December 28, 2010

December 28, 2010

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; & Randy Zehm.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; BI Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Connie and Norm are both out of town on family vacation.  Zehm is at home with his kids.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse all three.  Motion carried unanimously.  Public present:  Pete Hertz.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of December 14, 2010.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Superintendent Griffin is back to working 4-6 hours a day, light duty.
The VFD on the north hill booster pump was reinstalled from the damage done by a squirrel in August.
Don and Marc had 4 hours worth of chipping which took them more than 12 hours because of abuse at the chipper area.  Users aren’t separating their debris into proper piles; which then forces PW to separate everything.  They’re also dumping debris and garbage.  If this abuse continues, and the added man hours it takes, keeping the facility open will cost more than the city can afford.   PW has signs posted everywhere and permit holders are advised of how to use the facility; yet it’s still being abused.  New 2011 chipper/compost facility permits are available now and people are encouraged to report suspected abuse.

The Boy Scouts will pick up Christmas trees left near the streets on January 8th.

Chief Neumann reported there were no weather-related accidents so far.  Chief gave a PD vehicle condition report.  While the Durango with 107,000 miles is sound right now, he suggests replacing vehicles reaching 100,000 miles.  The Intrepid isn’t marked for high visibility as it should be for community patrolling.  Rather than putting money into making it more visible he suggests replacing it first.  He will research possible grant funding.   The chief responded to a citizen question at the last meeting of why the city supplies each of our three officers with their own police car.  The main reason given was that as part of being on duty, they are also on call the remainder of the 24 hr day.  Not having their own police vehicle would greatly increase response time, and officers responding in their POV may increase the city liability.
Discussion about PD doorbell accessibility for notifying police if there’s a citizen at the office.  Chief said there has been discussion about a callbox and he would look into it.

Dan reported a good 2010 year: approximately 5 houses, a mobile home and a few pole barns. Palouse and county permits are both up a little right now.
Dan became a WABO certified accredited official.  The state legislature has been pushing to require that BI’s be licensed as such so currently the city is ahead of the curve.

Interlocal Agreement with Whitman County for preparation, adoption, and implementation of a joint update to the Solid Waste Management Plan .  Mayor referred to minutes of last meeting.  The city is required to update this plan every 5 years.  The county is offering the city to adopt their Interlocal agreement just like last time.  Pete Hertz said anything that has changed within the last 5 years is in that plan (chipper program, compost program, no burning, added equipment).  If the city wrote their own plan it would cost several thousand dollars.  Mayor read aloud the agreement in its entirety.  The city needs to obtain a reference copy once it is adopted.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to sign the Interlocal Agreement with Whitman County.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Discussion ensued about the lack of a recycling program.  The motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 884 – Adopting the 2011 Budget and Budget Message.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by
Councilmember Milano to suspend the rules of reading the ordinance.  The only change since the last version council received was lowering the beginning balance to Pump Maintenance Reserve.  No wage increases again this year other than minimum wage increase which only affects lifeguards.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ord. 884 as presented.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 885 – Increasing water rates, effective February 1, 2011.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , Councilmember Milano seconded to adopt Ordinance No. 885.  The base rate for water was increased to $23 for all uses and increased the overage rate to $1.25 for 600 cf or increment of.  This increase was necessary due to rates only being raised twice in the last 16 years.  Council will consider small, incremental raises yearly.  Joyce said she wrote the budgets bare bones, not taking into account the increase.  With the higher rate, we should have a committee meeting to go over the budget.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 886 – Increasing sewer rates, effective February 1, 2011.  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Sewer rates increasing $3.00.  The school, as always, has its own special formula.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Wekenman to adopt Ord. 886.  Prior to tonight basic w/s, with tax and no overages was $49.81.  Effective Feb. 1, 2011, the basic rate for w/s will be $58.82, which includes the added rates for debt payment and reserve accounts.  Motion carried unanimously.


Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair:   Has submitted a “wish list” of big projects to Mayor.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Going to begin 2011 looking at revenue sources.  One area is the RV Park and attracting more visitors.  He talked to DOT about the possibility of getting our RV signs on the highways.  Milano also reported that he sent an email supporting destination-based sales tax on manufactured homes.

Port of Whitman County sent a letter regarding bringing fiber-optic and broadband services to Palouse.  The Port is requesting an easement to bring fiber-optics to Palouse.  They are on the Jan. 11, 2011 agenda to speak to council about their proposed easement.  It appears that Frontier is getting more aggressive in these services, and we’ve got First Step, and now the Port project.  Currently the city, the PD, the library, etc., all get free internet service from First Step for allowing their hardware on some high spots owned by the city.

Brownfields Update – MFA is awaiting Ecology response to the cleanup options as submitted.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:31 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2830 – 2849       $5,639.82


APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________