February 27, 2007


February 27, 2007

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; and Rick Wekenman. Absent-Jeff Snook. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy City Clerk; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Bruce Beeson; Scott Huffman; Dale Tronsen; Dennis Griner; Caitlyn McGehee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Correction to the minutes: Under Parks, Cemetery & Buildings Committee Report, “He reported talking to the planning commission and other groups about the parks, trails & open space plan”  Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the corrected minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 13, 2007.  Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : Dale Tronson reported that he has talked to Byron about the Breeding’s Addition sewer extension.  He presented to council some drawings from the preliminary engineering and dollar amounts using current prices.  He stated that even if the costs on his estimate doubled, it would still come in at around $4,500 a connection.  He feels this would still be a reasonable amount for the homeowners.  The Mayor asked Dale if a homeowners association would be formed.  Dale said that he did not know how to go about setting one up and suggested the city get a low interest loan with connection fees to pay it back.  The Mayor stated that each homeowner would be responsible for extending the line on their property.  He further stated that the Department of Ecology would need to assess the current sewer facility plan and that the final engineering, survey and right-of-way work would need to be completed.  Byron said that almost all of that area is gravity flow.  He has been talking to a new property owner in the area who is developing buildable lots and is very positive about this sewer extension.  Byron feels that now is the time for the city to move forward.  Breeding’s Addition homeowner Dennis Griner said that if the city waits too long people will lose interest and move on to improving their septic systems and be less agreeable to any kind of sewer hook-up in the future. He believes that if the city moves on this project now, property can be developed and growth that benefits all can occur.  The Mayor indicated that based on the proposal tonight the city will examine the cost of engineering and create a funding package for the Breeding’s Sewer Extension.  Part of the project could be self-help through the Department of Ecology, which means the city crew could do some of the work, reducing costs.  Discussion on the time frame and road detours took place.  Council Member Bailey stated that he has a personal interest as well as public interest and that the city would be doing a disservice to itself by not proceeding with this project.  Breeding’s Addition homeowner Scott Huffman stated that the longer it takes, the more expensive the project becomes.  Council Member Schorzman asked Joyce how this project would be funded.  Joyce said that the council would need to decide if the costs of engineering would included in the cost of connections or paid out of city funds.  The city could look at options such as Interfund loans and short-term construction loans.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to allow Clerk-Treasurer Beeson to research the funding options for Breeding’s Addition.  Council Member Bagott seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

Bruce Beeson presented to council his plans for a minor subdivision of 5 acres on the South side of Palouse.  He is requesting a covenant that would allow him to extend water and sewer services as the lots sell.  The council felt that this was agreeable, as it has been done with other developers.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges reported that he had surgery and is on light duty for a few weeks.  The city crew continues with their seasonal chores and daily maintenance.  The Mayor thanked Byron and the city crew for putting up the handicap parking signs and making the necessary adjustments to make that happen.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported finding two switched license plates, a warrant arrest, unattended death and dog nuisance citation.  Suspicious spending habits were reported, which lead to confession of the crime and an arrest.  The new countertop and desk are installed at the police department. Both the officers are going through required on-line training.  This takes a total of 20 hours, in 2 to 3 hour increments.  The chief reminded council and all drivers that U-Turns are illegal on Main Street .  The city allows drivers to perform U-Turns at the street intersections, but not in the middle of Main Street , as it is a State Highway and is marked with the double yellow line.  He also reminded council that with better weather coming up, people will be burning and that only natural vegetation is legal to burn.  A partial list of illegal burn items are painted wood, tires, cardboard, plastic, metals, treated wood, paper, dead animals, construction debris.  Council Member Wekenman asked about the unused police vehicle and if the time has come to sell it.  Chief Neumann said that it does get some use during events in town, but he will explore this.  The Chief presented to council a Mutual Aid Agreement between the following cities: Palouse, Oakesdale, Rosalia, Malden and Garfield .  He explained that these cities already have an unspoken agreement to help each other out when needed.  This formal agreement will allow these cities to apply for funding when needed.  Council Member Bailey MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the Mutual Aid agreement between Palouse, Oakesdale, Rosalia, Malden , and Garfield .  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: Dan Gladwill provided a written report to the council.




PERSONNEL & POOL : Mayor Echanove reported that Toshia Berend will be returning as the pool manager for 2007.  Two lifeguard positions will be available.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman-No Report

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey reported that concrete for the compost project may be poured in April, and the project could be up and running in May or June.

STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott reported that the city received three Statements of Qualification and interviews have been set up on Friday, March 2 for all three.  The committee will make its choice of engineer for the Whitman Street Project as well as the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension.  The committee will make their recommendations at the next council meeting.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill – No further report.

MAYOR’S REPORT : Mayor Echanove reported that he had no update on the mobile home park project.  Council Member Snook and the Mayor attended the AWC Legislative conference in Olympia and it was very productive, including a meeting with the Governor’s staff on transportation and railroad issues.  The Mayor is looking for a commitment from the state for the railroad portion of the Whitman Street project.  The annual AWC Conference will be in Tacoma in June this year and the Mayor encouraged council members to attend.  There will be Senior Public Official training in Colfax, March 16.  The training will cover roles and responsibilities before, during and after emergencies.  Chief Neumann and the Mayor have been in contact with the property owner of the Illinois Street house that burned in October.  The owner has stated that the house will be torn down and the lot cleared soon.  The Whitman County Annual Spring Clean up is in April.  A draft for the Critical Area ordinance will be coming to council soon and asked for approval to send it directly to the planning commission for review.  The council had no objection to this.  The Mayor commended the city staff for the reduction in delinquent w/s payments due to their diligence in enforcing city code. 

Bruce Beeson commented that city hall needs a U.S. flag.  The Mayor agreed and asked the staff to look into an indoor flag.  Joyce reported that the city hall park area will have a flag pole, message board and plantings in the spring.

Byron asked the Mayor if he knew of any available TIB funding for chip seal this year.  The Mayor said he was not currently aware of any funding at this time.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. 

Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN: Mike Milano MOVED to adjourn. Darcie Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:20PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 12239         through # 12258 Payments: $5,351.66

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________