February 8, 2005


February 8, 2005

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Norm Schorzman, John Sell, Jeff Snook, Linda Dillard, Dave Willmore, Steve McGehee, and Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Bev Pearce, Deputy City Clerk; Marc Arrasmith, Public Works Superintendent; Randy Zehm, Police Chief; Bruce Grass, Building Inspector; Stephen Bishop, City Attorney


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The Mayor requested the following corrections to the minutes: Open Forum, eleventh line down: He stated that Palouse has two projects with one being ranked #3; twelfth line down, renked to ranked Jeff Snook MOVED to approve the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of January 25, 2005. John Sell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.




  1. Request for letter of support from council for the Palouse Community Center

The community center is apply for the Triad Publishing Grant in the amount of $1,000

Bev Pearce, President of the Palouse Community Center requested a letter of support from the city council. The center is applying for a grant to do repairs on the small back building of the center and part of the grant application is to gather letters of support from different entities in town. Council Member Willmore MOVED to authorize the Mayor to provide a letter of support to the community center. Council Member Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Written Report Submitted By Byron Hodges

Treasurer Beeson presented to the council two mower bids, one from Columbia Tractor for $2413.58 and the other from Arrow Machinery for $2150.92. Council Member Willmore MOVED to accept the lowest bid from Arrow Machinery. Council Member McGehee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Written report submitted by Chief Zehm

Chief Zehm had nothing more to add to his report.



Inspector Grass reported on three items: 1. Electrical inspection for the Public Safety Building should have occurred today, Tuesday. He had not heard anything as of council time. 2. Beach Street property-there is a signed agreement between the property owners and the city, that by June 30, 2005 the outside of the home was to be done, if not then the city would proceed with the abatement process. 3. Ellis Street property, the Board of Appeals will reconvene to address this property issue. The Mayor stated that he had received three complaints, two for the Beach Street property and one for the Ellis Street property. Council Member Wekenman voiced concern for weed control on the Beach Street property. Bruce said that would be one items and the trench on the property would be another of the items to be addresses by June 30. Council Member McGehee asked Bruce what needs to be done before June 30. Bruce said, doors, windows, siding, clean up of property. The house has to look like a house by June 30.



No new business was presented



  1. Letter of Support for the Whitman County Commissioners

The Mayor reread portions of the minutes of the January 25 council meeting, regarding the letter of support for the Whitman County Commissioners. Greg Partch asked the city to help the commissioner in their attempt to have I747 repealed. At the last council meeting the issue was tabled by Council Member Willmore, so he could look at the initiative more closely.









  1. Fisher Addition Sewer Extension

Council Member Willmore began his report by stating that he met with Clerk/Treasurer Beeson and Don Myott to gather information on this project. He needs to review the credentials of engineering firms that have provided a Statement of Qualifications to the city, and then he will bring that information to the next council meeting. Willmore discussed with Joyce line item funds that may be available. There are loan programs that are available for this project, but only after the city has an engineered plan ready for the DOE. Paul Doring of the Upper Columbia Resource Conservation & Development group is ready and willing to help the city with this project. Council Member Willmore stated that he would like to see this project move forward. There will be another committee meeting and they will bring more data back to the next council meeting. Council Member Sell asked about where the previous E. coli testing location was on the river. Council Member Willmore stated that the test showed no E. coli above the F Street Bridge, but did show E. coli below the bridge. Willmore also stated that according to the testing group, in order to identify the E. coli specifically, a DNA test would need to be done. Council Member Snook asked if the testing would continue. Council Member Willmore said he didn’t know, but would find out. Council Member Dillard said that the testing group had been in contact with her, she did not know the name of the company. She stated that a new testing group was taking over the study and wished to place testing equipment on her mother’s river front property. She said she would give the name of the group to Council Member Willmore. The Mayor stated that he and Council Member Sell received a letter of support from John Skyles in regards to the Fisher’s Addition Sewer Extension. Council Member Wekenman asked about previous engineer work that was done on this project a couple of years ago. Council Member Willmore stated that the city did have those papers, but the work was on complete and the cost estimates would have to be updated. Joyce said that the some of the information could be used but that the report was just preliminary and would not meet DOE requirements.



Linda stated that she has view the sidewalks on West Main Street and Mary Street. She does see the need for repair and will continue to work on that project.

No Report

Building committee will meet

Committee will meet to discuss a new pool manager, as Marcia Hershaw will be leaving the area

A. Outdoor facility use: Council Member McGehee began his committee report by discussing the outdoor facility use policy. He stated that the committee felt that an ordinance would be overkill; a city policy would be more restrictive. They were proposing a guideline for outdoor facility use. This could be posted on the city’s website. He asked the council members, what do you want? Council Member Wekenman related an incident that occurred sometime last year, a person received permission from someone to camp at the city park. The camper must have misunderstood the meaning, because they stayed for several days. The Lions Club has a camping park and the city should not step on their toes. Wekenman continued by pointing out that in the summer when Kamiak is closed for fire hazards, there is a lack of camping in the area. Council Member McGehee asked Chief Zehm if the city has an ordinance to prevent camping in the city park. Chief Zehm said no, but it is understood that in general camping is not allowed. The Mayor commented that he liked the idea of guidelines. Council Member McGehee asked the chief if the police department could enforce guidelines. The chief suggested that if you have a big group, such as the RAW, the bicycle club, they could apply to the city for permission to camp at the park. The city may rethink allowing individual campers. Council Member Dillard voice her concern over the park being used a camp site for individual, that we don’t know, in a park is used by children.

Council Willmore suggested signage, the type he has seen at other parks, stating no overnight camping. Council Member McGehee asked the city attorney, if they used guidelines could the police department enforce them. Council Member McGehee stated that it looks like the best approach is with a guideline.

  1. Outdoor Burning : the committee does not want an absolute ban on outdoor burning. Council Member McGehee stated to ask the council members if they want an absolute ban on outdoor burning, Schorzman said no, Sell said no, people should not burn wet leave, only dry stuff; Wekenman said no, Snook, Dillard and Willmore did not respond. Bruce Grass did not support an absolute ban. Chief Zehm stated that the state law clearly states, if the fire becomes a nuisance, whether it’s legal or not, it has to be put out. Council Member McGehee stated the he gets the feeling from council that they would support a restrictive burn ordinance. He continued the discussion by asking the council if there should be a set number of days to burn. Council Member Dillard asked any kind of fire? Council Member Sell said that it would be hard to set up specific dates. Council Member Schorzman stated that the biggest culprits are wet leaves. He was in Rosalia early in the week and they were burning multiple piles of leaves and the town looked like it was on fire. He would support a ban on leaf burning. Council Member McGehee said that there would need to be a distinction between recreational burning and maintenance burning. Bruce Grass stated that an open burn creates a nuisance; the police department would tell them to put it out, if they don’t the fire department will. Council Member Schorzman reminded the council of the spring clean up day the chamber sponsors, perhaps which could be expanded to the fall as well. Council Member McGehee stated that there is a long shopping list to work on. Council Members Wekenman, McGehee and Willmore support specific burn days, Snook, Dillard, Schorzman, and Sell do not want specific burn days. Council Member McGehee stated that with the council indicating their feelings on this issue, the committee would remove the idea of specific burn days from the list. Chief Zehm reminded the council that if someone is unable to breath during a bad burn day in Palouse, they should call 911 for help, that’s what the EMS is here for.


WATER & SEWER : David Willmore
No Report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
Rick reported that the committee met and is reviewing the old city hall/fire station location as a possible office space for the police department. This seems to be a legitimate location and renovation is possible. The building and maintenance fund is just shy of $50,000, and volunteer work could be used, as it was for the PSB, to reduce cost further. Council Member Wekenman asked for a vote of confidence from the council to proceed with this project and get cost estimates. The entire council gave their approval. Council Member Wekenman continued by stating the new fire tanker truck had arrived in Palouse. There will be two vehicles that will be surplused. The council has before them a Memorandum of Agreement between the city and the rural fire district for title of the new tank truck. Council Member Schorzman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the agreement. Council Member Sell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Council Member Wekenman said that the committee will meet next week to continue work on the new police department office.



  1.         Barricades: The Mayor began his report by providing information on new street barricades, this project      should cost no more then $1500 and the cost could be split between the chamber, block watch and any other group that would have use of the barricades. It is estimated that 240 feet of barricades are needed.
  2. WA State Department of Transportation: The city received a letter stating the books will be closed on the railroad crossing issue.
  3. AWC Conference: The Mayor will be attending the AWC conference in Olympia next week
  4. Letter of Intent from the Hazard Mitigation Plan: The mayor overlooked this letter, which should have been sign at a previous council meeting. Council Member Schorzman MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the letter of intent. Council Member Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: John Sell MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.

Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


ADJOURN:    Jeff Snook MOVED to adjourn. Linda Dillard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:45PM


The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants: # 10902             through #   10937               Payment: $26,488.79

Payroll Paid                   Warrants: # 5692                  through #    5713                 Payment: $25,673.57



APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________