December 13, 2016

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
December 13, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________