February 22, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
February 22, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:04 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Sharon Tharp; Doug Willcox, Calvin George.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 8, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Public Works have been taking classes for their CEU’s. The Dodge 1-ton transmission went out and it was a $1,000 repair. Also had to have some repairs done on the Ford’s exhaust manifold.

POLICE REPORT: Spoke with Frontier about a call box which would automatically connect to Whitcom upon pick-up, similar to Pullman’s blue boxes on campus. Still working on park rules sign; we’ve condensed them to save money and make the sign look nicer as well. Still wanting to surplus the Intrepid; the bluebook is currently around $4,000, would like to put a minimum bid of $2,000 on it. Hope to get going on that within the next couple months. Once we’re able to put that money into the vehicle fund, we’ll have about $19,000 in there and spend about $15,000, leaving a little cushion. Avista did an energy audit and they said lowering the ceiling in the PD would be a major improvement because we’re losing a lot of heat out the top. So far we’ve received two estimates to make the PD more energy-efficient.

JFB REPORT: 0 fire calls and 10 EMS calls in January. No news on the grant they put in for radios. The firefighters were fitted for their future turnouts. We came to a final agreement with Pullman on our ambulance contract. It was dually ratified by the JFB and the rural; now it’s up to us. The contract is a 3 year renewal with a change of rates. Their original proposal was 4% a year but it was amended to a 2%, 3%, & 4% increase for 2011, 2012, & 2013 respectively. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano authorizing the mayor to sign our ambulance contract with Pullman. Rural is paying $1,000 for new radios for EMS crew. Motion carried unanimously.

Review the Water Extension Policy. W/S committee met and went over the draft WEP. We’re not prepared to discuss the details as we’re waiting for Atty. Bishop to make the recommended amendments. We will get a draft to council before next meeting and will be taking public input at that time. The policy isn’t a huge departure from the current city policy. Councilmember Newman clarified the difference between a water extension and a single water service hook-up. These distinctions need to be established and will be clearly defined in the WEP. Discussion ensued.

The other change being considered is establishing an application fee for extension of water service. There are costs every time city staff does an estimate. The original application fee being considered ranges from $100-$500. The fees serve two purposes: 1, to recover city costs; and 2, to encourage earnest requests. There will be a delicate balance between recovering costs and discouraging development.

This isn’t just a policy but procedures as well. It is three phases: Application, design, & construction. Applicants can’t move onto one without completion and approval from the city of the prior phase.

Ordinance No. 887: Budget Amendment. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This amendment sets the budget for receipt and expenditures of the Dept of Homeland Security for the firefighter turnouts. Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 887. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.


Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Mike Milano: WSDOT responded regarding highway signs for the RV Park. We can erect them as long as we pay for and install ourselves. We can’t add to other signs; they have to stand alone.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: We are going to advertise the pool manager position next week.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Spoke with the Upper Columbia RC&D regarding renewing our dues. They are a USDA federal program and they provide technical assistance with projects and can help access grant monies. They felt like they could be of assistance in helping us find funding as well as technical assistance on our WSP. One of their focuses is collaboration among similar cities with similar projects who can work cooperatively and share resources. They offered to do a presentation to council. Councilmember Newman MOVED to renew our 2011 membership of $150.00. Seconded by Councilmember Snook. Motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to have Connie represent council with Upper Columbia RC&D. Motion carried unanimously.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Councilmember Milano asked council for any comments or questions regarding the 2010 year end treasurers report presented at the last meeting. He commented that city departments are managing the city money well. We’re living within our means although reserve or ending balances are still being used and there is still more work to do on the budget.

Sharon Tharp: Renewable Energy Group is meeting March 1st to talk about renewable energy and would like to invite council. Paul Kimmell from Avista will be there to talk about renewable energy and answer questions.

Mayor and Councilmembers Snook & Newman were in Olympia last week at AWC Legislative conference.

BOA is having a public hearing for a variance request. Heidi Kite submitted a letter of resignation from the BOA, effective immediately.

The City’s copier lease is up. We can get a new one for only about $3.01 more per month and it comes with a scanner.

Regarding the vacant council position # 3; we will put out a call for letters of interest and post about town. The deadline to submit to city hall was set for March 7th at 5:00 PM with interviews at the council meeting on the 8th.

Discussion ensued regarding whether or not to continue sending out the draft minutes to the list serve prior to council approval. Councilmember Milano MOVED to stay with our current process of distributing draft minutes, continuing to clearly mark them as “Draft Only – Without council review or approval.” Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:48 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 2964 – 2978 $10,986.04
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 2917 – 2935 & EFT $37,890.72

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________