February 27, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

February 27, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout. Staff present: City Attorney Eric Hanson; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 13, 2018. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

POLICE REPORT: Officer Snead has been working on evidence, clearing out Garfield evidence and housing it in one spot in Palouse. Nothing profound in Garfield evidence; 90% have been adjudicated and very old.

Part-time Officer Snead will be leaving end of April for a prior job commitment. We have a potential pt hire from Colfax to replace him until a third ft officer can be found. We have a ride-along this week with another potential hire for the third officer position. He’s a 17-year police veteran.

Garfield transition with new mayor has been good.


Mark Wilcomb reported. There were 22 total fire calls in 2017. 1 fire call in January 2018.

Fire Chief Bagott and Asst. Fire Chief Beeson attended the County Fire Chiefs meeting. There was discussion about having a mutual aid agreement between the appropriate county agencies and the Spokane fire agencies which would ensure something was in place in the event of a catastrophic event. Palouse FD will discuss among themselves.

7 EMS calls in January. EMS unit is working on more combined training this year.


We had a preliminary proposal submitted to City Hall for a planned development/major subdivision just south of the Palouse Cove Development. The proposal is in the hands of city building inspector and Palouse Planning Commission right now. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and then make their recommendation to council. Council then has 60 days to give applicants a response. Applicants then bring back a final proposal and council will then either approve, approve subject to conditions, or deny.

Time to surplus the old dump truck. Supt. Griffin can’t find any comp prices on a 1973 dump truck however he thinks the tires are worth a couple thousand. It requires a CDL to drive so there’s a limited buyer’s market. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to surplus the 1973 dump truck with a minimum bid of $1,500. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

There are five confirmed Brownfields committee members. First meeting will be mid-March and we’ll get some direction on proceeding. A call for RFP’s (request for proposals) will be next move. Discussion ensued on the process and setting parameters for how to choose.

Pearson Fence from Colfax will be returning to Palouse to give bid for fence repair along Whitman Street.

Site locations have been discussed for the new WWTF. One is perhaps purchasing land by city’s well pump. That site requires pumping uphill and crossing a river. The other site is perhaps purchasing land on the west side of town. That site is much better logistically but it’s in a floodplain. Cost will be a big factor as well.

CT Dixon spoke with WSDOT regarding the speed concerns at the entrances into and out of Palouse. WSDOT hasn’t forgotten about us. They did a speed survey on south entrance in 2016 and didn’t agree with city’s speed concerns but they are going to re-test this spring as well as a speed study at the east entrance. They’ll update us later.

Maul Foster & Alongi is coming this week to do another test at the Brownfields site.

We had talked about Palouse Arms Building and what course of action city can take to assure the owner makes that site less dangerous etc. Atty. Hanson said there is an “abatement of dangerous buildings” procedure to be followed. That will be sent out end of March by the building inspector. It gives notice and states why and reasons it’s dangerous and what improvements must be made by what date. There are a lot of things involved. City must get a litigation guarantee from title company. There are costs and it’s a process; it’s not an easy fix. City BI is the first step in the process. Owner can appeal. CT Dixon will work with BI to take care of this.


Decision on Apollo solar/energy proposal: solar addition to existing solar array and LED improvements to public buildings. Supt. Griffin is confident in doing the LED upgrades himself at a fraction of the cost. But we need to let Apollo know our decision on the solar portion. The initial solar project (w/ Apollo) has exceeded expectations and this is a great opportunity to take advantage of additional grant funding (which would cover ~75% of total project cost) while it is still available. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to proceed with the solar portion of Apollo’s proposal. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Cascades Computing license agreement: They will house a rack of equipment inside city hall’s storage room, alongside First Step Internet’s. In turn, Cascades will make high speed internet service available to any other city location(s) as agreed upon by both parties. Specifically, the city would like to see the police department outfitted with mobile radio receivers to be able to access Wi-Fi in their patrol cars in Garfield and Palouse. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Sievers, to adopt the agreement as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Continued alley discussion. At question is appropriate or allowable use for improved/unimproved alleys and temporary vs permanent structure. The code doesn’t distinguish between the two but there are definitely distinctions. Some alleys have been forested land for 100 years and impossible to use for driving purposes. Adjacent property owners own the ground to the middle of the alley but city has legal right of way. City attorney stated that an unimproved or unused alley allows for adjacent property owners to use their half of the alley as long as it’s not permanent, with the knowledge that if the city needs to exercise their right of way, anything obstructing the alley must be removed at owner’s expense. But then defining “permanent” becomes muddied. Some argue that an alley is an alley. Much discussion ensued about code and defining code. If it’s a “thoroughfare,” or improved alley, owners cannot construct in the alley. Councilmember Stout MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson, that we don’t allow structure in alley based upon the confusion over whether it’s portable or permanent. Motion failed.


Colfax policing agreement for outside employment agreement with Palouse: Chief Neumann has been working with Colfax Police Chief Rick McNannay on an employment agreement which would allow Colfax officers to work part time in Palouse if needed. Mayor Vanek from Colfax contacted Mayor Echanove and would like to see it perhaps be written as an interlocal agreement. Councilmember Wekenman tabled the discussion until next council meeting. Councilmember Stout seconded. Motion carried unanimously.


Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson– Councilmember Hanson MOVED to go into executive session regarding personnel issues (9:45 pm-9:50 pm). Councilmember Stout seconded. Councilmembers Wekenman and Wilcomb voted no. Motion carried.

Personnel committee met to discuss various issues including pool staffing and police department pay and benefits. Councilmember Hanson submitted a written report.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings, Chair Snyder- Committee briefly discussed the land donation along the south side of the river and north side of Shady Lane. Land is currently being surveyed and CT Dixon will pass along any updates as he receives them.

At 10 pm Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to extend meeting until 10:10 pm. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman– Chief Neumann covered under his report what the committee met about. Committee will know more about potential hire after Friday’s meeting with potential hire and re-discuss at that time.

Councilmember Wekenman is concerned about supplying officers for the annual collegiate bike race that ends and begins in Palouse. If we don’t have our standard police force it could require overtime for our temporary 2-man department. Additionally, the city doesn’t have money to pay outside officer(s) to stand at the intersection to flag for a bike race. Councilmember Snyder has connections with WSU’s cadet program and will see if he can get some of them to work the race as volunteer hours.


Mayor appointed Chuck Stemke to the Palouse Board of Adjustment. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snyder, to affirm the mayor’s appointment. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor appointed Renee San Miguel to the Palouse Planning Commission. Councilmember Stout MOVED to affirm the mayor’s appointment. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid Ck. #8985-9002 $12,099.00

Stop Pymt Adj. for Lost Check #8618, replaced by Ck. #8987 $ -7,500.00

Net claims paid $ 4,599.00

ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 10:11 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________