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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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: ________________________________