December 9, 2014

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
December 9, 2014

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bo Ossinger; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce. Councilmember Langsett is dealing with family illness. Councilmember Pearce MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to excuse his absence. Motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; C-T in training Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Teresa Baker, Will Hume, Heidi Fluegel.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Under mayor’s report replace the word “However” with “Previously” regarding the DOT funding of the railroad project on Whitman Street. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Public Hearing and Regular Council Meeting of November 25, 2014. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
There was a water leak on Saturday. The low pressure to residents on Harrison Street was caused by a neighbor’s water leak (a frozen pipe thawed). The problem is that the line serving these properties starts at city water main and extends across private property, across another city street, to more private property. This is a perfect example of why the city needs to ensure developers comply with the city’s water extension policy and the advice of the public works department to avoid these problems to others in the future.

Since the accident involving the Durango, Chief is still using a rental car. The vehicle that hit the patrol car was uninsured so our insurance will assume all liability on our behalf. It’s just under $11,000 to fix or $6,000 to $8,000 if “totaled”. He is pricing replacement vehicles. He’s looking at a 2013 or 2014 in the $20,000-$22,000 range, with about 30,000 miles on it. They’re trying to determine whether the police radio will still work.

Regarding the nuisance yard complaint just received today. This case is not new to the police. It appears there are some more violations so Chief will begin the process again tomorrow. We should see progress within the next two to three weeks.

Ordinance No. 924 adopting new sewer rate: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. As discussed in prior council meetings, we are raising the sewer rate $1.00 to cover the rising costs, including more demanding testing requirements. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt ordinance No. 924. Councilmember Ossinger seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Estes, seconded by Councilmember Pearce, MOVED to suspend the rules for the reading of the ordinances. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 925 adopting 2015 budget: Mayor read aloud portions of the ordinance. Notices were published for the following public hearings: Public hearing for revenue sources, July 8, 2014; preliminary budget hearing, November 11, 2014; final budget hearing, November 25, 2014. Estimated resources for all funds are $2,098,315. Estimated appropriations for all funds are $1,319,900. Included in the 2015 budget are the continuing Brownfields project, phase 2 for TIB Chipseal, purchase of a police vehicle, and purchase of a 1-ton for PW. This is a pump maintenance year which only happens every two or three years. C-T Beeson explained the new fund “Special Capital Projects” that receipts in the Real Estate Excise Tax. Cemetery appropriations are up to $20,000 which is good to see after years when the budget was low and fewer hours were allowed for maintenance. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 925. Councilmember Ossinger seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 926 repealing PMC 6.04 dealing with animals at large: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. 6.04 was written in 1919 and is obsolete. Animals at large are covered elsewhere in Title 6. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt ordinance No. 926. Councilmember Estes seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 927 amending PMC 6.12 regarding livestock: Primarily regulating manure management, livestock densities, standards of livestock care, and penalties for violations. It also now includes a section for the keeping of sheep at the school (for school-sanctioned activities) in densities greater than 5,000 square feet of fenced pasture per sheep. Councilmember Pearce MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, adopting Ordinance No. 927. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 928 amending PMC 6.16 regarding birds/poultry: The old code was written in 1919 and was outdated and vague. 6.16.010- It is unlawful to have roosters, turkeys, geese, ducks, peacocks, pigeons, birds of prey, or game birds within the city limits of Palouse. 6.16.020 sets the maximum number at 20 per household as long as there is a minimum of 10 square feet per chicken and required setbacks are followed. Any person desiring more than 20 must first get council approval which, if given, can be revoked if any requirements aren’t met or nuisances are committed. It’s imperative to know that regardless of the number of chickens, you still have to abide by the codes set forth in 6.16.020, .030, .040, and .050. Including no chickens running at large; a minimum of 10 square feet per chicken within the enclosure; the enclosure must comply with all applicable setback requirements for the particular use zone in which it is located; the enclosure must be predator-proof on all sides and top; and the enclosure must provide reasonable shelter; proper care and treatment. Any violations of this chapter are subject to penalties and fines. Nuisance codes still apply to all of Title 6. There was one typo to be amended. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt this ordinance as amended. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Councilmember Hicks thinks the committee did an excellent job of compromising. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 929 repealing PMC 6.20.035 regarding commercial pig sties. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. We found errors. It will be on next agenda.

Will Hume (building the new bar), would like council permission to put underground power and gas through city property adjacent to the cherry tree by the Avista Shop. Public Works has no reservations. He will pay for everything and put it back better than before. It’s a 32” wide ditch to allow power and gas to restaurant. It would negate the overhead power he asked for earlier this year. It’s on the furthest west side of the property. There’s no other infrastructure. The city already has a utility easement with Avista so Will is actually just going above and beyond what is required of him. It’s a low-impact project. There’s no sidewalk interference. Council approved, with no objections. He also has a standing offer to remove the cherry tree and fill in that area with gravel for parking for the Community Center. Supt. Griffin asked that council not remove the tree. He and Don Myott think the tree is alive and looks fairly healthy and the cherries were good; “if it’s still breathing, let’s not kill it.”

The Board of Adjustment approved the application for mini-storage. It was a lawful application for a lawful use. They can build as long as the conditions are met: setbacks, landscaping, etc. There is not a hazard to the public and the applicants were very accommodating. This stresses the importance of the zoning code. Teresa Baker suggested the zoning code be rewritten to require all future developers use only brick & mortar construction to keep with the original feel of the city. Will Hume suggested the zoning code include that all future development in our downtown has to be revenue-producing for the city (i.e., sales tax revenue). Deputy Clerk Thompson stated that building in the downtown corridor is already prohibitive and costly enough with the imposed requirements of SEPA, DOH, DOE, flood plain elevations, etc., and that these suggestions only discourage future development and growth. Councilmember Wekenman reminded that we have to be very cognizant of fairness rights.

Clerk-Treasurer Beeson requested taking 80 consecutive hours of vacation in January. Her last day will be January 29, 2014. Councilmember Pearce MOVED to approve Joyce taking 80 consecutive hours of vacation in January. Councilmember Estes seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Request to close City Hall December 26th. Councilmember Estes MOVED to allow City Hall be closed December 26th. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Staff will still charge their hours out. Motion carried unanimously.

As 2014 comes to a close, Mayor thanked council, public works, fire department, police department, and staff for all they do.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Ossinger seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:37 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. #6198 – 6223 $12,630.84

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________