Neumann outlined his concerns and some reasons he doesn’t want to honor their request including cost and lack of personnel. He reminded council that in 2019 Garfield said they wouldn’t be renewing so they have had 6 months to find personnel. As Chief of Police, he requests council honor the contract end date. Much discussion ensued.

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to extend the contract through March 15th for half of Garfield’s proposed dollar amount for the month, as a measure of good faith to Garfield. Councilmember Snyder seconded. 6 ayes, 1 nay vote from Councilmember Alred.  Motion carried.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Snyder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Alred seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      2/25/20             Ck. #10676-10696         $52,139.71

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

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

February 11, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting 

February 11, 2020

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 28, 2020 as written. Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried. 

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

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported in last two weeks there have been: 

-26 calls for Palouse (including 8 gun permits, 6 extra school patrols, 1 juvenile arrest, 1 adult arrest)

-18 calls for Garfield (including 2 adult arrests in Garfield).  

These calls resulted in 16 hours of overtime to Garfield, and 19 hours of overtime to Palouse. Total on-call was 134 hours.  

-Chief wants to pursue replacing the 2007 Dodge Durango (chief’s vehicle). We’d like to keep it as a reserve vehicle though. 

OPEN FORUM: 

Palouse residents Liz Rousseau, Arman Bohn, Jessie Twigg-Harris, Alexa Beckett-Bonner, Diane Cooper, & Aaron Flansburg all voiced their concerns about losing historic downtown buildings, in particular the privately-owned St. Elmo Building. They don’t want to see historic buildings come down if it can be prevented. To preserve and protect what is existing. They have organized a get-together to discuss the future of historic buildings, to find sources to preserve buildings that may not be worth preserving from a financial standpoint but worth preserving from a historical standpoint, perhaps working with private and public dollars. The importance of taking care of each other in the process of pursuing options was stressed. and discussions need to be positive and respectful of individual property rights. Mayor Cook appreciates the conversation and the research done to date by this group as well as CA Dixon, former mayor Echanove, the Browns (owners), previous and current councilmembers who have put in much effort on this issue. Ongoing dialogue matters as we continue to investigate.  

Aaron Flansburg thanked the Palouse Fire and EMS for a rescue last fall at the Palouse Skatepark.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:  

CA Dixon, Mayor Cook and our wastewater engineers met with ECY eastern region on Jan 31st in Spokane to discuss the timeline and contents of our wastewater facility plan. They have set a hard deadline of March 31 for us to submit an “approvable” facility plan. This will not be a problem. We have already submitted two versions of a facility plan since last October. For the entirety of our 5-year planning process, it was understood that ECY would require us to eliminate all Dissolved Inorganic Nitrates (DIN) in our effluent to a level that is not possible with current available technology. The second piece was to reduce our effluent temperature by 2.5 degrees Celsius, and construction to address both was to be completed by the summer of 2024. It was revealed at this latest meeting that the DIN limit will be referenced in upcoming permits, but will not be required of us until 2030 or 2031. This is a major development, as the DIN limit was the much more expensive component to our wastewater facility upgrades. We will still need to provide a path to eventual compliance with our plan due on March 31, but our only required upgrades during this permit cycle will be to address the temperature of our effluent. Palouse and ECY discussed several options to reduce the temperature. A follow-up meeting with ECY is scheduled for Feb 27 in Spokane to receive concurrence that our plan is “approvable.” CA Dixon will meet with ECY funding staff this spring to determine best options for Palouse as we transition from planning to design phase for upgrades.

CA Dixon attended a conference in Olympia hosted by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) that updates municipalities on the current legislative session and proposed bills that may have an impact: 

-HB 2570 proposes that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) be allowed outright in low density residential zones. CA Dixon relayed this proposal to the Planning Commission at their last meeting and shortly afterward received an update that cities in Whitman County would be exempt from this bill as we do not participate in the state’s Growth Management Act. Planning Commission will continue their research accordingly.

-HB 2145. Potentially increases property tax, without the vote of the people, from 1% to percentage determined by the consumer price index. Would largely mirror cost-of-living increases. Currently, municipalities can only raise general property tax by 1% each year without a levy lid lift. Tax collection can quickly fall behind as the gap between 1% and cost-of-living increase becomes greater.

-Initiative 976 capping car tab fees at $30 was passed by voters last year. This will create statewide funding shortages for street and road maintenance projects. Exact impact on municipalities has yet to be determined.

Our water system improvement engineers TD&H will be at next meeting to discuss the future of our system upgrades. TD&H is still working on the west Church Street water main. CA Dixon would like w/s committee to meet with TD&H prior to next council meeting.

The Purchase & Sale Agmt for the Brownsfield site has been signed and is with our attorney to process closing paperwork.

CA Dixon is in preliminary discussions with USDA regarding funding packages for our wastewater facility upgrades and footbridge from the far west end of Lions Club Park to Hayton Greene Park. Complete Streets Award for pedestrian access from the south hill/new developments to downtown will proceed to construction this year. 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Personnel, Chair Snyder– Committee met with CA Dixon, Mayor Cook, Chief Neumann, Garfield Mayor Pfaff, & Garfield Councilwoman Hasenoehrl to discuss the police contract and police hire.  Based on the meeting we have decided not to move forward with the police applicant. The meeting has resulted in an opportunity to gain some traction on some troubling issues.   

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard– Ongoing meetings regarding wastewater facility upgrades and water system. More meetings coming. City is mandated to address sewer upgrades

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

The application window closes Friday for the vacant council position. Two applicants thus far. 

Palouse Caboose liquor license is up for renewal. No council objections. 

Mayor Cook attended a mtg with Pullman Regional Hospital (PRH) CEO Scott Adams to discuss Palouse’s healthcare needs. Mental Health issues and advocacy, health & wellness, etc. One strategy we agreed upon is putting out a community-wide survey as to what kind of healthcare citizens want to see. PRH will assist in the process. PRH bought the former Palouse Health Clinic and will be offering health care in Palouse.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried. 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 1/31/2020 Ck. #10631-10647 & EFT $46,625.11

Claims Paid 2/11/2020 Ck. #10648-10675 & EFT $18,774.48

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Alred seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:01 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

January 28, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting 

January 28, 2020

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to approve the minutes of the January 14, 2020, Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting, as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried. 

 

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: 

BI Gladwill was present to give the year-end report. 

-Effective July 1, 2020, the state will be switching from operating under the 2015 International Building Code to the 2018 IBC.  

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:  

-Had 35 various calls to service in last two weeks, 12 of which were in Garfield.

-Grand Jury met last week and a warrant was issued for Kent Kimberling’s arrest for weapons violations, etc. He is now being held federally in Spokane.

-Officer Anderson had his taser fail during an arrest with man exhibiting excited delirium. WC Sheriff Office and WSU police assisted with the arrest.  Two new tasers were purchased as a result of the taser fail.  

-WC Sheriff assisted Officer Snead with a high-risk call. The man eventually surrendered peacefully.

-Chief Neumann wants to move forward the third officer hire. The applicant is tentatively scheduled to come Feb. 10th for an interview with the Personnel Committee as well as the Civil Service. The applicant will be flying in and Chief Neumann has authorized up to $250 towards a rental car for the applicant to travel back and forth between Spokane and Palouse for interviews and testing. Chief Neumann will share the application with the Personnel Committee. Officer Snead has requested lesser hours so time is of the essence to get a third officer hired. 

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:  Councilmember Cooper reported on JFB year end.  

-Financials ended well, not over budget.

-87 total EMS calls in 2019.  33 total FD calls in 2019. 

-There is a need to replace all 22 radios in an ongoing process. The current radios are running the risk of dying and could be a potential emergency situation.  City and rural will split the purchase of 6 radios this year. Cost per radio is between $500-$800.

-The attack engine has been fixed in-house.

-Discussed 5-year plan to replace some of the trucks which are aging out. 

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:  

-CA Dixon is in Olympia for AWC’s annual City Action Days to advocate on behalf of Palouse and municipalities across the state.

-We are finalizing the purchase and sale agreement between the city and Palouse Brewing Co. this week. A portion of this agreement requires measures of progress by the Palouse Brewing Co. at predetermined intervals as outlined in the city council minutes dated 11/26/19. The minutes need to be amended as noted below because the Brownsfield Committee has no actual authority.

 

…….3) significant tangible improvements within 12 months including grading, foundation work, and significant progress to the completion of phase 1 within 24 months as determined by the Brownsfield Committee Palouse City Council. 

 

Councilmember Sievers MOVED to amend the minutes as noted above by replacing Brownsfield Committee with Palouse City Council.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried unanimously.  

 

Mayor Cook and CA Dixon will be in Spokane on Friday to meet with ECY and our wastewater engineers Varela & Associates. The goal of this meeting is to ensure that all involved within ECY are in agreement on the direction of our proposed wastewater facility plan and to finalize a path forward. City will have an update at our next meeting.  

 

City Hall is accepting letters of interest for the open council position #5 until Friday, Feb. 14th. This is a council-appointed position that will serve until December 31, 2020.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Mayor Cook finalized the committee assignments as follows:

 

  • Budget Finance, Major Acquisitions: Chair Welcome, Slinkard, Cooper
  • Streets, Property, & Facilities: Chair Sievers, Alred, Welcome
  • Personnel: Chair Snyder, Sievers, Slinkard
  • Water & Sewer: Chair Slinkard, Alred, Sievers
  • Policy & Administration: Chair Cooper, Snyder, Pos. #5

 

Additionally, Mayor Cook appointed Alred, Cooper, and Pos. #5 as council representatives to the Joint Fire Board.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:    

-Councilmember Alred MOVED to appoint Councilmember Cooper as Mayor Pro-Tem. Councilmember Welcome seconded.  Motion Carried. 

  -Mayor Cook and Mayor Pro-Tem Cooper will be added as authorized signers on city’s Banner Bank account and Echanove and Wekenman will be removed. 

-There will be a meeting next week to continue discussions about the Palouse’s police contract with Garfield. Present will be the Palouse Personnel Committee, CA Dixon, Mayor Cook, Chief Neumann, Garfield Mayor Pfaff, and a couple Garfield councilmembers.  

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion. Motion carried. 

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 01/28/2020 Ck. #10617-10630 $13,615.33

VOID Ck. #10527

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:49 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

January 14, 2020

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Public Hearing on sewer rate increase

followed by

Regular Council Meeting

January 14, 2020

 

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

 

SWEARING IN:  Mayor Cook swore in new councilmembers Mary Welcome and Steve Alred as well as reelected councilmembers Bill Slinkard and Katie Cooper.

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers (7:10 pm); John Snyder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

PUBLIC HEARING: $5 Monthly sewer rate increase allocated to the Sewer Reserve Fund.

Opened the hearing at 7:07 pm.  Cheryl Johnson expressed her concerns that the rate increase may be difficult for the elderly on social security. CA Dixon explained that proposed rate increase is a continuation of the city’s effort to prepare for substantial wastewater facility upgrades required by the Dept of Ecology (ECY). Proposed increase also indicates to funding agencies that the city is acting in good faith to prepare and pay our fair share of upgrades which in turn will result in more favorable funding packages. Our current sewer rate of $39 is well below what state agencies consider a hardship rate, which is generally in the $70 and up range. If council approves this sewer rate increase of $5, we will be up to $44 for sewer. Mayor Cook closed the public hearing at 7:14 pm.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Cooper MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 10, 2019.  Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  There are some large expenditures coming in to repair the street sweeper. Well telemetry continues to be an issue and pump in Well #1 is being replaced.

 

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann was assaulted by a female during her warrant arrest in Garfield in December.

ATF has assigned the Kimberling case to a federal prosecutor.

Received an application for the open police position.

Chief Neumann has requested a secured garbage can at the PD due to a person removing the police trash from the city dumpster.

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:  Councilmember Cooper reported 2019 year-end financials look good. There were four fire calls in November, 31 YTD thru November.  Working on appropriate fire fighter training for all their staff. Repairs are needed on the attack engine.

EMS had 9 calls in November, no YTD numbers yet.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-Year-end financials look good. 4th Q Treasurers Report is with Councilmember Cooper for review. We’ll have to do a budget amendment on the Pump Maintenance Fund because we were unsure of when that invoice for well pump #1 would come in prior to 2020 budget adoption.

-CA Dixon has been in contact with the ECY Director of Eastern Region to begin a dialog with Mayor Cook regarding wastewater facility improvements. There is also a new director of ECY in Olympia. Michael Echanove and CA Dixon had met with previous director to bring our concerns to her attention, so it is a priority to do the same with the new director.

-Varela had submitted revised wastewater facility plan to ECY back in December, but we did not get responses back from ECY in time to make corrections and resubmit for final approval prior to funding application deadline. City and Varela will meet with ECY over the next couple of months to ensure our plan is finalized prior to the next round of funding for design.

-CA Dixon was appointed to the AWC’s Small City Advisory Committee in December.  It will be a fantastic opportunity for him to advocate for small cities on a statewide scale as well as specific needs for Palouse. First meeting is Jan 28 in Olympia, so he will not be at the next council meeting. He also has meetings with legislators and CERB.

-The guard rail at corner of H & Alder has been repaired and reinforced with deeper posts. Cost has been forwarded to the person responsible for the damage.

-2019 payroll taxes and W-2s should be done and sent out by end of next week.

-As most know Will Perry was elected to council seat #5, but he has since moved out of state. He has submitted his letter of resignation. Councilmember Sievers MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Welcome to accept Will Perry’s resignation.  Motion carried.  The city will now open up the vacancy. Those interested in service must submit a letter of interest either in person or via email to deputyclerk@palouse.com by Friday, February 14th. All those who submit letters will be invited to the council meeting on February 25th for a Q&A session with mayor and council.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2020-01, 2020 fee schedule: Changes to the fee schedule are:

-raising the nightly RV rate from $27.83 + tax to $32.46 + tax;

-raising private pool party rental fee from $75 + tax to $100 + tax to absorb the increase of minimum wage.

Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution 2020-01. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Resolution No. 2020-02, 2020 salary schedule: Changes to the salary schedule are:

-a 3% raise for all city staff as discussed last year;

-state minimum wage increase from $12/ hour to $13.50/hr.

No other changes.  Councilmember Snyder MOVED to adopt Resolution 2020-02.  Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Ordinance No. 988 increase to monthly sewer rates for Sewer Reserve Fund PMC 13.40.015:  This ordinance increases the Sewer Reserve Fund by $5 as discussed in Public Hearing.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt ordinance No. 988 as written.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Ordinance No. 989 amending council committees PMC 2.08.030: This ordinance refines, redefines, streamlines, and provides clarity to the various committees and which issues go before what committee.  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt Ord. No. 989 as written. Seconded by Councilmember Welcome.  Motion carried.  Mayor Cook will be appointing councilmembers to the various committees by next meeting.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Mayor Cook, (former Personnel & Pool chair) has been in contact with Fast Signs regarding phase 2 of the wayfinding signage and graphics at the pool to spruce it up.

 

MISC:

Councilmember Alred suggested the city work with county L&I on the Arms Building.

 

The plan and intent from the owner of the St. Elmo is to demo in mid-March.  An engineer will look at the shared wall between City Hall & St. Elmo before demo. The property owner is very accommodating.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

There was a minor change made to the Building Inspector contract. Instead of having BI attend quarterly council meetings, he will come at the request of Mayor, council, or city staff.  DC Thompson does all the reports and can provide those to council at any time.

 

Mayor Cook will be having drop-in office hours for public, staff, & council, at City Hall from 5:30-7 pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

 

City of Palouse has a citizen’s Wastewater Advisory Committee consisting of various community members.  It’s instrumental in getting citizen feedback on this project.  Since former mayor Michael Echanove is a wealth of institutional & historical knowledge, CA Dixon would like to have Mayor Cook appoint him as the chair of the committee.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to ratify Mayor Cook’s appointment of Michael Echanove to chair of Wastewater Advisory Committee.  Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Mayor Cook will appoint a councilmember to Mayor-Pro-Tem at next council meeting.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      12/30/2019        Ck. #10550 & 1055-10575 & EFT                       $49,874.15

Claims Paid      12/11-31/2019    Ck. #10551-10554, & 10576-10604 & EFT          $50,514.16

Claims Paid      01/14/2020        Ck. #10605-10616                                              $53,284.09

 

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

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

December 10, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

December 10, 2019

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 26, 2019 as presented. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. The pump on well #1 needs to be replaced. That will be a significant cost. The 2019 budget still has room to accommodate some of that expenditure so we will try to split that purchase between 2019 and 2020 if possible. Supt. Griffin should have a better idea of the cost soon.

POLICE REPORT:

-Officer Anderson reported on the recent police activities. A total of six arrests in the last couple weeks.

Regarding the burglary in Palouse a couple weeks ago, all the paperwork and evidence has been submitted to the juvenile prosecutor’s office.

-Officer Anderson and his wife are working with the assisted living facility Ladow Court in Garfield to “adopt” elderly folks who may not have family visiting for the holidays and encouraged others to do the same if possible. Donations will also be accepted. Those interested can reach out to Ladow Court directly for more information.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-Information for the title transfer of the Brownfields site is with the attorney.

-CA Dixon has been working on year-end numbers. Everything looks good.

OLD BUSINESS:

Varela Engineering update on Wastewater Facility Plan:  Engineer John Patrouch provided an update.

-Plan revisions from November 26th are system improvements to reduce inflow and infiltration, and to upgrade plant to reduce nitrogen and provide shade.  Revisions are based on the Oct. 23 meeting with ECY.  ECY informed Varela today (Dec. 10) that they may not be able to review the plan before December 16. If the plan is not approved before December 16, the ECY funding application will be withdrawn. The city was trying to maintain this momentum that we’ve gathered but it’s out of our hands now. The city spent some money to get this application in so we are holding out hope.

-At the Oct. 23, 2019 meeting, ECY indicated they would not support the reclaimed water option due to its complexity and cost. But they did indicate they would support plant upgrades to reduce nitrogen and temperature and work with the city to revise discharge limits.

-Estimated capital cost is $5.5 million, with added O&M of $35k per year. The project budget is $6.1 million.   Depending on which funding scenario is chosen, the sewer rate will have to go to $74/month or more (current 2019 sewer rate is $39).

-The plan can be approved now even if the funding comes later.

-Permitting tools for water quality modifications primarily include: a waiver; use attainability analysis; water quality offset.  The waiver basically allows the plant to discharge at the maximum attainable level, and every 5 years ECY has to report back to EPA that the plant is still at the maximum attainable level.  With variance piece there’s a possibility of 3rd party litigation (river keepers) with ECY which may delay the process and cause headaches with ECY. However, Palouse will continue to explore this option.

Planning Commission city survey results: Jim Fielder, chair of the PC, gave a powerpoint presentation on the results of the city survey. The results will be emailed to the listserve and will be available on the chamber website.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 986 adopting the 2020 budget:  Mayor Echanove read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 986.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 987 – 2019 budget amendment:  Mayor Echanove read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  This is a housekeeping measure to account for things that happened in 2019 that we hadn’t prepared for when budget was adopted in December 2018.  Amendment addresses the following funds: Current Expense Fund increase of $5,500 for the purchase of a much-needed computer and IT services; Arterial Streets Fund increase of $19,000 for Park Street improvements; Water Fund increase of $10,000 to cover PW Supt. Griffin pay increase of 5% beginning in May and the short-term $5/hr on-call policy (June-August), and a slight increase of cost for 3-year state audit; Sewer Fund increase of $13,000 to cover increase in salary and benefits due to employee turnover and short-term $5/hr on call policy (June-August), and slight cost increase to 3-year state audit.  Councilmember Cook MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 987.  Councilmember Sievers seconded.  Motion carried.

Draft Ordinance No. 988 – 2020 sewer reserve increase:  W/S committee met this fall to discuss potential rate increases and fee structure changes and this was a part of those discussions.  The burden of paying for the mandated sewer improvements falls in part on the ratepayers.  The city will not be able to get adequate or preferential funding packages if the rate payers are not paying a fair share, as determined by funding agencies. Committee discussed a $5-$10 monthly sewer reserve increase for 2020 beginning in January. City will hold a public hearing in January to hear comments from residents prior to adoption.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-  Will be working on phase 2 of the pool improvements.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-  Keeping updated through TD&H and Varela on the water system upgrade and the sewer upgrade.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman– This is Councilmember Wekenman’s final council meeting after 19 years. He expressed his hope that the next council continues his support of the Palouse PD. He is also confident with this council’s abilities. He thanked those who attended the appreciation party and the gift.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

This is Mayor Echanove’s final council meeting. He expressed his gratitude for being able to serve the people of Palouse for the last 26 years. He expressed his thanks and appreciation of Palouse’s Public Works, Police Department, and CA Dixon and DC Thompson.

Mayor Echanove swore in Christopher Cook as new incoming Mayor effective Jan. 1, 2020.  Mayor Echanove is confident in Chris Cook and thinks he will be an excellent Mayor.

Councilmember Sievers MOVED to cancel the second council meeting of December 2019. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      11/30/19           Cks: 10422, 10493-10506, 10510-10524, & EFT             $55,068.78

Voids:                                       Cks: 10487-10492

Claims Paid        6/25/19           Cks: 10507-10509, 10525-10549, & EFT                        $11,307.43

 

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

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

November 26, 2019

Palouse City Council

PUBLIC HEARING 2020 final budget

Followed by Regular Council Meeting

November 26, 2019

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse the absences of councilmembers Cook and Cooper. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

PUBLIC HEARING 2020 final budget hearing:  Mayor Echanove opened the public hearing at 7:06 pm.  No comments. Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:07 pm.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Regarding the Nov. 12, 2019 minutes, under Water & Sewer Committee Report, Councilmember Slinkard amended them to say that the new reconnection fee will go into effect “July 1, 2020” not January 1, 2020.  Under Personnel & Pool Committee Report, it should have read “Mayor Echanove proposed a additional salary increase of……”.  Remove the word “additional”.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended.  Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT:

-Kimberling from Garfield is no longer residing in Garfield. PD is still working with ATF and Feds on the weapons charges. Report is going before the federal prosecutor soon.

-Two domestic dispute calls in Palouse the last two weeks.

-Had a downtown Palouse business burglarized. Made an arrest of a juvenile male.

-Officer Merry will be returning as a reserve officer to cover for Officer Snead when needed.

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Councilmember Wekenman reported the budget looks good. Will be a budget amendment in new year for pump repairs on truck 414.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-2020 budget changes: Updated the legislative training for the incoming mayor and council; there was an increase in our insurance of 4% over last year; accounted for a 3% raise across the board for all city staff; will combine Wastewater Facility Upgrade fund 403 with Sewer Facility Reserve Fund as they are redundant.

-Chief Neumann has requested that those city employees who choose to opt out of city’s insurance be reimbursed at 75/25% vs. the current 50/50%.  It is still a savings to the city if city pays the employee 75% of the insurance rate vs. paying 100% for the insurance for the employee. AWC has allowed city to opt-out of minimum 75% enrollment participation.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to change the percentage from 50/50 to 75/25 in favor of those who opt-out of city’s health insurance.  Motion failed for lack of a second. Based on rough data that would be $6,300 paid to employee vs. $8,400 paid to insurance company, or a savings to city of $2,100 per employee who chooses to opt out (3 employees effective January 2020).  Councilmember Sievers would like to see actual data in front of him before making the decision.

-CA Dixon has been working with ECY and Varela to move the wastewater facility planning process along. CA Dixon has been exploring a variance process as a potential solution due to extreme capital, and in some cases O&M, costs of all other alternatives. Update from Varela was read aloud by CA Dixon:

 

A summary of the major events regarding the Palouse wastewater facility plan is provided below. There has been discussion and planning with ECY during the review of the draft Facility Plan to develop a plan that ECY can support. Based on these discussions, if all the pieces (facility plan approval, ECY funding, and City Council approval) fall into place, design of plant improvements could begin as early as next fall. 

 

The draft Wastewater Facility Plan was submitted to ECY on September 5, 2019.  The plan contained a discussion and predesign for the “Reclaimed Water- Crop Irrigation- Seasonal Lagoon” alternative selected at the March 26, 2019 council meeting.

 

A funding application for design of the “Reclaimed Water-Crop Irrigation- Seasonal Storage” alternative was submitted to ECY on mid-October. Approval of the funding application requires approval of the Facility Plan.

 

Ecology reviewed the plan, prepared comments, dated October 15, 2019, and met with the City and Varela on October 23, 2019 to discuss the comments. At that meeting ECY said that they could not support the plan primarily because of the complexity of operating a reclaimed water system and the cost, both capital and annual O&M to implement the project. They stated that they would prefer to see the following:

 

  • collection system improvements to reduce excess I/I (Inflow and infiltration) flows entering the treatment plant,
  • treatment plant upgrades to reduce nitrogen, 
  • treatment plant upgrades to reduce temperature, and
  • for the City to work with ECY and apply for a water quality modification that allows time for technology to be developed to remove effluent nitrogen.

 

Since that meeting, Varela has been revising the facility plan to address the ECY comments, including the major revision to the selected alternative that now includes:

 

  • $2.4 million for collection system upgrades that includes replacing the Whitman Street and the railroad crossing sewers, repair/upgrades to the two lift stations, and an evaluation of the Main Street sewer main.
  • $3 million for treatment plant upgrades that includes the maintenance items previously discussed, upgrades to the aeration system and controls to allow denitrification to occur and construction of a roof over the aeration basin to reduce summer effluent temperatures.
  • Estimated capital cost is about $5.5 million, with an added O&M estimated at $35,000 per year. This is substantially less than the previous plan with a capital cost estimate of $11.2 million.

 

In order to implement the proposed plan, the City will need to work with ECY on modifying effluent/water quality limits using one to the water quality tools contained in the States water quality regulations. The City has explored many of these tools early in the planning process without ECY support, but due to the difficulty and cost of implementing any of the alternatives for storage lagoons, the new permit manager at ECY is willing to work with the City to attempt to use what is called a “variance”.

 

The water quality variance is a public rulemaking process that requires approval from ECY and EPA. It may be a lengthy process and may not be accepted by the regulatory agencies. If it is accepted the City will need to be prepared to complete additional work including:

 

  • Showing that the highest attainable condition (HAC) is met, 
  • Prepare a Pollutant Minimization Plan, 
  • Expect review of the treatment processes and permit updates at five-year intervals, 
  • Be prepared for an Adaptive Management Approach – one that potentially means frequent treatment upgrades.

 

The plan needs to be submitted before the end of this November for ECY to have time to review and approve the Facility Plan before the December 15, 2019 approval deadline for ECY funding.

 

The variance process may take a long time to play out. The updated facility plan has been submitted to our permit manager and we are awaiting comments. The city will need additional funding to continue this process regardless if a variance is ultimately granted. We should know the results of the funding application submitted to ECY by early next year. CA Dixon was in Olympia last week to discuss our wastewater planning efforts and concerns with state legislators.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H update on water system improvements:

Michelle Bly and Luke Antioch of TD&H were present. Michelle Bly presented the city with a revised task invoice because some of the earlier tasks no longer apply due to uncertainty of preferred course of action from the city.  The final dollar amount of the agreement is the same, just revised some of the tasks and their corresponding dollar amounts. Michelle will come back in new year to present numbers to new mayor and council.

TD&H is working on distribution lines on Culton St., Church St., and North Hill Looping. They contacted DOH about their approval of the looping without amending the Water System Plan and DOH is good with that design. TD&H will be getting a set for design review in January.

 

Brownfields Committee update:

-The city received a new proposal for the site from three legally standing partnerships consisting of William and Andra Edwards, Jessica and Delaun Smith, and Joseph & Rachel Handley, as well as two legally standing companies: TLC Animal Care Inc., & Palouse Brewing Company Inc.  Their offer consists of three phases: Phase 1 is a vet clinic; Phase 2 is a brewery; and Phase 3 is the placement of five “cottages” on the site for various opportunities including an office rental. A lot of creativity for the site. Multi-use, modular start.

-Brownfields Committee has had a couple informative meetings with the proposers as well as Mayor Echanove & CA Dixon.

-Mayor outlined the history of the Brownfields site and the DOE development requirements for integrating the site back into the community (to produce jobs, activity, property value, etc.).

-The city has to continue to monitor the Brownfields site for contaminants until cleared by ECY.  Consent decree says the city will take care of the testing, not the purchasers/developers. Only 1 of the 3 wells still needs testing as it still has low levels of contaminants.  ECY will train CA Dixon to do the testing to save costs and may also provide funding for lab analysis.

-The Brownfields Committee was charged with providing their recommendation to the council. They voted to endorse the project with three conditions: 1) city would accept the $3,000 minimum bid; 2) transfer of the property will be to a single entity (Palouse Brewing Co. Inc.,); 3) significant tangible improvements within 12 months including grading, foundation work, and significant progress to the completion of phase 1 within 24 months as determined by the Brownfields Committee.

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to accept the proposal as per the outlined stipulations and for their offer of $3,000. Councilmember Sievers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Echanove, CA Dixon, and Councilmember Cook attended the mayor’s roundtable in Palouse a couple weeks ago. CEO of Avista was in attendance talking about renewable energy. Port of Whitman was there to talk about fiber to the home so there will be more ISP competition coming to Palouse.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid    11/26/19    Ck. #10477-10486    $85,767.41

 

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

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

November 12, 2019

Special Palouse City Council Meeting

PUBLIC HEARING  – 2020 preliminary budget proposal

followed by Regular Council Meeting

November 12, 2019

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Councilmembers present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING, 2020 preliminary budget proposal at 7:01 pm:  

No comments.  Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:02 pm.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 22, 2019 as written.  Councilmember Cook seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

WWTP operator Tyler Furchtenicht has resigned his position effective Nov. 27, 2019, due to time commitment issues. He is leaving on good terms with the city. His replacement, Walter Fealy, will begin November 18, 2019, which will allow a week of training together.

 

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann reported:

-HP went well. Colfax Officer Alacanter assisted the Palouse PD during the event. One reason HP continues to be a safe venue is due to the PD, FD, EMS, etc. always on location throughout the event.

-Chief’s vehicle is experiencing some brake issues and is being repaired at Chappell Auto. Snow tires are also getting put on.

-Kimberling case in Garfield is still ongoing. He is still in jail for violating a restraining order. Federal trial is pending on the weapons charges.

-Had another complaint regarding skateboarders using the memorial benches as jumps, etc. and causing damage. Officer Snead made friendly contact and explained why the benches around town aren’t to be used for skateboarding and that they should be using the skatepark for skateboarding.  Chief is still planning on having skateboard rules & safety education in the spring with the students.

-Ongoing dog complaints.  What’s the threshold of a “nuisance” dog? Chief would like complainants to video the barking dog(s) for at least 15 minutes to prove an actual “nuisance” and not just dogs being dogs. It also helps should it go to court.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: CA Dixon reported:

-Budget discussion. City is in a good spot financially right now. CA Dixon reviewed various line items in the budget.

-CA Dixon & Mayor Echanove attended IACC meeting in Wenatchee last month.  IACC conference puts local government together with state agencies and funding partners to get problems solved and projects financed. It’s important to maintain our presence there.  We had the opportunity to meet with ECY (Dept of Ecology), our permit manager Diana Washington, and other ECY officials to discuss our wastewater facility plan.  ECY indicated that M&O of water reclamation (final piece of preferred course of action approved by council earlier this year) could pose a significant financial burden.  Mayor Echanove, CA Dixon and Varela lamented the lack of viable options available to meet ECY’s stringent regulations. ECY posed the possibility of applying for and receiving a variance to the TMDL requirements (effluent discharge limits).  If granted, a variance would allow Palouse to continue to upgrade our wastewater facilities with the best available science at the time, in 5-year intervals.  This would allow a more phased and financially responsible approach to improvements, rather than forcing the city to fund a roughly $15 million project all at once.  City of Spokane is currently working on submitting a variance to ECY for discharge limits in the Spokane River.  Diana Washington indicated that our situation is a great example of why the variance option was created and that she would help us complete the application.  No municipality in the state of Washington has ever been granted a variance, but Palouse has been the first to do many things, so there is hope.

-Mayor & CA Dixon will be in Olympia next week to meet with state agencies and district representatives.

-TD&H will be at our next meeting to discuss water line improvements on Church Street and next steps, if any, for the larger water system improvement project.

-City had our three-year audit exit conference with the state auditors. Councilmembers Cooper and Wekenman were also in attendance.  Everything looks good, had a great meeting.  The cost of the audit went about $2,000 over original estimate.

-Haunted Palouse donated $1,000 to the city to help repair the flathouse door as that is where all the HP supplies are stored year-after-year and the door has taken a beating. Thanks HP!

 

OPEN FORUM:

Andres Sena was present to request having a home swim meet at Palouse. Council is very agreeable to having that but there needs to be a few things done to make it work: 1) swim team needs to provide their own volunteers for the meet; lifeguards are to be lifeguarding only; 2) needs to be a Tuesday (vs. Thursday) for the meet; 3)volunteers also need to ensure that RV guests have access to the RV Park and that all 10 RV sites remain open and unblocked.  Andres Sena said they have a lot of volunteers and can guide traffic to park elsewhere.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Ord. No. 983 adopting the property tax increase for collection in 2020:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. The dollar amount of the increase over the actual levy amount for the previous year shall be $1,811.57 which is an increase of 1%. 1% is our lawful amount we can increase our levy amount without a vote. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ord. 983. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

Ord. No. 984 adopting the property tax increase for Emergency Medical Services for collection in 2020:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. The dollar amount of the increase over the actual levy amount for the previous year shall be $299.27 which is an increase of 1%.  Voters approved 6-year EMS levy in November of 2017.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Ord. 984. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

 

Ord. No. 985 setting the levy amounts for 2020:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Special street levy: $44,000; Special pool levy: $34,000; Voted regular EMS levy: $32,060.37; General levy: $194,069.99.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ord. No. 985. Councilmember Cook seconded.  Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard: Committee met Nov. 5 to discuss in-depth a long-overdue need to increase various service fees.  Rate and fee structures from our immediate geographic areas (Garfield, Colfax, Pullman, & Moscow) were considered when making these recommendations. Those four communities’ fees were totaled and averaged to get our figures. The city is still charging water & sewer hookup fees that were set in 1980!  We’ve determined to make changes accordingly to make us more in alignment with 2020 prices.

New water service hook-up will go from $200 to $1,825 to take effect July 1, 2020

New sewer service hook-up will go from $250 to $1,825 to take effect July 1, 2020

Reconnection fee will go from $35 to $50 to take effect July 1, 2020

Also discussed in length was the issue that inactive accounts on the water and/or sewer system should be sharing the cost burden of infrastructure upgrades and maintenance that are currently being paid by everyone active on the system. Inactive accounts are still benefitting from the all upgrades and maintenance but aren’t sharing in the expenses.  Effective July 1, 2020, property owners with inactive meters will have two options: 1) pay monthly, half of the base water/sewer charges, or, 2) they can choose to abandon their water and sewer lines to avoid this ongoing monthly obligation.  If and when service is requested to be restored, abandoned lines will then be subject to the water and sewer service hookup fees. Inactive meters include: snowbirds (partial year users); meters on vacant lots; vacant homes; new developments; inactive business/commercial meters.  Details are still being ironed out.  Those choosing to abandon their lines will do so via signature on legal document to be written by city’s attorney.

 

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Sievers:

-Councilmember Sievers met with the owner of The Congress regarding the outdoor seating encroaching on sidewalk too far and blocking pedestrian traffic and staying in ADA compliance. Owner stated they are looking at different seating arrangement next year.

-Councilmember Sievers also discussed with Supt. Griffin the poor visibility at the corner of H & Alder intersection. It’s a bad corner. Supt. Griffin will trim the trees.

-There was a no-injury wreck into the guardrail at H & Alder Street due to speeding in icy conditions. The guardrail will be replaced at the expense of the driver’s insurance.

 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook,

-Budget discussion continued. In addition to the across-the-board 3% raise for all staff (set three years ago), Mayor Echanove proposed a salary increase of 5% to Supt. Griffin, 10% to Public Works Asst. Mike Wolf, and 3% to CA Dixon and Deputy Clerk Thompson. The Personnel committee considered the Mayor’s salary increase recommendations. There was a level of consensus among the committee to stick with the 3% raise originally recommended by council in 2017.  Staff evaluations and merit-based salary increases will be implemented next year. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to direct CA Dixon to put a 3% salary increase across the board into the proposed 2020 budget. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

 

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper:

-Chair Cooper attended the exit audit conference. She shared the auditors’ praise of CA Dixon and Deputy Clerk Thompson.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

-Liquor license renewal for The Congress.  No objections.

-Mayor read aloud a letter from Carly Schoepflin resigning from the Palouse Planning Commission.  Mayor Echanove accepted her resignation.

-Mayor read aloud a letter of interest from Holly White to serve on the Palouse Planning Commission. Pending verification that she resides within the city limits, Mayor Echanove is appointing her to the PC.

-Mayor’s Roundtable is this Thursday.

-October 16th Mayor Echanove, Councilmembers Cooper & Cook, Garfield Mayor Jared Pfaff, and a Garfield councilperson met to discuss the police contract with Garfield. Garfield wants to continue the contract and a long-term relationship with a few caveats: 1)they want a two-year contract; 2)the current time of response to Garfield is currently set at 20 minutes but they will accept a 30 minute response time; 3)they would like to see a joint committee, comprised of mayors & a couple councilmembers, to meet quarterly to review the performance for evaluation purposes; 4)they want to see if our PD could do a better job of integrating into the Garfield community (in particular Officer Anderson is unknown to them); 5)they want a copy of weekly work schedule.

The short-term objective is to get the contract renewed for two years. It’s in the hands of the city attorney.  Not yet discussed is Garfield’s contract amount for services.  Palouse will seek monetary increase from Garfield. This needs to be an integral part of this decision.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cook seconded.  Motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      10/31/19            Ck. 10416-10435, & EFT                        $43,243.52

VOID                10/31/19            Ck. 10422                                             $ (3,696.29)

Claims Paid      11/12/19            Ck. 10415, 10436-10476, & EFT             $46,951.96

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:45 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

October 22, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

October 22, 2019

 

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse the absence of councilmember Snyder. Councilmember Cook seconded.  Motion carried.  Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon are attending the IACC conference. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Terry Snead; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to approved the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of October 8, 2019 as written. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.\

 

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: BI Gladwill reported on 3rd quarter building permit numbers.  Palouse is keeping him busy.  Five new homes so far this year.  International Building Codes are changing in 2020.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT: 

-First weekend of Haunted Palouse went well.  Colfax PD and Reserve Officer Merry provided additional policing for the event.  Chief will discuss some safety concerns with outside HP workers.

-House fire early Monday morning in Palouse. No injuries. Chief Neumann was on-scene around 5:05 am to direct traffic.  Hwy 27 was closed for a few hours.

-Still ongoing issues with Kent Kimberling. He violated an order of protection in Garfield and was booked into jail again. Officer Snead has been looking into finding assistance for him through social service agencies but he isn’t receptive. The federal charges for firearms violations and threats are still pending.

-Chief is planning on following up in the spring with the skatepark board and the school to educate the students and the public about skatepark safety and laws. Councilmember Cooper would like to see it done before the spring.

-Chief found a traffic safety grant to fund one mobile digital/solar speed sign.  The city is budgeting for the purchase of two permanently installed ones in 2020.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 

-Councilmembers Wekenman and Cook were both in attendance at the 10/21/19 meeting.

-FD is good on the finance side.  Three mutual aid/minor FD calls in September.

-Truck 414 is exhibiting erratic pumping behavior; looking at having pump refurbished (costs unknown).

-Yesterday’s house fire indicated to the department that they don’t have enough air bottles to perform safely. We currently have six air packs and six spare bottles. Those were depleted rapidly during this fire. If there had not been mutual aid from other agencies the house would have been lost. They’re expensive and rarely needed but should the need arise, we don’t want to ever be without. They will be purchasing three more air bottles at about $1,000 each + tax & shipping.  Cost will be shared by Rural.

-Chief Beeson is looking into a grant to acquire a fresh-air compressor for the department (cost is approximately $30k-$40k).

-EMS needs more volunteers. Only two EMS responded to yesterday’s fire.

OLD BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 982 – Critical Areas periodic update:  This ordinance was discussed by a public hearing at last meeting.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to suspend the reading of the ordinance.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried. Councilmember Wekenman read aloud the ordinance by title only.  Councilmember Cook MOVED to adopt the ordinance. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Beer & Wine license renewal for the Bank Left Gallery & Bistro. No objections.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cook seconded. The motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      10/22/19           Ck. #10399-10414         $14,533.97

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:58 PM.

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

October 8, 2019

Special Palouse City Council Meeting 

PUBLIC HEARING  – Critical Areas Ordinance update

followed by Regular Council Meeting

October 8, 2019

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Councilmembers present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper. Councilmembers absent:  Chris Cook; Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse Councilmembers Cook & Wekenman’s absences.  Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING, Critical Areas Ordinance update, at 7:03 pm:  This is part of a state-wide mandated update to the ordinance from 2014.  It deals with environmentally protected areas, as determined by Ecology and Dept of Commerce’s Growth Management Act, such as the river, aquifer recharge, and wetland areas in Palouse. This ordinance maintains our compliance with the Growth Management Act.  It is a periodic update to incorporate changes in best available science and best management practices. Minor updates; no barriers to responsible construction and ongoing development in Palouse. Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:07 pm.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 24, 2019 as written. Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  Land application of biosolids was completed October 5.  The process was delayed due to the lab’s delayed results and DOE approval.  The city is looking into alternate ways to dispose of biosolids in the future.

 

POLICE REPORT:  

-Garfield man Kent Kimberling pled guilty to felony threats and harassment. It went through court Friday, he was released Saturday, and Palouse PD got called out on Sunday by a neighbor.  His family is concerned with his release. Federal charges still pending.

-Callouts include a couple cases involving juveniles; three dog complaints; a property dispute; an unattended death.

-Ongoing patrols into and out of Palouse.

-equipment is all good

-Haunted Palouse extra officers are hired

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: CA Dixon reported:

-he met with Finance Chair Cooper.  Will have a preliminary 2020 budget by end of month.  Will have public hearings in November

-he is meeting this week with fence company to price out fencing for Shady Lane Trails. Our insurance company recommend signage, fencing, and bollards on each entrance.

-Had a productive meeting in Dayton last week with state funding partners. Follow up meeting scheduled with RCO (Recreation and Conservation Office) to discuss funding for bridge over river from Lions Club park to city park.

-having ongoing issues with computer. It’s too old and slow and not functioning properly. He is getting recommendations for replacement as it can no longer be put off.  Long-range replacement policy was discussed with Chair Cooper. Too much at stake to not do it.

-Hope to have an exit meeting with State Auditors scheduled soon

-Mayor and CA Dixon will attend IACC conference in Wenatchee this month.

-Received one bid on the fencing, no bid on the lights.  Public Works will strip the lights for metal and scrap the lights.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper- met with CA Dixon to go over 2019 YTD figures and 2020 budget.

 

OPEN FORUM:

Andres Sena.  He is very upset that the Palouse police have stopped some kids skateboarding in the streets and around neighborhoods.  He stated the kids are being told they’re subject to $35 fine and/or getting their skateboard taken away and he questioned the legality of that. Andres Sena doesn’t think kids should be stopped.  Chief Neumann stated it is illegal to hinder or obstruct traffic. They can’t go zipping down a hill 35 MPH or in and around cars. As we get more skateboards, we’re going to have more interactions between skateboarders & traffic and therefore police. Councilmember Cooper asked Chief Neumann to work with the school and Aaron Flansburg to educate kids and the public about the traffic laws and safety as they pertain to skateboarders. Chief will try and find some printed material and work on education.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid    9/30/19        Ck. 10356-10375, & EFT        $49,694.70

Claims Paid    10/08/19    Ck. 10376-10398, & EFT        $18,349.98

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:44 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 24, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

September 24, 2019

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper. Absent: Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Cook MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of September 10, 2019 as written. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT:  Palouse Days went well. No problems.

-Looking into purchasing a couple solar-powered speed signs next year. One will go on HWY 27 coming into town from Pullman and one on 272 from Potlatch into town. Will look into some traffic safety grants to help with the purchase. Would eventually like one for each entrance into town.

– The Chamber is paying $25/hour for extra policing during Haunted Palouse. We want 3 or 4 extra officers both weekends, depending on crowds.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Budget is looking good.

6 EMS calls in August: 2 city, 2 rural, 2 non-resident.

3 Fire calls in August.

Got fire insurance rating back and Palouse kept Class 6 rating which is good.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Sept 18, CA Dixon, Mayor Echanove, and Councilmember Cook spoke with Varela to discuss next steps for WW Facility Plan. Plan has been delivered to DOE and it will take until at least November for them to review and provide comments. Anticipating comments and additional review, which creates a tight window to take advantage of funding opportunities with DOE that are due in mid-December. Echanove, Cook and Dixon directed Varela to put application together to hopefully take advantage of this funding opportunity with the hope that the plan can be finalized by the December deadline. Next year we will move into design phase and it will be very beneficial to have funding options in place for us to proceed.

In June we received a $2,500 grant to have a professional review and update items in our Critical Areas Ordinance. CA Dixon will send it to council and have it available for public review. This is mandated to be periodically updated. Public Hearing will be at next council meeting for anyone who wants to review it.

Improvements to Shady Lane are almost complete. CA Dixon met with City Insurance Rep to walk it. Will put in some fencing along steep side of access points and a caution sign. Benches will be ordered this week as well. Work by Palouse Hills Excavating looks great.

Budget season is on us. CA Dixon will meet with Finance Committee in October to discuss needs for next year.  Would like to see budget passed by second meeting in November.

Port of Whitman is in design phase of Fiber to the Home project in Palouse.

First Step needs council approval to relocate some equipment from roof of St. Elmo bldg. to roof of City Hall. Supt. Griffin has no concerns with it. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to allow First Step to move their equipment from St. Elmo roof to City Hall roof. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

Sealed bids are due tomorrow at 2 pm for surplus fencing and surplus street light equipment. Minimum bid of $50 for each.

CA Dixon, Supt. Griffin and w/s committee met last week to discuss some potential fee structure changes. More meetings to come. It is ongoing.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2019-10 adopting the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan for 2020-2025: This gets updated every year. The goal is to complete one from the list every year. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2019-10. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Councilmember Cook completed his pool summary report and reviewed it with council.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-

Committee met with CA Dixon and Supt. Griffin to discuss utility fee structures. Still gathering information and hoping to have a full report within a month.

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      9/24/19             Ck. #10342-10355         $34,072.92

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:09 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 10, 2019

Special Palouse City Council Meeting

PUBLIC HEARING #1 – 2020 Revenue Sources

PUBLIC HEARING #2 – Six-Year Street Plan

followed by Regular Council Meeting

September 10, 2019

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook (7:40 pm); Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.             Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING #1, 2020 Revenue Sources at 7:04 pm:

CA Dixon discussed current and proposed levies.  Standard General Levy increase is 1% unless we do a levy lid lift.  Palouse does not need to pursue a levy lid lift at this time. 1% increase will be brought to council for approval in November.  EMS levy remains at $.50/$1,000 of assessed valuation, as approved by voters last year.  County updates on assessed values were briefly discussed, City will receive those numbers next year.  Neither of the dollar amounts for the special street levy or the special pool maintenance & operation levy will change.  Total proposed taxation for all levies is $4.81/$1,000 of assessed value.  Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:14.

 

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING #2, Six-Year Street Plan at 7:14 pm:  We update this every year and submit to DOT so it’s documented when we apply for funding.  Supt. Griffin does a good job of tracking the needs for the city streets.  Closed hearing at 7:19 pm.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 27, 2019 as written. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

 

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

There is a house going in on Sumner Street and public works doesn’t have the time or manpower to extend trenching to that house.  Supt. Griffin is requesting council permission for Boyd & Boyd Construction to do that work on city right-of-way. Property owner pays for it all.  Supt Griffin inspects the work. As a general rule of thumb, public works doesn’t do that work for property owners.  This is just a right-of-way issue.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to allow Boyd & Boyd Construction to do work in the city right-of-way.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

POLICE REPORT: 

-Chief met with Spokane ATF last week to pick up more evidence from that weapons case out of Garfield.  The suspect is still in custody and looking at about 40 charges.

-The police continue to patrol Cove Road and south Hwy 27 for speeders.

-Tomorrow is the 9/11 anniversary.  We’re thinking about all the lives lost in that tragedy.

-Ongoing dog complaints;

-Radar trailer isn’t working.  Might be cheaper to replace instead of repair.  Or perhaps this would be a good time to instead purchase the flashing, solar-powered, speed signs.

-Palouse Days is this weekend.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Varela Engineering dropped off the completed draft wastewater facility plan for review.  They will deliver it to DOE once council says ok and then DOE willl start their review of it.  DOE’s review could take months, so the sooner we can get this process started the better.  This is not a binding document; it can be revised during design phase if necessary.   We’re essentially looking at storage lagoons on city-owned property for 6 months out of the year.  The long-game environmentally is going the reclaimed water route.  This will be a phased approach. Council took some action last year and we need to continue with our incremental rate increases rather than a large increase every few years.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize Varela to submit this report to DOE.  Councilmember Cooper seconded.  CA Dixon will inquire with Varela about waterway cybersecurity being added down the road to the report.  It’s a thorough report.

 

Construction has started on Shady Lane improvements.  Should be done by end of month.  We will get some benches and fences ordered for that and we’ll invite our insurance carrier to take a look at it from a liability standpoint. Project is paid for by a $26,000 grant from .09 money that CA Dixon applied for.

 

State auditors are wrapping up their work for our audit.  We should have results by end of September.  No red flags at this point.

 

Budget season is upon us. CA Dixon will meet with finance committee in October.

 

City will post notice later this week to accept bids for surplussed fencing and street light equipment that has been stored in the flathouse for years.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2019-09 salary schedule amendment:  This resolution makes the changes approved at the last council meeting: increasing the third officer pay (to be hired) to $4,300, and increasing the reserve officer pay to $24/hour. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2019-09.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Information Technology needs and assessment plan for City Hall:  City had Mark Bailey of PSTech come last month to diagnose ongoing computer and technical issues. We quickly realized we are seriously lacking in our security and equipment policy.  We’ve been erroneously operating city-wide on an “absolutely as-needed only” updates for technology and equipment.  In his assessment, Mark Bailey prioritized the city’s needs. Finance Committee will review and bring forward for 2020 budget.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-  Finishing up the annual pool report.  Now that we have a baseline, this report will provide a year-by-year comparison so we can see trends.  Will finalize and send out to council.

 

Policy & Administration, Councilmembers Sievers & Cooper–  Moses Boone will be unveiling the new city flag Saturday after the Palouse Days parade.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Liquor license renewal for Palouse Lions Club.  No objections.

 

The city has received an inquiry about the council vacancy left from the resignation of Councilmember Wilcomb.  The city hesitates to temporarily appoint someone because the general election is three council meetings away. Council wants to continue with six councilmembers until the election so as not to show favoritism to anyone running in the election.

 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Snyder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      8/30/19             Ck. 10285-10309, 10311-10314, & EFT              $56,740.13

Claims Paid      9/10/19             Ck. 10284, 10310, 10315-10341, & EFT             $35,414.63

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 27, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 27, 2019

 

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

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; PW Asst Mike Wolf; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson; BI Dan Gladwill; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.  Mayor Echanove read aloud Councilmember Wilcomb’s resignation letter dated Aug. 5, 2019.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 23, 2019.  Councilmember Sievers seconded.  Motion carried. The August 13th meeting was cancelled due to no quorum.

 

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

 

POOL MANAGER REPORT:  Noah Hopkins gave a brief report on the season.  Had one minor incident that resulted in an EMS call (all was fine).  Maintenance went well.  Staff was good.  Patron count was normal for a colder year.  He thanked city for the job opportunity. Councilmember Cook praised Noah on his job performance and we are hopeful he returns next year.

 

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:  Palouse is a busy little town, doing great.  Palouse keeps BI Gladwill busy with inspections.

 

OPEN FORUM:

Zane Rivers, Troop 455 Boy Scout.  For his Eagle Scout project, Zane wants to renovate the kiosk at the Eden Valley Cemetery.  Previously it was done with paper and plexiglass and laid horizontally, resulting in snow and water damage and leaving it illegible. This cemetery is unique because the majority of the graves are from the 1800’s with a lot of history.  Zane plans on installing an approximate 4’x3’ vertical sign with a donated metal roof.  Materials include lumber and printing on a vinyl-wrapped aluminum sheet. Sign will contain a cross-reference of all the buried with a site map of where they are located in the cemetery.  It will also include a summary of what life would have been like for these people.  Budget for the project is $500 and he is requesting $300 from city.  He has a couple adult mentors helping with the design process. Councilmember Cook MOVED to donate $300 towards this project.  Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Mary Estes and Janet Brantner representing the rose ladies. The rose gardens need 5+ hours of direct sunlight a day to thrive and the rose garden on Whitman Street doesn’t get enough light due to two plum trees.  The ladies are requesting having those two trees removed.  Supt. Griffin looked into moving them but they’re way too big.  There is also a plum tree next to the Police Station that is growing into the building that needs removed.  And there is a locust tree on corner of Whitman and Hall Streets that is growing into the street light.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize Supt. Griffin to remove the three plum trees and one locust tree. Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Jim Fielder of the Planning Commission gave an update.  156 community surveys were completed. Overall people like the town. They are hoping to crunch the survey numbers and have a formal presentation to council in a couple months.  They currently have a full commission which is nice.

 

POLICE REPORT:

-The police had a situation a few weeks ago in Garfield with an unstable man.  What started as an assault call-out resulted in verbal threats against Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson.  Chief has had dealings with this man over the years.  The man was taken into protective custody. A cache of weapons was found including 1500+ rounds of ammunition, numerous weapons, a homemade loaded cannon, homemade silencer and a homemade grenade.  ATF and bomb squad from Spokane cleared the scene without incident and confiscated everything.  The man is being held in Colfax.  ATF stressed the urgency to keep him behind bars. Chief is meeting with prosecutor this week.

-PD also had an arrest of a Garfield resident for gas thefts, ongoing dog complaints, noise complaints.

-School starts tomorrow.  Please slow down and watch for children.

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Councilmember Cooper reported.  Budget looks like it should. They adopted the 2020 draft budget. Expected increases include the ambulance contract, insurance policies, and slight increase for maintenance & repair.  Two fire calls in July and 10 EMS calls in July.

National Night Out was a success.

Ongoing trainings.

With Mark Wilcomb’s resignation, another councilperson is needed on the JFB.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Met with contractors on Shady Lane donated land.  Construction should be done by end of September.  Being funded by .09 money from the county. There will hopefully be continued access during construction.

 

Varela has almost completed with our Wastewater Facility Plan. Kyle will forward plan to water/sewer committee for their review.  Should be wrapped-up by end of next week and delivered to DOE.

 

EV Charging Station is up and running over at Heritage Park.

 

CA Dixon will be working with Chief Neumann on identifying and notifying properties around town that don’t conform to existing nuisance ordinances.  City gets fairly frequent complaints about property appearances.

 

Following the $5 on-call pay for police department which council authorized at July 23, 2019 meeting, council received an email from Supt. Griffin requesting the same for Public Works, also retroactive to June 15, until a formal on-call policy is adopted. Public Works is on-call as well.  This will cost city $6,632.50 for June 15 to August 31 for Public Works, to be split between Water and Sewer funds.  In an effort to treat all employees equally, the Policy Committee is recommending to approve the on-call pay for Public Works.  The PD staffing shortage that began in June has brought to light what they feel is a rather restrictive and unfair on-call policy in our interlocal policing contract with Garfield.  CA Dixon said the city can absolutely accommodate continued OT but cannot recommend continued on-call pay.  It’s KD’s opinion that if we approve a continued on-call policy for the PD, we have to extend the same offer to Public Works.  They have always responded to after-hours emergencies.  CA Dixon’s recommendation to Policy Committee is, effective September 1, cease all on-call pay and implement a minimum two-hour call out at overtime rate.  This is a standard policy seen throughout the state.  Two-hour minimum call-out applies to both departments.

#1 – Councilmember Sievers MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Cooper, to pay $5 on-call from June 15 to Aug. 31 to Public Works. Motion carried;

#2 – Sievers MOVED to increase third officer salary to $4,300 monthly effective Sept. 1.  Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

#3 – Sievers MOVED to increase Reserve Officer Snead’s pay from $22/hr to $24/hr effective Sept. 1.  Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

#4 – Sievers MOVED to notify City of Garfield of our intent to terminate our contract in 180 days, with intent to renegotiate the contract with staffing and on-call issues addressed.  Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

#5 – Sievers MOVED, effective Sept 1, the city eliminates the $5 on-call pay for both PW and Police Dept. and go to the minimum two-hour call out at overtime rate for both departments. Cooper seconded. Motion carried.  The Police Dept.’s Admin Leave will be reinstated effective Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, pro-rated, as it has already been paid out through June 15th.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2019-08, adopting official City of Palouse flag:  Policy Committee researched various ordinances and resolutions and met to discuss.  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt the resolution.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Amberly Boone stated that she and Moses will donate funds towards having some flags made.  Motion carried.

 

Continued discussion on PMC 8.12. Public Nuisances and Palouse Welding:  Mayor read aloud from the January 28, 1997 minutes.   “It was decided that Bagott Motors and Ed Anderson (Palouse Welding) won’t need to install a fence around their businesses.”  Ordinance must still be enforced; he must continually keep it clean and tidy and not pile up scrap metal/junk, but fencing isn’t required.

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook–  Chris is working on finalizing the pool summary report.  53% of swim lesson revenue was from non-residents, keeping in mind that non-residents pay more for lessons. City received $1,000 in pool donations.  Full report at next meeting.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor passed on condolences for former Dayton, WA, Mayor George (was mayor for 16years) who passed away last week.

 

CA Dixon and DC Thompson just completed the three-year state audit.  Auditors were here for about a week. There will be an exit interview with the results and final report.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      7/31/19             Ck. #10192, 10210-10236, & EFT           $58,105.23

Claims Paid      8/13/19             Ck. #10237-10269, & EFT                      $25,771.93

Claims Paid      8/27/19             Ck. #10270-10283, & EFT                      $  3,013.84

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:49 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 23, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

July 23, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson; Attorney Eric Hanson & City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 9, 2019 as written. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT: All is well. Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson continue to split shifts. Speed patrols continue on south entrance to Palouse. Working on removing a goat from south hill that is forbidden in R1 by code. Four call outs last week.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Budget is where it should be this time of year. No concerns. National night out in Palouse is Tuesday, Aug 6th at the city park. Newly repaired pumper tanker is working well. Most July training time was spent on water drills and testing pumps.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-CA Dixon and PW Supt Griffin are finalizing a minimum price bid for the spare fence and street light equipment in the flat house. CA Dixon would like council to surplus these items. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to declare the fence and streetlight equipment in the flat house as a surplus to city needs. Councilmember Sievers seconded and the motion carried. CA Dixon will advertise as soon as details are finalized.

-On July 10th the Planning Commission approved a short plat (minor subdivision) application from Palouse Builders LLC in the Amber Ridge development. This short plat will provide more options for affordable housing in Palouse now that the owners will be able to pass title on each unit of the duplexes that were approved for construction last year.

-The Palouse Music Festival is this Saturday, July 27th from 11AM to 8PM at the city park.

-The last day of the season for the pool is Saturday, August 17th.

-On June 6th, 2019, CA Dixon sent a notice to Alex Anderson, the owner of Palouse Welding, informing him of some complaints that the city has received regarding their outdoor storage of equipment and related Palouse Municipal Code violations. CA Dixon is concerned with how the code is written and applicability, citing PMC 8.12.024. Alex and Marty Anderson explained their circumstances to council and how fencing around their property would result in a significant burden on their day-to-day operations. Mayor Echanove stated the benefits of having Palouse Welding as an anchor business that has been in town for more than fifty years. Mayor explained that he was on council when this ordinance was passed and he would like to go through his old minutes to provide more information about this matter at a subsequent council meeting. Council thanked Marty and Alex Anderson for their work done to date in cleaning up the site. Councilmember Wekenman suggests that the city push back the stated compliance date of August 7th 2019 until after the harvest season when business would be slower. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to postpone the compliance date from August 7th 2019 until October 9th 2019. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Wekenman stressed that work to clean up the site needs to continue. Councilmember Snyder MOVED to have the Policy Committee take a further look at the ordinance for permitted outdoor storage and make a recommendation to council no later than October 8th to more clearly define items therein. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 982 “17.06 Nonconforming Uses and Buildings”: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This ordinance tightens up Chapter 17 zoning code to phase out nonconforming uses with respect to buildings and structures, both residential and otherwise, essentially preventing nonconforming uses from being replaced with other nonconforming uses. Discussion ensued about the clarity of the ordinance and definitions. Council would like to see Atty. Hanson simplify the ordinance. No action taken.

Resolution No. 2019-06: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This resolution puts on the November ballot a proposition for a one-year excess property tax levy in the amount of $44,000 for street improvements and street oiling. No change from last year’s street levy. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2019-06 as presented. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried.

Resolution No. 2019-07: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This resolution puts on the November ballot a proposition for a one-year excess property tax levy of $34,000 for operation and maintenance of the swimming pool. No change from last year’s pool levy. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2019-07. Councilmember Cook seconded. Councilmember Wekenman discussed the possibility of removing this levy at some point in the future if the city ever has the monetary capacity to cover these costs without a levy. Councilmember Cook reminded council that this levy does not cover all the pool expenses and all costs in excess of the levy come out of the city’s current expense budget. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Pool season is coming to an end. Had one minor accident and one report of a patron’s stolen phone in July. Pool Manager will provide an end of year report.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb-

-Policy Committee discussed adoption of city flag proposed by Moses Boone. Ordinance is being prepared. Committee would like to unveil the flag during Palouse Days.

-Councilmember Wilcomb read aloud the following statement pertaining to the ongoing compensation matter with the Palouse PD stemming from a staff shortage beginning in June.

The Policy and Administration Committee has spent the past two weeks researching the questions assigned to us at the last City Council meeting. We spoke with the City Attorney, City Administrator, Mayor, and City employees. We also researched the codes, policies and ordinances of comparable cities.

Our report tonight is not a comment on any person’s competence or job performance.

Most of the misunderstandings and disagreements we are facing result from a lack of clear, written policies duly adopted by the City Council and applied to all employees and residents.

All decisions we make regarding city policies must be handled in an informed, thoughtful and strategic manner. For the benefit of our employees and our city residents, we must not make emotion-based, short-term policy decisions that could result in long-term, unintended outcomes.

We recommend to the Council that all Committees of the City Council work together to create a modern, comprehensive policy and operations manual for the city. Each committee will handle their area of responsibility, under the general coordination of the Policy Committee. The manual should cover all departments and all services of the city.

There are many excellent resources already available that we can draw from to speed the creation of this manual. The process will give us an opportunity to fully address the issues discussed in previous meetings, and will help us anticipate and avoid future issues by looking at the best practices of other successful cities comparable to Palouse, and to consider the input of our citizens.

Our goal is to complete this process by the end of this calendar year. Until the city can implement a measured, strategic approach to clarifying and documenting its policies, we strongly recommend to the Council that all current city policies and employee compensation remain as-is.”

Council indicated that they need to make a final determination on which laws are applicable and adopt a city-wide policy accordingly. Policy Committee received input from attorney. Atty Hanson explained further which laws are applicable in various circumstances and case law that has driven these determinations. Discussion ensued on what constitutes compensable on-call time and the hardship that the recent, unexpected staffing shortage has had on the PD. Chief Neumann would like council to consider that any policy relating to compensation be retroactive to June 15, 2019. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to approve a $5 on-call, per hour payment for officers retroactive to June 15th until a new on-call policy is formally adopted. CA Dixon indicated that in terms of our annual budget this arrangement is sustainable in the short term. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried.

OPEN FORUM:

-Cheryl Johnson is requesting a moratorium on new construction on the south side of Palouse until the water pressure problems have been addressed. Council informed her that the city currently has a contract with TDH engineering for water system improvements and that this is one of the main objectives of their work. Planning Commission will be notified of her request.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 7/23/19 Ck. #10193-10209 & EFT $28,221.99

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

July 9, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

July 9, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse councilmember Cook’s absence. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Sievers absence. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Councilmember Wekenman voted nay. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 25, 2019. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT:

-Flat tire on Chief’s vehicle last week;

-Ongoing dog issues in both towns;

-PD has stepped up patrols on Hwy 27 south entrance into town;

-Ice Cream Social this weekend;

-Officer Anderson broke his right wrist while off-duty on Monday. He will have surgery and be off for next 10 days or so. That will result in an amended shift coverage for Chief Neumann until he returns.

-Chief received certificate of completion for the state-mandated technical security audit. It was an onsite audit where they look at things like background checks, record keeping, state reporting, how we’re accessing and storing sensitive information, how secure building and computers are, etc.

-Police, Fire, & Safety Committee met with Mayor Echanove and both officers on Monday night. Councilmember Wekenman (chair of Police, Fire, & Safety) explained that since Officer Cox’s termination, it is just two officers covering both towns (Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson). There are a lot of on-call hours being logged to provide 24/7 coverage. Chief Neumann wants he and Officer Anderson compensated hourly for the remaining 88 hours in a work week that they’re on call (168 hours in a week, minus 40 x 2 = 88 hours left). There are federal laws that cover fair compensation for these kinds of things. These are compensable hours and by law need to be compensated for. However, Mayor Echanove read aloud FLSA Section 213, and RCW 49.46.130, which exempt the city from that compensation due to our size. Much contentious debate ensued about what should be compensated and what the city actually needs. Chief Neumann has already spoken with FLSA and will proceed with a complaint if payment for overtime/on call hours is not addressed. Councilmember Wekenman wants to pay them and avoid litigation. Prior to making any decisions on this, Mayor wants this issue sent to Policy & Admin Committee and the city attorney. There are a number of stakeholders that need to have a voice in this: policy and admin committee, Chief Neumann, Officer Anderson, Mayor Echanove, and Mayor Pfaff. CA Dixon will contact a mediator and city attorney and get this meeting scheduled.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

2nd Qtr Treasurer’s Report: No red flags. All is well.

-CA Dixon and Councilmember Cook attended the AWC conference in Spokane last week. It was a productive conference.

-Next meeting there will be some street and pool levy information. CA Dixon will discuss the budgetary needs with PW Supt Griffin and bring back to committee.

-There is a Planning Commission meeting tomorrow to discuss a minor subdivision in the Amber Ridge development. Proposal states that footprint for duplexes remains the same but creating lot lines will allow them to pass title on each side of those duplexes.

-Shady Lane project is still proceeding. CA Dixon is consulting with engineer on final specs before bids will be assessed.

-Will invite Alex Anderson of Palouse Welding to attend next council meeting in regards to how he wishes to tackle some code violations on his property.

OLD BUSINESS:

Water system improvements update from TD&H Engineering: Luke Antonich was present to update council. After council’s direction at last meeting, they proceeded with Phase I (the design of main replacements under Culton and Church Streets and the investigation of options to increase the pressure in a specific area of the north hill bounded by Cannon and Mohr Streets on the north and south and J and H Streets on the west and east). Thus far they have completed the topographic survey for Church Street and Culton Street. A base map will be prepared and design for the replacement of those mains will begin. They investigated options for increasing the pressure for the North Hill low pressure pocket: a) tried adding a dedicated line from the tank to the booster pump. Pressures remained below the 30 PSI threshold; b) added a looping main that would connect the high-pressure zone from K Street to G Street which resulted in pressures raised above the 30 PSI threshold to approximately 50+ PSI. Luke thinks overall the water system in in great shape in large part to the care Public Works takes of it and the dollars provided to utility infrastructure. They continue to develop the SWSMP (Small Water System Management Program) for Palouse. Under the SWSMP the city’s Public Works Dept could continue maintaining and replacing existing infrastructure and upsizing mains by ONE pipe size without having to seek DOH approval.

Technical discussion ensued. Do the benefits outweigh the cost? Council wants TD&H to begin Phase II but keep the two phases separate enough to be delineated from each other. Continue investigations into options as to how to solve redundancy, fire flow, and pressure issues on south hill. Regarding funding, once we have a defined scope of work for the project, particularly regarding Phase II, we will bring funding opportunities back to council for direction on applying for funding.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2019-05 salary schedule: Mayor read aloud the resolution. This is just a housekeeping issue to remove retired Don Myott’s pay from schedule and add new WWTP Operator’s (Tyler Furchtenicht) pay. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Resolution as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- See under Police Report.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- Committee hoping to meet this week with city attorney, both mayors, CA Dixon, both police officers, and a mediator to find a resolution to the police on-call pay, scheduling, etc.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper- Met with Kyle earlier to go over budget.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Snyder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 6/30/19 Ck. #10094, 10018, 10133-10160, & EFT $51,951.80

Claims Paid 7/09/19 Ck. #10161-10191 & EFT $51,240.93

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:36 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

June 25, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 25, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse Councilmember Sievers absence. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 11, 2019 as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

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

The city received two bids for the 2019 road oiling: BST Surfacing bid $9,243.85; Lyman Dust Control bid $16,978.50. BST has done the oiling the last few years. Supt. Griffin is satisfied with their work. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to accept the BST Surfacing bid. Seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb. Motion carried.

POLICE REPORT:

-Chief Neumann reminds public about fireworks safety and using only legal fireworks. Pullman fireworks stands sell only legal fireworks, including aerials. Must be labeled “safe & sane”. As of right now, Whitman County and Palouse don’t have any other bans on fireworks. Signs will be posted around town.

-A garage prowler was discovered on the north hill by a homeowner but not caught. Due diligence is needed; lock up your homes and garages. PD will try and do more evening patrols.

-Officer Leighton Cox’s position with the Palouse PD has been terminated as of last week. The city went through the normal vetting process of polygraph and psychological background check. However, the city can only go with what information is/was provided to us. Some of the issues didn’t come to light until after we hired him. All of Cox’s equipment has been returned. In the short-term Chief is looking at he and Officer Anderson filling in 24/7 for both Palouse and Garfield until Reserve Officer Snead returns August 24th. The Police, Fire, & Safety Committee will meet to discuss how to move forward.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

-Mark Wilcomb reported financials are where expected. No surprises.

-The FD wants to sell the old ambulance. Mark Wilcomb MOVED to surplus the 1987 ambulance. It will be towed away at buyer’s expense. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried.

-Crews continue to train twice a month.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-CA Dixon is at the AWC Annual Conference in Spokane through Thursday and will be joined by Councilmember Cook Wednesday.

-Avista has restructured our street light fee schedule. City can expect savings of roughly $2,500/year based on these changes. CA Dixon will continue to explore other possibilities that could further reduce this cost.

-The BOA will hear a variance request this Thursday relating to construction of duplexes on Harvest Loop.

-Installation of EV charging station at Heritage park began yesterday. Should be finished up by the end of next week.

-City is still on track to call for bids on Shady Lane project early next month. Preconstruction meeting will be held once contractor is selected.

-Palouse PD is down to Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson for now. Reserve Officer Snead is available toward the end of August. Chief Neumann has proposed a $200/week stipend for he and Officer Anderson to cover additional shifts and on-call time until Snead is available. CA Dixon believes that this temporary arrangement would be beneficial to the PD and the city financially and would terminate once we bring Snead back on.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook– Cliff Knauff has completed the pool-house painting project and it looks great. We requested $6,500 for the project and we spent $6,241. Supt. Griffin is going to install some vents and frame them in with donated, treated 2x6s.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor wants the council to consider for 2020 budget the purchase of some radar speed signs (permanent signs that flash when speeding and tell you to slow down) for the entries into town. They are statistically proven to work.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 6/25/19 Ck. #10119-10132 & EFT $7,623.96

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

June 11, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 11, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse the absence of Councilmember Wekenman. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 28, 2019 were approved as written.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. He praised new employee Tyler Furchtenicht. Water quality Consumer Confidence Report is complete and has been submitted to DOH.

POLICE REPORT: The Hot Rod car show went well, only a couple noise complaints.

School is out, please watch for kids. Will be doing extra patrols around town and the park and will put the radar trailer up after it gets some needed repairs.

Durango has developed a small oil leak.

Palouse PD solved a stolen vehicle case which originated in Spokane. The vehicle was purchased with counterfeit bills so the Secret Service is involved and the Spokane PD is taking over the case. Through some investigation, the Palouse PD was able to track down the suspect through social media.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Permits are being finalized for construction of pathways and concrete pads for benches and shelter off of Shady Lane toward the river. City will solicit bids later this month and look to begin construction by the end of July.

CA Dixon met with Port of Whitman last week to discuss fiber buildout in Palouse. There’s a good spot for their fiber infrastructure below the PD. In exchange for housing their equipment in the PD, they will provide fiber to the PD and city will look for other beneficial uses for this agreement. Current schedule is for the Port of Whitman to begin fiber buildout this fall and through 2020 bringing fiber to homes in Palouse.

City received an application for a variance for the four lots on end of Harvest Loop. The developer had gotten a variance last year to build duplexes, but they want to further subdivide those four lots with a zero setback. Footprint will be the same however. The BOA will handle the variance and the PC will handle the application for a minor subdivision.

CA Dixon applied for and received a waiver from Dept of Commerce to forego ongoing measurement and verification for the solar panels. Normally, Commerce requires at least three years of testing after project completion, which costs the city just under $2,000 each year for these reports. We had already prepaid for years 2&3 so the city will receive a refund for not performing those tests as a result.

Dept of L&I administers the paid family medical leave act. We began withholding those amounts in January, with first payment due to L&I in July. Employers with less than 50 employees are eligible to recoup those costs if they cover this expense on behalf of the employee. CA Dixon will provide further information to council and bring a resolution to the next meeting that proposes the city cover this expense on behalf of employees with the understanding that these costs are eligible to be recovered.

OPEN FORUM:

Palouse resident Moses Boone asked council to consider adopting an official flag for the City of Palouse. He explained that city flags don’t just represent the community, they help enhance the community. Moses is a scholar of flags. He discussed in-depth the characteristics and symbolism of his design: a figure-8 follow-through knot which represents authentic, hard-working people. The green background represents Palouse’s natural, rural surrounding and is the same shade of green as on the official WA state flag. The knot is comprised of one blue and one gold cord. Blue represents the Palouse river. Gold represents grain, agricultural production, and commerce. The two different cords were very deliberate, representing different people from different backgrounds coming together which is the essence of community. Policy Committee will meet to discuss and decide.

OLD BUSINESS:

Varela & Associates update on wastewater facility plan: Dana Cowger presented an update to contract amendment #3 for council approval. This amendment has been revised in response to the May 21, 2019 letter from DOE regarding additional funding for the project. In the letter and during subsequent conversations DOE requested that a draft engineering report be submitted before they will consider an additional funding request. The earlier amendment amount was $153,239; the revised amendment is $85,395, bringing the total to $264,994. After this first step, there’s going to be a pause, may take 6 months before moving to final step for facility plan. Dana believes the money spent so far has been well spent, in part due to a project where alternatives are expensive. When the magnitude of the project is $8-$10 million, spending planning dollars to investigate all reasonable alternatives is important. Reclaiming the water will be most pleasing to DOE. Reclaimed water gives city more options when the city has to be completely out of the river. CA Dixon believes that proceeding with current council approved plan, understanding that it is not necessarily the least cost alternative, will ultimately put the city in a better position to receive funding assistance for construction from DOE as well as other state agencies. Sewer Facility Reserve fund can absorb this amendment, but the hope is for DOE to ultimately extend funding once they have reviewed the engineering report. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to approve revised amendment #3 for an additional $85,394. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried.

TD&H Engineering update on water system improvements: At last meeting TD&H attended, council asked for some more information regarding 1) existing pressures in the system; 2) the required height of the tank in Alternative A4 (adjacent to cemetery) and Alternative A5 (south of cemetery); & 3) how upsizing key mains in the system may or may not impact pressures in the system. The city had serviced the pressure-reducing valves in the water system and TD&H has now calibrated the model and is using it to generate data and evaluate scenarios.

1) Existing pressures in the system. The minimum operating pressure required by the DOH is 30 PSI under Peak Hour Demands (PHD). Running a PHD scenario in the model shows low pressures of 14 PSI to 30 PSI in the south hill area along Wall Street, Park Street, and along the cemetery line. The east branch of the system shows pressures of 13 PSI to 27 PSI under PHD. Resolving the low pressures in the south hill area requires increasing the hydraulic grade of the system, typically accomplished by adding a storage tank and/or boosting pressures by using a pump. A majority of the low pressures in the east branch can be eliminated by inactivating the pressure sustaining valve on Myott Street.

2) Tank Elevations and Heights query. Alternative A4 Construct elevated storage reservoir adjacent to the city cemetery: A water elevation increase of 70 feet from the existing ground elevation is required to meet the 30 PSI minimum pressure requirement from DOH. A rough, high level, 25% contingency estimate of this option is $3.3 million. Alternative A5 Construct elevated storage reservoir on farm land south of cemetery: an increase of 80 feet from the existing ground elevation is required to meet the 30 PSI minimum pressure requirement from DOH. A rough, high level, 25% contingency estimate of this option is $4.2 million. That $4.2 million does not include land acquisition.

3) Upsizing mains. Upsizing key mains can significantly improve fire flows to the south hill area but will not resolve pressure issues. Increasing the pressures in the south hill area requires adding head to the system. Fire flows in the south hill area can be increased by creating an 8” loop around the river connected to the north water tank with an 8” main and upsizing the main under Wall Street to 8”. These improvements would raise the flows in all but three fire hydrants on the south hill to over 750 GPM.

The DOH has indicated they will need to see a project report for the water tank portion of the project. This report would outline the project priorities, how the addition of the tank would impact the existing system, and provide specs and/or drawings of the proposed tank.

The DOH would also like to see Palouse develop a Small Water System Management Program (SWSMP) and operate under it unless the city intends to expand its service area or exceed 1,000 services or add significant infrastructure for the purpose of expanding service. The SWSMP would stand in the stead of the WSP and it is less restrictive for smaller communities. Under the SWSMP the city’s PW Dept could continue maintaining and replacing existing infrastructure and upsizing mains by one pipe size without having to seek DOH approval. An SWSMP would need to be completed and approved if DOH funding was going to be pursued. However, as previously discussed and again confirmed with DOH, the city would most likely rank very low on a DOH application and it is unlikely funding would be procured through the DOH.

MUCH technical discussion and funding discussion ensued.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the SWSMP in replacement of the WSP. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried.

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to divide the project into two phases and moving ahead with phase 1: surveying and geotechnical investigation and design being performed on Culton and Church Streets as well as investigating a couple pockets of low pressure on the north hill. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-

Pool opens Saturday. The painting of the pool-house is coming along nicely and we’re hoping it’s completed in time. Lifeguards are running hypothetical pool emergency drill with EMS Friday night.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Echanove verbally appointed Joe Handley May 31 to the vacant seat on the Planning Commission. Mayor read aloud Joe Handley’s letter of interest to the council. Councilmember Cook MOVED to ratify Mayor’s appointment. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid May 2019 Ck. #10024, 10075-10093, & EFT $44,598.17

Claims Paid 6/11/19 Ck. #10095-10017, & EFT $34,666.93

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 9:34 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

May 28, 2019

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 28, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 14, 2019. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. Logan Estes finished the benches and camp fire area at the RV park. Mayor and council thanked Logan for his hard work and contribution to the RV park.

POLICE REPORT: Mostly quiet. This weekend is the Hot Rod show and Gar-Pal graduation weekend. Permits for Hot Rod show are secured. Working on cleaning up a few areas in town. Dealing with parking issues in Garfield.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: New ambulance is in service. Will serve as a toolbox of sorts for the department. Pumper tanker is back in service. Finances are good. All is well.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

-CA Dixon is in discussions with the Dept of Ecology (DOE) to finalize an agreement to maintain compliance at the wastewater treatment plant while our new operator gets trained up.

-TDH, engineers for our water system upgrades, have completed the water model for council and will forward that to CA Dixon for their review. They will be at the next meeting looking for direction from council on how to proceed with updates.

-Supt Griffin has indicated that several items such as fencing and street lights are taking up space in the flat house and have no intended use. City will look to surplus these items sometime in the near future.

-CA Dixon and Planning Commission Chair Fielder met with reps from the Amber Ridge development to discuss the possibility of further subdividing the lots off of Harvest Loop to make the development of those lots more attractive to potential buyers. They plan to submit proposals to both the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment in the coming weeks.

OLD BUSINESS:

Wastewater facility update from Varela and Associates:

Varela was planning to be at this council meeting, however recent information relayed from DOE has altered our plan for the short term, so their presence was not necessary. The city is requesting additional funding to complete the wastewater facility plan and DOE is requesting a full draft engineering report before they consider this request. As such, the city and our engineers would like to have further discussions and eventually a meeting with DOE to determine exactly what they need to process this request. CA Dixon is hopeful that a meeting can be scheduled in the next month to finalize these details in the hopes to secure additional funding to complete our facility plan.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Painter at pool is making good progress. Pool is staffed for the summer.

OPEN FORUM: Officer Anderson thanked CA Dixon for helping him navigate some issues as he worked through some deadlines getting his new house finished up.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

-Mayor read a thank you card accompanied by a $200 donation from Vandal Cycling Club to the Palouse PD for helping put on the bike race.

-City received a rooster complaint last week.

-The mayor discussed possible next steps on the Brownfields site with BI Gladwill and Munir Daud and he will pass this information along in greater detail once it is available.

-Moses Boone has been researching and designing a new flag for the city and the Mayor will be inviting him to the next council meeting to discuss his vision in greater detail.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 5/28/19 Ck. #10057-10074 & EFT $8,161.20

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

May 14, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 14, 2019

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper; John Snyder (8:00).  Staff present: Police Officer Leighton Cox; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of April 23, 2019.  Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT:  Officer Cox reported all is well.  Nothing to report. There were no problems with the bike race.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: 

-CA Dixon provide a written report.  All is well.  No major updates to report.

-Varela will be at next meeting to discuss a contract amendment to get us to a completed wastewater facility plan.  CA Dixon will provide council with a draft of that amendment this week.

-TD&H is finishing up the water model and evaluating fire flows. They should have an update for us at next meeting.

-The Brownsfield Committee is meeting this week to discuss proposals and how to proceed. Mayor updated council on the two proposals the city received for the Brownsfield site. Neither proposal had ideal terms. The city has gone out for proposals two times without the response we were anticipating and hoping.  Mayor thinks the city has been going about the process wrong. There is a lack of retail space in Palouse and the public wants a solution. Why not consider developing it ourselves? Over the years the city has gotten involved numerous times in real estate projects all with a stellar track record: Heritage Park, mobile home park conversion, Brownsfield site, Congress Hotel & Oasis café property, our RV park, fire station. The site already has all infrastructure and we already own the site. Much discussion ensued about various ideas the city could do there that would provide retail space, river access, etc.  There are three ways it could be approached: city can operate it (like RV Park), form a Public Development Assn PDA (like Dahmen Barn), or even a private LLC.  If we do it as a city, we become eligible for funding.  Property is already ours.  City will have to of course discuss with city attorney.  There is a lot of potential.

-Council decided to move forward on installing the charging station at Heritage Park, as previously voted and approved. Paul Kimmel from Avista and CA Dixon will move forward with that.

NEW BUSINESS:

Jamie Gaber presented her ideas for new plantings and ongoing volunteer maintenance at Native Plant Walk. The donated plants from Palouse Conservation District (PCD) have arrived and she wants permission to plant this Friday.  She has three Americorps volunteers from PCD coming to help with plotting and manual labor. Regarding sustainability of upkeep, she is recruiting locals and is also talking to PCD about writing us into their grants so we get attention. Dennis & Vickie Griner who have been tending the area will continue to help. There is a desire to have a manicured look to the Native Plant Walk.  Next Friday she, along with high school ag students, will re-chip the path.  Jamie went on to discuss the various plants she will be using including: iceberry and elderberry, edibles, Hawthorne, roses, mock orange. She is also looking for boulders if anyone has any. Council gave Jamie their blessing.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook–  Cliff Knauff has begun work at the pool building: power washing and priming and minor repairs.  Weather permitting, we are hoping the painting will be completed within a couple weeks.

OPEN FORUM:

Paul Kimmel dropped off brochures on smart grid project, changing all electric and gas meters to “smart meter”.  This technology will provide instant information to customers on their specific account usage, etc.  This is a $170 million project for state of Washington.  Radio Frequency is substantially less than microwave, tv, cell phones, etc.  Pullman is hoping to go to smart meters for water meters as well, which is something Palouse has been discussing for ourselves for a few years.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Liquor license renewal for McLeod’s Palouse Market.  No objections.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      4/30/19             Ck. #10001-10023 & EFT           $60,024.57

Claims Paid      5/14/19             Ck. #10025-10056 & EFT           $83,733.64

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

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

April 23, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 23, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook (7:15); Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of April 9, 2019. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: PW Supt. submitted a written report. CTI Construction is requesting permission to work in the public right-of-way on Harrison Street to install a water line. He’s a licensed and bonded contractor. He’ll do the digging and public works will help install the pipe. CTI has completed the water service extension application. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Sievers to authorize CTI Construction to work in the public right-of-way on Harrison Street. Motion carried.

Tyler Furchtenicht is on his second day of work with the city. He was hired to be Don Myott’s replacement. He will train to become a certified WW1 operator as required. Certification and training will take a couple years.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Cox has completed his Field Training. He is Level 2 access certified now for report writing and accessing state computers. Officer Snead’s last day was Sunday; we will continue to use him for special events.

Mayor commended Chief Neumann’s diligence with watching monitoring the river during flood risk.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: First quarter permits valuation at $350,000 which includes a new house. We are anticipating a couple new residential permits and one large commercial build within the next month.

No Palouse Arms update.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Mark Wilcomb reported. Financials look good. There were two fire calls in March. Ongoing trainings including training on pumps & water hoses. Avista provided some in-depth natural gas safety training. Finished hose testing: 4 need new collars and one needs an o-ring replaced. This testing is critical to ensure fire fighter safety. Truck 416 is finally repaired. Chief Beeson is retrieving it from Seattle area Thursday. Vehicle acquisition from Pullman is still in progress. There were six EMS calls in March. The unit completed EMS Connect training this past month.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

CA Dixon is attending state auditor workshop in Pullman tomorrow. He will be submitting the annual report to the state auditors soon. It’s due end of May. Everything is looking good. No red flags to report.

City interviewed three candidates for WWTP Operator (Don Myott’s replacement). One candidate was Wastewater 2 certified but not willing to relocate to Palouse. City hired Tyler Furchtenicht. Tyler will have two years of ongoing training and service time to certify as Wastewater 2 operator. Until Tyler is certified, the city will work with DOE to start process of contracting with a Wastewater 2 operator to keep us in compliance which should cost the between $500-$700 a month.

Mayor and CA Dixon had a conference call with Varela to discuss a contract amendment. Expenditures will exceed current contract amount by a significant margin. Several alternatives that were vetted and ultimately not deemed not viable have accounted for these overages. Council has some concerns with a contract amendment in light of these overages so are requesting an advance copy of the amendment.

The city received two proposals for the Brownsfield site. Committee will meet for Q&A with both parties and then make their recommendation.

We are holding off on charging station project until the Brownsfield situation is decided.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering update on water system improvements: Michelle Bly & Luke Antinoch gave a very in-depth report on the water system update. Based on past input from Mayor, council, and city staff, there were three priorities for the water service plan, project report, and design of system improvements: 1) provide redundant storage capacity on the south side of the Palouse River with a reservoir capable of maintaining system pressures throughout the city if the northern reservoir had to be taken off-line; 2) boost system pressure on the south side of the Palouse river; 3) provide additional fire suppression storage and improve fire flow. Ultimately, we ended up with five alternatives which TD&H discussed in depth. Some of the options don’t meet all three priorities. At this point a decision is critical; TD&H can’t start design of actual plans, geo tech, etc until site is chosen. They also need to know scope of work and what they’re constructing so they can apply for funding. They can’t provide more accurate estimates short of knowing where the tank is going to go. Council wants to first complete testing on our pressure reducing valves (PRVs) because those results may provide information to help determine which way to go: booster pump or water tower. Maybe the city won’t need all three of those priorities. Once the PRVs are tested the information will go to TD&H.

New water main line on Church & Culton Streets has to be contracted out. It’s on a state highway, has traffic, etc., and the scope of work is too big for our public works staff.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-

Councilmember Cook was approached for an out-of-cycle salary increase for PW Supt Griffin due to increased duties with evolving public works staff. 5% raise was requested, roughly $3,000 a year plus benefits. This is in addition to the existing salary increase plan. Councilmember Cook looked at the salary comparisons across other similar sized cities and Supt. Griffin’s pay is at the bottom of the bell curve for salaries. Don Myott has been his right-hand man and with his departure, Dwayne’s workload is increasing. Don has forever been the weekend sewer plant guy and now it falls on Dwayne until other PW staff is trained, at which time they will rotate weekend sewer work. The sewer plant gets checked 365 days/year. Based on these facts the personnel committee thought it was a good idea to bring this salary increase forward. Councilmember Cook MOVED to award Supt. Griffin an out-of-cycle salary increase of 5% effective May 1. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. CA Dixon is in full support. Motion carried.

Going through this process has brought up some issues from an HR evaluation standpoint. We don’t have a standardized staff evaluation for merit-based salary compensations as well as a market place equity piece to implement. The city needs to stay relevant on salaries. Councilmember Cook would like Personnel Committee to come up with a policy that promotes consistent raises, and also wants job descriptions updated for all staff.

Also, Councilmember Cook would like Policy & Admin Committee to develop a strategy to compensate staff who fill in for vacated positions. City needs to have a plan to financially compensate those taking on the extra work while vacancies are present. Its no additional cost to the city because the position is vacant.

Cliff Knauff is ready to go regarding the painting job at the pool house. He is going to start with power washing.

OPEN FORUM:

Logan Estes, working towards his Eagle Scout project, is building benches around fire pit at RV Park site 1. He is removing sod and requesting approximately 3 CY of gravel from city to put around the 18’ diameter area. He has been working with PW Supt. Griffin. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Cooper, to allocate 3 CY of gravel to RV bench project. Motion carried.

Resident Jamie Gaber wants to renovate the native plant garden by the car wash. The area was initially established by Palouse Conservation District. PCD is willing to donate plants and Jamie has other resources to acquire most supplies but is looking at perhaps financial assistance in acquiring river rock. She wants to plant in May. She plans to enlist help from high school students as well as Americorps volunteers. For the long-term care she is hoping for a type of community involvement project, similar to the ladies who care for the Palouse rose gardens. Council wants to see her vision on paper before deciding. Jamie will bring to next meeting.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

NW Collegiate cycling championships are this Saturday. There was a snafu in their notice to Palouse; UI just contacted us last week. There is some disagreement among council and staff as to whether this race should be continued; does it benefit Palouse? It costs money in staff labor and equipment. Chief Neumann and PW Supt Griffin will do what is required to prep for the race as well as traffic control at intersections the day of the race.

The Planning Commission has completed the preparation of the community survey. The survey will be distributed via a link and code printed on April’s water/sewer bill. An email will also be sent out on city list serve.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 4/23/19 Ck. #9983-10000 & EFT $16,535.91

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

April 9, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 9, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officers Joel Anderson and Leighton Cox; City Administrator Kyle Dixon. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse councilmember Cooper’s absence. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of March 26, 2019. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT:

Swearing in of new police officer Leighton Cox: Officer Cox has been with the department for a week now. Lots of training and state-mandated material to get through.

River is at 14.5 ft right now and gauge is predicting that we will crest at 16ft tomorrow. Prediction is that it will fall but if it keeps raining at this rate it could pose a problem.

Chief Neumann swore in Officer Cox. Officer Cox told the council a bit about himself and that he is excited to go to work.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

1st Quarter Treasurer’s Report:

All is well. Streets fund was hit pretty hard by excessive snowfall in February. Met with Finance Chair Cooper last week to review funds in greater detail.

Deadline for submittal of RFP’s for Brownfields site is next Monday, April 15th.

CA Dixon met with engineer to discuss the river trail project and planning for the Complete Streets project. Initially, the city will explore options to get additional funding for a full build out, including a bridge across the river to the park.

City is still in the process of hiring a replacement for Don Myott, who is retiring at the end of the month.

NEW BUSINESS:

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Confirmed with painter that we are on target for late April/early May completion of pool painting project. City is in good shape on staffing for lifeguards this summer.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Bird problem at Lions club has been dealt with. Concerns regarding state of older buildings in town has been discussed. Further info to come.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- Fire Truck is not back yet. Mechanics are still having issues finishing up repairs.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 3/31/19 Ck. #9932-9952 & EFT $48,119.69

Claims Paid 4/09/19 Ck. #9953-9981 & EFT $23,656.10

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:22 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 26, 2019

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 26, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson and City Administrator Kyle Dixon. Councilmember Cook MOVED to excuse councilmember Sievers’ absence. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of March 12, 2019. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. The city lift station just north of the Beeson home has been experiencing issues related to automated pump switch. Should be resolved soon.

POLICE REPORT: All is well in Palouse and Garfield. New hire has completed polygraph and psychological evaluations and passed both. Background checks out as well. Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson are excited to bring him aboard. New hire will be starting full time in April. Normally polygraph test is roughly $550. Polygraph administrator in Alaska offered to perform new hire polygraph for free. As such, Chief Neumann and Councilmember Wekenman are proposing to provide a travel stipend to new hire as moving expenses will be costly coming from Alaska. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to have new hire Leighton Cox reimbursed $550 for travel expenses after completion of first day of work. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 1 fire call and 4 EMS calls in March. Financials are good. The shop performing repairs on pumper truck will need another week to finish up. Vehicle acquisition from Pullman is still in progress. Once Pullman completes their approval process they will provide an invoice to the JFB and the FD can then take possession of the vehicle. State Ratings Bureau will conduct equipment tests at the FD sometime soon. Palouse has historically rated very well. This speaks to the dedication of our volunteers and excellence of our training program.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: We have received interest in the open WWTP Operator position and CA Dixon is confident that applications will continue to come in. The goal is to bring someone on board sometime during the early or middle part of April.

Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon traveled to Olympia last week to chat with our state representatives and several state agencies about what Palouse is working on and how they can help. Keeping these folks in Olympia informed about our successes and needs is a huge benefit.

TIB (Transportation Improvement Board) announced their Complete Streets awards for this year on Friday, March 22nd. Palouse was chosen to receive a $200,000 grant for sidewalk infrastructure leading from Palouse’s south hill and the two new developments down to Main St and eventually the city park via bridge access.

CA Dixon attended Avista’s 130th anniversary celebration in Lewiston. They announced some additional funding opportunities at this event that we believe the city may be able to take advantage of later on this year.

OLD BUSINESS:

Update from Varela Engineering on Wastewater Facility Plan:

Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon met with the Director of the WA State Dept of Ecology in Olympia to discuss different options regarding the future of our wastewater treatment facility. Project costs for all current alternatives are extremely high. We discussed all possibilities and the best alternative seems to be water reclamation for irrigation and use in city green space. Also discussed what benefits our project could see for the Palouse River. Ecology is very interested in working with Palouse to improve the health of the river while also helping us meet permit requirements. This could prove highly beneficial when it comes to fund procurement for this project. Mayor Echanove believes that we need to perform upgrades to improve the quality of our effluent and proceed with a lagoon on city property for seasonal storage and winter discharge for the time being. Varela & Associates gave an outline of all current alternatives to council. They are seeking official direction from council to complete the wastewater facility plan. Purchasing land suitable for municipal wastewater use has proved to be difficult. High-tech alternatives are also not feasible due to high project costs as well as high ongoing maintenance costs.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to proceed with option 4 (plant upgrades/reclaimed water) with option 1a (seasonal storage on city-owned property and river discharge) as a secondary option. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Project timeline for pool painting should be finalized shortly. Job posting for lifeguards has been prepared.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Toured the Lions Club regarding bird infiltration and other potential structural concerns. Will have full report at a later meeting.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper- Meeting to be scheduled in early April to review 1st Qtr financials.

OPEN FORUM:

Linda Jovanovich to discuss meeting the challenges of climate change:

Citizens Climate Lobby discussed some concerns regarding climate change and praised Palouse for some of the projects we have done in the past to address these concerns. They would like city council to acknowledge the effect of climate change in our area and perhaps pass a resolution advocating for state and national policies that will protect Palouse residents from events that could negatively impact their health. Measures include a tax on carbon emissions. Council will consider the matter.

The Bofenkamps are grateful for the HWY 27 speed zone changes just south of town. They inquired about a post near the tracks just as you leave Palouse that is currently without signage that may have been meant for another 25 mph sign. CA Dixon will inquire with WSDOT.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon met with Grangemaster in Olympia to see what a collaboration could do to save the building. Mayor Echanove sent pics of the grange in its current condition and relayed facility concerns. They will see what avenues are available to rehab the building to avoid a potential sale of the property. The city needs 3 additional members to keep the grange in good standing. Interested parties can inquire with city hall.

Meeting with DAHP resulted in rep looking at engineering report to provide a 2nd opinion on required upgrades to rehab the St. Elmo building.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 3/26/19 Ck. 9916-9931 $20,993.82

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 12, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 12, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of February 26, 2019. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: DG submitted a written report. Of significant note, Don Myott will be retiring April 30, after 34+ years of service to the city.

POLICE REPORT:

A new battery was put in Journey #1 (Officer Anderson’s vehicle).

Chief Neumann, the Police, Fire, Safety Committee, and the Civil Service Commission all interviewed via Skype a potential new police officer from Wasilla, Alaska. He holds officer certifications for WA, AK, & Washington Tribal Police, all in good standing. He still has to take and pass polygraph and psychological evaluation as well as be approved by Mayor Echanove. He found opening on Criminal Justice Training Commission website job board where the position was listed.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

CA Dixon has listed Don Myott’s position, WWTP Operator II, on the AWC job search engine as well as on the city web page. The posting is already getting a lot of attention. The sooner we can hire the better so new person can cross-train with Don. It will be difficult to find someone who is not only certified but also able and willing to do street maintenance, snow plowing, grave-digging, w/s cleanouts, meter reading, etc., etc., etc.

Varela Engineering will be attending next meeting for an update on the wastewater issue. A lot of frustrating developments in the last year. We’re not gaining any traction nor solving any problems, and we’re still spending a lot of money. CA Dixon and Mayor are meeting in Olympia next week with DOE Director to discuss all the difficulties with this project.

While in Olympia, CA Dixon and Mayor will also hit TIB, AWC, Commerce, WA St Grange, DAHP and district reps to discuss projects and learn about different programs and funding that could benefit Palouse.

CA Dixon is gathering numbers for paving the Community Center parking lot. There’s a grant that will cover a minimum of 75% of cost. Once numbers are in and we know city’s cost, council can decide whether they want to help with that.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering update on Water System Improvements: Working on reservoir tank design, and system updates to the water distribution system under Culton and Church Streets. As we go through updates, more areas may be flagged. Water Model Update and Water System Plan Update should be done in about a month. Should have a 60% design completion in mid-summer and will review with council at that time. In the summer Michelle will try and find funding opportunities. Final review is anticipated late September. The final location determination has to be made before TD&H can move too far on the water tower design. City needs to do what is best for the majority of its residents.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Chris gave his recommendations for upgrades at the pool. For 2019 he recommends having painted the exterior, interior, and floors of the pool-house. Additionally, there will be some wave & kid templates ordered for painting on exterior. Estimated costs for these upgrades will be $6,500. CA Dixon said we will need to appropriate an additional $3,500 to cover the costs. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve Councilmember Cook’s spring 2019 pool upgrade recommendations. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- Held interview with potential new officer. Councilmember Wekenman was happy with how he interviewed.

OPEN FORUM:

Jim Fielder from Planning Commission. The PC is almost done preparing the community survey and hoping it is ready to go by end of April. It will be available via computer and completely anonymous. Residents will be receiving survey instructions via April utility bills as well as via the city’s listserve. The PC feel confident that they will reach a large majority and good cross-section of the population.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 2/28/19 Ck. #9877-9893 & EFT $44,267.10

Claims Paid 3/12/19 Ck. #9894-9915 & EFT $28,742.37

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

February 26, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 26, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse the absences of councilmembers Cooper & Cook. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of February 12, 2019. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann is cautioning the public about phone scams and is asking people to warn their parents, kids, neighbors, etc.

A few weather-related calls recently. Slick roads will continue for a few weeks.

Still no applicants for third police officer position.

Equipment is all good.

A reminder that dogs running-at-large or off-leash with owner is not allowed in Palouse.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: BI Gladwill presented his 4th Q 2018 report. Total permit valuation for the year was almost $1.6 million. Palouse had 6 new houses in 2018 and 8 new houses in 2017.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

New airpacks went into service February 1st. Within 36 hours they were put to the test for a structure fire and worked wonderfully.

Fire Dept is going to purchase a new air compressor so they can quickly charge air brakes on emergency vehicles so they can get on road faster.

Looking at doing some upgrades to station: exhaust fans, new carpet, painting, drywall, etc.;

The pumper truck is still in repair for damages sustained in its engine’s electrical fire.

Fire & EMS are both on budget.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

TD&H will attend March 12 meeting to discuss water system improvements. There will be a w/s committee meeting prior.

CA Dixon has been working closely with Varela on our wastewater project. We are still trying to develop a feasible plan. The most recent option of putting lagoons on county land fell through as county code does not currently allow for construction of wastewater lagoons for municipal purposes. As a result, we’ve directed our engineers to redirect their efforts to higher-technology solutions. The city needs to send to Ecology another request for an extension until April 1, 2020 for our Wastewater Facility Plan. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize the Mayor to send the extension request. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried. Varela will be at March 26 council meeting.

Brownfields site update: CA Dixon is optimistic; he has sent out three RFP packets so far. Proposals are due April 15.

Complete Streets grant with TIB update: CA Dixon applied for a grant that would construct a sidewalk from the north side of town (down Palouse Cove) to our city park. Word came back from TIB that the bridge portion of application that was going to connect pathway from Palouse Cove Rd across river to park is not eligible for funding. However, the rest of the project is eligible and hopefully some other agencies will help us with the bridge portion. TIB makes their selection the end of March.

OLD BUSINESS:

Avista electric vehicle charging station site selection: There is another possible site for the charging station on Main Street in front of Brownfields site. There is already electrical infrastructure in place for what was years ago going to be a light pole. This comes in at a price of $1,233 vs $4,218 to put in at Heritage Park. Another bonus is this new possibility won’t be blocked off during events. There was discussion on how this new location might impact potential Brownfields developers. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to table this discussion until first council meeting in May. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2019-04 adopting interlocal agmt with Whitman County 2019-2024 Solid Waste Management Plan:

Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. RCW states each city has to have their own solid waste management plan in place. We defer to Whitman County the planning and subsequent updates required by DOE. Ultimately Whitman County has the only permitted solid waste site in the county and Palouse has no plans of putting in a solid waste site. We will continue with this interlocal agmt. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Resolution 2019-04 as presented. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- Councilmember Wilcomb is following up on the city’s personal vehicle policy. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt a new city policy that states

In the event that a City employee is driving their personal vehicle on approved City business, and the vehicle suffers damage through no fault of the employee’s actions, the City will reimburse repair expense not covered by the employee’s vehicle insurance, up to a maximum of $500.  Reimbursement policy does not apply to the employee’s normal daily commute to and from their place of work.

Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 2/26/19 Ck. #9860-9876 $6,910.70

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. The motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:08 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

February 12, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 12, 2019

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.  Meeting was held at the Palouse Community Center.

 

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of January 22, 2019.  Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried.

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.

 

POLICE REPORT: 

-The 2013 Journey police vehicle’s cam lifter bearings had failed due to lack of oil and too much idling time. We had it repaired and already the MPG has improved and the rattling noise is gone.

-PD office got a new wireless router;

-No Brewfest issues. No DUI’s. Palouse Caboose co-owner Kim Rundle objected to all the extra patrolling after Brewfest and voiced that her patrons were concerned with it as well.  Chief Neumann explained that the extra patrolling by the Whitman Co. Sheriff’s Dept was not requested and that she should contact the sheriff’s office directly with her concerns.

-We have not yet received any applications for third police officer. Finding officers is a state-wide problem. Additionally, Chief Neumann is exploring options for himself to retire in Jan. 2020.  He doesn’t want to see the city without two police staff.  Councilmember Wekenman will have a committee meeting to discuss hiring solutions.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Mayor Echanove read aloud from CA Dixon’s report.

CA Dixon met with Whitman County Commissioners last Monday regarding siting of municipal wastewater lagoons in the county. At this time, there is not a code to allow for such construction in the county. If this ends up being the best alternative for the city’s wastewater facility plan, we will exhaust all options for annexation before requesting a code change from the county. Also met with landowners to further discuss potential land transaction that would secure enough ground to accommodate the city’s long-term wastewater needs. Further discussion, again if the city determines this to be the best option, will take place in executive session. CA Dixon and Mayor Echanove have directed our wastewater engineers to continue exploring other options during this process as well.  The meeting to discuss updates with our Dept of Ecology permit manager were postponed until sometime later this month or next.

 

CA Dixon and PW Supt Griffin met with Avista’s charging station engineer to discuss another site option before we proceed with the Heritage Park site as was approved by council at our last meeting. The site is located on Main St adjacent to the Brownfields site. Cost estimate for that site will be available for our next meeting.

 

Request for Proposals (RFP) for Brownfields site are finalized and will be published on the city’s website and in the Moscow/Pullman Daily News on February 14th. From that date, the city will accept proposals for development of the site for 60 days, ending on April 15th. After the closing date, the Brownfields Committee will meet and review all submittals and make a recommendation to council for transfer of property.

 

The city received feedback from the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) that the portion of the work-plan submitted for the Complete Streets grant that included a bridge across the Palouse River to the park is not eligible for the program since it does not connect directly to a street or roadway. CA Dixon was optimistic that this would be approved based on previous meetings with TIB officials and how much they liked the project. The city still has alternative options to fill out the work plan.

 

The trip to Olympia for AWC’s City Action Days has been canceled due to the weather. We will try to plan another trip sometime in the Spring/Summer in the hopes we can accomplish much of what we would have done this week.

 

CA Dixon and PW Supt Griffin met with TDH Engineering to discuss work plan for water system improvements. One of the initial goals will be to complete a water model that will hopefully further identify areas of need and potential remedies. TDH will be at the next council meeting to discuss this work flow in further detail.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:  No committee reports

OPEN FORUM:

Owners Justin & Lindsay Brown to discuss the future of the St. Elmo Building (124-130 E Main Street): The Browns explained in detail the situation, options, building condition, etc.  In summary, Justin began remodeling the building with the intent to maintain the entire original structure. He was going to do the majority of the work as he is an accomplished builder. However, a structural engineer has since uncovered severe structural issues throughout the building, issues that are beyond his work capabilities (crane operators, etc).  The building was built in 1888 using unreinforced masonry, the bricks are poor and crumbling. Framing, joists, etc. aren’t tied in, just resting on it, the internal framing is gone, 200% overloaded. Building techniques were insufficient.  Because of this, the cost to retro-fit and renovate as originally planned is now beyond their financial abilities ($50/sf x 18,000 sf = almost $1 million).

 

They are left with three options:

1) remain owners and demo the building and start over with a single-story build on a smaller footprint.  It’s not their wish but financially it is what they are left with. They will save as much lumber, etc., to use in new building and repurpose as much as possible. They will design a new building in the spirit of old one. There is a lot of potential for the building, including multiple retail spaces which are needed in Palouse.

2) coming up with alternate ways to finance;

3) sell it

 

Members present from the Chamber of Commerce and City Council were all in accord with their gratitude to the Browns for all their efforts in saving the building. The reality is no one wants to see the building go but the condition of the building has created this situation and everyone sympathizes.  Whatever the Browns decide, city council and chamber of commerce stand behind them.  The Browns hope to begin in the spring.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Echanove appointed Phil Weagraff to the Palouse Board of Adjustment. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to ratify the Mayor’s appointment of Phil Weagraff to the BOA.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried.

 

Liquor License Renewal for the Palouse Caboose:  No objections.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      01/31/19            Ck. #9800-9817 & EFT              $44,058.21

Claims Paid      02/12/19            Ck. #9818-9859 & EFT              $52,445.63

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:33 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

January 22, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

January 22, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; Officer Joel Anderson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of January 8, 2019. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT: Fairly quiet the last few weeks. Chief Neumann attended training last week for crisis intervention through Central Washington University. Training mandated by the state and paid for by grant. Estimate to repair 3rd PD vehicle is $1100 and this will hopefully get us one or two more years of use. 10 CPL’s issued so far in 2019. No interest yet in open officer position.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Welcomed Doug Arldt as the new Fire Board representative from the County. Fire and EMT budgets are as-expected for this time of year. No concerns. Fire crews are training on the new air packs. The new air packs will be in service beginning February 1. Major discussion item was the status of truck 416, the pumper tanker. An on-board electrical fire caused extensive damage. Insurance has determined it is more cost-effective to repair rather than replace. Truck has been taken to a repair facility in Sumner for a rebuild. Will take at least one month, likely longer. Final repair cost is estimated by the insurance company around $13,000. In the meantime, Palouse has mutual aid agreements with other local departments to cover our need if an emergency should arise. Purchase of a new ambulance vehicle is temporarily on hold until the City of Pullman hires their new finance officer. She/he will need to review and accept the proposal before we can proceed. The Lions Club will be bringing a wellness trailer to Palouse on May 22. EMS will help with screenings and check-in. The wellness trailer will be at the Community Center. More information to follow as arrangements are finalized. Fire Chiefs association meeting Feb 7th. First aid cert class Feb 9. Reach out to EMS personnel for more info.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: CA Dixon is working on the City’s taxes and should have those submitted by the end of the week. Changes to the Brownfields RFP are to our environmental engineers Maul Foster and should be finalized and published by the first week of February. A sixty day period to accept proposals will follow after which the Brownfields committee will review submittals and make a recommendation to council. CA Dixon is working with TIB and a local engineer to price out work plans for a foot bridge and increasing pedestrian access to the park that will be funded by a grant. Work plans will be submitted to TIB in February and grant awards will be announced in March. CA Dixon and Pool Chair Cook are hopeful to have some quotes for painting the pool house for the next council meeting.

OLD BUSINESS:

Site selection for Avista electric vehicle charging station:

Aaron Flansburg relayed message from skate park board that read as follows:

The Palouse Skatepark Board of Directors supports the addition of an electric car charging station in Palouse and we are interested in working collaboratively with the City to determine the optimal location for the station. We would like more information about the power supply to the station as well as the proposed location at the Skatepark. One concern about placement at the skatepark is the possibility that skateboards may accidentally leave the skate area and cause damage to the charging station and/or damage to a car using the station. As various sites are considered we are in consensus that a more visible location on Main street, possibly Heritage Park, may be better. That area has more visibility and drivers can view their car better when visiting businesses. We are happy to continue to meet with the City about this issue and explore all options available to the city, including placement at the Skatepark.”
Discussion ensued regarding the potential liability issues the city may encounter with placement near the skatepark. The Community Center Board also relayed a few concerns to CA Dixon regarding placement in that parking lot as well.

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to proceed with installation on an electric vehicle charging station at the Heritage Park site, provided that the city is not responsible for any recurring costs after installation. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2019-03 amended fee schedule:

Change in fee schedule is related to commercial building permits. Fee for commercial building permits will now be based on project cost and the city already has a formula for this pricing that it has used in the past. Council discussed possibility of adding the formula to the fee schedule. This can be discussed in further detail at our next council meeting as it would not have any effect on the fee schedule as presented. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to approve Resolution 2019-03 as presented. Councilmember Sievers seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Sievers-

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder-

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman-

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- Discussed policy that neighboring cities use for vehicle reimbursement for City Administrators. Some have monthly vehicle allowances and others reimburse by the mile. Council discussed pros and cons of each and the city will continue mileage reimbursement. Policy Committee will draft a resolution to allow for reimbursement of deductible should city employee have accident while traveling for city business.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper-

OPEN FORUM: Steve Witthuhn with Hub Insurance presented what they provide for the city for insurance services. The city is part of a pool that allows public entities and other organizations to band together to keep insurance costs lower than what they could get separately. The insurance industry as a whole has experienced significant losses due to recent emergence of devastating wildfires throughout the western United States and more specifically California. Witthuhn went further in depth about what HUB (broker) and Clear Risk Solutions (provider) offer. Also detailed different risk management trainings and activities that insurance companies use and provide for their clients.

MAYOR’S REPORT: No report

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Sievers 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 12/30/18 Ck. #9781-9782 & EFT $ 9,121.26

Claims Paid 01/22/19 Ck. #9783-9799 $11,632.88

Voids Ck. #9764 & Ck. #9784

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

January 8, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

January 8, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of December 11, 2018 as written. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. There’s a power issue going on with the well telemetry. We’re still working on diagnosing it and repairing it.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann reported all is going well.

  • School patrols continue. Issuance of gun permits are up. Two domestic disputes in Garfield. Two warrant arrests: one in Palouse, one in Garfield. Two mental health calls. One DUI arrest. Ongoing dog issues.
  • We are still seeking bids in regards to the repair of Dodge Journey. We’re hoping to get a few more years out of it.
  • Special thanks to Avista for the donation of two laptops.
  • Reserve Officer Snead has given notice that he will be leaving around the 15th of April. We haven’t received any applicants yet for his position. Competition is steep as there are a lot of police vacancies all over. They will continue to advertise.
  • Prescription drop box is being used well. No needles, liquids, or illegal drugs allowed. Illegal drugs may be disposed of without recourse by contacting the police department.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Councilmember Wekenman reported.

  • We were sad to lose long-time county member of JFB, Ben Perkins. With his passing, we are looking for a county resident to refill his position.
  • We have purchased a used ambulance from the City of Pullman for $1,200. This will be used as a toolbox for FD and EMS for small tools and equipment that EMS wants to move out of their regular ambulance but still have on hand if needed.
  • Things are good on the financial side. We need to keep an eye on insurance and pension fund for 2019. No problems anticipated but increase anticipated.
  • We took the 1970 Dodge fire truck out of commission so will save on insurance and storage fees.
  • We had an electrical fire on our 1997 pumper tanker while it was parked in the station. We can’t find anyone to work on it because the wiring goes from front to back, hydraulic lines, air lines, water lines, etc. Canfield is sending insurance adjuster to take a look. We may get a new, used truck out of it if it can’t be fixed.
  • Small capital improvements to be done in 2019: carpet in meeting room, more cabinets, drywall repair.
  • As of mid-December, EMS had 90 calls in 2019.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

4TH Quarter Treasurer’s Report: CA Dixon presented the report. He budgeted to end the year at $201,000 in current expense and we came in at $213,000 so that’s encouraging. We will need to continue to keep an eye on street budget because now that the Avista Street Light grant is over, our street light bill is approximately an additional $1,800 a month. Once the 13th month closes, CA Dixon will present the official ending 2018 and beginning 2019 balances.

Brownfields site update. Met with committee to tweak the Request for Proposals (RFP). We’re removing the ongoing testing requirements so potential developers don’t have to worry about that; city will take on that test. RFP will also include a minimum price but there are some legalities about what is considered Fair Market Value (FMV). One way to do that is to get a commercial appraiser but pitfalls go with that if they appraise it too high. Environmental Engineers advised city that responses from RFP can determine FMV. We are going to expand our marketing outside the local area into some larger markets. We are hoping to put out RFP end of January. Consensus is to stay the course and the city is confident that interested parties will come forward.

CA Dixon And Councilmembers Slinkard, Cook and Sievers are meeting tomorrow with wastewater engineers and landowners about possibility of acquiring land to accommodate our preferred facility plan. The city is looking at the long-term solution to solving our wastewater disposal issues. Since this is an unfunded mandate by DOE/EPA, much of the financial burden falls on the city and utility customers. Last meeting council voted to raise Sewer Reserve $5 a month. That amount will continue to rise. The completed facility plan in April 2019 will give us a better picture of financial impacts to city and a roadmap to complete updated wastewater facility.

The city received no bids for the 1970 Dodge fire truck. After bid closed, we received an offer of $240. Fire Chief Beeson approved of the offer. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to accept the offer of $240 for the fire truck. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

CA Dixon submitted a Complete Streets grant application to numerous entities for nominations. The Dept. of Commerce nominated us and sent it to Transportation Improvement Board (TIB). TIB will evaluate all those nominations. We are one step closer to a potentially large grant to improve multi modal access in town.

We’re gaining ground on the retrofits for our water meters for automatic meter reading. We’re trying to tag team this project with the Port of Whitman’s fiber build-out in Palouse. Paul Kimmel of Avista also touched on their advanced infrastructure across Washington. Avista is looking at Smart Water Meters as well and may be able to work with the city on our retrofitting and going to automatic meter reads.

OLD BUSINESS:

Review quotes for proposed Avista electric vehicle charging station;

Council has been in ongoing discussions about the need, costs, logistics, etc. for an EV charging station as part of Avista’s pilot program. City got bids from Avista’s third party contractor for three potential locations of Level 2 charging station. Bids after Avista’s 50% constribution are as follows: Parking space on Whitman Street in front of skatepark for $1,612; Community Center parking lot $1,168; Heritage Park parking space $4,218. These three locations are most centrally located in the downtown corridor. Pros and cons of locations were discussed. Parking is already in short supply. Idea is to get these spots in the downtown corridor to promote business. Paul Kimmel, regional business manager with Avista, was present at tonight’s meeting and gave some background into the program. Mr. Kimmel offered an additional $500 out of his community contribution fund towards the city’s above-mentioned costs. The electricity costs for charging a vehicle are minimal but council explained that even if it’s a penny, it’s considered gifting of city funds so there needs to be a means for the user to pay for the charging. There are “pay per use” charging stations but they rely on reliable cell phone service which is hit and miss but if it’s Verizon Wireless there shouldn’t be a problem. Rendall Farley at Avista relayed to CA Dixon that there are no fees associated with credit card charging station. CA Dixon will continue to gather more information. Paul Kimmel will look into it in more depth and confer with CA Dixon. EV charging stations are 100% owned, run, maintained, etc. by Avista and they monitor usage as part of their pilot program.

TD&H Professional Services Agreement for Water System Improvements:

Standard professional services agreement to allow TD&H to come in and use the Public Works Board loan to design and implement water system improvements. Contract is at the attorney’s office for review. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to authorize Mayor to sign the agreement pending legal review. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2019-01 fee schedule: Only changes were adding a flat fee for non-structural remodel permit, and adding a $20 per sq. ft valuation for pole building permits. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2019-01 as written. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried. DC Thompson will investigate rates for commercial builds.

Resolution 2019-02 salary schedule: Changes include the 5% increase for city staff, increasing reserve officer to $22/hour, and reflecting the minimum wage increase for lifeguards and potential public works assistant. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2019-02. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook– Still getting quotes for painting interior and exterior of pool building. First bid obtained came in too high. We will also look at alternate strategies, perhaps local volunteers, to get it painted. Also looking into getting quotes from Fast Signs for new signage at the pool.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

City received two applicants for the two vacancies on the Planning Commission: Mike Jones and Chuck Stemke. There was council discussion about allowing the same people to serve on both the Planning Commission and on the Board of Adjustment because of the conflict of interest and also keeping the entities completely separate. There is already one person who serves on both and council wants that to be maximum. As a result, Mayor Echanove is going to offer Chuck Stemke the option of remaining on the BOA or being appointed to the PC. Mayor Echanove then appointed Mike Jones to the Planning Commission. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to ratify the mayor’s appointment of Mike Jones to the Planning Commission. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried. Council wants to eventually eliminate any overlap so Councilmember Wilcomb will work on policy.

Mayor read aloud a resident’s thank you note to the city’s snow plowing staff.

Mayor Echanove began his 25th consecutive year in City Hall this week, 18th as Mayor. He officially announced he will not seek reelection when his term expires at the end of 2019.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 12/27/18 Ck. #9727-9733 $ 1,811.28

Payroll Paid 12/31/18 Ck. #9734-9753 & EFT $46,011.02

Claims Paid 01/08/19 Ck. #9754-9764 & EFT $16,602.07

Claims Paid 12/31/19 Ck. #9765-9780 & EFT $ 4,771.20

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

December 11, 2018

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

December 11, 2018

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Cooper’s absence. Councilmember Sievers seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 27, 2018. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: 

-Chief has conducted a traffic study on the south hill due to a citizen complaint.  Speed study, stop sign study and traffic observation.  Traffic was light at all times and there were no violations.

-There are a couple moose hanging around in Palouse right now.  They can be dangerous.  Avoid human and pet interactions with them.  Absolutely do not feed them.  Be cautious and give them a lot of room.

-School patrols continue weekly.

-Chief Neumann is continuing state-mandated training.

-Busy months for CPL’s.

-Chief Neumann wants council approval to advertise for the vacated officer position. Mayor Echanove wants to first speak again with Garfield Mayor Pfaff prior to bringing anyone else on board because there are still issues to be resolved within the department.  Councilmember Wekenman spoke with Mayor Pfaff and says he is on board to continue the duration of the contract for three more years. He reports that Mayor Pfaff is satisfied with how things have been handled; Chief has met the provisions set forth: daily police logs and monthly meetings with both mayors.  Chief Neumann states our interim third officer Snead leaves at the end of February.  We need the third officer to fulfill our obligation to Garfield as well as to have a full-functioning, full-strength police department. Advertising the position doesn’t obligate the city and gives us a head start on finding applicants and allows time for Mayor Echanove to speak to Mayor Pfaff.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, authorizing Chief Neumann to advertise for a new officer. Motion carried.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Varela wastewater facility plan. Our consultants have been looking at two sites for year-round storage and irrigation and have identified one that looks reasonable. The estimated costs are $16 million, accounting for inflation. Varela is preparing a contract supplement for the added work associated with these new sites that will be presented to council in January. In the meantime, Varela and CA Dixon are working with the landowners to refine the area needed, secure a pipeline route, and develop possible construction phasing and funding options using the remaining funds in their existing contract.

CA Dixon has scheduled a meeting with the Brownfields Committee to discuss any updates needed for the Request for Proposals that is scheduled to be published in January for the site. The goal is to transfer the property to an individual or group that will develop the site and reintegrate it back into the community.  CA Dixon is optimistic that the city will receive proposals.

Supt. Griffin and CA Dixon met with Avista contractor to evaluate potential sites for the electric vehicle charging station.  There could be some initial costs incurred to the city.  When CA Dixon gets those figures he will share with council and council can decide from there whether to proceed with the project.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Pre-construction planning contract for water system improvements: Michelle Bly from TD&H was present.  The contract is with city attorney for review.  Michelle reviewed with council the timetable for the project. Water model update and water system update are the big push upfront because they will guide the rest of the project.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 980- amending certain funds within the 2018 annual budget:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Amends appropriations in the current expense and cemetery funds for expenditure during 2018: $1,400 more for cemetery and $10,100 more for CE. This is normal year-end housekeeping. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 980 as written. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried.

Ordinance No. 981 – adopting the 2019 annual budget:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Ordinance outlines the estimated resources and appropriations for 2019. Estimated 2019 resources are 2.7 million and appropriations are $1.68 million. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 981 as presented. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook–  Committee Chair Cook met at the pool facility with Gregory Raye of Fast Signs and Johny Delecruz (painter) to discuss improvements and maybe some cost-effective ways to aesthetically improve the pool facility including painting and signage.  Councilmember Cook will get some bids and discuss options, including possibly getting volunteers to paint to save money.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- committee met recently to discuss advertising for the third officer.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

CA Dixon spoke with city attorney about what to do in the case of a personal vehicle being damaged in the course of city work, i.e. hitting a deer on the way to Wenatchee for a conference.  Atty. Hanson is researching case law and will get back to CA Dixon.  In the meantime, Mayor Echanove wants council to think about a policy for that.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      11/30/18 Ck. #9670-9698 & EFT             $49,956.20

Claims Paid      12/11/18 Ck. #9699-9726 & EFT            $20,312.35

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

November 27, 2018

PALOUSE CITY COUNCIL  MINUTES

Public Hearing – 2019 Final Budget

Followed by Regular Council Meeting

November 27, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Palouse City Hall – 120 E. Main Street

 

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder (7:07); Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

PUBLIC HEARING: Mayor Echanove opened the public hearing to discuss the 2019 Final Budget at 7:04. No public comments.  Mayor closed the hearing at 7:04 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to approved the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 13, 2018. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motioned carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORTSupt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann recapped police log from last two weeks: two reportable accidents, a couple slide-outs, vehicle theft out of Garfield, ongoing dog issues in both towns, ongoing nuisance yard code violation in Palouse, two medical call assists, and a vehicle lockout.

PD is having a Washington State Patrol records audit and linked computer audit in next couple months.

 

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 

  • Councilmember Wilcomb reported financially things are very well.
  • There were 7 fire calls in October (3 for the McKenzie Butte fire & 1 training call).  11 jurisdictions showed up to address the McKenzie butte fire and keep it contained.
  • Continuing rapid intervention training.
  • Chief Beeson attended the last Whitman Co. fire chief board meeting in Colfax.  That board has asked each fire chief to bring their commissioners to the next board meeting to discuss mutual aid.
  • EMS had 10 call in October, 6 within city limits.
  • Continuing to work with county to upgrade repeaters and systems for county radios. Should be completed in March.

 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

  • Avista site visit is next week to look at potential sites for vehicle charging station.
  • Varela & Associates will be at next meeting to discuss Wastewater Facility plan.
  • Brownfields committee to meet soon to get Request for Proposals (RFP) out again in early 2019.  DOE said it would be a good idea for city to retain the testing responsibility; that will relieve any prospective buyers of that burden.  More interest has been expressed.
  • Budget adoption will be at next meeting.  Our budget is ready for adoption for the most part. Below are some budget considerations:
  • Pool Chairman Cook is proposing a two-year pool improvement plan. Year one would consist of painting the interior and exterior of pool-house & installing a sun shade on the east side of the pool. Year two would include exterior facility signage, interior way-finding signage, and contemporary graphics within the structure.  He thinks such improvements will add community appreciation and support of the pool facility.  Estimated cost is $3,000 each year.  CA Dixon has already updated $3,000 into the 2019 budget.
  • Fund 730 cemetery endowment fund.  Municipal Research concluded that the city can use the interest off this fund.  Beginning cash started at $25,000 in 1968 for initial principal amount.  It’s currently at $126,800.  We should keep it above $100k to continue accruing interest.  CA Dixon will transfer $5,000 to cemetery fund in 2019.  This will be great for cemetery budget.  Our ending balance is always at about $1,000 and this will leave us with a much healthier ending balance.
  • Allotment under plan review fee for Building Inspector.  The city anticipates a commercial building permit in 2019 that will require a plan review fee. CA Dixon has allocated $2,500 for this expenditure however, the city is merely a pass-through as the permit applicant will be responsible for payment of the plan review fee.
  • Sewer line on west Whitman Street needs to be replaced.
  • Cemetery storage buildings are shot and need to be replaced.  REET money can be used for those upgrades and there’s close to $100,000 already in that fund.
  • A couple water service lines need replaced.
  • Half of the pool roof needs replaced.
  • Park sprinkler system needs work.
  • Police car reserve fund 311.  Chief Neumann reported on patrol vehicle history since 2005.  As of 2018 the Palouse fleet consists of:

-Chief Neumann’s 2007 Dodge Durango, 11 years old, 87,600 miles, Avg. 5,500 miles per year;

-Officer Merry/Anderson 2013 Dodge Journey, 5 years old, 73,336 miles, Avg. 8,900 miles per year;

-Officer Snead/Handley 2013 Dodge Journey, 5 years old, 91,648 miles, Avg., 11,500 miles per year.

Chief broke down his reasoning that the current funding is not sustainable in today’s market to keep the fleet healthy.  He wants the police vehicle fund transfer from current expense increased from $6,242 to $9,500.  He outlined his thoughts for replacing a police vehicle, the costs, needs, and projections. Terrain dictates city’s needs for AWD vehicles with clearance. CA Dixon reported that next vehicle will be ordered in 2019, paid for in 2020.  Transfers to the police vehicle fund come in January and this fund will be able to support the purchase of a new vehicle at that time.  It is Officer Anderson’s opinion that the Journey is not a good patrol vehicle.  His experience is that Explorers are a solid patrol vehicle. Chief got numbers for a new 2018 Ford Explorer with equipment for $38,272.  Councilmember Wekenman assured that the city will be shopping around, not purchasing the first vehicle that comes along. Councilmember Sievers thinks a $3,000 increase to police vehicle fund is a small step in the right direction to have a healthy fleet.  Whether we buy new or used can be decided later.  We need to give ourselves a shot at a program that keeps these vehicles fresh.  Much discussion ensued. Chief says if we buy a new police vehicle, it will remain in our fleet for 12 years.

CA Dixon finished up budget discussion by saying as a whole, the city’s doing great.

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2018-10: Public Works Trust Fund pre-construction loan contract for water system improvements:  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  This resolution accepts a Washington State Public Works Board Pre-Construction Loan in the amount of $250,000 at a 0.84 percent interest rate for 5 years.  The city will use these funds for pre-construction activities that will include design engineering, bid document preparation, environmental studies, right-of-way acquisition, value planning, permits, cultural and historic resources, public notification, etc.  TD&H will provide a detailed road map of the project and new viable options to isolate the water pressure problems around town, Church Street fire flow upgrades and water tower issue.  TD&H will also complete the Water System Update for DOH, detailed water modeling to pinpoint the pressure problems, giving us a final set of plans so we could go after funding for construction.  Hopeful PWTF will have a call for construction projects next year.  Contract has been reviewed by our attorney.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2018-10 as presented.  Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  With the passing of this resolution, Councilmember Sievers MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snyder, to authorize the mayor to sign the Public Works Board Pre-Construction Loan Contract.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 976 – accepting 1% property tax increase:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  An increase of 1.1952% in the regular property tax levy is authorized for the levy to be collected in the 2019 tax year.  The additional 0.1952% is from new construction credit.  New construction credit increases the city’s valuation so the county gives the city an avenue to collect that tax off of increased valuation.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt ordinance as written.  Councilmember Cook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 977 – accepting 1% EMS property tax increase:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  An increase of $296.31 which is an increase of 1%.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt ordinance as written.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 978 – setting regular and special levy amounts for budget year 2019:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Sets the regular and special levy amounts for budget year 2019 as follows:  Special Street Levy $44,000; Special Pool Levy $34,000; Voted regular EMS Levy $29,927.06; General Levy $181,156.51.  This is official document that summarizes what we are collecting.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 978.  Councilmember Sievers seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 979 – monthly Sewer Reserve Fund increase:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  This ordinance increases monthly sewer rates effective January 2019 and allocates the increase to the Sewer Reserve Fund 441.  Discussion ensued as to what amount to raise the rate.  The state won’t even look at us for loans unless we have $80 a month for sewer rates which we aren’t even close to.  We are going to need financing help with these state-mandated projects.  Rates will be going up substantially for the next 9 or 10 years. Councilmember Sievers would like to be a little more aggressive and see a tiered approach over the next couple years versus a huge lump raise all at once.  And any money we save now is less we have to borrow later meaning less interest to pay.  He proposes a $5 increase for 2019.  We’re heading in that direction and we need to get people used to it.  CA Dixon and Mayor prefer a $3 increase this year and larger increases later after we have more hard data to present to public.  This is all on DOE; we have a quality plant and effluent but they’re requiring this new facility.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 979 with the $5 increase.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Councilmember Cook voted nay.  Motion carried.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Looking at a resolution in 2019 regarding climate change projects.  Our solar project and LED lights are two such projects already done in Palouse.

CA Dixon and Mayor attended the IACC conference in Wenatchee last month.  CA Dixon drove them in his personal vehicle.  A fluke road debris incident caused his car to break down and resulted in him having to get a rental car and repairs to vehicle.  After submitting to his personal insurance, he is out $268.90.  We don’t have a city vehicle for office staff so how do we handle this?  We only pay mileage which doesn’t cover these rare mishaps (deer collision, hit and run).  Mayor said in his 20+ years with city this has never occurred.  CA Dixon asked CIAW and they said to take it to council.  Council wants to establish a city policy after CA Dixon talks with city attorney.

Councilmember Sievers MOVED to cancel the second council meeting in December.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Cook 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 10/31/18                 Ck. # 9598-9616 & EFT             $43,209.39

Claims Paid 11/27/18                 Ck. #9641-9669 & EFT              $88,247.38

Claims Void 11/13/18                 Ck. #9634                                 $      (18.00)

ADJOURN: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 9:16 PM.

 

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

 

November 13, 2018

PALOUSE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA

Public Hearing – 2019 Preliminary Budget

Followed by Regular Council Meeting

November 13, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Palouse City Hall – 120 E. Main Street

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse absence of councilmember Snyder. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING: Mayor Echanove open the public hearing to discuss the 2019 Preliminary Budget at 7:05. No comment.

CLOSE PUBLIC HEARING: Hearing closed at 7:07

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to approved the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 23, 2018. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motioned carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORTSupt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORTLast weekend of Haunted Palouse was very busy, but no issues to report. Good turnout at truck or treat in Garfield on Halloween. Less action than normal on Halloween in Palouse. PD spending more time at Palouse and Garfield school districts.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:  No report. Will meet next week.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

2019 Preliminary Budget

Mayor Echanove and Council discussed the 2019 Current Expense budget by line item. Final public hearing for the 2019 Annual Budget will be held at city hall on Tuesday, November 27 at 7:00 PM.

Surplus Fire Truck:

The Palouse Volunteer Fire Dept is requesting that Council surplus the following item:

1970 Dodge C 1000 International Fire Truck with 750 gallon water tank and 1000 gpm pump. This truck has been sitting in storage with no plans for further use. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to declare this fire truck surplus to city needs with a minimum bid of $500. Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Surplus PD Equipment for interagency transfer:

Officer Handley recently took a position with another agency. Upon separation, he requested to keep the equipment that was purchased and custom fitted for him. This is a relatively common practice among officer/agency transfers as this equipment would not necessarily have any value if the Palouse PD were to keep it. As such, Council can declare these items surplused for an interagency transfer to Officer Handley’s new department so long as Palouse receives “full value” for said items as determined by Chief Neumann. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to surplus Officer Handley’s equipment on the condition that Palouse receives full value for said items. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Palouse was recently approved for a $250,000 pre-construction loan through the Public Works Trust Fund for water system improvements. TD&H Engineering will be at the next council meeting to provide further information and take any questions from Council prior to the city deciding whether or not to proceed.

Palouse had two annual excess property tax levies, one for the city pool and one for streets, on the November ballot for collection in 2019. Current ballot counts suggest that both will be approved by voters.

City Hall will be closed on November 22nd & 23rd for Thanksgiving.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Avista Car Charging Station Site Agreement:

Earlier this year, the city discussed allowing Avista to install an electric vehicle charging station at their expense. A potential issue that arose from this was if and how the city should allow for public funds to be spent (use of charging station would be billed to city account). Avista has solved this problem by providing charging stations equipped with credit card machines. The next step in this process is to schedule a site evaluation with Avista. Authorizing the city to sign Avista’s site agreement does not commit any dollars. If, after site evaluation has been completed, it is determined that any contribution from the city is going to be required, Avista will present those figures and council can determine whether or not to proceed. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to allow city to sign site agreement and proceed with site evaluation. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Wastewater Facility Plan Budget Review:

Due to unattainable restrictions currently enforced by the Dept of Ecology (and likely further restrictions coming) regarding effluent discharge into the north fork of the Palouse River, the city has directed our wastewater engineers (Varela) to investigate feasibility and costs associated with year-round wastewater storage and subsequent land application, thereby eliminating river discharge. Varela presented budget that will allow them to complete their research. Funding has already been secured and allocated for this purpose so no action is required. Mayor and Council reluctantly accepted the new figures. Varela will be at a council meeting before the end of the year to provide further updates on their progress.

NEW BUSINESS:

COMMITTEE REPORTS: No reports.

OPEN FORUM:

MAYOR’S REPORT: Liquor license renewal for the Congress. No objections. The Port of Whitman is scheduled to break ground next year on the build out of broadband fiber in Palouse. This is a great time for Palouse to further investigate the possibility of transitioning from manual water meter reading to an automated system. CA Dixon and Supt Griffin will work together to identify costs and formulate a plan for implementation.

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

 

Claims Paid                  11/13/18 Ck. #9617-9640 & EFT                        $56,073.02

 

 

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

 

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

 

October 23, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

October 23, 2018

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Mayor Echanove and CA Dixon are attending the IACC conference in Wenatchee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 9, 2018. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

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

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: A couple new houses in 3rd quarter. $500,000 building valuation in 3rd Q, netting city approximately $4,700 in fees.

POLICE REPORT:

-HP went well, no issues. Had extra help from reserve officers.

-10/22/18 Officer Handley submitted his letter of resignation on good terms and in good standing. Officer Handley has taken a position in Colfax. Chief Neumann has accepted his resignation. Joe’s last day will be October 29th. Chief Neumann thanked him for his service. Joe has requested, in lieu of city buying him out of his sick leave etc., that he get to keep bulletproof vest, vest pouch, police jumpsuit, custom holster, and flashlight. Before that can be decided, CA Dixon needs to first determine from state auditor if that’s allowable. Officer Snead will fill in any staffing shortfalls in the schedule through January, pending word from Garfield and what we are going to do with the Garfield contract.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

-EMS wants community to know that when picked up in Palouse via Pullman ambulance (as per interlocal agreement for ambulance services), the patient still has the option of being taken to either Moscow, Colfax or Pullman hospital.

-Had an unexpected radiator repair on Engine 416 but it is back in service.

-More wildland fires this time of year than usual. Rain and cool weather are needed. A little over 8 acres burnt in McKenzie Butte wildfire on Cove Road last Friday night. Had an incredible response from about 10 or 11 agencies.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman read aloud CA Dixon’s written report.

-Councilmember Sievers and Wastewater Engineer John Patrouch from Varela met with owners of land northeast of town and seemed to have a productive and encouraging meeting. Varela is preparing site analysis for several areas that were discussed and will have an update for us at one of our meetings in November.

-Public Works Trust Fund just completed underwriting for $250,000 pre-construction loan for water system improvements. Paperwork should be available for review at the next council meeting.

-CA Dixon is preparing the 2019 preliminary budget for the first council meeting in November. Goal is to have this completed and distributed to council by Tuesday, November 6th. Two public hearings for the 2019 annual budget will coincide with both council meetings in November.  

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook– Chair Cook provided council and staff last week with an in-depth written report on pool stats for 2018 summer usage.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- Councilmember Sievers reported he had a three-hour tour of various land options in the city for the WWTF. Came away with three potential sites, two more favorable than the others. Engineer was encouraged by the locations and thought they were workable but he has to do preliminary assessments before we can dive into or even discuss price. All parties felt good about the meeting. Will know more in November.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Councilmember Wekenman would like to see discussions resume on a new building for public works.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper- Sewer rate increase still needs to be discussed. Councilmember Wekenman doesn’t think the $3 increase is enough for city’s needs. Discussions will continue.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Liquor license renewal for Bank Left Bistro. No objections.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 10/11/18 Ck. #9558 replaces lost ck. # 9499.

10/23/18 Ck. #9558-9597 & EFT $22,280.68

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:37 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

October 9, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

October 9, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse absence of councilmember Wekenman. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under “Mayor’s Report”, amend the minutes to say “The ISP will be Noel Communications” not Noah Net. Councilmember Cook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of September 25, 2018, as amended. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

Public Works staff are working on plans to upgrade sprinklers at park. All the sprinklers there are currently manual. Hoping to put in a full, regular automatic system.

POLICE REPORT:

Will continue ongoing school patrols. Trying to be more consistent with Garfield school patrol.

There has been some illegal removal of campaign signs from yards.

Neighborhood patrols continue.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

3rd Q Treasurer’s Report – CA Dixon is pleased with our budget figures.

Streets budget will be affected by fact that the $80,000 credit from Avista LED Streetlight project back in 2011 has run out. Rather than going to the public utilities commission for a rate change, Avista issued Palouse the credit about 5 years ago for being a trial for the LED street light program. Avista has since set the rate as many other cities have since switched to LED. That was an approximate $1,800 credit a month. It was a great opportunity that Palouse was able to take advantage of. There will be 2 budget amendments in the last quarter of this year to account for added street light costs and PD staff turnover from earlier in the year.

Met with both department heads to discuss 2019 budget. No surprises. Public Works has the sprinkler replacement project and purchase of a pool filter and possible extra seasonal worker, among other smaller items for next year. PD needs to replace a police vehicle early next year; looking at approximately $37,000 for that.

Preliminary 2019 budget will be presented at first meeting in November. This will be second year of the employee raise format approved by council last year.

CA Dixon heard back from Public Works Trust Fund. City was approved for $250,000 pre-construction loan for proposed water system upgrades. CA Dixon will present loan paperwork and terms for council approval once available.

Mayor and CA Dixon met with some private landowners last week to discuss city purchasing land for wastewater facility plan. It was a positive meeting. Mayor explained city is going to arrange a meeting with engineers and landowners to meet onsite. Engineer will then do some scientific work to see if site(s) would work for sewer discharge.

Last council meeting we had a public hearing to vacate an alley/easement which was approved. However, circumstances related to the vacation changed shortly afterward and as a result the applicants have withdrawn their request. Approval of alley/easement vacation is null and void as Ordinance wasn’t yet passed and payment for vacated area was not collected.

CA Dixon will be attending auditor’s roundtable next week and regional finance meeting later this week. Mayor and CA Dixon will be attending IACC (annual infrastructure funding conference) meeting in a couple weeks; as a result they won’t be at next council meeting. CA Dixon will confirm that Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman can attend in Mayor Echanove’s absence.

Palouse is facing a monumental burden in the coming years regarding our wastewater treatment facility and what the Department of Ecology is requiring of us. The city will do everything it can to mitigate the extraordinary costs of updating the facility to maintain compliance. DOE has a loan/grant program for these projects, but to qualify for grants, city must have sewer rates at or above $80/month JUST for sewer (determined as a “hardship” rate). Those rates are absurd, especially considering the condition of our existing facilities and what Ecology is demanding of us. Our current monthly rate for sewer is $34. By comparison, Garfield’s sewer rate is $52/month and Rosalia’s is $50/month. We have to be proactive and build our sewer reserve fund as much as possible so we don’t blindside our utility customers with exorbitant rate increases. With our current rates, other state agencies will also require increases to qualify for any grants. CA Dixon is proposing a monthly sewer rate increase of $3 (to $37/month), all of which will be applied to our sewer reserve fund. Preparing financially for this project now will show DOE and other agencies that we’re taking measures to comply with their demands. Proposed increase would take effect in January of 2019. There will be two public hearings in November to discuss the 2019 annual budget.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 975 repealing PMC chapter 5.04 – Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Chapter 5.04 is an outdated code on alcohol sales in Palouse. This ordinance does away with the city code and city will just follow state law on alcohol sales and consumption. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt as written. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper– Had a committee meeting with CA Dixon.

OPEN FORUM:

John-Mark Mahnkey, candidate for Whitman County Commissioner, gave a brief introduction.

Chief Neumann requested to discuss personnel/policy matters. At 7:45 pm Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn to executive session. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. Council resumed at 8:32 pm.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Cook 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 9/30/18 Ck. #9516-9535 & EFT $58,486.87

Claims Paid 10/09/18 Ck. #9536-9557 & EFT $ 7,800.24

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:39 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

September 25, 2018

Palouse City Council

PUBLIC HEARING

Followed by

Regular Council Meeting

September 25, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Eric Hanson; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse the absences of councilmembers Sievers and Wekenman. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING for Steve and Cindy Alred’s request for alley/easement vacation- Mayor Echanove opened the public hearing at 7:02 pm. Mayor Echanove outlined the request. The Alreds want vacated the alley between lots 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 of Block 23, Wiley’s 2nd Addition in Palouse. The Alreds own and reside on lots 5 & 6. If alley is vacated, the Alreds want to purchase lots 3 & 4 and fence in entire yard. If granted vacation, Alreds will pay ½ the appraised value of $1,500 (so $750). The city has never exercised their right to the alley; that doesn’t mean the city won’t ever, they just have not yet needed to. PW Supt. Griffin submitted in writing his concerns about vacating the alley. Discussion ensued. Councilmember Cook MOVED to vacate the alley as presented. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried. Mayor Echanove closed the public hearing at 7:35 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The September 11, 2018 council meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 28, 2018. Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: No real issues for Palouse Days. A great turnout.

Had a slow-speed pursuit with an RV which ended in Latah County.

Skatepark is getting busier; have had a few issues with language, inappropriate behavior and clothing, some minor graffiti, some thefts of decorative fencing and some disrespect towards police. Aaron Flansburg has been very responsive in assisting with and monitoring these issues. Graffiti has already been removed.

Chief stated over the next three years the PD will be needing $90,000 in vehicle fund for replacing the fleet. Officer Handley’s vehicle has just crossed 90k miles and has a tic. PD will look at grants to maybe help offset the costs.

Chief wants to update their duty firearms next year. He wants to replace the four existing 40-caliber Glocks with four, 9mm Glocks. He will trade-in the 40-calibers. Their duty holsters will still fit the 9 mm.

Will have reserve officers Snead and Wright assisting us with Haunted Palouse. They assisted with Palouse Days as well.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Reviewed and approved the budget for 2019.

No serious injuries or fires during harvest which is great news.

Chief Beeson is off to a great start.

SCBAs have been ordered.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Kyle submitted a Complete Streets grant to the Dept. of Commerce for a sidewalk from west side of South Hill down Palouse Cove, crosswalk across highway by McGregor’s, and footbridge across river near Lions Club Park to city park. Goal is to provide for pedestrian access to connect that area of town to parks and downtown. Grant is funded by TIB. TIB calls on 11 state agencies to provide nominations. Award amounts are generally $100,000-$250,000 for smaller cities. Decisions are made in January.

September 4 we had a wastewater advisory committee meeting to continue discussions about our wastewater facilities plan. Committee agreed with council that it is worthwhile to further explore the option of eliminating river discharge entirely. City has identified two preferred sites just out of town that can accommodate the requirements for this option.

Kyle and TDH Engineering completed application to Public Works Trust Fund for pre-construction loan for water system improvements. Awards should be announced sometime next month.

City didn’t receive any proposals for Brownsfield site. MFA, our environmental engineers aren’t concerned. We aren’t under any big rush to release the site, with the primary goal to transfer the property to a developer that will integrate it back into the community. City had three parties that had initially expressed interest, but timing wasn’t right. Brownfields Committee will meet again before the end of the year to discuss a timeframe for the next RFP.

Kyle will be meeting with department heads and finance committee prior to next council meeting to discuss 2019 budgeting needs.

Kyle met with parks committee to discuss some concerns that contractors had expressed regarding the proposed riverwalk trail below shady lane. Project is funded by grant from county. Kyle is in contact with DOE and county planner on self-permitting procedures for light shoreline development that enhances visibility and use of Palouse River in town. City may request an extension to expend grant funds to complete project in summer of 2019 if necessary.

Avista electric vehicle charging station is still in the works. Just waiting on site agreement liability verbiage change from Avista.

City surplussed our snow plow for $2,500.

OLD BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 973 — First Step Internet franchise agreement: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to suspend the rules of reading the ordinance in its entirety. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried. This ordinance grants First Step Internet, LLC the right, privilege, authority, and nonexclusive franchise for ten years to construct, maintain, operate, replace, and repair a fiber optic cable network, in, across, over, along, under, through and below certain designated public rights-of-way in the City of Palouse. City Atty Hanson wrote and proofed the agreement. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 973 as presented. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 974 – changing speed limit on south Hwy 27 in city limits: Beginning in 2015, Palouse residents John and Chris Bofenkamp requested from the city and WSDOT setting the speed limit to 25 MPH on highway in front of their home. As a result, WSDOT conducted engineering and speed studies. City and Bofenkamps both have contacted WSDOT a number of times since 2015. Fast forward three years, WSDOT got back to city last week and said they were going to change speed limit and signs but need an ordinance first. Mayor read aloud Ordinance 974 in its entirety. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED, and Councilmember Cooper seconded Ordinance No. 974. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:

Hold Harmless Agreement – Atty. Hanson wrote this agreement. Officer Handley is now Uniontown’s police dept. It’s in addition to his work for Palouse and Mayor Echanove gave him his support. This agreement states both Uniontown and Palouse each agree to hold the other party to this agreement harmless from any claim for damages arising from Handley’s actions. Councilmember Cook MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement with Uniontown. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. This agreement covers the city, and the department. Chief Neumann is unhappy with the agreement calling Handley the “chief” for Uniontown because it gives Handley more clout to gain training over other legitimate chiefs. Chief Neumann thinks agreement should call Handley Uniontown’s “Town Marshall” otherwise he’s falsifying reports as far as title. Mayor Echanove and Atty. Hanson explained Uniontown codified the title as Chief and not Marshall. It’s Uniontown’s code and Uniontown can call him whatever title they want. Much discussion ensued. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Still working on pool statistic data and will report when complete.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Press release today announcing that Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board is investing $2.9 million toward rural broadband infrastructure. Included in that is $750,000 loan and $250,000 grant to the Port of Whitman County to bring broadband to five rural communities in Whitman County including Palouse and Garfield.

The ISP will be Noah-net from Tri-Cities. This means another choice for Palouse for internet service.

Liquor license renewal for Lions Club private beer & wine license from Wa St. Liquor & Cannibis board. No objections.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 8/31/18 Ck. #9448-9474 & EFT $42,800.54

Claims Paid 9/11/18 Ck. #9475-9502 & EFT $30,175.43

Claims Paid 9/25/18 Ck. #9503-9515 & EFT $ 5,058.14

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

August 28, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 28, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse absences of Councilmembers Wekenman and Slinkard. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Snyder MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 14, 2018. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: Officer Handley reported that Reserve Officer Snead will be back Sept. 1 and will be helping the PD with Palouse Days and various other duties.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Chair Wilcomb reported. Finances are good on both the FD and EMS sides. New breathing apparatus has been selected; the process was exhaustive. We are now in the process of transitioning between outgoing Fire Chief Mike Bagott and incoming Fire Chief Scott Beeson.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Wastewater Citizen Advisory Board will meet next week with water/sewer committee, CA Dixon, Mayor Echanove and engineers to provide update and seek advice regarding next steps to finalize an updated facility plan to submit to Dept of Ecology next spring.

CA Dixon attended budget conference last week in Leavenworth. Palouse is far overdue for utility increases. Raising rates is the last thing we want to discuss or do but it’s a fact of life and we have to keep up. The city needs to be proactive in addressing this issue to avoid eventual rate spikes down the road. Need to be sure we have the rates in place that can ensure we are eligible for the grants to pay for these utility requirements.

3-year financial audit is coming up next year. No concerns. City of Palouse has a very good track record for the last 20+ years on these financial audits.

Avista put together a site agreement for electric car charging station. Agreement is with our attorney for review.

Franchise agreement with First Step Internet is with our attorney for review as well. Should be ready to present to council at next meeting.

CA Dixon will have meeting soon with streets committee on what we want to present to TIB for Complete Streets grant. We’ve had our eye on this for a couple years. They’re accepting nominations through December. Grants up to $250,000 will be awarded in spring of 2019. These grants are for multi modal access in cities. We essentially present a plan to nominating agencies and if our plan gets picked TIB will fund the project up front. There is a lot more freedom with this grant vs almost any other program in the state.

OLD BUSINESS:

Palouse Builders final plat for Amber Ridge: In the spring Palouse Builders presented to city their preliminary proposal for that last seven acres on Palouse Cove Road towards Moscow. They’ve been working with Public Works the whole way. Supt. Griffin has been working with them the last few weeks with w/s infrastructure, inspections, etc. They’ve done all their requirements on city’s end. There are eight, ½ acre to ¾ acre lots. Additionally, there are the four, ¼ acre lots at the end of Harvest Loop. Water, sewer, gas, etc. have all been put in. Paving is done. As-builts have been submitted as well. Street signs are all in and waiting to be installed. At the onset of preliminary plat, there was some language on first phase that required them at 50% development mark (10 houses) that they do an assessment to determine if existing lift-station could support all the new development. Phase 1 developer Roy Druffel hired TD&H Engineering for assessment. Report came back recommending that city acquire from the developer a back-up pump for the lift station. Palouse Builders paid for their portion of pump and Roy Druffel is paying for remainder. Pump is on order. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approved the final plat for Amber Ridge. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2018-09: setting a date to hear petition to vacate alley/public easement: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This vacation is for the alley between lots 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 of Block 23 in Wiley’s 2nd Addition. Steve and Cindy Alred are the petitioners of above alley vacation. A public hearing for above vacation will be held on September 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Palouse City Hall. Petitioners are required to pay for 50% of value of vacated property. The only thing this resolution does is set the date for the public hearing. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, Councilmember Cook seconded, to adopt Resolution No. 2018-09 as presented. Motion carried.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor worked with Canfield & Associates on a dog complaint. Portions of the complaint were founded.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Cooper MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 8/28/18 Ck. #9431 – #9447 & EFT $3,964.95

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:54 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

August 14, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

August 14, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Officer Joe Handley (until 7:15 pm); City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse the absences of councilmembers Wekenman and Wilcomb. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 24, 2018. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT: Music Festival and National Night Out had no problems. We’re ready for Palouse Days and already readying for Haunted Palouse.

Officer Handley is participating in the county-wide DUI patrol the next two weekends.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Kyle is still looking into an electric car charger station in Palouse. Chamber of Commerce and local businesses have expressed interest in possibly covering the cost of the electricity. If the city wants to foot the bill for it, we would need to pass a resolution declaring it a public benefit. Kyle would like permission to submit an application. No money will be spent without first agreeing upon it at council. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to authorize Kyle to submit the application. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Kyle is submitting an application to TIB for the very last part of West Whitman Street project. We want to pave the hill where it connects to Fir Street. A lot of that is gravel and TIB doesn’t historically fund them but they do like to see continuity in their projects so we will try. Kyle should get authorization tomorrow. He’ll update council later.

City has received one bid so far for the river walk trail. We would like at least one more.

Planning Commission approved the Hodges short-plat on north side of town. More buildable lots are always good to see.

No proposals received yet for Brownsfield site. Deadline is September 5. If we don’t get any proposals it’s not the end of the world, we can let it sit and relist it later when contractors are less busy.

OLD BUSINESS:

USDA funding update for water tower project: Been working with TD&H for 18 months or so on this project. City was waiting for news on funding package. Have to get funding figured before we move forward with any project decisions. TD&H submitted the funding application to USDA months ago. USDA emailed the funding package Friday am for $1.5 million loan and $1.2 million grant for the project plus other parameters and said it had to be signed and submitted by noon on same day. $68,000 a year for 40 years at 3.2% interest rate. Mayor told them he couldn’t nor wouldn’t sign without council discussion and authorization. Kyle spoke with Michelle Bly (TD&H) in depth Friday. We were anticipating closer to 1 or 2% interest rate and signing something on this short of notice would have been irresponsible. It was very unfortunate how it played out. Head of USDA Peter MacMillan had Kyle on conference call with rest of USDA trying to broker a deal prior to Feds sweeping their account last week but Kyle told them that the city will not proceed with proposed funding package.

Michelle Bly added to discussion that it was very disappointing how Rural Development (RD) presented the funding package. They were scrambling. State funds get swept back to D.C. if not all spent. RD has not been as aggressive in Washington state spending so they had their money swept last year and they didn’t want it swept again this year. Thus they were hard-selling to Kyle. In perspective, when funding falls apart, it happens for a reason. We now have an opportunity to look at another funding source for pre-construction (design only) from PWTF. Deadline is September 14 and awards go out in October. It’s an online application. We can use a lot of the same data as RD’s application. Interest rates are 0.84% if it’s less than 5 years, 1.68% over 5 years. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to authorize TD&H to submit an application for pre-construction funding package for our water system analysis. Councilmember Sievers seconded. This does not bind the city in any way. If awarded, the city would decide at that time whether to accept. Essentially this would cover the preliminary design, further hydraulic analysis, and further design to get project ready to bid. It would also include some work sessions with Palouse Public Works. Motion carried unanimously.

Varela & Associates update on Wastewater Facility Plan due 4/1/19: Dana Cowger outlined the project. City discharges effluent into the Palouse River. We have an NPDES permit issued by DOE with state of Washington. It is updated every five years. In around 2014 the DOE told the city they were changing the parameters to TMDLs (temperature and inorganic nitrates). The new mandates could not/cannot be met with currently available treatment technologies. It resulted in the city having to get out of the river May – October each year. They gave us until April 2019 to get us plans. Has to be constructed by summer of 2024. So……city HAD to hire an engineer in 2014 to comply with new standards. Varela & Associates has been the project engineer. About a year ago, the city and advisory committee evaluated conventional and non-conventional alternatives. Ultimately, they selected the preferred alternative of storing wastewater during low-flow months (May – Oct) then discharging into river during normal to high flow. Where then does the city store the discharge? There are three determined options for storage, two of which are on city-owned 20 acres near the solar plant & well #3 and cost between $8.9 million to $11.2 million. The third option would be on other non-city property between 1 and 3 miles from Palouse and would cost from $10-$15 million depending on pipelines, pumping, appurtenances, crossings, etc. There are also the options of city pushing-back to DOE but it’s likely not a viable route long-term and may draw potential enforcement action by DOE. Varela now needs direction: continue with current preferred alternative vs. evaluation of other options. Council wants to have city advisory committee meet again to discuss new/other options. Perhaps meet with environmental attorney to discuss options. Much discussion ensued. Mayor wants to see about available land to pursue where landowner is interested in talking.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2018-08 sole source purchase of air packs for Fire Dept. Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This resolution allows Fire Chief Bagott to forego the competitive bidding process to purchase required SCBAs for the Palouse FD because the purchase is clearly and legitimately limited to a single supplier. The Palouse FD has performed an objective review of the SCBA’s to be purchased and can clearly justify why only one source exists. Chief Bagott was present to explain. They looked at three different airpacks from three suppliers and Chief Bagott outlined why LN Curtis’s SCBA’s stood out as the best for department’s needs as it has the necessary type of thermal imager the others don’t have. The city has appropriated a maximum of $34,000 to cover half of the purchase price for 6 SCBA’s, with the other half provided by Whitman County Rural Fire District 4. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2018-08. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried anonymously.

First Step Internet Franchise Agreement Ordinance – FIRST READING – No action: First Step Internet (FSI) has connected fiber to City Hall, library, and PD as well as throughout town. They are looking to expand fiber to Amber Ridge (new development). They need a franchise agreement with the city to locate it in the city right-of-way. Our city attorney Hanson drafted this ordinance. They will expand from Amber Ridge and collocate. It is great to see them investing in Palouse. This is very expensive for them. Kyle will find out if the city can be compensated for allowing them to use city right of way. Council will review ordinance in depth.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard– Committee had an informative meeting to discuss water tower project.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- City has an anonymous donor of a shade sail for area near the pool. Committee will discuss with PW Supt Griffin as to logistics and any concerns.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper– Chair Cooper met with Kyle just to get up to speed on the budget and finances. Plans to meet with committee during the fall to discuss 2019 budget items.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor read aloud four various thank you notes to different city staff.

Mayor is getting some supervisory skill assistance from Canfield & Associates.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 7/31/18 Ck. #9358-9385 & EFT $55,747.01

Claims Paid 8/14/18 Ck. #9386-9430 & EFT $41,953.21

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:36 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

July 24, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

July 24, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the two public hearings and Regular Council Meeting of July 10, 2018. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Handley’s vehicle is in the garage. Bagott’s is performing preventative maintenance to get it through 2018. Looking to replace in early 2019. Responded to 911 call in Garfield last week, Officer Handley was assaulted, suspect booked on several felonies. Palouse Music Festival is this weekend in the city park. Still dealing with several calls regarding nuisance dogs. Chief Neumann explained police vehicle acquisition process in further detail and will have further discussions with council as budget season approaches.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: 2nd Qtr report. Still seeing a steady influx of new construction and permits. Additional construction anticipated for new development later this year.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Finances are good. Team responded to lost child at Kamiak Butte with successful recovery. Air pack acquisition process is going along as planned. Dept is very supportive of new Fire Chief Beeson. EMT’s are at training.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

2nd Q Treasurer’s Report: Current Expense (General Fund) is healthy and has been on a good trajectory this year. Cemetery fund is tight but will get through the year just fine. Joint Fire Board does a great job managing their expenses which in turn reflects well on Current Expense. Currently there are no issues to report with any funds.

3 concrete pads have been poured at the RV park. Remaining 7 will be completed later on in the fall.

City has 3 interested parties that will submit bids for construction of the riverwalk trail off Shady Lane with work to be completed in late fall. City received grant for project earlier this year.

Paul Kimmell from Avista approached the city last week to gauge interest in a car charging station in town. Council discussed possible locations. One parking space near store and heritage park seems to be favorable. CA Dixon will further research costs and provide update at next council meeting.

City received a short plat application for 2.74 acres to be subdivided into 3 residential lots on the north side of town. Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to review proposed short plat on August 9th, 7:00 PM at City Hall.

City’s wastewater engineers, Varela & Associates, will be at next council meeting to provide update on facility plan that is due to Dept of Ecology next April.

Dixon and Mayor will be in Olympia on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Dixon will be meeting with several state agencies to discuss projects and funding opportunities.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering funding update and water tower project review:

Mayor Echanove gave a background of the water project and why council proceeded with upgrades. Discussed old reservoir (built in 1910) that was taken offline in 2015. Also discussed water system plan adopted in 2013 and Church St upgrades listed in that plan. Water/Sewer committee interviewed 4 engineering firms in late 2016 and selected TDH. Project priorities were developed and TDH presented some preliminary project paths. Current preferred alternative was selected because it was the lowest cost option that addressed all project priorities. TDH is still waiting on final cultural report approval before we can receive an official funding offer. TDH took questions from council and audience. Discussed water system plan update and what needs to be included for future projects/upgrades. Members of the audience expressed concern over the proposed placement of a water tower in the NE corner of the cemetery and if current planned upgrades will adequately address project priorities. TDH discussed different alternatives that were looked at and why the city ultimately selected the current site to proceed with applications for funding. Booster pumps were discussed and yearly O&M costs initially presented a concern for water/sewer committee.

Doug Willcox water tower project review:

Mr. Willcox gave a background of his knowledge in hydraulics and water systems. He discussed his concern with the project priorities developed for the water tower project as well as some of the concerns south hill residents have regarding water pressure. It is his belief that the elevation at the current site in the NE corner of the cemetery will not be able to deliver the increased water pressure that residents on the south hill are looking for. Discussed static water pressure at the top of the south hill, measured at 26 psi. He believes that 80-85% of south hill residents should have adequate water pressure as the system currently sits. He believes that piping is too small on the south hill and significantly contributes to lower water pressure due to friction loss and that upgrading smaller mains may solve this problem. Discussed the problems he sees with putting in a water tower or booster pumps and indicated that it may put too much pressure on the lower elevation regions. He would like the city to revisit the hydraulic analysis to solve the problems at their source. Met with Fire Chief Bagott and Assistant Fire Chief Beeson to discuss the fire on Main Street and how that affected water levels in the reservoir. Based on the amount of water that was used to put out the fire and the rate that both wells can refill, he believes that there may have been another, unexplained reason for the significant drop in water supply in the reservoir, possibly pumps not operating at full capacity. Believes that installing variable frequency drives in well pumps may solve the issue of sustaining water service in the event the lone existing reservoir had to be taken offline. Council expressed concern that this would not be sustainable if lone existing reservoir experienced catastrophic failure. Went back to the need for the city to revisit hydraulic analysis and reconsider how to solve project priorities. Mayor read aloud a statement from Lynne Nelson and Bob Barry expressing their concerns regarding water tower project and would like the city to further investigate other alternatives.

TDH followed up with how the project will proceed given the different options discussed and will provide updates as they receive them.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2018-06 placing excess property tax levy on November 2018 ballot for purpose of funding street improvements and street oiling:

Costs to provide road oiling and supplies for scheduled maintenance of streets has seen little increase over the past couple of years. As a result, this levy has remained unchanged as well. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt resolution as presented. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried.

Resolution No. 2018-07 placing excess property tax levy on November 2018 ballot for purpose of funding the O&M of swimming pool:

CA Dixon and Pool Committee Chair Cook discussed how recent increases in the pool levy were used to strip and paint the pool and help cover the cost of rising minimum wage. The city will not increase the levy this year but will need to examine how continued increases to minimum wage and long-term pool maintenance will be funded. The city is collecting data on pool usage during various times of day. Members of audience suggested other ways data collection could be expanded further to identify who is using the pool. Councilmember Cook MOVED to adopt resolution 2018-07 as presented, Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Mayor Echanove requested council retire to executive session to discuss a real estate transaction relating to city’s wastewater facility plan for no more than 10 minutes. Councilmember Snyder MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Sievers, to enter into executive session at 9:20. Motion carried. Council returned at 9:26.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- Had a meeting to introduce new councilmember Cooper to committee. Discussed acquisition of new police vehicle for officer Handley. Looking to upgrade cameras by police station. Firearms may need to be upgraded as well per industry standards. Discussed how to update police vehicles to be able to access internet while on patrol.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Wilcomb 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 7/24/18 Ck. #9347-9357 & EFT $6,291.70

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:36 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

July 10, 2018

Palouse City Council – July 10, 2018

PUBLIC HEARING #1 – 2019 Revenue Sources

PUBLIC HEARING #2 – Six-Year Street Plan

Followed by

Regular Council Meeting

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse Councilmember Sievers’ absence. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

PUBLIC HEARING #1: 2019 Revenue Sources – Opened public hearing at 7:02. No comments. Closed at 7:03

PUBLIC HEARING #2: Six-Year Street Plan – Opened public hearing at 7:03. No comments. Closed at 7:04.

INTERVIEWS FOR COUNCIL POSITION #7 – Two applicants applied for vacant council position #7: Palouse residents Katie Cooper & Jim Fielder. Both candidates were asked the same set of questions by council. At 7:43 pm Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to go into executive session to discuss candidates. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Echanove called meeting back to order at 7:57 pm. Councilmember Cook MOVED to appoint Katie Cooper to council position #7. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Echanove swore in Katie Cooper.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 26, 2018. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann reported on their daily patrols and ongoing issues.

Vehicles are running fine but getting tired.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

CA Dixon discussed the 2019 revenue sources. The city has a lawful allowance of 1% increase on levy every year. 2019 proposed general Levy is $181,157, exclusive of banked capacity and new construction credit. EMS levy proposed is $30,273. Voter-approved special levy information will be presented at the next council meeting. 2018 special levy for streets is $44,000; pool is $34,000. Pool levy has been increased in past two years to help cover the cost of increased maintenance, such as stripping and re-painting the pool, as well as the rising cost of operations due to minimum wage increases. Pool levy only covers a portion of maintenance and operation, with the City’s general fund covering the rest. Pool committee will meet to discuss finances and levy prior to next council meeting.

CA Dixon discussed the 6-year street plan. Supt. Griffin drives the roads every day and no one knows the comprehensive outlay of the streets better than him. The following streets are identified for the plan: 1) West Whitman & Fir Street reconstruction; 2) Culton Street reconstruction; 3) Park Street chip seal; 4) Cannon Street reconstruction from Division Street to Mary Street; 5) Beach Street reconstruction to Church Street; 6) South River Road from Wall Street to county line;

The Request for Proposals for Brownfields site has been finalized and published. We are accepting proposals until September 5. We’ve advertised regionally through a database of contractors and city will try and get word out locally as well.

TD&H, engineers for the water tower project, will be at July 24 council meeting to review with council work that has been completed to date and reasons for selection of the current site. They may have a funding update from USDA as well.

2nd Qtr Treasurer’s Report will be discussed at next meeting.

Landowner for the proposed site of upgraded wastewater treatment facility followed up with the city. We are hopeful that discussions to acquire needed land will continue.

CA Dixon attended annual AWC conference in Yakima. This conference is a great way to connect with other cities, both big and small, on how to solve similar problems and share ideas about how to improve local government. This conference, along with IACC (infrastructure funding conference) are especially important for smaller cities to continue to improve services and infrastructure.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2018-05 – adopting Six-Year Street Plan: Mayor read aloud the resolution. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the resolution as presented. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 972 – Budget amendment for Fire Equipment Reserve Fund: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Fire Department’s current airpacks have reached their mandated expiration dates. Chief Bagott found a suitable supplier for the airpacks. City’s share for 6 airpacks is approximately $32,000 (the county pays the other half). It’s a lot of money but a necessity. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 972 as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:

Teresa Myott complimented the pool staff.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 6/30/2018 Ck. #9288-9315 & EFT $52,945.90

Claims Paid 7/10/2018 Ck. #9316-9346 & EFT $17,728.11

ADJOURN: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:38 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

June 26, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 26, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Councilmembers Cook & Sievers were absent. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse their absence. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 12, 2018. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

City received two bids for annual road oiling: TAK Petroleum for $8,575 + tax and RPI Road Products for $26,250 + tax. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to accept TAK Petroleum’s bid as presented. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT:

Radar trailer is located at City Park. Reminder to public to slow down and watch for children.

One of our police vehicles has developed a tic but otherwise running fine. We’ll keep an eye on it.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Mark Wilcomb reported. There were two meetings in June. Everything fine on the financial side. Zero fire calls in May and only 5 calls YTD. SCBA evaluation is ongoing: packs from three manufacturers are currently under consideration (Scott, MSA, and Avon). Chief Bagott announced that he will be stepping down as chief in the near future. If approved by the firefighters, Scott Beeson will become the chief and Mike will become the assistant chief. One of Scott’s priorities is to identify and start developing future leaders for the department. Mike is confident in Scott’s ability to lead the department. EMS team recently held a swimming pool training as well as a LifeFlight training.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Had another quick follow up meeting last week for Brownfields transfer process. We hope to publish the Request for Proposals later this week or next. At time of publication there will be a 60-day period to submit proposals.

Attending AWC conference in Yakima this week.

Two public hearings next meeting: Six-year street plan and 2019 revenue sources.

CA Dixon read aloud an update from TD&H Engineering outlining what has been done up to this point with the water tower project. Additionally, the Water System Plan (WSP) adopted in 2013 is set to expire in June 2019. DOH requires periodic updates to the plan as it is a working document intended to represent the current state of the water system. Proposed projects must be identified in the WSP. The intent is to incorporate the WSP update into the water tower project design if the city decides to move forward. If the city chooses not to proceed with the project, the WSP update still needs to occur with approval prior to expiration. In the next month or so the city plans on having a public meeting with our engineers present to address concerns and questions.

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2018-04 – allowing for surplus of Brownfields property: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This resolution declares city-owned Lots 3 & 4 and a portion of Lot 2, Block 1, Wiley’s Addition in Palouse as surplus. This property will be offered for sale by the city in the near future via the publishing of a request for proposals. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the resolution. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. This is the empty lot across from the P.O. Motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:

Delores & Wayne Moore, Gary & Joanne Wilson, and Marge Brink voiced their concerns about having water tower by the cemetery. The Wilsons moved here and built a house across from the cemetery about 18 months ago and don’t want their view of cemetery changed with the installation of a water tower at cemetery. Wayne Moore brought a list of people who have concerns.

Mayor Echanove reexplained where city is currently with the project. The process began a year and a half ago. Engineers tested 8 alternative plans for the placement. TDH engineering and water/sewer committee recommended the current site (NE corner of cemetery) to council. Council went with the most cost-effective plan that addressed all project priorities: providing redundant storage to get water to residents in case current reservoir ever has to be shut off; improving pressure on south side of town; increased fire hydrant flow (fire hydrant pressure was a big deal; a majority of hydrants on south hill don’t currently have the necessary pressure). If ever there’s another big fire we will need a second reservoir. Booster pumps don’t offer redundancy and have a lifetime of expenses. The city does not have any redundancy. When reservoir went down we lost our back up water storage. If ever there’s a problem with our one current tank, we’re in a world of hurt. If we get two reservoirs on opposite hills, if something goes bad we can build in a valve system so we can have two independent systems. If you want good pressure you need good elevation. The other plans require way more money in acquiring land and way more piping. Long story short, council came down to this site from all the options. Because this project isn’t mandatory, the project can be on the city’s terms. That’s a refreshing way to build public infrastructure. We want to be good stewards of our water and our infrastructure and our money. If this isn’t a project we can get off the ground in an affordable manner, then we won’t proceed past this point. If we’re able to put together a funding package we can live with, THEN we bring in the engineers, and THEN we start penciling out all the details. DOH wants a bigger water line on W. Church street from the bridge to grain growers. Part of this funding project is the engineering and construction of that line.

In the next month or so the city plans on having a public meeting with our engineers present to address concerns and questions.

Sandy Jamison, running for WC Auditor. Sandy introduced herself and gave a little background on her experience and education. She would like the public’s vote.

John Hart, running for WC District Court Judge. Introduced himself and gave a little background on his experience and education. He would like the public’s vote.

Dan LeBeau, running for WC District Court Judge. Introduced himself and gave a little background on his experience and education. He would like the public’s vote.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 6/26/18 Ck. #9274-9287 & EFT $9,182.40

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:02 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

June 12, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 12, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb. Absent: Bill Slinkard. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

Mayor Echanove read aloud Councilmember Stout’s letter of resignation. He and his family are moving.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 22, 2018. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT:

Chief completed installation of the security cameras at the well-house/solar array. Cameras are linked to City Hall computers. Chief is pleased with their quality and would like city to consider upgrading cameras at the RV Park in the next few years. He may re-angle the cameras at the PD so as to also be able to see the skatepark.

As a service to the community, there is now a secure drug/medication disposal drop box in front of the PD.

Officer Handley’s vehicle just had its 90,000 mile tune-up. Officer Anderson’s vehicle is at 70,000 miles.

We’ve had a few felony drug arrests of people passing through town.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: May 2018 report. There was a brief meeting in May. Finances are on point. They had a successful training drill at Palouse Grain Growers where they practiced rescuing someone from one of the underground tunnels.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Brownfields Committee met last week to discuss the process of transferring the property to a new owner. Project engineer Maul Foster Alongi was present. They put together a rough draft for Request for Proposals (RFP). They will meet again later this month to finalize RFP. City Atty. Hanson is working on the surplus property resolution which will be on June 26th agenda. There will be a 45-60 day timeframe to accept proposals. Brownfields committee will then evaluate those proposals and make an official recommendation to council. Council will then make an offer to the proposal that they feel is best. That will be followed by a purchase and sale agreement. Hoping to have this completed by fall of this year.

Atty. Hanson is going to be at the hearing to de-obligate a portion of the NE corner of the cemetery for the potential construction of a water tower. It will be held at superior court in Colfax at 8:30 AM on Friday, June 15th. If that goes through then Plateau Archeological Investigations will complete a cultural report on the site. That final report will be delivered to USDA by the 22nd of June to finalize the city’s application for funding. TD&H, engineers for the water tower project, will be at next meeting to provide further updates.

CA Dixon attended a Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) meeting last Thursday. They have a lot of money for small communities to improve streets. They have a new grant program that focuses on multi modal transportation that the city is eligible for from an ordinance passed last year. If successful in receiving grant, one option the city is considering is a foot bridge from the south side of the town by the Lions Club to Hayton Greene Park. Gloria Bennett of TIB doted on Palouse’s past successes through TIB funding.

CA Dixon is attending a CERB broadband funding workshop tomorrow in Pomeroy. Interested to see if city is eligible to get some funding to expand in Palouse. Attending AWC annual conference in Yakima June 27th.

There will be two public hearings at first council meeting in July: six-year street plan and 2018 revenue sources.

Will meet with engineer Munir Daud to discuss the budget the city has for a riverwalk trail between Shady Lane and the Palouse River. The city received a $26,530 grant last month from the Whitman County Commissioners .09 funds for construction of this trail.

Mark Wilcomb MOVED, Councilmember Snyder seconded, to go into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss a real estate transaction. 7:21-7:31 pm. Councilmember Snyder MOVED to authorize Mayor to submit an offer for purchase of property needed for upgrades to city’s wastewater facilities. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Pool opens Saturday. Pool has been painted. All 7 lifeguards have officially certified with Red Cross. City will offer water aerobics if they can secure staff to teach it; three guards have expressed possible interest. If/when it is offered the city will post.

OPEN FORUM:

Colleen Boone is opposed to having the new water tower at its current proposed site. Mayor Echanove explained where city is currently with the project. The process began a year and a half ago. Engineers tested 8 alternative plans for the placement. TDH engineering and water/sewer committee recommended the current site (NE corner of cemetery) to council. They went with the most cost-effective plan that addressed all project priorities including redundant storage to get water to residents in case current reservoir had to be shut off; improving pressure on south side of town; increased fire flow. And fire hydrant pressure was a big deal; a majority of hydrants on south hill don’t currently have the necessary pressure. Booster pumps don’t offer redundancy and have a lifetime of expenses. Pressure issues will determine the height of the tower. Exact engineering specs have not been completed.

We haven’t gone overboard on the engineering until we get the financing figured out. If the financing doesn’t come through then all of this is a moot point, the opportunity isn’t present to even move forward. The city has been going down the deobligation process so we can show USDA that our preferred site is available, required for completing the application for funding. Our atty has been handling everything to do with the deobligation process including a 60-day comment period which began in February. That process just gives the city the option to put the tower there. Nothing is a done deal. City council can revisit the reasons this site was chosen and other alternatives with TD&H.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Echanove appointed Ann Warrington to the Palouse Planning Commission on May 23rd. Requesting council ratification of her appointment. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, confirming Ann Warrington to the PC.

Mayor Echanove read aloud two requests from Janet Barstow:

1. The Palouse Community Center seeks permission for a beer garden at the Palouse Music Festival July 28 at the city park. The beer garden will be in the same location as recent years and will follow all the rules required by the state Liquor Control Board. No police issues. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the beer garden. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

2. The Palouse Chamber of Commerce is planning to resurrect National Night Out on August 7. They are seeking permission to use the park and parking lots for the event from 5 pm until 9 pm. The main purpose is to acquaint newcomers with various aspects of Palouse and provide a fun family event for the public, which will include kids’ activities, food, information about various events and organizations in Palouse, as well as an introduction to our emergency services, etc. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to allow the use of park and parking lots for NNO Aug. 7th. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 5/31/18 Ck. #9215-9234 & EFT $43,849.65

Claims Paid 6/12/18 Ck. #9235-9273 & EFT $41,258.79

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

May 22, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 22, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmembers Sievers, Stout, & Wilcomb were absent. Rick MOVED to excuse councilmember Stout’s & Sievers absences. Bill Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 8, 2018. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

The quality of Woltering Construction’s work on the new sidewalk by park was noted.

POLICE REPORT:

A lot of calls for dog issues, domestic violence calls, DUI’s, etc. between both cities.

Had to purchase a keyboard holder and wireless keyboard for Officer Anderson’s car.

Chief is hoping to begin install this week of the cameras at the solar plant.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Dixon and Atty Hanson had a conference call with Mike Stringer and Bill Hager from Maul Foster & Alongi to discuss how the city will proceed with a request for proposals for the Brownfields site. Atty. Hanson will draft a resolution officially declaring the site for surplus but will be subject to conditions which council and the Brownfields Committee can grade to determine the proposal that is most beneficial to the downtown area. Atty. Hanson stressed the need to have the site appraised and the winning proposal have at least that amount. This is to avoid anything that can be deemed a gift of public funds. The Brownfields Committee is meeting again during the first week of June to further discuss the criteria to be included in the request for proposals.

The City of Palouse was awarded a $26,530 grant from the Whitman County Commissioners .09 funds to develop a walking trail/park area on the south bank of the Palouse River across from downtown. They are a 75% funding partner, so if the entire grant amount is expended, the city will need to provide as much as $6,633 to complete the project. However, since this project involves land donated to the city and subsequently donated to the project, this number may be greatly reduced. Official plans and cost will be presented to council once completed.

Update from Michelle Bly of TD&H: We have now passed the comment period for the deobligation of the cemetery property. Michelle visited with City Atty. Hanson today and he stated the judgment hearing to deobligate the cemetery property is set for June 15th. Michelle spoke with David Harder at Plateau Archeological Investigations and he said that presuming everything is approved as anticipated on the 15th, Plateau will be on site June 18th and 19th to complete the reservoir site field work. Plateau will have the Cultural Report, with the reservoir site addendum information, completed by the end of the week. Michelle has passed the above schedule to Rural Development because they indicated to me last week at a meeting in Walla Walla that they talk about this project every week and are anxious to obligate funding.

Executive Session: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to go into a 5-minute executive session to discuss real estate matters for the Wastewater Facility Plan. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:

1st Q 2018 BI report: 1st Q 2018 valuations are $350,512 vs. last year at $82,000 valuation. Very strong first quarter.

Discussion ensued about the work done on the Palouse Arms Apt building. The owner complied with the city’s request however Councilmember Wekenman thinks it is still an eyesore and thus a deterrent to future development in the area. Dan will write another letter thanking him for work done and also inquiring to his future plans and anticipated timeframe.

BI contract amendment: Currently there is a 60% of bp fee charged for plan reviews on commercial builds over $100,000. This amendment will add the plan review fee to include multi-unit projects over $100,000, not just commercial buildings. The review for multi-unit housing projects is way more involved than single-family houses. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to amend the contract to include the 60% plan review fee for multi-unit housing projects. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Plan review fees are charged at time of bp purchase. The fee goes to BI upon completion of review.

Resolution 2018-03: Amends the fee schedule to include the above plan review fee to include multi-unit structures. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the resolution as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 971 budget amendment: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This budget amendment allocates funds for the contract that was signed with Maul Foster Alongi to provide consulting services as we transfer the Brownfields property to a new owner. Additional funding to cover ongoing groundwater sampling at the site has also been included as our grant funding for this project will run out during the next test to be conducted in August. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 971. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- We’ve interviewed and offered jobs to seven, pending certification. All 7 have accepted positions. 3/7 have already certified and four are still taking course. Pool is set to open June 16th. Swim lesson dates have been set. DC Thompson is working with Annie Pillers to schedule a pool emergency training with our staff.

Councilmember Cook would like the city to purchase survey software to gather data from residents on various topics. It can be used for a multitude of surveys and can also be used by the PC, the BOA, etc. Chris is most impressed with Survey Monkey which costs $360 annually. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to subscribe to Survey Monkey for a trial period of one year. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Councilmember Snyder MOVED to table for a couple weeks until he can investigate the applicability and effectiveness of survey work for a city the size of Palouse. Discussion ensued. Motion to table failed. Motion to purchase Survey Monkey carried.

OPEN FORUM:

Sandee Powell with Crime Victim Services Center explained the services they offer. They provide confidential advocacy for victims of crimes: child and elderly abuse, assault victims, neighborly harassment disputes, etc. They help empower victims and secondary victims. The 24-Hour crisis hotline is 1-888-288-9221.

Connie Newman with the Palouse Skate Park. The official grand opening for the Skate Park is June 2. 9 am ribbon cutting, 9-12 learn to skate lessons, then at noon it officially opens to the public. Over $121,000 has been raised for this project. Usage signs, Rules of Conduct sign, and garbage cans will all be in place. Skate park volunteers will be responsible for the ongoing collection and disposal of garbage. Palouse EMS & FD did a formal training at the skate park and put official plans in place in case of an emergency. The gardens at the skate park are coming along nicely.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

McLeod’s Palouse Market beer & wine license renewal. No objections.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 5/22/18 Ck. #9197-9214 & EFT $14,434.65

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:01 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

May 8, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 8, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Councilmembers Absent: Bill Slinkard and Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse absences, Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and motion carried. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 24, 2018. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. PW is working on replacing the roof on the shop on Whitman St. Also replacing a stretch of sidewalk on W Main St near the park. Once the sidewalk project is complete they will install concrete pads at the RV park.

POLICE REPORT: Fairly quiet lately. Access and Sector (report and ticket writing with updated mapping technology) training completed up in Spokane. Officer Handley is in advanced firearms training up in Spokane. Garfield May Days is coming up.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: Awards for Whitman County Commissioner’s .09 Grants should be available any day now. City applied for funding for a riverwalk trail and green space between the Palouse river and Shady Lane. Dixon met with a land appraiser from Colfax to determine an offer to acquire land near well pump 3 that will eventually accommodate storage lagoons for the City’s updated wastewater facility plan. City will follow up with the land owner after the appraiser has completed his research. The City is encouraged by the effort shown to rehab and secure the old Palouse Arms building with the expectation that current efforts continue. Curbs on W Whitman St will be finished shortly. Subcontractor for the project shaved the curbs last fall to meet ADA standards and was not able to complete them before the weather turned. Lawn in front of Kramer Funeral Home was also impacted by the W Whitman St construction and will be rehabbed as well. City’s annual report for 2017, due May 31st, will be submitted to State Auditor’s Office next week.

OLD BUSINESS:

MFA contract for facilitation of transfer process for Brownfields site: Maul Foster Alongi are the environmental engineers the City used to decontaminate the old Palouse Producers site on Main St. They have substantial experience navigating the tedious and sometimes difficult process of transferring ownership of a Brownfields site. This will be the final step for this multi-year project to integrate the site back into the community. The fee for their services is $7,500. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the contract for MFA’s services to facilitate the transfer of the Brownfields site. Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 970 – Budget amendment for construction of new roof of PW shop on Whitman St.: Funding for new roof provided by real estate excise tax fund (also known as Special Capital Projects Fund). Budget amendment allocates up to $30,000 for completion of this project. Councilmember Snyder MOVED to approve Ordinance 970 as presented. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried.

Resolution No. 2018-02 – additional retirement funding option for PD through Dept. of Retirement Systems: Washington State Department of Retirement Systems administers the PD’s LEOFF (Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters) 2 retirement program, which is a fixed contribution program. DRS also has a different Deferred Compensation Program available to eligible members, and contributions to this program are more flexible. Enrollment in this program will have no financial impact on the city. Public Works and Administrative staff are enrolled in a 457 account through Symetra that allows for contribution flexibility. Councilmember Stout MOVED to approve enrollment in program. Councilmember Sievers seconded and the motion carried.

Whitman Co. Humane Society contract renewal for years 2018-2021: Similar agreement that the City has had for several years with the Whitman County Humane Society for animal control and shelter services. Yearly dues will increase $25 per year beginning in 2019 through the end of the contract. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign contract. Councilmember Snyder seconded and the motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Still working to find lifeguards. We have 4 as of now. Still looking for lifeguard manager. If the city is not able to fully staff the pool, hours and possibly days will need to be reduced.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Sievers- The City was approached by the Palouse Chamber of Commerce earlier this year regarding placement of the planters along Main St. Chamber will fund planting and maintenance of planters. An arrangement has been made to move the planters closer to road and in unified fashion. Councilmember Sievers will work with PW Supt Griffin to relocate planters soon.

OPEN FORUM: Councilmember Sievers inquired about the possibility of having Cascades Computing (installing broadband fiber internet in Palouse and connecting to Port of Whitman fiber network) provide similar technology to the ambulance as has been provided to the police cars. City will discuss with Cascades Computing.

MAYOR’S REPORT: Mayor read a note thanking the city for providing draft minutes to residents of Palouse. Mayor reminded council and staff of the upcoming AWC small city connector in Palouse on May 29. Mayor attended Officer Reed’s (served with PPD from 1995-1997) funeral in Lewiston on Saturday.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 4/30/18 Ck. #9150-9168 & EFT $44,660.92

Claims Paid 5/08/18 Ck. #9169-9196 & EFT $38,294.65

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:58 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

April 24, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 24, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Absent: Councilmember Slinkard. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse his absence, Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 10, 2018. Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. New roof is looking good on Whitman St shop.

POLICE REPORT: UI/WSU bicycle race had 80+ riders. A few minor concerns with motorists but all ended up ok. Volunteers for the race were up from previous years.

First aid training for officers has been completed.

Officer Anderson and Reserve Officer Snead completed impaired driving/DUI training course.

AED’s (automated external defibrillators) have arrived for police vehicles. Special thanks to McGregor’s, Palouse Grain Growers and Palouse Chamber for donated funds to make this possible.

Sgt. Lee Reed of Mabton Police Dept passed away this morning. He served with the Palouse Police Dept from 1995-1997. Chief Neumann was grateful for his service to our community.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 1 fire, 8 EMS calls in March. Joe Handley has completed his national EMT certification. EMS unit will be participating in crop duster training in June, river rescue in July and will train at the grain growers site in May.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

1ST Q Treasurer’s Report – No concerns. PD incurred some extra expense with new officer hire but nothing that should require a budget amendment.

CA Dixon, Councilmembers Slinkard and Wekenman, wastewater engineers Varela & Associates met with land owner at city hall to discuss a site the city is looking into for potential development for wastewater treatment. Dixon submitted a grant application to Whitman County Commissioners to develop walking trail/green space on recently donated land between shady lane and Palouse River. BRATC (Blue Ribbon Advisory Task Committee), committee charged with providing recommendations to Commissioners regarding available funds, have recommended an award of roughly $32,000 for this project. Commissioners will announce final awards on May 7th. Dixon will organize a follow-up Brownfields committee meeting in May once contract with Maul Foster (environmental engineers) is finalized to provide ongoing consulting services through the completion of property transfer. Dixon will be at State Auditor workshop on Wednesday to finalize city’s 2017 annual report. Dixon and City Attorney Hanson discussed next steps the city will take if owner of Palouse Arms building does not comply with order to address concerns previously indicated by council.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H water-tower update: Final cultural report was completed by Plateau and submitted to DAHP. Remainder of process to finalize application to USDA will be completed upon finalization of de-obligation of area of cemetery. If city proceeds with project, water system update will be included.

NEW BUSINESS:

Proposal from Parametrix for annexation into Fisher’s Addition: Mayor Echanove outlined the annexation policies and procedures. Angela Taylor from Parametrix, representing the owner of the property, outlined their plan to annex and develop ten platted lots into Fisher’s Addition. Development outlined construction of 9 triplexes, or 27 units, to be zoned into R1 low density residential with a conditional use permit through the Board of Adjustment to allow for said triplexes. Angela took questions from council and the audience. Arguments in favor included increased tax base, boost for local business, affordable housing, among others. Arguments against included concern about population density given the surrounding neighborhood, increased traffic, city services, among others. Extended discussion ensued. Councilmember Stout MOVED to reject the preliminary proposal for annexation. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried. Councilmember Wekenman voted against.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Working on different strategies to hire lifeguards. Councilmember Cook is looking at avenues to incentivize applicants. Discussed bumping wages and reimbursements for lifeguard certifications. Councilmember Stout MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb to increase entry level lifeguard wage to $12.00/hr and provide $100 lifeguard certification reimbursement upon successful completion of summer lifeguarding season.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Stout- Councilmember Stout sits on Palouse Community Action Center board. He is impressed by how they operate and Palouse could benefit from some ideas they have about how we can provide smart growth to our city.

MAYOR’S REPORT: Mayor and CA Dixon attended a conference in Cle Elum to present success of Solar Farm.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 4/24/18 Ck. # 9133-9149 & EFT $13,573.64

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Stout seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

April 10, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

April 10, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook, Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Rick Wekenman. Councilmembers Snyder, Wilcomb and Stout absent. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse the absences of Councilmember Snyder, Wilcomb and Stout. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carries. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann & City Administrator Kyle Dixon.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 27, 2018. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. Preparing for work to replace cracked/crumbled sidewalk on west main street near the city park.

POLICE REPORT: All 3 internet signals in Garfield are up and running. Signals in Garfield are actually boosting signals in Palouse.

Had several reports of a vicious dog on 8th street. Dog was ordered removed from the city.

Recent hire Officer Anderson is doing great. Reserve Officer Snead’s last day will be Saturday, April 21 which is the weekend of the WSU/UI bicycle race in town.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT: CA Dixon and Councilmember Slinkard, along with our Wastewater engineers Varela & Associates, are meeting with a property owner tomorrow to discuss a potential land transaction that would allow the city to proceed with our preferred alternative for wastewater disposal.

Our recent interest in expanding our current solar array up at Well Pump 3 is on hold for now. Last week, Avista’s billing department handed down a ruling regarding how excess kWh production can be used by account holders with more than one meter. New rules state that excess kWh must be spread evenly over all meters on one account, which triggers a monthly minimum charge for each meter of $19.08. The city has 20 meters on its account. This equates to an extra $350 per month in minimum charges that Avista would charge the city. We are currently grandfathered in to their old system of billing and we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize our current agreement with Avista. If they ever reconsider their billing model, the city will look into expansion at that time. The solar farm provided the city a net savings of $3,120 in 2017 and is projected to save the city in excess of $150,000 over its lifespan as currently constructed.

Dixon is working with BI Gladwill and Atty Hanson on next steps regarding the Palouse Arms building. BI Gladwill gave the owner a deadline of April 4th to install fencing around the building and May 31st to show significant progress on rehabbing building. Follow up letter will be sent once drafted and update will be provided at next meeting.

The library and city are looking into replacing carpet and painting (library only) this summer and we will have quotes for council to review if we receive satisfactory numbers.

Dixon submitted a grant to construct a walking path off Shady Lane toward the river. This land was recently donated to the city. We will have an update on grant status at the next meeting.

The city received an annexation proposal last week. Owners of land to be annexed and their engineer will be invited to the next council meeting to discuss their plans.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Met last week to address issues of recruiting and retaining lifeguards. Discussed several different approaches to resolve this growing staffing problem.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Palouse Community Center is requesting permission from the city to install a handicap space and ramp in the parking lot of the community center, which is city-owned property. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to allow, Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

Mayor and Chief had meeting with Clear Risk (city’s insurance company) to discuss how to streamline operations between Mayor’s office and the Police Department.

Small city connector in Palouse is May 29. City council and staff are encouraged to register and attend.

WSU/Idaho bicycle race is April 21st in Palouse.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 3/31/18 Ck. #9079-9098 & EFT $46,931.02

Claims Paid 4/10/18 Ck. #9100-9132 & EFT $16,057.19

VOID: Ck. #9099

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 27, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 27, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout (7:10); Chris Cook (sworn in). Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Snyder’s absence. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Chief Neumann swore in new Officer Joel M. Anderson to the Palouse Police Department.

Councilmember Sievers MOVED to appoint Chris Cook to city council. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Echanove swore in Chris Cook to Palouse City Council position #1.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 13, 2018. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT:

New officer Anderson has begun training and Chief Neumann is very pleased so far.

Cascade Computing is going to get all three police vehicles set up for wi-fi, at no cost to city in exchange for setting up their equipment at City Hall.

PD personnel have been attending a number of trainings with more to come.

Chief Neumann wants to look into new hand-held radios for police dept.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Mark Wilcomb reported JFB finances look good.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

Leonard Koepke, owner of the former Palouse Arms building was sent a certified letter last week informing him of what has to be done on the dilapidated portion of building, by when, and consequences if not.

Tracts of land just south of Palouse River and north of Shady Lane are being deeded to the city with the hope that a riverside trail can be developed to enhance the city’s parks and trail system. Whitman County Commissioners are taking applications for grants and CT Dixon will submit a proposal to them by the end of the week.

CT Dixon met with Apollo about phase 2 of solar project, adding 25 kW to existing solar site. They’re preparing their grant applications and we should have more information sometime later this summer.

City sold the dump truck for $1,500.00

The possible second site for WWTP is no longer an option as the property sold. CT Dixon has set up a meeting with Varela and the owner of the land by Well Pump #3.

OLD BUSINESS:

Michelle Bly and Gwen Ellis of TD&H gave update on water tower: The cultural report from Plateau should be done any time and will then go to Rural Development to complete their environmental process so they can officially present a funding package to the city. Gwen explained the scientific reasons why a water tower is necessary over a concrete tower. Any storage area which is under existing water level is dead space and as a result won’t be contributing to the pressure in the system. If city decides to move forward with project they will do a more in-depth water evaluation. Discussion ensued.

Council decision on Palouse Builders preliminary proposal:

Palouse Planning Commission voted on March 7, 2018, to approve the preliminary proposal for the planned development. Neil O’Keefe, of Palouse Builders, LLC, and his realtor Connie Newman, answered questions for council. Lift station was evaluated by TD&H at Roy Druffel’s expense last fall. Results were 1) lift station was adequate as constructed and there are two pumps in it but no redundant pump; 2) TD&H recommends the purchase of a backup pump and retrofitting hour counters within the existing pump control panel. Can the current system handle all the existing development plus the 12 new lots being proposed? Answer was yes, and then some. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to approve preliminary proposal. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 969 changing Clerk-Treasurer job title & description:

Councilmember Wilcomb explained that current RCW definition of clerk-treasurer doesn’t outline what Kyle does. His role is more complex and more in line with the description of city administrator. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 969 as written. Councilmember Stout seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM:

Tyson & Elisha Palmer. Inquiring about solar panels being put up next to their property by Gary and Angie Cochrane. The Palmers plan on eventually developing their property and have an issue with those panels being put within the alley. Mayor explained that the city doesn’t own alleys; city just has right-of way. Alleys where city doesn’t exercise their right of way can be used by the property owner with the knowledge that if the city ever does need to use the alley, the property owner must remove any obstructions at their own expense. Three separate attorneys have verified this. Mr. Cochrane wants to put those solar panels behind his home on corner of alley, all in his half of the alley. Short of the city opening it, it’s a civil matter between Palmers and Cochranes. The Palmers are free to improve their half of the alley as they see fit.

Doug Wilcox spoke about Brownfields meeting. He suggested to council to remind ourselves of what Brownfields is about. Concept is a process that EPA and DOE have established for the cleanup of these environmentally-blighted sights and their eventual return to economic vitality in the community. There’s still one test well site that hasn’t cleared but Michael Stringer of MFA said its location will still allow for construction. MFA is currently researching whether or not the consent decree drawn up for the city can be transferrable to any potential developers for the site. This would be a big plus, as it would mitigate almost all liability for any future owners of the site.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

AWC Conference is June 27-29 in Yakima. Mayor encourages any councilmembers to attend.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Wekenman 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 3/27/18 Ck. #9065-9078 & EFT $5,681.05

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

March 13, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 13, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Slinkard to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Motion carries.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 27, 2018. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann made a conditional offer to officer candidate. Chief thinks he will be a great fit in Palouse. Official start day will be March 27th.

Busy day yesterday with several arrests in Garfield for warrants and license suspensions.

Cascades Computing has ordered equipment for wi-fi access in police vehicles.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT: BI Gladwill has drafted a letter, reviewed by Atty Hanson, to the owner of the old Palouse Arms building on Main Street addressing the city’s concern regarding its condition. To proceed with an abatement of dangerous buildings, Atty Hanson is requesting council approve funding for a litigation guarantee, which is roughly $500. A litigation guarantee protects the city against any lien holders of the property should the city order the building be demolished. Chief Neumann discussed an alternative of issuing citations for public nuisance in an attempt to rectify the situation. Councilmember Stout MOVED to allow Atty Hanson to proceed with a litigation guarantee for the Palouse Arms property, Councilmember Stout seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ord. 968 – Budget Amendment: This budget amendment accounts for revenues and expenditures for the West Whitman Street project, in the Arterial Streets fund, that were receipted in 2018 for work performed in 2017. Mayor Echanove read the Ordinance in full. Councilmember Stout MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, to approve Ordinance 968 as presented. Motion carried.

Review Planning Commission’s recommendation to approve preliminary proposal: The Planning Commission held a public hearing on Wednesday, March 7th, at City Hall to obtain comments from the public on a proposed 12-lot subdivision on the south end of town off Palouse Cove Rd. After the hearing and subsequent review, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval by city council of the preliminary proposal brought by Palouse Builders LLC. Their recommendation of approval is subject to staff report conditions. The city has sent the environmental checklist to the Dept of Ecology. After a 14-day comment period, the city will then vote on whether to approve, approve subject to conditions, or deny the proposal. This vote will take place at the next council meeting on March 27th. The Board of Adjustment also held a public hearing on March 7th to hear comments about a conditional use permit submitted by Palouse Builders LLC to allow duplexes and/or adult family homes on 4 lots in the proposed subdivision. The conditional use permit was approved.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

No reports

OPEN FORUM:

Caleb San Miguel read a report about an issue he had with Jerry Neumann regarding removal of a dangerous tree and street closure. He presented paperwork to council regarding the tree removal service used by Neumann. Neumann offered rebuttal. San Miguel would like the city to adopt an ordinance to address safe tree removal and he would also like to contract with the city for all tree/limb removal on city-owned property. This issue will be forwarded to the policy and administration committee for further review.

Doug Willcox submitted a written report to council indicating his concerns with the TDH water tower agreement. Mayor Echanove discussed the various reasons why the city is proceeding with this project. Council discussed. Topic will be further discussed at the next council meeting.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Councilmember Hanson submitted her resignation February 27, 2018. Mayor Echanove accepted her resignation and publicly thanked her for her service. A call for submittals of interest for the vacated position was emailed to list serve and is posted at Post Office and City Hall. Position is open until filled.

Mayor Echanove and CT Dixon will be attending a conference in April to speak to other local governments about our solar project.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 3/13/18 Ck. #9037-9064 $13,552.65

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

February 27, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 27, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Staff present: City Attorney Eric Hanson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 13, 2018. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT: Officer Snead has been working on evidence, clearing out Garfield evidence and housing it in one spot in Palouse. Nothing profound in Garfield evidence; 90% have been adjudicated and very old.

Part-time Officer Snead will be leaving end of April for a prior job commitment. We have a potential pt hire from Colfax to replace him until a third ft officer can be found. We have a ride-along this week with another potential hire for the third officer position. He’s a 17-year police veteran.

Garfield transition with new mayor has been good.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

Mark Wilcomb reported. There were 22 total fire calls in 2017. 1 fire call in January 2018.

Fire Chief Bagott and Asst. Fire Chief Beeson attended the County Fire Chiefs meeting. There was discussion about having a mutual aid agreement between the appropriate county agencies and the Spokane fire agencies which would ensure something was in place in the event of a catastrophic event. Palouse FD will discuss among themselves.

7 EMS calls in January. EMS unit is working on more combined training this year.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

We had a preliminary proposal submitted to City Hall for a planned development/major subdivision just south of the Palouse Cove Development. The proposal is in the hands of city building inspector and Palouse Planning Commission right now. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and then make their recommendation to council. Council then has 60 days to give applicants a response. Applicants then bring back a final proposal and council will then either approve, approve subject to conditions, or deny.

Time to surplus the old dump truck. Supt. Griffin can’t find any comp prices on a 1973 dump truck however he thinks the tires are worth a couple thousand. It requires a CDL to drive so there’s a limited buyer’s market. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to surplus the 1973 dump truck with a minimum bid of $1,500. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

There are five confirmed Brownfields committee members. First meeting will be mid-March and we’ll get some direction on proceeding. A call for RFP’s (request for proposals) will be next move. Discussion ensued on the process and setting parameters for how to choose.

Pearson Fence from Colfax will be returning to Palouse to give bid for fence repair along Whitman Street.

Site locations have been discussed for the new WWTF. One is perhaps purchasing land by city’s well pump. That site requires pumping uphill and crossing a river. The other site is perhaps purchasing land on the west side of town. That site is much better logistically but it’s in a floodplain. Cost will be a big factor as well.

CT Dixon spoke with WSDOT regarding the speed concerns at the entrances into and out of Palouse. WSDOT hasn’t forgotten about us. They did a speed survey on south entrance in 2016 and didn’t agree with city’s speed concerns but they are going to re-test this spring as well as a speed study at the east entrance. They’ll update us later.

Maul Foster & Alongi is coming this week to do another test at the Brownfields site.

We had talked about Palouse Arms Building and what course of action city can take to assure the owner makes that site less dangerous etc. Atty. Hanson said there is an “abatement of dangerous buildings” procedure to be followed. That will be sent out end of March by the building inspector. It gives notice and states why and reasons it’s dangerous and what improvements must be made by what date. There are a lot of things involved. City must get a litigation guarantee from title company. There are costs and it’s a process; it’s not an easy fix. City BI is the first step in the process. Owner can appeal. CT Dixon will work with BI to take care of this.

OLD BUSINESS:

Decision on Apollo solar/energy proposal: solar addition to existing solar array and LED improvements to public buildings. Supt. Griffin is confident in doing the LED upgrades himself at a fraction of the cost. But we need to let Apollo know our decision on the solar portion. The initial solar project (w/ Apollo) has exceeded expectations and this is a great opportunity to take advantage of additional grant funding (which would cover ~75% of total project cost) while it is still available. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to proceed with the solar portion of Apollo’s proposal. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Cascades Computing license agreement: They will house a rack of equipment inside city hall’s storage room, alongside First Step Internet’s. In turn, Cascades will make high speed internet service available to any other city location(s) as agreed upon by both parties. Specifically, the city would like to see the police department outfitted with mobile radio receivers to be able to access Wi-Fi in their patrol cars in Garfield and Palouse. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Sievers, to adopt the agreement as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Continued alley discussion. At question is appropriate or allowable use for improved/unimproved alleys and temporary vs permanent structure. The code doesn’t distinguish between the two but there are definitely distinctions. Some alleys have been forested land for 100 years and impossible to use for driving purposes. Adjacent property owners own the ground to the middle of the alley but city has legal right of way. City attorney stated that an unimproved or unused alley allows for adjacent property owners to use their half of the alley as long as it’s not permanent, with the knowledge that if the city needs to exercise their right of way, anything obstructing the alley must be removed at owner’s expense. But then defining “permanent” becomes muddied. Some argue that an alley is an alley. Much discussion ensued about code and defining code. If it’s a “thoroughfare,” or improved alley, owners cannot construct in the alley. Councilmember Stout MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson, that we don’t allow structure in alley based upon the confusion over whether it’s portable or permanent. Motion failed.

NEW BUSINESS:

Colfax policing agreement for outside employment agreement with Palouse: Chief Neumann has been working with Colfax Police Chief Rick McNannay on an employment agreement which would allow Colfax officers to work part time in Palouse if needed. Mayor Vanek from Colfax contacted Mayor Echanove and would like to see it perhaps be written as an interlocal agreement. Councilmember Wekenman tabled the discussion until next council meeting. Councilmember Stout seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson– Councilmember Hanson MOVED to go into executive session regarding personnel issues (9:45 pm-9:50 pm). Councilmember Stout seconded. Councilmembers Wekenman and Wilcomb voted no. Motion carried.

Personnel committee met to discuss various issues including pool staffing and police department pay and benefits. Councilmember Hanson submitted a written report.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Committee briefly discussed the land donation along the south side of the river and north side of Shady Lane. Land is currently being surveyed and CT Dixon will pass along any updates as he receives them.

At 10 pm Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to extend meeting until 10:10 pm. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman– Chief Neumann covered under his report what the committee met about. Committee will know more about potential hire after Friday’s meeting with potential hire and re-discuss at that time.

Councilmember Wekenman is concerned about supplying officers for the annual collegiate bike race that ends and begins in Palouse. If we don’t have our standard police force it could require overtime for our temporary 2-man department. Additionally, the city doesn’t have money to pay outside officer(s) to stand at the intersection to flag for a bike race. Councilmember Snyder has connections with WSU’s cadet program and will see if he can get some of them to work the race as volunteer hours.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor appointed Chuck Stemke to the Palouse Board of Adjustment. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snyder, to affirm the mayor’s appointment. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor appointed Renee San Miguel to the Palouse Planning Commission. Councilmember Stout MOVED to affirm the mayor’s appointment. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Sievers 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 Ck. #8985-9002 $12,099.00

Stop Pymt Adj. for Lost Check #8618, replaced by Ck. #8987 $ -7,500.00

Net claims paid $ 4,599.00

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 10:11 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

February 13, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 13, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson, to excuse Councilmember Slinkard’s absence. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 23, 2018. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

We are going to surplus our old dump-truck soon.

Bid opening for snowplow closes tomorrow. We will relist this fall when there’s snow if no qualifying bids are received.

POLICE REPORT:

PD addressed some nuisance yards on the north hill last week: they issued three notices for yard clean-up and all three took care of it over weekend. The PD will be working on the south side of city this week. It is forbidden by code to stockpile/accumulate garbage, appliances, furniture, etc. in yards.

We got new brakes on Journey #2. Summer tires are going on Journey #1 and brakes will be assessed at that time. Durango will need brakes and shocks as well.

City fence on Whitman & Beach Street was damaged from a single car DUI accident this weekend. City is getting an estimate to repair and will pass that on to the PD and prosecutor’s office.

Our last potential hire declined the open officer position. We are sustaining that position through reserve officer Snead, and soon reserve officer Merry, and reserve officer Corey out of Colfax. The personnel committee will be meeting to discuss options to attract an officer.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

CT Dixon reported if we could comfortably have reserve officers Merry and Corey on board, while still pursuing and eventually hiring a third full time officer, it would be financially beneficial to the city.

Apollo who was here last meeting wants an answer by end of February on the LED lighting and solar project proposals discussed at the last council meeting. CT Dixon supports expanding our solar generating capacity another 25 kW, to the maximum allowable 100kW. On the LED end, Supt. Griffin is looking into performing the upgrades himself and potentially saving the city significant costs vs partnering with outside contractor to perform work.

Atty. Hanson is doing some background on what the next steps will be if we don’t see significant improvement on the Palouse Arms Building. He is writing a supplemental letter for owner kind of restating the city’s demands to repair/demolish and the potential recourse if he doesn’t comply by May 31st deadline. He will be at next meeting to answer any questions.

CT Dixon will form the committee for Brownsfield site which will consist of a few members of original committee, a member from Planning Commission, council, etc. This Brownsfield development process has many steps; of course we want it developed, but there is still ongoing groundwater site testing required by DOE. Once the city is ready to surplus the site, we will advertise for a request for proposals.

No word from Ecology on official approval of wastewater permit extension, but should be any day now. If zero river discharge is necessary, we have to go somewhere with it which will most likely require significant property acquisition. Next step will be to start a discussion with the landowner adjacent to the proposed site. If he’s not interested in selling to city, we’ll have to go shopping elsewhere. Upon approval of our permit extension, we will have until April 2019 to deliver completed wastewater facility plan to DOE and until 2024 to have construction completed.

OLD BUSINESS:

Michelle Bly of TD&H gave an update on the water reservoir project. Plateau Archaeological Investigations did their cultural report as required by Rural Development thereby completing the application package. Atty. Hanson has started the 60-day clock on the de-obligation formality process on the land by cemetery. Discussed reservoir types and options. Reservoir will have a 300,000 gallon capacity. Dimensions were discussed but nothing has been finalized.

NEW BUSINESS:

Owner of Cascade Computing, Marcus Munn, was present to discuss their proposal of expanding fiber optic broadband internet to Palouse. They already have agreements with Rosalia, Oakesdale, and Garfield. Looking to put some equipment at City Hall so they can be another service provider of internet like First step. They’ve looked things over at City Hall and had an electrician come look at power service and they can make it happen. They use Port of Whitman County’s fiber optic line. First Step has equipment at City Hall as well. The trade-off for letting them put their equipment at high points in city (well site, fire station, etc.) and at City Hall is free internet to city hall, fire, police, school, & library. Discussion ensued as to what other services/arrangements Cascade can offer. Agreement is at attorney for review and should be ready at next meeting for review/approval.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS:

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- City needs a new roof on public works shop on Whitman St (old fire station). It’s leaking very bad and has soft spots. Supt. Griffin is pricing work. Repair would come out of special capital projects fund.

The city has been offered a strip of land along the south side of the Palouse River from F Street bridge to 90 feet from foot bridge, from river’s edge south to Shady Lane. In return, the owner asks that the city put in a kind of riverside trail allowing access to the river for relaxing, fishing, whatever. It is his belief that access to the river will enhance the community and the river. CT Dixon is preparing for grant opportunity with Whitman County in conjunction with the donation of this land.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- Committee is working on creating a process to reward and advance our city staff. Councilmember Wilcomb presented a staff organizational chart.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Palouse Caboose liquor license renewal. No objections.

There was a lengthy discussion on setbacks, in particular on alleys that aren’t used. Code has specific language on it but there seems to be some gray area. We will get clarification from our attorney before addressing this issue.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

January Payroll Paid: Ck. #8862, 8930-8946 & EFT $ 53,003.02

Claims Paid 2/13/18: Ck. #8929, 8947-8984 & EFT $141,369.45

VOID Ck. # 8948

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________

January 23, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

January 23, 2018

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson (until 8 pm); Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Stout, to excuse Councilmember Slinkard.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 9, 2018.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that our last potential hire (Flowers) didn’t work out.  The city expended $950 on his background check & testing, etc.  Each potential hire has to have these tests done so those subsequent fees put the policing services budget upside down.  We interviewed another potential hire (Kreig) yesterday (1/22/18).  He is state academy trained and a 7-year veteran but he’ll need some additional training.  His training is not reimbursable because it’s not CJTC criminal justice training commission sponsored.  If we hire him, it will be imperative to keep Officer Snead on while he was being trained.  This too will require additional funding so we need to determine where that will come from.  Chief will do as much as possible prior to expending any money on testing for new applicants.

The camera system for surveillance at the well-head/solar plant has been purchased.  Chief Neumann will install once the weather is a little warmer.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:  4th Q 2017 year-end report.  3 new homes in 4th Q, 8 YTD.  It has been an excellent year.

Regarding the Palouse Arms apartment.  BI Gladwill gave the owner a verbal deadline of May 31, 2018, to have the site cleaned up and made safe.  City council has asked CT Dixon to have our city attorney follow-up with a letter so we have something in writing that will outline what happens if he doesn’t comply by deadline.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:  Budget finished strong.  For 2017 there were 22 total fire calls.  EMS had 79 calls in 2017, down from 110 in 2016.  The current ambulance contract is split so that the city pays 70% and rural pays 30%, however Annie Pillers will watch the call data to determine if this cost split remains fairly distributed.  EMS & FD continue their trainings.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:  TD&H, Plateau, & Bishop are still working with us on decertifying the cemetery plot to proceed with our water system improvement project.

The public comment period for the Dept of Ecology’s new permit for Palouse River/WWTP ended on January 20th. We anticipate they will grant an extension to Palouse to submit a final facility plan by 4/1/19.

Closeout paperwork for the West Whitman project is almost complete.  All change orders and overages were approved.  The city has a new regional engineer at TIB who cautioned city council on approving change orders as they are not guaranteed to be reimbursable.

OLD BUSINESS:

Apollo Solutions presented council with their findings from their lighting audit and possible project proposals:  1) One project proposal is adding an additional 25kW to our existing 75kW solar farm.  Just like the first phase, this phase would have guaranteed minimum energy production; 2) Second project proposal is upgrading lighting at various city buildings to LED.  Benefits, costs, funding, available grants, etc. were outlined.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ratification of Whitman County Mutual Aid Agreement:  This document outlines the relationship between Palouse FD with other regional fire departments:  Albion, Colfax, Farmington, Garfield, LaCrosse, Malden, Oakesdale, Pullman, St. John, Tekoa, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, Tekoa Community Ambulance Assn., Volunteer Firemen Incorporated (Colfax), and Whitman County Hospital District No. 2.  The agreement is pretty straight forward; in an emergency, nearby departments can and will respond to give mutual aid at no cost.  The JFB has already approved this agreement.  County already ratified their end of it and now the city needs to ratify their side.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to ratify the Whitman County Mutual Aid Agreement.  Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman–  This committee and the Civil Service Commission interviewed the potential new officer 1/22/18.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb-  CT Dixon and DC Thompson will work with committee on staff organizational flow chart, job descriptions, etc.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

There were no objections to the Brewfest special liquor license.

Councilmembers Hanson, Sievers, Snyder, Wekenman, Wilcomb, and Stout attended a training from Clear Risk Solutions on their roles, procedures, minimizing liability, etc.  DC Thompson and CT Dixon were in attendance as well.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      12/31/17            Ck. #8905-8908                        $  5,823.29

Claims Paid      01/23/18            Ck. #8904, & 8909-8928             $19,432.81

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

December 12, 2017

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

December 12, 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; Bob Stout.  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 Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of November 28, 2017.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  The city was the high bidder on a dump truck in Grangeville for $10,500.  It’s a 1990 GMC with a snow blade and about 30,000 miles.

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann updated council on a few ongoing issues in Garfield and Palouse.

Regarding Glen Smith’s complaint about the North Bridget Street house blocking traffic and creating driving hazards, the PD made contact and as of now they’re in compliance.

Officer Snead has started filling-in for Officer Merry until his replacement is hired.  So far, no one has applied for the police officer opening.  We re-ran the ad in two papers last week and the job is also posted online, etc.  The city will keep trying.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

The city is working with Munir Daud, ML Albright, WSDOT and TIB on the final invoice for the West Whitman project and will be finalized by the first council meeting in January.  Due to change orders, our final budgeted amount has increased, but we anticipate TIB honoring those so not expecting any increases to city.  CT Dixon hasn’t heard back from Todd Neu at Avista as to when the street lights will be installed on West Whitman.  Avista keeps pushing the date back due to natural disasters in Texas, Florida and California, which take precedence regarding available resources.

Wastewater Treatment Facility ecology extension.  No updates from our permit manager Diana Washington as to the new timeline.  We proposed an extension to April 1, 2019.  From all indications they’re going to grant us that.

CT Dixon had a meeting with some developers who are interested in the Brownfields site.  Also in attendance were Councilmember Bob Stout and via conference call were our environmental engineer Mike Stringer of MFA and Mayor Echanove.  CT Dixon has arranged another meeting next week with same parties as well as Sandy Treccani of Ecology.  The city is anticipating in early 2018 to put out a call for proposals for that site.  Final approval will be through council.  There are many procedures to follow and steps to take to make this happen and our attorney will outline those.  Council needs to establish goals for that site.  Value isn’t just the sale price; how does it integrate back into the community?  Does it meet the goals of everyone who has given us money for this Brownfields site?

Ethernet for the solar panels at Well Pump 3 mysteriously went off-line at 3 am on Thanksgiving.  PCI Renewables investigated the problem and someone(s) has cut the line.  We still have money left over and perhaps we should put in a camera, conduit, and/or fencing.  In the meantime, CT Dixon bought a new cable and it’s back on-line.  It’s imperative that our well-head is protected.

Cascade Computing is interested in installing fiber optic to the city.  They will be submitting a proposal to the city soon.

Cemetery fund is pretty tight right now.  CT Dixon is in the process of figuring out how to access the interest from the cemetery endowment fund.

Owner of the Palouse Arms Apartment building has been given a deadline of May 31, 2018, to have the site cleaned up.  He is to show serious progress by then.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H update on water reservoir and Rural Development grant:  Michelle Bly of TD&H updated council.  The application has been deemed complete.  It’s at the state office.  The environmental document has been reviewed and tentatively approved however it can’t be fully approved which hinders the complete presentation of the funding package to the city.  RD is saying they now need an archaeological/cultural report completed.  The city has done one on previous projects; the most recent being done by Plateau. Michelle is waiting to hear back to see what Plateau would charge to update their prior report.  Once that’s done, she’s anticipating $1.5 million in loan; $1.1 million in grant; and $31,733 in applicant contribution.  The increase to pay for the loan is estimated in the $5/month rate increase to water but this is just a guesstimate.  Councilmember Stout MOVED to approve up to $5,000 for Plateau to update city’s existing cultural study to get this grant.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  Rural Development does 40-year loans but they allow early payoff of loans without penalty.

Renewal of interlocal agreement with Garfield for police services from Jan. 1, 2018 until Dec. 31, 2021:  Contract remains the same other than the compensation.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to approve the interlocal agreement with Garfield for police services as written.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 964 adopting 2018 budget:

Councilmember Hanson MOVED to suspend the reading of the ordinance.  Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 964 as written.  Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 965 redefining CT Dixon’s title and duties:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Ordinance outlines the duties of making CT Dixon the City Administrator in addition to Clerk-Treasurer.  CT Dixon does much more than the RCW and PMC definition of Clerk and Treasurer.  This ordinance gives CT Dixon a very distinctive job development track for the future.  Mayor Echanove outlined some of the many specific increased duties Kyle has taken on.  Much discussion ensued.  Some councilmembers questioned the necessity for redefining some of the roles, in particular supervisory.  No action taken.  It will be discussed by policy and admin committee in January 2018.

Ordinance No. 966 Kessler’s street vacation:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  This ordinance is the last step in the process.  Kessler has paid all the fees.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED, and Councilmember Slinkard seconded, to adopt Ordinance No. 966.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 967 amending funds in the Water System Reserve Fund:  This is to accommodate the second payment to AES for the telemetry of our city wells (total project cost $14,600).  This appropriates another $5,000 to Water System Reserve to cover the overage.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to approve Ordinance No. 967 as presented. Councilmember Hanson seconded.  Telemetry is the communication between the reservoir and the two wells:  it measures levels and tells pumps when to turn on and off.  And there are alarms if there is a failure, etc.  The city’s previous telemetry equipment was obsolete. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman–  met briefly to discuss ongoing stuff including a complaint received against Officer Handley in October concerning alleged harassment.  After speaking with the officers and learning of the complainant, the complaint was deemed to be unfounded by the committee.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Swearing in of new council members for service beginning Jan. 1, 2018:  Mayor Echanove swore in Tim Sievers to Council Position #3; John Snyder to Council Position #4; Bob Stout to Council Position #7.  All are 4-year terms.  Mayor Echanove also reappointed Bill Slinkard into Council Position #2 which is a 2-year term.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to affirm the Mayor’s reappointment of Bill Slinkard.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  Mayor reappointed Councilmember Hanson into Council Position #1.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, Councilmember Estes seconded, to ratify the reappointment of Doreen Hanson to council.  Motion carried unanimously.

Brownfield Redevelopment will be on the 2018 agenda.  We will request attorney’s presence.

Debbie Mitzimberg resigned from the Board of Adjustment.  There is now one vacancy to fill.

Mayor appointed Jim Fielder to Planning Commission to replace outgoing Tim Sievers:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, to ratify the mayor’s appointment of Jim Fielder to the Planning Commission.

Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hicks, to cancel the December 26th council meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.  The next council meeting will be January 9th, 2018.

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      11/30/17            Ck. #8732, 8769-8795 & EFT     $  52,766.81

Claims Paid      11/29/17            Ck. #8796-8806                        $    1,622.15

Claims Paid      12/12/17            Ck. 8807-8840 & EFT                $179,157.49

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

November 14, 2017

Palouse City Council

PUBLIC HEARING:  Petition for street vacation

PUBLIC HEARING:  2018 Preliminary Budget

Followed by Regular Council Meeting

November 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 Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Hanson’s absence.  Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Merry; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

PUBLIC HEARING:  Petition by Greg and Marcia Kessler to vacate portions of B and 7th Street in Breeding’s Addition–  Public present for the Public Hearing:  Petitioners Greg & Marcia Kessler, Dennis Griner.  Mayor opened the hearing at 7:02 pm.  All the Street Vacation Procedures and Policy have been followed, proper paperwork filed, and application fee paid.  Q&A.  The city will maintain an easement for the property.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to approve the Kessler’s petition to vacate a portion of 7th & B Street in Breeding’s Addition as in application packet.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:20 pm.

PUBLIC HEARING:  2018 Preliminary Budget–  Mayor opened the public hearing at 7:21 pm.  No public comments.  Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:22 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 10, 2017.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.  Councilmember Hicks had an end-of-year meeting with Supt. Griffin. Our dump truck is in dire need of replacement and Supt. Griffin is looking for a used one.  The city has money set aside for purchase in 2018.

POLICE REPORT: 

Haunted Palouse went well, no real problems.  We had three extra officers helping both weekends.

Snow tires we had had in storage were remounted and put on two patrol cars.

Officer Merry’s last day is November 30th.

There will be a new Garfield mayor beginning January so many current issues are kind of on hold including the police contract with Garfield.  Chief Neumann will keep Palouse informed.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

CT Dixon met with Apollo today who did a lighting audit on all city buildings.  They will come back with recommendations for reducing energy thus our costs later on this year or early next year.

West Whitman Street update:  CT Dixon spoke with contractor M.L. Albright and their sub Curtis Concrete said curbs will be done by end of this week.  Avista says lights needed are backordered for months due to both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, as replacing infrastructure in those areas takes precedence.  Avista is hoping to have lights installed in December.

2018 wage/budget discussion:  The finance committee (Stout, Wekenman, Slinkard) met a few times to discuss 2018 budget and wages.  As per Councilmember Stout, their stance is that it’s important to take care of city employees to help ensure retention and long-term service.  Police work isn’t glamorous and because of the low starting pay, no one is applying for our open police officer position.  We need a solid three-man force to keep up with our two cities.  Committee advocates for the employee-proposed wages.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the employee raises as such: 2018:  Griffin 8%; Myott 10%; Dixon 15%; Thompson 8%; Neumann 12%; Handley 15%; New officer 6%.  2019 & 2020:  2.5% COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) for all, with the understanding that 2018 is the only year locked in; COLA for 2019, 2020 may be more or less.  Councilmember Stout seconded the motion.  Budget projections look good.  Budget is healthy, new houses going in, higher tax base, etc. and committee thinks we can maintain this rate of pay.  Mayor Echanove is completely against this proposal and doesn’t think it’s sustainable budget-wise nor prudent.  Mayor wants a 5%, 3%, 3% across the board.  Councilmember Stout said those numbers don’t really apply because 3,3 is just COLA, just keeping up, it’s not a merit raise.  Much discussion ensued.  Councilmember Wilcomb thinks we should pay our people well and tighten our belts elsewhere.  Councilmembers Wekenman, Stout, and Slinkard voted yes.  Councilmembers Wilcomb, Estes, and Hicks voted no.  Tie vote so Mayor breaks tie and voted no.   Discussion continued in depth.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to propose for 2018:  8% across the board, with the following exceptions:  new police officer hire 6% to $44,000, CT Dixon 11% to $46,000, Officer Handley 8% plus an additional 5% upon promotion to Officer-in-charge (replacing Officer Merry upon his retirement).  2019:  subject to available funding, 5% for all.  2020:  subject to funding, 3% to all.  Councilmember Hicks seconded.  Councilmembers Slinkard, Hicks, Estes, and Wilcomb voted yes.  Councilmembers Stout and Wekenman voted nay.  Motion carried.

At 10 pm Councilmember Hicks MOVED to extend council for 30 minutes.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS:

Update from Varela & Associates and Dept. of Ecology regarding facility plan for WWTP:  Dana Cowger from Varela & Associates gave a very detailed update on the DOE’s information regarding the WWTP.  DOE has significantly tempered their position on discharging into the river from their August 2017 stance.  DOE is wrestling with their own internal questions on water quality standards.  Now DOE is leaving the decision in the city’s hands.  They suggested city complete facility plan with inclusion of toxics discussion.  City needs to now decide how to proceed with the Wastewater Facility Plan. DOE received the city’s 16-month extension request but has not replied yet given DOE’s change in their standards and stance:  does the city wish to instead proceed with our original plan submittal, change plan or still want the extension?  When DOE policy is so vague it’s difficult for city to know how to proceed; we don’t want to waste time and money when DOE doesn’t know exactly what it is they want and their standards can’t be met.  Treatment options were discussed.  Much discussion and Q & A ensued.  City will resubmit an extension request with modifications to our original letter, specifically that we aren’t going whole-hog on no discharge into the river.  City wants to stay the course, get our extension, and refine where we want to go, how we will pay for it, etc.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Mayor Echanove to sign new letter of extension to the DOE for our WWTP.  Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Update on funding applications for water tower and water system improvements–  CT Dixon spoke with Michelle Bly of TD&H.  Rural Development isn’t going to have an answer on our funding package on our water reservoir for another month.  DOH application is due at the end of November and we won’t know Rural Development’s answer by then.  DOH app can be submitted at no additional cost.  With council approval we’d like to start working on the DOH application independent of the Rural Development application.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, authorizing TD&H to proceed with DOH funding application and for the mayor to sign any required documents relating to its submittal.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2017-12: Updating city fee schedule:  There are two changes to the fee schedule to take effect January 1, 2018:  The RV Park rate will increase to $30/night from $25.  Potlatch & Moscow RV Parks charge $30/night, Boyer charges $45/night, and Pullman charges $25/night.  The second change is a fee increase to building permits.  The city is still using 2002 valuations and fees so the city is long overdue for increasing fees.  We will still be under Whitman County’s 2014 rates and the International Building Code’s 2017 rates.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt Resolution 2017-12 as written.  Councilmember Estes seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor read aloud a thank you note from Marc Arrasmith thanking all of us for the retirement gifts and party.

Mayor read aloud a thank you note from Janet Barstow thanking city staff for all their work during Haunted Palouse.

Mayor received two letters of interest for the vacancy on the Palouse Planning Commission:  Tim Doebler and Jim Fielder.  Both men are excellent candidates.  Mayor has selected Tim Doebler to fill the current vacancy.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Slinkard, to ratify the mayor’s appointment of Tim Doebler to the Planning Commission.  Motion carried unanimously.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Hicks 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      10/24/17            Ck. #8675-8711 & EFT                          $ 19,566.35

Payroll Paid      10/31/17            Ck. #8643, & 8712-8728 & EFT              $ 44,358.50

Claims Paid      11/14/17            Ck. #8730-8768 & EFT                          $129,698.30

VOID:                                       Ck. 8729

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Estes MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 10:18 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

October 10, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

October 10, 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; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 26, 2017.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

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

 

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann got commitments from three reserve officers to work Haunted Palouse in addition to the 3-man Palouse PD.

Garfield approved the 3% increase to PD contract for 2019-2021. It is a 4-year contract with no increase for 2018.

 

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:

BI Gladwill is anticipating a couple more houses to be constructed in Palouse still this year.

Regarding the dilapidated portion of the Palouse Arms building, Dan will ask him to barricade it for Haunted Palouse.  Councilmember Wekenman wants a deadline given to the owner to complete the project. Council sentiment is they want to see noticeable clean-up/progress by the end of May. Dan will discuss with owner. Owner does have a permit; he’s just making slow progress.

 

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

Tax revenues look good, 85-90% of budgeted revenue to date for most. Property taxes collected are a little behind but the city always gets two big payments prior to the end of the year. Things are financially sound, no red flags.

Munir Daud is still working to get ML Albright (and subs) to complete the last 5% of West Whitman Street:  a concrete curb cutout, ADA-conforming curbs, and traffic signs.  And Avista still needs to install the street lights which they are projecting to be done by end of October.

 

CT Dixon is still working on Rural Development app with TD&H for water tower on south hill in Palouse. No update yet.

 

CT Dixon reached out to two other companies in an attempt to get additional bids for the well telemetry.  One was out of Boise and that’s not viable to work remotely.  The other was Inland NW ATS out of Spokane, and they partner with AES (who we received the first quote from). Most companies that perform this service have staff who provide telemetry in conjunction with much larger projects and are not necessarily interested in taking on a project of our size.  So the city is going to go with AES’s bid for $14,200 + tax.

 

Varela & DOE update:  Spokane’s Mayor David Condon flew to DC to meet with the EPA to discuss the same problem facing Palouse right now with wastewater effluent regulations.  EPA ignored Washington State Dept of Ecology’s recommendation of allowing 170 pcb’s and instead lowered it to 7 parts per quadrillion.  Mayor Condon wanted to discuss the merits of EPA’s decision given that they are forcing a regulation that is not measurable with current technology. This decision will have a big effect on large and small cities alike, driving up sewer rates substantially to upgrade and reconstruct wastewater treatment facilities to meet these unattainable regulations, or explore other, very costly alternatives.

 

Michael and Kyle will be at IACC infrastructure funding conference in Wenatchee October 24-26.

 

Annie Pillers would like council thoughts and approval regarding an informational mailer for the upcoming EMS levy. No objections. City will distribute a mailer to the voters to inform them of the upcoming levy.

 

CT Dixon met with Apollo today about other possible projects for the city that could potentially save money like the solar project is doing for the well pump.

 

City received our first marijuana excise tax revenue of approximately $125.

 

Ongoing wage discussion.  Council was presented with a variety of spreadsheets outlining various wage increases and the effects on budget including Mayor’s proposal and various employee proposals.  Also included was a 10-year employee wage history.  Council is to study and bring their recommendations to CT Dixon.


 

NEW BUSINESS:

Kevin Gardes (and others) of Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee (PBAC) to discuss water supply alternative study:  Palouse’s water system is part of the basin.  We pump less water now than in 1992 even though population has increased by 25%.  But aquifer is still declining at about .6 feet a year.  Much discussion ensued.  PBAC looks at solutions to the water situation and through years of research they have whittled it down to four promising options all of which can be found and studied on their website.  They encourage public participation and welcome them to their meetings.

 

Resolution No. 2017-10 adding Mike Wolf to salary schedule:  This just adds new employee Mike Wolf to the salary schedule.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman to adopt Resolution No. 2017-10.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Resolution No. 2017-11 setting the date for street vacation public hearing:  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson to approve Resolution No. 2017-11 setting a date for a street vacation public hearing.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

No reports.

 

OPEN FORUM:

Palouse residents Nancy & Nick Whitesell are very concerned with the property condition of two of their abutting property owners.  They submitted numerous photos of the two properties showing various issues such as overgrown weeds, disrepair, concerning electric pole, property encroachment, etc.  They haven’t been able to sell their house and believe it is because of these properties.  They offered to clean up one of the properties at their own expense and labor to no avail.  BI Gladwill suggested contacting L&I regarding the electrical pole issue because if it’s a safety hazard L&I will intervene.  Some of the other issues are enforceable by code and council instructed Chief Neumann to  contact both owners.

 

MAYOR’S REPORT:

We have not yet received the deadline extension from DOE to submit our wastewater discharge plan.  If they don’t answer us and our deadline passes, what happens?  Mayor will ask Diana Washington, our North Fork Palouse River NPDES permit manager at DOE.  The city is holding off paying the latest Varela bill pending their response to that big EPA oversight. Council wants Varela present at council to answer questions and make this right.

 

Nicole Flansburg has resigned her seat on the Palouse Planning Commission.  We are sorry to see her go.  We now have two vacancies on the PC to fill.

 

Mayor and CT Dixon are attending the IACC conference Oct. 24-26.

 

Liquor license renewal for Bank Left Bistro.  No objections.

 

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

 

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      9/30/17             Ck. #8624-8641, 8643 & EFT                 $48,450.48

Claims Paid      10/10/17            Ck. #8642, 8644-8674 & EFT                 $30,154.18

VOID:               Ck. Nos. 8619-8623

 

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

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 12, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
September 12, 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.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse councilmembers Wilcomb & Stout.  Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion passed 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 Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 22, 2017.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Pool is being prepped for new paint.

POLICE REPORT: 

We’re actively seeking Officer Merry’s replacement for when he retires later this year.  With advertising, we received only one candidate who ended up not being qualified.  Chief Neumann thinks the lack of applicants is directly related to pay.  Chief used the AWC wage study to make his point that Palouse pays less than comparable-sized cities.  Chief Neumann has requested wage increases as follows:  Chief: $60k, Officer in charge: $55k, and 3rd officer: $50k.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

The city’s current health insurance policy expires end of this year so we’re looking at the different policies AWC is offering.  Currently, employee’s medical and dental is $654/month for each employee.  The closest policy we’re being offered is $581/month with less coverage.  The good part is we have flexibility; not every employee has to choose the same plan.  The new premiums run from $446-$762 depending on plan.  To have no effect on the city budget for insurance premiums, CT Dixon is suggesting that the city still pay the $654/month and if an employee chooses the $446 plan, the difference gets put into the employee’s VEBA account.  If an employee chooses a higher than $654 plan, the employee pays the difference.  To be discussed further at a later council meeting.

West Whitman is wrapping up.  They were painting crosswalks today.  Street lights and signs will be installed very soon.

CT Dixon completed a renewable energy cost recovery certification form with Avista that will reimburse the city up to $5,000 every year as an incentive for installing solar panels.  The city received a $5,000 check just today.  In addition to electric savings for well pump #3, the city will cash out banked kwh hours later this year that will further reduce the city’s energy costs.

The city received another inquiry over the safety of the old Palouse Arms building.  CT Dixon will contact our building inspector tomorrow to discuss a strict plan with a hard date for the owner.

OLD BUSINESS:

Update on Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrade:  Mayor Echanove, CT Dixon, and our engineers took the following two ideas to a meeting with the Department of Ecology (DOE) and our DOE manager Diana Washington:  1, Build enough lagoons to store it and land discharge or, 2, store it then seasonal discharge when flow rates are higher.  Our discharge permit, issued by DOE, is a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) that allows the city access to the Palouse River given that we follow regulations implemented by DOE.  Diana Washington stated that the EPA (federal agency that oversees state DOE) has changed the rules with regards to certain pollutants and that in two years they will change our discharge permit so we cannot discharge into river under any circumstances.  Any plans for river discharge are no longer viable, which has negated most of the last year of facilities planning with our engineers.  If the city sends a letter explaining why we cannot now meet the December 2017 deadline, Diana Washington will extend the deadline.  We can continue to look into city land near the solar project or downriver which will require land acquisition.  Next step is to meet with Varela to salvage what we can from the planning that has been completed and to attempt to move forward with other alternatives for proper disposal.  If we play by the rules and do what we’re supposed to do we could potentially extend the back end up to 5 years if we need to.  EPA made this change in Nov. 2016 and Varela admitted they should have been aware.  We will continue to work with Varela and the city’s wastewater advisory committee toward a viable solution.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Potential installation of Inland Cellular new cell tower:  Brian Woods of Inland Cellular (IC) was present.   IC would like to install a radio tower in Palouse on city property behind the old brick water reservoir on the north hill.  They would pay between $200-$400/month for that right.  Because it’s city property, he would need the council’s permission to use that ground.  Even if council lets him use that ground, IC would still have to apply for a conditional use permit through the Palouse Board of Adjustment.  They are the ones who give or deny permission for a permanent tower.  Palouse has a cell tower policy in our zoning code.  A temporary tower would be approximately  60’, the permanent tower would be approximately 200’.

DOH has regulations about the footprint of building around a water reservoir that will have to be investigated prior to allowing IC to apply to BOA.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow IC to apply to the BOA for a conditional use for a tower on the city-owned property at I Street Reservoir pending DOH approval.  Councilmember Hanson seconded.  Councilmember Wekenman asked if IC has approached any nearby landowners in the county, just outside the city limits.  IC already has a tower on Kamiak Butte.  Needs to be close to town to improve IC’s network.  Motion carried with one nay vote from Councilmember Wekenman.

OPEN FORUM:

Bruce Beeson wants the city to ensure the approach to his shed (boat storage) on west Whitman Street has a larger cutout put in.  During the Whitman Street project, a 6” curb was installed so he couldn’t access it.  He and CT Dixon then staked out where the cutout should go.  Engineer then went out and rectified it as he felt proper, stopping it at Bruce’s property line.  Bruce is unsatisfied with the cutout as it’s not wide enough.  Engineer stopped curb cut at Bruce’s property line because he doesn’t own it west of that.  Marty Anderson owns property to west and he stores stuff in a nearby shed as well.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to address the curb issue and make it right by the property owners’ standards.  Councilmember Estes seconded.  CT Dixon thinks there’s money left in project budget to fix it.  If approved it’s mandatory that both owners are present to discuss what is needed.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman–  Will meet with PD shortly to discuss wage and salary requirements for next year.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Hicks 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      8/31/17 Ck. #8538-8563 & EFT              $46,700.26

Claims Paid      9/12/17 Ck. #8564-8600 & EFT              $37,280.92

 

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:56 PM.

 

 

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

September 26, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.
Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
September 26, 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; Bob Stout.  Councilmembers absent:  Senja Estes, Rick Wekenman, & Mark Wilcomb.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to excuse their absences.                 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 Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 12, 2017.  Councilmember Stout seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

We need to upgrade/update our well telemetry.  The well telemetry is the radio communications between the two wells and the reservoir and tells the pumps when to run and when to shut down.  It’s been having all kinds of issues for years.  Just last week water was running down the street because the telemetry isn’t working properly.  Just within the past couple weeks both wells have pumped over 30,000 of wasted gallons due to bad telemetry.  The system is so old it still runs on DOS.  Automatic Electrical Systems (AES) out of Rathdrum, ID submitted a bid of $14,200 to upgrade the system.  We will be able to monitor things via screen vs. having to climb up and in every time.  The money will come out of the water fund and/or water system reserve fund.  We’re open to more bids if someone can find a company willing to come to the east side of the state.  Besides saving water, it will save a ton of wear and tear on our pumps.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept A.E.S. bid of $14,200.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to table the motion for two weeks so staff can try and obtain more bids and have the bids itemized.  Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Fixed a water leak by Grain Growers today.

The City received approximately 10 applications for Marc Arrasmith’s position. We interviewed four people and hired Palouse resident Mike Wolf.  He began full-time Sept. 25.

The pool will most likely be painted next spring. Public Works has too many other projects of higher priority right now.   Don has spent a lot of time pressure washing and prepping the pool to be painted.

POLICE REPORT: 

Began cleaning out the basement.  Donated to a non-profit approximately 30 bicycles collected over the last 8 or so years.

Met with Garfield council regarding the Garfield policing contract.  Garfield wants the next contract be a four-year commitment from Palouse.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Chief Neumann to present proposed interlocal police agreement to Garfield with no increase to Garfield in 2018, and 3% COLA increase for years 2019, 2020, and 2021.   Councilmember Hanson seconded.  There is a 6-month termination clause written in to the contract for either side.  Motion carried unanimously.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: 

JFB’s revenue from current expense has stayed flat over last five years.  They’re looking at about a $5,000 increase in their yearly operations budget for 2018.  CT Dixon has no objections.

New radio tower is working out great.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

West Whitman project still needs street lights installed, curbs matching ADA standards, the Beeson/Anderson curb cut, painting for RR, and a few other things that subcontractors are dragging their feet on.  CT Dixon gets cc’d on all of the emails between MDA and subs and Munir Daud is doing his due diligence in getting the subs on this.

TD&H has completed the application to Rural Development for a funding package for water system updates and a new water tower on the south hill in Palouse.  The State Dept. of Healthy Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is a potential back-up funding plan should Rural Development’s funding package not meet the City’s expectations.  Michelle Bly of TD&H is working on that app as well.  She will follow up with us when she hears back from Rural Development.

We have an invoice from Apollo for $39,000 which is once again well below the remaining funds the City is required to spend to satisfy the loan terms set forth by the State Treasury for the City’s Solar Farm. CT Dixon will have an updated total after Kirsten Wilson of DES signs off on change order and possible next steps the City will take should further spend down be required.

2018 Budget Discussions –   

CT Dixon presented a 5-year cash flow spreadsheet.

RV Park has sat at $25/night since it opened.  RV Park has taken off.  CT Dixon proposes increasing it to $30/night.  That modest $5 increase won’t dissuade RV guests but will generate approximately $5,000 in unencumbered revenue directly to our general fund.

Chief discussed the replacement of the 2007 Durango police vehicle.  There should be about $24,000 in police car reserve fund next year.  The Durango has approximately 80,000 miles.  He thinks he can get between $2,000-$3,000 for it.  We’d look for another slightly used vehicle.  He has been looking at replacing it with a pick-up similar to the Spokane Tribe’s new fleet of F150’s.

Public Works needs a new dump truck.  The current dump truck is a 1973 bought used.  It has over 200,000 miles on it.  Supt. Griffin thinks $20,000 should cover it.  That purchase would be split among four funds: water, sewer, streets, cemetery. Supt Griffin would like to purchase a truck that would not require a CDL to operate.  The dump truck is used primarily for gravel, dirt, snow, and street projects.

City Hall services expenditures will be bumped approximately $2,500.  The library is getting new carpet and paint so the city will get quote for new carpet in here at same time.  This carpet was installed in 1997.

2018 wage discussions:  CT Dixon requested a salary increase to $48,000 from $42,000.  That pencils out to a 14% increase.  Mayor:  Sustainability is very important.  Mayor Echanove proposes a 5% increase to all employees with the exception of CT Dixon, Officer Handley, & new hire Mike Wolf. Officer Handley will assume Officer Merry’s salary upon his retirement, plus the 5% increase, which pencils out to $50,300; CT Dixon increase to $45,600, PWA Wolf increase to $40,320.  Much discussion ensued.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hicks, to put together a position description change to City Administrator for CT Dixon.  Motion carried unanimously.  CT Dixon will put together a salary spreadsheet outlining wage history of all staff.  He will also bring a preliminary budget to next meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 959 – amending 13.20.090 & .095 regarding water delinquency notice –  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hicks, to suspend the rules of reading of the ordinance in its entirety.  Motion carried unanimously.  This is just housekeeping which changes the wording from “On or about the tenth day following the date of delinquency…” to “On or about 15 days after the date of delinquency…”.  It also removes a portion requiring the city hang shut-off notices on doors.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Stout, to adopt Ordinance No. 959 as written.

Ordinance No. 960 – Budget Amendment for 308 Fire Equipment Reserve and 311 Police Car and Equipment:

Housekeeping.  Sold old firetruck to Farmington for $15,000.  Half of that goes to Whitman County Rural FD #4.  As a result, we have to adjust the Fire Equipment Reserve Fund to reflect that.  And Police Car & Equipment housekeeping to account for the $1,400 grant received by Officer Handley for radar equipment purchased earlier this year.  Nothing being appropriated.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to approve Ordinance No. 960 as written.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson-  DC Thompson has requested a meeting with the pool committee.  Doreen will schedule one.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

The Mayor is sending a letter to the DOE requesting an extension to the Wastewater Facility Plan deadline of 12/1/17 currently included in the city’s NPDES Permit, to a revised deadline of 4/1/19.  Mayor read aloud the letter in its entirety.  This request is resulting from the 8/23/17 meeting between DOE, city engineers Varela & Associates, and Mayor Echanove, CT Dixon, and Tony Wright.  In this meeting DOE provided new information to the city regarding polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  New PCB requirements will impact the city’s future discharges requiring the city to eliminate its river discharge, year-round.  Since that meeting Palouse has been considering the impact of this news and trying to decide our new path.  After considerable deliberation, we have concluded we will change direction and pursue only alternatives that will eliminate discharge to the river year-round.  Therefore, we are requesting this deadline for submission of a Wastewater Facility Plan.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the letter to DOE.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Council members strongly feel Varela & Associates dropped the ball on this; they should have been aware of this EPA change from 2016 because they are paid to know these things.  The city has spent two years and a lot of money on this project based on Varela’s guidance.  Councilmember Slinkard pointed out that Varela admitted this was their oversight and we fully expect they will come forward and make the proper financial adjustments.

Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Deputy Clerk Thompson to purchase ten picnic tables for the RV Park; one for each site.  Councilmember Stout seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

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:

Claims Paid      9/26/17 Ck. #8601-8618 & EFT              $49,815.75

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:33 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 22, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.
Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
August 22, 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; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; City Attorney Eric Hanson; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon.  Council members absent, Doreen Hanson, Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse the absences of Councilmembers Hanson and Wekenman. Councilmember Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Stout arrived at 7:20.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 25, 2017.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. No quorum at Aug. 8, 2017 council meeting.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT: Typical harvest traffic complaints. No major violations. Moving trailer caused minor damage to fresh work on West Whitman St.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: We have held a flat budget as long as possible, but critical items need attention.  On the First Aid side, beginning January 2019, additional training will increase costs. Biggest new expense for EMS is that Washington just recently authorized CPAP machine in for airflow emergencies.  Need to add that equipment.  Will get pricing soon.  They are fairly expensive. Another continuing expense will be training.  State-mandated training and procedures have changed and will be more expensive even with online courses.  Likely $3K to $4K more for EMT training, and $5K for additional fire crew training.

Fire Chief Report – 1 call July, 10 YTD vs. 22 this time last year.  City has 1 call, 6 rural  (all car wrecks) some mutual aid.  2 meetings so far this month. First was training on new truck.  Second was training at the park on loading and transporting water.  Bigger news is that Bruce Beeson and Mark Arrasmith both retiring in October.  This will impact our weekday daytime availability of personnel.  Chief will be working soon on a plan to address.

EMS Report – Far fewer calls than last year.  Most call recently were auto accidents. Will be needing new equipment to remain eligible to teach AED and CPR classes.  More specialized mannequins will be required. Radio tower construction behind the Public Safety Building will begin soon and be finished before winter.

New pumper tender arrived three weeks ago.  Solid vehicle overall, just need to resolve some electrical issues.  Farmington wants to buy the old truck ASAP.  We need to pay the tax and license for the truck ($7230.75) which is $3615.38 each for City and Rural.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT: The West Whitman Street project is substantially completed. Project Engineer Munir Daud believes work will be completed by early next week. Marc Arrasmith’s final day with the City’s Public Works crew will be Wednesday, October 4th. Marc’s worth to the city cannot be measured and City staff and council will be sad to see him go, but wish him a very happy retirement. The search for his replacement will begin this week as the City will post a job announcement in local papers and online job sites. Anyone who is interested in this position is encouraged to contact CT Dixon at city hall and a job description and application packet will be provided upon request. Supt Griffin is pricing paint for the pool and will work this job into his schedule later this fall. CT Dixon has started preparation for the City’s 2018 annual budget process, which will be a regular topic at council meetings going forward.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering – final draft review of preliminary engineering report prior to application submission to Rural Development:

TD&H needs authorization from council to submit preliminary engineering report to Rural Development. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to authorize TD&H to proceed with submitting PER to Rural Development. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Mayor seeks authorization from council to sign required environmental checklist relating to project. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to allow Mayor to sign. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Rural Development’s website will have other forms for the City to sign to complete application process.

Varela & Associates – Wastewater treatment facility update:

Recapped Wastewater Advisory Committee meeting held at the community center on August 15th. Varela proposed 3 plans that will satisfy mandate by the Department of Ecology to find alternative for effluent disposal. Dana Cowger of Varela discussed all 3 in detail with council. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, Councilmember Slinkard seconded to authorize Varela to proceed with alternative #2 in planning phase of project. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Echanove, CT Dixon and Varela will meet with representatives from the Department of Ecology on Wednesday, August 23rd in Spokane to discuss progress made in planning phase and next steps to take to ensure compliance.

NEW BUSINESS:

Apollo solutions group – Discussing potential energy conservation projects

New biennium has been recently released that may help fund additional energy projects. Exact figures are not known yet but if grant dollars are available they would like to collect some further data at no cost to the city to find out what additional projects may be feasible. Councilmember Estes MOVED to allow Apollo to investigate cost savings opportunities. Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson- No Report.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard- Discussed the tabling of McKinstry’s data and water collection proposal. To be discussed at a time that is better for the City.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- No Report.

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

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

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- No Report.

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

OPEN FORUM:

MAYOR’S REPORT:  The Mayor brought up that contractor Ken Renstrom wanted to ask permission from council to work in the city right of way for utility upgrades at the last council meeting. Since council did not have quorum at the last meeting, the Mayor asked that council make a decision regarding his request. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to allow Ken Renstrom to work in the city right of way to upgrade utilities, Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Lions Club liquor license is up for renewal. No objections.

RV Park continues to excel. YTD revenues have topped $20,000.

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      7/31/17 Ck. #8467-8492 & EFT              $ 51,180.49

Claims Paid      8/08/17 Ck. #8493-8522 & EFT              $ 19,814.62

Claims Paid      8/22/17 Ck. #8523-8537 & EFT              $261,559.06

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:57 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

August 8, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
August 8, 2017 – NO QUORUM. 

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Bill Slinkard; Senja Estes; Mark Wilcomb.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmembers absent:  Doreen Hanson, Mike Hicks, Rick Wekenman, and Bob Stout.

NO QUORUM.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      7/31/17 Ck. #8467-8492 & EFT              $51,180.49

Claims Paid      8/08/17 Ck. #8493-8522 & EFT              $19,814.62

ADJOURN:  Mayor Echanove cancelled the meeting at 7:10 pm due to no quorum.

July 25, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
July 25, 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; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hanson asked the minutes be amended to include that discussion was had on the property issue between Duran’s and Roger’s.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 11, 2017.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:

There is a lot of new construction in Palouse right now.

BI Gladwill has spoken with owner of the old Palouse Arms apartments regarding their condition.  Owner said he’s looking towards the fall to get working on it.  His plans are to demolish a portion and remodel the rest into apartments.  The old dilapidated part in back will supposedly come down.

BI Gladwill will contact again the owner of the dilapidated mobile home on Mohr Street.  The owner assured Dan that she is awaiting finances but will have it out by end of year.  He will contact her to button up and secure the lower portion.  She has not been given a deadline yet.  BI Gladwill will give her a deadline to remove trailer upon council’s direction.  No council direction yet.

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

Had the generator serviced at the sewer plant today.

Will begin cleaning and repairs on the roof of City Hall this week.

Palouse pool passed the county’s annual inspection.

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann is looking into a camera system that will zoom in closer to park to help identify suspects for vandalism, etc.

Councilmember Stout would like to see some kind of educational thing implemented to educate residents on door-to-door solicitors.  Residents don’t have to answer the door and can ask to see their solicitation permit from the city.  Any solicitors in Palouse are required to first obtain a permit from City Hall which consists of a PD background check among other things.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:

The JFB voted to approve the surplus of the current pumper tanker as soon as the new one arrives and is in service.  They need council approval.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to surplus the old pumper tanker once the new one is in service.  Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The new radio tower was approved by the Board of Adjustment so construction will begin shortly.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

PCI Renewables (subcontractor for Apollo) finished the additional row of solar panels needed to expend the remainder of our loan balance with the state treasury.  This added roughly 7Kw to our generating capacity and will help further offset the city’s electrical consumption and cost.

West Whitman Street is progressing as planned.  The first invoice from ML Albright is in tonight’s bills and the Arterial Street fund has been preemptively reimbursed by WSDOT and TIB to allow for this payment.  They’re installing the rubber interface on the tracks this week.  Water pipe is done.  Tire tracks from construction crew through lawn of Kramer’s Funeral home will be addressed upon completion of project and decorative blocks along the Mayhan property will be replaced.

Ken Harper, attorney contracted through CIAW (city’s insurance broker), sent a letter to the Duran’s in regard to the alley issue.  He has given them his opinion and they can proceed accordingly.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering update on water tower/reservoir on South Hill in Palouse-  Michelle Bly & Gwen Ellis of TD& H updated council.  They have completed their preliminary engineering report to submit to Rural Development for the siting of water reservoir, Culton Street improvements, and Church Street improvements.  They would like to upload their report as part of our application and they also need authorization for mayor to sign forms and approval to upload with report.  Council will review preliminary report and CT Dixon will submit any revisions prior to next council meeting.  TD&H will be at next council meeting.

Varela & Associates update:  Dana Cowger from Varela gave a progress report.  They’re still working on the feasibility of the lagoon site for the sewer plant discharge.  They’re seeing the need to get DOE back involved in the project because DOE has to approve anything we do.  The Palouse Wastewater Advisory Committee is planning to hold a meeting some time during the third week of August, date and time TBD.  Varela is on track to complete final wastewater facility plan for submittal to DOE by their December 1, 2017, deadline.  Improvements to our wastewater treatment infrastructure, mandated by DOE, will have an impact cost-wise and will require sewer rates to be raised.  Eligibility and availability of federal/state funding packages will determine rate increases.

McKinstry Engineering here to discuss possible water system and data collection upgrades:  Jack Knudsen and Dan Funk from Pullman office discussed the possibility of upgrading the city’s water meters and data collection system.  They’ve done a no-cost preliminary audit on city’s water meter system and will email it to CT Dixon for revisions/review.  Kirsten Wilson from DES was present.  DES is a state agency that works on behalf of government agencies in contract discussions and invoicing with Engineering firms relating to energy/water conservation projects. It’s in the RCW as an energy project for DES.  Council had many questions and much discussion ensued.  McKinstry will get some more information and numbers for council to review.  They would like to come to a council meeting next month.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2017-07: setting a one-year excess property tax levy of $44,000 for street improvements and street oiling to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  Finance committee met this week to discuss the levies.  Last year we discussed a possible 10% increase to our arterial streets levy to account for additional street improvement projects.  However, at this time, considering the estimated balance of the arterial streets fund at the end of the year, the committee decided not to increase the levy by 10%.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, to adopt Resolution No. 2017-07.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2017-08 setting a one-year excess property tax levy of $34,000 for maintenance and operation of the swimming pool to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  With the passage of I-1433 last November, minimum wage in Washington rose from $9.47/hour to $11/hour and will rise to $13.50/hour by 2020.  As a result, this year’s pool salaries will be up almost $5,000 over last year and will continue to rise.  The city pool is mostly funded from levy dollars, but the cost of operating the pool each year exceeds this amount, which the general fund absorbs.  City council voted to increase the proposed levy last year to $31,000, an increase of $3,000 from the prior year to help offset the cost of painting the pool.  The pool is still scheduled to be painted after the season ends.  Potential levy increases in the years to come may be necessary if the residents of Palouse wish to keep the pool open, due wholly to minimum wage increases.  A proposed $3,000 increase from last year to $34,000 will still have the pool operating at a loss, but CT Dixon believes it is one of the many small steps needed to keep the pool from becoming too much of a burden on the general fund in the years to come.  When we tried charging for entry years ago, we made only $7,000.  It doesn’t work and it doesn’t pay the bills.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2017-08.  Councilmember Hicks seconded.  Supt. Griffin reminded council the pool was built in 1965 and repairs may be needed in the years to come.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2017-09 setting the six-year Emergency Medical Services property tax levy to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  This levy comes once every six years.  It is $.50 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation for each of six consecutive years.  This levy helps keep our EMS running and ambulance  contract going.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson to adopt Resolution No. 2017-09 as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 958 adopting a Complete Streets policy to be incorporated into the city’s Comprehensive Plan:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  CT Dixon has been working on this ordinance for a while.  The passing of this ordinance makes Palouse immediately eligible for a TIB Complete Streets grant of up to $250,000.  The final draft sent to Complete Streets Director Chris Workman has been given his approval for content.  Once the ordinance has passed, 1 of 9 nominating agencies must select us to receive an award.  The next award cycle is slated for 2018.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Stout, to adopt Ordinance No. 958.  Motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Stout–  Committee met this week to discuss tonight’s resolution dollar amounts  and discuss 2018 budget adoption timeline.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

The city received one letter of interest for the vacated Board of Adjustment opening.  Mayor Echanove appointed Palouse resident Jim Fielder to the BOA.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to ratify the mayor’s appointment.  Councilmember Hicks seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

RV Park is doing fantastic.  One of the most common suggestions from users is adding picnic tables at the RV Park.  Mayor has instructed DC Thompson to investigate costs for concrete pads and picnic tables.

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      07/25/17            Ck. #8442-8466 & EFT              $170,580.75

STOP PAYMENT                      Ck. #8289                                 $       680.22

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

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

July 11, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting

July 11, 2017

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Mike Hicks; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse the absences of Councilmembers Slinkard, Estes and Wekenman. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present:  Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of June 27, 2017.  Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT: 

The digital, citation-writing equipment has been installed in one of the vehicles and in the office.  It will be installed in another vehicle soon.  This will be huge when it comes to record keeping and report writing and gets the Palouse PD up to speed with most other PD’s.

The announcement for hiring of new officer is ready to go out.  We will post on state websites, city website, and various newspapers in Idaho and Washington.  The city is hiring one full-time lateral entry police officer to replace Officer Merry when he retires later this year.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

2nd Q Treasurer’s Report –   No red flags.  Critical revenues are where they need to be year to date.

A couple highlights:  RV Park has already receipted over $14,000 and we budgeted to receipt $13,000 for whole year.  Building Permits have already receipted $11,000 and we budgeted to receipt $6,000 for whole year.

West Whitman Street update:  Overall progress is going well.  No major setbacks.  Should wrap up in the next month barring any setbacks.

PCI, a subcontractor for our solar project has begun some groundwork for the last row of solar panels going in at solar site.  This was necessary to expend the remaining funds from loan with State Treasurer’s Office, which is required, since initial project came in more than $40,000 under budget.  Should be done in three weeks.

CT Dixon has spoken in-depth with CIAW’s attorney (city’s insurance company) about the alley issue between two Palouse abutting property owners.  CIAW attorney is going to write a letter to both parties addressing this in further detail, which should be delivered within the next week.

John Patrouch and Jeff Moran of Varela & Associates were in town today.  They scouted a possible lagoon site for the sewer plant discharge as a possible solution to satisfy Dept of Ecology permit mandate.  They’re looking at city land near our existing biosolids site and solar farm.

TD&H will be here on July 25th to give us an update on the USDA Rural funding application for a water tower/reservoir on the south hill in Palouse.

McKinstry will be here on July 25th to discuss possible water system and data collection upgrades and costs involved.

The state passed the 2017-2019 operating budget.  Cities fared pretty well. No major cuts or unexpected outcomes to report.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 957, Budget Amendment to water fund for pipe replacement on West Whitman Street project-

Ordinance was read aloud by the Mayor.  West Whitman St. has some old transite water pipe that needs to be replaced for approximately $25,000.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance 957 as presented. Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTSNo committee reports.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Varela and Associates met with Mayor to discuss their initial observations for the WWTP lagoon.  They’re going to evaluate the site and see if it’s feasible because there’s a river, railroad tracks, streets, infrastructure, and a hill to navigate under/through.

Mayor also speaks frequently with Munir Daud to discuss West Whitman Street and various topics that come up.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Hicks 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:

Payroll Paid      6/30/17             Ck. #8395-8419 & EFT                          $49,664.66

Claims Paid      7/11/17             Ck. #8393-8394 & 8420-8441 & EFT      $14,653.11

 

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Stout seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:07 PM.

 

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

 

June 27, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 27, 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; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; City Attorney Eric Hanson.

PUBLIC HEARING 1 OF 2 – 2018 Revenue Sources – Hearing opened at 7:02. CT Dixon discussed the standard 1% increase in the General and EMS levies for 2018. No public comment. Hearing closed at 7:08.

PUBLIC HEARING 2 OF 2 – Six Year Street Plan – Hearing opened at 7:08. Councilmember Hicks outlined work to be performed on Spokane St. later this year and into next year as well as other subsequent projects. No public comment. Hearing closed at 7:16.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 13, 2017.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. The city received two bids for road oiling. Low bidder was BST Surfacing out of Spokane. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept BST Surfacing’s bid for road oiling. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Water leak detected and fixed under West Main St. bridge. Construction on West Whitman is progressing without any major setbacks to date.

POLICE REPORT:  Cameras at RV, sewer, compost and park are linked to city hall and recording. New orange crossing flags were ordered for the bridge and main crosswalk. Meth lab discovered during routine traffic stop in Garfield. Open officer position will be advertised in July through August. Goal is to have interviews scheduled for September until filled. Councilmember Wekenman inquired about the handicap access at the skate park that was discussed at a previous council meeting. Council discussed the potential safety issues of having the skate park merge with the sidewalk, parking lot and street. Council tabled topic until further discussion with Aaron Flansburg, possibly at next council meeting.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:  CT Dixon has completed draft for a “Complete Streets” Ordinance. It has been forwarded to the Complete Streets program director at TIB for review and critique before we proceed with adoption. Once adopted, the city is immediately eligible for a grant of up to $250,000 for approved street/sidewalk/walking path projects in the city. CT Dixon and Supt Griffin have been working with McKinstry regarding an update of the city’s water data collection system. They will present upgrade options to the city at the next council meeting. The city is in the process of purchasing a fire truck currently located in Tennessee. Purchase should be finalized by the end of July. CT Dixon asked permission from council to close city hall on Monday, July 3rd in addition to the July 4th federal holiday on Tuesday. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to close city hall on Monday, July 3rd. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: From the Fire Chief: 1 call in May, 6 YTD.  Two training meetings in June, including some wildlands training.  Agreement has been reached with the seller for a replacement pumper-tanker for the city.  Final cost will be $98,500 which is exactly on budget. Cost includes taxes and staff travel and fuel to bring the truck to Palouse.  Truck is low mileage and in excellent condition.  The JFB voted unanimously to authorize the Fire Chief to sign the reservation agreement for the new truck and begin the purchase process.  The City of Palouse has approved its share of the purchase cost, and funding approval from rural is expected shortly.  From the EMS Coordinator:  Number of calls is down this year.  30 YTD, down from 50 this time last year.  EMS personnel attended a training at Moses Boone’s farm on combine evacuation.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ordinance 956 – Budget Amendment 412 Water System Reserve for TD&H Preliminary Engineering Report-

Mayor read the ordinance aloud to council. CT Dixon discussed the need to increase the expenditure line item to allow for the $10,000 cost of the preliminary engineering report required to apply for a funding package to construct a water tower on the south hill in Palouse. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance 956 as presented. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2017-06 Adopting Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan-

Discussed in Public Hearing #2 above. Hearing no further comment, Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept Resolution 2017-06 adopting the Six-year Transportation Improvement Plan as presented. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Streets and Sidewalks Chair, Councilmember Hicks – No update on alley issue between the Roger’s and Duran’s property. CT Dixon has a consultation with insurance provider Clear Risk Solutions tomorrow on how to proceed and will have an update at the next city council meeting.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Whitman County Mayor’s Roundtable will be held on Wednesday, June 28 at 7:00PM in the Community Center.

Alcohol permit received by the city for a beer garden during the Palouse Music Festival in the park on Saturday, July 29th. Council has no objections.

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:

Claims Paid      6/14/17-6/27/17    Ck. #8382-8392 & EFT           $50,977.49

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:32 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

June 13, 2017

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 13, 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.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmembers absent:  Doreen Hanson & Bob Stout.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse their absences.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 23, 2017.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

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

Saturday, June 10, there was a plug at the Union Street lift station.  One handkerchief and one dishrag were flushed which stopped the pumps.  This lift station services the new development and the senior center.

The painting of the pool has to be postponed until after the season because there is/was too much groundwater with the potential for pool damage if pool was emptied too soon.

POLICE REPORT: 

Garfield has an ongoing drug-related, unattended death investigation.

Equipment is all working well.

The PD is actively contacting Palouse residents with vehicles with out-of-state plates.  As per Chief Neumann, “If you are driving an out of state plate and living in Palouse, you will be contacted and expected to comply.  The penalties are expensive.”

Officer Handley is now a certified range master for rifles and pistols.

On June 3, there was a minor crash of a smaller, home-built airplane on HWY 27 between Palouse and Garfield.  Pilot hit an overhead wire and lost a propeller.  No injuries.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

There will be two public hearings at next council meeting:  one on 2018 revenue sources and one on the six-year street plan.

No start or completion date yet from Apollo for the expansion of our solar project.

Work on Whitman Street is progressing, with no issues yet.

The library is postponing their new carpet project until next year so the city’s financial portion can now be part of 2018 budget.

The city received no bids on the leftover sand pile located at 200 E. Whitman Street in front of the skate park.  The city took due diligence in trying to surplus it and now anyone can help themselves.

City staff met today with AWC regarding health insurance plan options for 2018.  CT Dixon will bring staff’s recommendation at a later council meeting.  Across the board the coverage won’t be as good but premiums will be down a little to reflect that lesser coverage.

OLD BUSINESS:

TD&H Engineering update on water tower/reservoir on South Hill in Palouse-

Michelle Bly and Gwen Ellis gave an update on the project.  They met at City Hall last week with Supt. Griffin and CT Dixon.  They’re working through the preliminary engineering report to determine different alternatives.  One option is using city-owned property at the cemetery and construct an elevated storage reservoir.  In order to get into the existing pressure zone, we need approximately 45’ height, possibly closer to 60’ depending on reservoir size.  The land is already city-owned.  Ballpark estimate is $2-$2.5 million depending on whether it’s a 300,000 gallon reservoir or a 500,000 gallon reservoir.  Second option would be to the SE of town, which would put us in the existing pressure zone.  Ballpark estimate is 1.8 million but does not include cost of acquiring some needed farm land and easements.  Based on discussion, TD&H will continue working on funding and grant applications with the first option as the priority.  All applications will include as a priority the Church Street improvements.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution No. 2017-05: authorizing Fire Chief to purchase fire truck under special market conditions–  A used 1995 fire truck that meets the fire department’s specs is available in Tennessee.  Fire captain Bruce Beeson went back and inspected and test drove the fire truck and gave his recommendation to purchase.  Recognizing that when a used piece of equipment is available which meets specs and is at a favorable price, it would likely be sold before the usual bidding process could be completed, this resolution authorizes Fire Chief Bagott to negotiate and purchase the fire truck outside normal bidding procedures.  The City of Palouse has appropriated a maximum of $52,000 to cover half of the purchase, with the other half provided by Whitman County Rural Fire District 4.  The truck, if purchased, should be in Palouse in six weeks, depending on when rural pays their portion.  Truck will be 3rd party certified to guarantee water pressure before we purchase.  This truck would replace the current 1985 which doesn’t have a lot of value in it but will be sold.  City of Farmington has expressed interest in purchasing the 1985.  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2017-05, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman.  Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

City received the Office of Financial Management’s preliminary population estimate for Palouse.  The population in 2017 is 1,050.  In 2010 the population was 998.

Liquor license renewal for McLeod’s Palouse Market.  No objections.

CT Dixon is attending a TIB meeting in Davenport Thursday and he is attending the AWC workshop the 21-22 in Vancouver.

Mayor’s Roundtable is June 28 in Palouse.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Hicks 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      5/31/17 Ck. #8325-8340 & EFT              $40,285.11

Claims Paid      6/13/17 Ck. #8341-8381 & EFT              $47,264.95

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________

May 23, 2017

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 23, 2017

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

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 9, 2017.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

Had a water leak on South River Road, a galvanized piece of pipe that rotted out.  Public Works got it fixed in a couple hours.

West Whitman Street project has begun.

POLICE REPORT: 

Chief Neumann reports that the Diane Main’s garage burglary case from last month is closed.  Our report has been forwarded to Boundary County where the suspect is in custody.  We still have one, ongoing, unrelated burglary case in Palouse.

Six security cameras have been installed: two at compost/sewer plant, one by park bathrooms, one by swim pool, and two at RV Park.  The cameras record 24/7.  City staff will be able to monitor from City Hall.

Garfield May Day was quiet, uneventful.  No issues.

Officer Handley attended training last week on Sector ticketing program.  Officer Merry and Chief Neumann will attend same training in August in Lewiston.  The program is cloud-based and uses very minimal data.  Tech stuff is ongoing via Whitcom.

The plan is still to begin the search for Officer Merry’s replacement in August and interview in September.

The spring Hot Rod Gathering is June 3.  Main Street will be partially closed and re-routed.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:

West Whitman Street construction is underway with a scheduled completion date of August 19.  Barring any setbacks, contractors believe it will be completed well before that date. When WSDOT is done with the rail on the West Whitman Street project, depending on how much money they have left in their pool, they’re going to repair the rail bump on Bridge street in front of the bank.

TD&H is going to proceed with the Rural Development application for a funding package to construct a water tower/reservoir on the south hill in Palouse.

The Palouse Library is replacing carpet and painting this summer.  Librarian Bev Pearce said the total cost will be roughly $3,200 and is asking council if the city can donate half of budgeted total.  CT Dixon said the $1,600 would come from current expense 001 fund.  Mayor explained years ago we went from Palouse City Library to a branch of the Whitman Co. Library.  It’s run by the county, but the city is still responsible for providing the facility: building, utilities, safe environment, etc.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested we look at getting an estimate for City Hall at the same time.  The City Hall carpet was replaced in 1996 after the flood, making it 20 years old.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to approve up to $1,600 for new carpet and paint for the library.  Motion carried unanimously.

The leftover sand pile has been surplussed.  The pile can be viewed at 200 E. Whitman (in front of the skatepark). Minimum bid of $25.  Sealed bids are due by 2 pm, May 31st.

JFB REPORT:  No JFB meeting because no quorum.

The pumper fire truck Chief Bagott has been searching for to replace the 1997 truck is available again at the same price as before.  Chief is taking measures to get Fire Lieutenant Bruce Beeson to Tennessee to look at it and perhaps purchase.  It will be right around $100,000, ½ coming from the city, the other ½ coming from rural.   A new one like this would cost between $300k-$350k.  The 1997 will be sold which Councilmember Wekenman thinks will get approximately $20,000.

OLD BUSINESS:

Building Inspector contract amendment:  Up until 2012 our BI was paid $500/month plus a $30 monthly phone stipend.  In 2012 he voluntarily took a 20% pay-cut to help the city with its tight budget.  He has requested to have his pay increased to $600/month with no cell phone stipend.  CT Dixon cautions council that the city would be hard-pressed to replace a BI for that price. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to approve the BI pay increase to $600 a month with $0 for cell phone reimbursement, effective June 1, 2017.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Mayor Echanove gave a building department revenue and expenditure report for years 2010-2016, outlining how much the city makes more or less than the BI, depending on the year.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Apollo/PCI Renewables solar project extension:  The city came in under budget on our solar farm. Since part of our funding package included a loan that resulted from the sale of a bond, the IRS requires us to spend the entirety of the loan to avoid a penalty.  So that we don’t go down that road, we are going to expand our solar farm by adding one more row of solar panels to satisfy the requirements of the loan. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement with Apollo/PCI Renewables to add another row of panels to our solar farm.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

The solar farm is already producing more than was guaranteed.  In May 2016, Avista’s bill for well pump #3 was $397; in May 2017, Avista’s bill for well pump #3 was $19.08.  We are also banking kWh each month that will be transferable to other city accounts to help further offset the city’s electricity costs.

COMMITTEE REPORTS/REQUESTS: 

Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson-

Pool committee met last week along with pool manager Holly Leendertsen and Deputy Clerk Thompson.  Due to the shortage of staff this summer the pool will be closing at 7 pm instead of 8 pm.  If we get another lifeguard we may be able to revisit opening that last hour.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-  The city received a letter from Pamela and Nelson Duran regarding the alley issue.  They want the city to open the alley from street to street, east to west.  The Duran’s letter stated they will consider taking legal action against the city if not.  The City Attorney was given a copy of the letter   Atty. Hanson stressed that the city is under no obligation to open it and just because adjacent property owners are using it for their gain, it’s not “gifting”.  Public Works nor the Fire Chief want access to that alley, however it is city property and if the city ever decides they want access then they’ll take it and any obstructions or development in the alley will be removed.  Much discussion ensued.  The city attorney is drafting a response letter and CT Dixon is going to consult with city’s insurance carrier Clear Risk Solutions.

Regarding the sidewalk letter from 2016, only one property owner has not complied.  As was outlined in a letter to all parties, Supt. Griffin has contacted a concrete company and they are scheduling it for repair.  The property owners will be sent the bill.  If left unpaid a lien will be put on the property.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Three of the five council positions that will be on November’s ballot have been filed for.

West Whitman Street Consultant Agreement from TIB for Munir Daud & Associates is ready for signature. This agreement approves Munir Daud to be project engineer for construction phase of project. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, authorizing the mayor to sign the agreement.  Motion carried unanimously.

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:

Claims Paid      5/23/17             Ck. #8307-8324 & EFT                          $27,302.67

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

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________