December 11, 2007

December 11, 2007

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Mark Bailey arrived at 7:40 pm. Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present were: Tom Boone, Chris Ricketts.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Amend the November 27 minutes as follows: Under Mayor’s Report, it was Councilmember O’Neill not Wekenman who inquired if we should be concerned with future development or annexations outside the current code of 210’ from a sewer main. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to approve the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 27, 2007. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM: Chris Ricketts asked council to adopt a zoning regulation/ordinance about light pollution. He has a neighbor who is ready to put in a 24-hour pole light which shines directly into his bedroom window. It may be too late in his case but he’d like an ordinance so this doesn’t happen to anyone else. This is addressed in the city’s comprehensive plan; however no ordinance has been adopted. Mayor said this will be presented to the planning commission to consider. Clerk Beeson asked if council could write a letter to this individual pointing out the language in the comp plan. Councilmember Wekenman said the Planning Commission is currently reviewing the comprehensive plan. The Mayor said they would draft a letter to this person addressing this issue, with a recommendation from council for the best way to proceed.

Tom Boone expressed his concerns with the Breeding’s Addition sewer. He thought that he and two others were given a pass on the time-limit to hook-up. Mayor explained the hook-up system and that council feels this is the fairest way for everyone. Tom Boone just wanted to make sure he understands that he has until 2020. Councilmember Wekenman stated there was discussion at the time about the useable life of a septic system before they need major work and it was agreed that 12-15 years is average.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: In addition to his submitted written report, Superintendent Dwayne Griffin added that the weather has temporarily halted the Breeding’s Addition project. A & R Construction will probably get back to work now that the ground is frozen. They’re doing a good job but they’re going to hit more rock; it’s a lot better than they thought it would be. We’re waiting on some easement paperwork from our attorney. The F Street Bridge work is going well. We’ve had a few equipment breakdowns but we’ve gotten everything fixed. Marc has been working on streetlight repair; some ballasts have gone out, etc. The clock tower is currently working.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported things are quiet. No weather-related accidents so far. He applied for a couple grants through the state for radar equipment. Councilmember Wekenman asked about the status of Officer Ellsworth’s training. We extended his academy date and the next available academy is in February. He’ll have to meet the physical exam requirement in January. Officer Ellsworth is a reserve officer rather than a certified police officer. If he fails to qualify for this academy, we’ll actively seek a replacement officer.


Ordinance No. 837. Because Bev is leaving to run her quilt store, Ann is moving to an 80% Deputy Clerk 80% position. The council approved this as qualifying for benefits and included the appropriate amounts in the 2008 budget. The Mayor read the entire ordinance. An ordinance of the City of Palouse amending Ordinance Nos. 276 and 721, and Palouse Municipal Code 2.12.030, thereby designating the Deputy Clerk as full-time employee whenever the Deputy Clerk is employed to regularly work at least 32 hours per week. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance 837. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Adoption of the 2008 budget. Councilmember Snook MOVED to suspend reading of the entire budget. Councilmember seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The Mayor briefly read Ordinance 838. We’re budgeting 85% more than last year because of our projects. We have 2.9 million listed as expenditures for next year. Whitman Street is 649K; 629K is from grants. Our sewer extension project is all internally funded with property owners paying through connection fees. Our MH Acquisition Project at 181k; 135k is externally funded. The assessed valuation city wide is just over 36 million. We estimated 186k in 2008 from taxes. Councilmember Milano asked Clerk Beeson if this budget would raise red flags with auditors. Clerk Beeson doesn’t think so. We may get a single audit, but it just happens that we have three huge projects in one year. We just have to be organized. The Mayor said Charges for Services are up for 2008 because it includes Breeding’s Addition connections.

Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance 838 as written. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


WATER & SEWER: Councilmember O’Neill brought up the idea of paying now but hooking-up later for Breeding’s Addition sewer. Attorney Bishop said interest would accrue so yes, you can pay any time and hook-up at a later date. The construction fees will be addressed separately from the hook-up fee. Attorney Bishop stated that he has a draft ordinance ready for review and asked Clerk Beeson to make copies for council to consider and recommend changes. Councilmember Wekenman reminded staff and council that if someone pays now it needs to be recorded and tracked clearly at City Hall.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS: Councilmember Bagott said she will have the list of needed signs to Dwayne tomorrow. Darcie and the Mayor walked Whitman Street with the plans in hand and trouble-shot a couple areas. Darcie pointed them out to council. Council discussed changing the parallel parking to angled parking along Whitman Street in front of Dillard’s land. The safety of parking near the tracks is also a concern. Council wants Darcie to bring it up with Munir. The Mayor said that the piece of property in front of Verizon building is TIB eligible for funding so it’s included in the project. This will go out to bid in the next two weeks. We should be reviewing the bids at our 2nd council meeting in January. Councilmember Wekenman asked if the railroad work is subcontracted. Yes, Munir said there will be a specific time set for the tracks to be done so commerce can be resumed. Councilmember Wekenman also wondered if we should we reduce the speed of the trains since traffic will pick up once Whitman Street is renovated. We need to look into that. There are approximately 15 new lights to be installed on Whitman Street. Darcie went down the entire map and placed the trees, lights, etc. The lighting is the same as Main Street but will be set back an extra foot. The trees are the same also and will be set behind the sidewalk. There’s no irrigation system to the trees. But there are duplex boxes for electricity, etc. Councilmember Bagott said we did do ADA parking by the police station; it will be rolling curve.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS: Councilmember Milano said he got 1 of 3 bids in for electrical work at the RV Park. He looked into ADA signs from our walk-through; they will be about $120 to be purchased in January.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION: Mark Bailey spoke with someone at DOE about how we could use Biosolids at the compost facility. We will have to get permits. We can give biosolid compost to anyone, not just farmers.

The mayor asked Attorney Bishop if he had any issues for council. He reminded council to get drafts of the ordinance to be critiqued. If it seems there’s a consensus, he can write the final draft.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN : Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:17 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Warrants: #12718 – #12742 Payment: $4,051.50
VOIDED Warrants: #12743 – #12777 VOIDED
Warrants: #12778 – #12812 Payment: $12,312.53
Payroll Paid Warrants: #6695 – #6722 Payment: $31,617.48

APPROVED:________________________________ ATTEST:________________________________