February 13, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 13, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; 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. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson, to excuse Councilmember Slinkard’s absence. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 23, 2018. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

We are going to surplus our old dump-truck soon.

Bid opening for snowplow closes tomorrow. We will relist this fall when there’s snow if no qualifying bids are received.


PD addressed some nuisance yards on the north hill last week: they issued three notices for yard clean-up and all three took care of it over weekend. The PD will be working on the south side of city this week. It is forbidden by code to stockpile/accumulate garbage, appliances, furniture, etc. in yards.

We got new brakes on Journey #2. Summer tires are going on Journey #1 and brakes will be assessed at that time. Durango will need brakes and shocks as well.

City fence on Whitman & Beach Street was damaged from a single car DUI accident this weekend. City is getting an estimate to repair and will pass that on to the PD and prosecutor’s office.

Our last potential hire declined the open officer position. We are sustaining that position through reserve officer Snead, and soon reserve officer Merry, and reserve officer Corey out of Colfax. The personnel committee will be meeting to discuss options to attract an officer.


CT Dixon reported if we could comfortably have reserve officers Merry and Corey on board, while still pursuing and eventually hiring a third full time officer, it would be financially beneficial to the city.

Apollo who was here last meeting wants an answer by end of February on the LED lighting and solar project proposals discussed at the last council meeting. CT Dixon supports expanding our solar generating capacity another 25 kW, to the maximum allowable 100kW. On the LED end, Supt. Griffin is looking into performing the upgrades himself and potentially saving the city significant costs vs partnering with outside contractor to perform work.

Atty. Hanson is doing some background on what the next steps will be if we don’t see significant improvement on the Palouse Arms Building. He is writing a supplemental letter for owner kind of restating the city’s demands to repair/demolish and the potential recourse if he doesn’t comply by May 31st deadline. He will be at next meeting to answer any questions.

CT Dixon will form the committee for Brownsfield site which will consist of a few members of original committee, a member from Planning Commission, council, etc. This Brownsfield development process has many steps; of course we want it developed, but there is still ongoing groundwater site testing required by DOE. Once the city is ready to surplus the site, we will advertise for a request for proposals.

No word from Ecology on official approval of wastewater permit extension, but should be any day now. If zero river discharge is necessary, we have to go somewhere with it which will most likely require significant property acquisition. Next step will be to start a discussion with the landowner adjacent to the proposed site. If he’s not interested in selling to city, we’ll have to go shopping elsewhere. Upon approval of our permit extension, we will have until April 2019 to deliver completed wastewater facility plan to DOE and until 2024 to have construction completed.


Michelle Bly of TD&H gave an update on the water reservoir project. Plateau Archaeological Investigations did their cultural report as required by Rural Development thereby completing the application package. Atty. Hanson has started the 60-day clock on the de-obligation formality process on the land by cemetery. Discussed reservoir types and options. Reservoir will have a 300,000 gallon capacity. Dimensions were discussed but nothing has been finalized.


Owner of Cascade Computing, Marcus Munn, was present to discuss their proposal of expanding fiber optic broadband internet to Palouse. They already have agreements with Rosalia, Oakesdale, and Garfield. Looking to put some equipment at City Hall so they can be another service provider of internet like First step. They’ve looked things over at City Hall and had an electrician come look at power service and they can make it happen. They use Port of Whitman County’s fiber optic line. First Step has equipment at City Hall as well. The trade-off for letting them put their equipment at high points in city (well site, fire station, etc.) and at City Hall is free internet to city hall, fire, police, school, & library. Discussion ensued as to what other services/arrangements Cascade can offer. Agreement is at attorney for review and should be ready at next meeting for review/approval.


Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- City needs a new roof on public works shop on Whitman St (old fire station). It’s leaking very bad and has soft spots. Supt. Griffin is pricing work. Repair would come out of special capital projects fund.

The city has been offered a strip of land along the south side of the Palouse River from F Street bridge to 90 feet from foot bridge, from river’s edge south to Shady Lane. In return, the owner asks that the city put in a kind of riverside trail allowing access to the river for relaxing, fishing, whatever. It is his belief that access to the river will enhance the community and the river. CT Dixon is preparing for grant opportunity with Whitman County in conjunction with the donation of this land.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- Committee is working on creating a process to reward and advance our city staff. Councilmember Wilcomb presented a staff organizational chart.


Palouse Caboose liquor license renewal. No objections.

There was a lengthy discussion on setbacks, in particular on alleys that aren’t used. Code has specific language on it but there seems to be some gray area. We will get clarification from our attorney before addressing this issue.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

January Payroll Paid: Ck. #8862, 8930-8946 & EFT $ 53,003.02

Claims Paid 2/13/18: Ck. #8929, 8947-8984 & EFT $141,369.45

VOID Ck. # 8948

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:18 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________