Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
February 10, 2015
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bo Ossinger; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce; Christopher Langsett. Councilmember Hanson is absent. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to excuse Councilmember Hanson’s absence. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Attorney Bishop; Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 27, 2015. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
PW located the school’s water leak for them so their plumbers could make the repair. The school complimented our public works for going above and beyond for their assistance.
Nuisance yard update: PD will continue to monitor their home and progress.
Chief is almost done dismantling the Dodge Charger (radar, emblems, light bar, etc.). It has to be ready for surplus by Feb. 28. Sealed bids are due by Feb. 27. The 2013 Dodge Journey is in service as Officer Merry’s police vehicle. Special thanks to Chuck Goetz for donating his services and tools for helping with installation of after-market parts which was probably a $700+ savings.
No issues with the Brew Fest.
Sand Road Land Company update – Last time this was on the agenda it was approved pending legal review, corrections, and approval. Atty. Bishop prepared, at Sand Road’s expense, a promissory note and deed of trust. The promissory note protects the city from being stuck with an incomplete development (infrastructure wise: street lights, sidewalks, fire hydrants, paved streets, etc). Sand Road is expecting to be done with infrastructure for lots 1-12 by June of this year, and street paving of lots 1-12 by August. But this promissory note allows Sand Road up to Sept. 30, 2017 to complete. The note provides if the improvements aren’t done by that date, the city can request payment at a minimum amount of $20,000, up to $755,000. Sand Road is going to be investing that much money into the project. Atty. Bishop spoke with Kevin Gardis at Pullman Public Works for advice on the terms of the note and the deed. The city needs to have the ability and resources to complete the job should Sand Road Development not. Council will review both documents and make a decision at next council meeting. The Mylar will be at next meeting and will include the lift station review after the 11th house is constructed.
4th Quarter Treasurer’s Report:
Fund 122 JFB ended 2014 with negative $-359 which isn’t much but it raises red flags. C-T Bagott spoke with the auditor. It’s not over budget, it’s just a cash flow issue; we didn’t receive the county’s cash payment until January. The audit manager is aware of it and is fine with it. Cash basis governmental accounting is very different than private accounting. Everything is very well accounted for which is to retired C-T Beeson’s credit.
We’ll want to keep an eye on sales tax revenue which was down 21% last year from 2013. $61,954 in 2013, and $48,965 last year. But sales tax revenue fluctuates from year to year and 2013 was a high water mark. The RV Park had a real growth last year: the overall revenue is up 90% from 2013 and the net revenue was up 1000%. The RV Park went from having a net revenue of $530 in 2013 to $5,300 in 2014. Councilmember Langsett MOVED, to accept the 2014 4th Q Treasurer’s report. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 930 amending certain funds in the 2015 annual budget: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This ordinance increases Police Car & Equipment fund from $2,000 to $9,500; this is so we could add that $7,500 to the police car reserve fund. This allows the funding in place to make the purchase of the second new police vehicle. Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 930. Councilmember Pearce seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2015-02 – authorizing purchase of police vehicle under special market conditions: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. It authorizes Chief Neumann to negotiate and purchase a used vehicle according to these specs: a maximum of $21,000 and no more than 35,000 miles. Councilmember Wekenman inquired about Garfield’s attitude is with continuing the Garfield contract. Chief Neumann thinks Garfield is on board. The current contract is good through 2017. Councilmember Wekenman expressed his hope that this purchase of a second new police vehicle takes care of the department’s vehicle needs for five more years. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2015-02. Councilmember Ossinger seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Water & Sewer, Chair Ossinger- Mayor Echanove reported that he, Bo Ossinger, Dwayne Griffin, Don Myott, and Mike Bagott met today with Les McDonald the PW Supt. for the City of Moscow to discuss ways the City of Moscow is going to lower the effluent temperatures and reduce phosphates (Palouse has nitrates). Moscow is experimenting with different process to drop the temperature of the effluent that goes into Paradise Creek. They’ve examined 17 different processes thus far including: bringing in a cooling tower; monitoring wetlands where they pulled water from Paradise Creek and re-grow some vegetation; buying chillers for their facility, etc. They’re going to send us the results of their work. Moscow has spent about $6 million on this thus far. Some of their ideas might work but the nitrates issue is going to be tough and we’re not allowed any discharge. Tarping and shading of our cell might work for the temperature but in Don Myott’s eyes, it’s the nitrates that are the issue, not the cooling. If we can’t discharge into the river because of the nitrates, cooling doesn’t matter, because we’re not putting the effluent there in the summer when the river temperature needs cooling.
Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Met with Dwayne to see about Public Works’ purchasing needs in 2015. One item that will be needed in the next year or two is a new locator. The one we have now is 25 to 30 years old. A brand new one is close to $7,000. Maybe we can get a used one.
Bud Bagott is still looking for a one-ton for the city; we have $25,000 set aside for that. Specs need to include a gas engine and under 75,000 miles.
Personnel & Pool, Chair Pearce- City received a letter of interest for the pool manager position. Committee will start looking into that and the hiring of 2015 lifeguards.
Aaron Flansburg gave an update on the skatepark committee’s plans/progress. They’re having a fundraising event Wed. March 11, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at the community center. There will be a silent auction and an unveiling of the skatepark plans. Construction may get going next month. The site is not in the 100-year flood plain, nor is it in Palouse’s critical areas. Mayor recommended for the long term, Aaron submit the plans to insurance carrier.
Palouse resident Teresa Baker, referring to a letter sent by the PD to the nuisance yard house, asked about the status of the $100 fine they were supposed to be issued if they were not in compliance by Jan 25, 2015. The gate is not contiguous and it’s not closed. The final issued deadline of Feb. 15 is only five days away and the letter clearly says if the pond isn’t emptied, the garage siding or plywood replaced to hide debris, and the rusted snow blower removed, they will be issued a citation. According to Teresa Baker, none of the things in the PD letter have been done. What’s the point of sending a letter if no follow-up by the PD is done? Are they going to be fined? Chief Neumann said no, that in his opinion they’re making progress. Sharon Tharp read aloud PMC 8.12.020 (B)4 which specifies the nuisance which they’re violating.
Sharon Tharp brought in a variety of pictures of junk along the river and in various yards. She was a code enforcer for the City of Pullman for seven years and she wrote tickets for ordinance violations for garbage, junk vehicles, etc. She said Palouse has same kind of junk and garbage around town and in our river. She stressed the need and importance of enforcing the city’s nuisance ordinance. Councilmember Pearce wants to work with residents about how to deal with the nuisance yard issues. We need to do something about it and work with citizens on it.
Liquor Control Board event license for the Palouse Arts Council St. Paddy’s day event. No objections.
The city has received three letters of interest for the Planning Commission: Judy Finch, Jeff Baldwin, and Bo Ossinger (currently a city councilmember). In order to keep a separation between the city council and the planning commission we aren’t proceeding with Councilmember Ossinger’s. Our insurance carrier questioned having the Mayor or any councilmembers being at the PC meetings and influencing the Planning Commission’s discussions or decisions. Mayor proposed to accept Judy Finch and Jeff Baldwin as members of the Planning Commission. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Langsett, affirming the Mayor’s appointment of Judy Finch and Jeff Baldwin. Motion carried unanimously.
Mayor read aloud Mary Estes’ letter of resignation from the Palouse Planning Commission. This now makes the Planning Commission down two positions.
In a phone call to City Hall, Palouse resident Jerry Moss commended the city on its hiring of Dwayne Griffin and said “he (Dwayne) was the very best person you could have hired for this town. I so appreciate him.”
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Langsett MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:23 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid: Jan. 30, 2015 Ck. #6316-6333 & EFT $46,947.36
Claims Paid: Feb. 11, 2015 Ck. #6334-6363 & EFT $12,541.82
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________