February 9, 2010

February 9, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Darcie Bagott; Norm Schorzman. Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Stephen Bishop; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Bev Pearce, Pete Hertz, Tracy Milano, Mary Estes, Tim Jones, Jeslyn Lemke, Greg Partch.

Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse the three absent councilmembers.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 26, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   In addition to his written report, Supt. Griffin reported that they are renting a chipper from Hahn Rental for $200/day for one day to test our options.  Public Works feel like the county offer is the best value for them at $55/hour + travel time, the fuel, and a county worker.  The county isn’t trying to make money, just recoup their costs of maintaining the machine and keep the program running.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann submitted the January activity log.  The PD purchased a new copier; the lower cost of the ink for the new copier will pay for itself within a few months.  The Union Street speed limit signs have been ordered.

TREASURER’S REPORT 2009 Treasurer’s Report.  Clerk-Treasurer Beeson submitted written report and added a draft copy of the 2009 narrative financial report for CE, which will eventually include all funds.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the treasurer’s report as presented.  Councilmember Marcus seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Whitman County Commissioner Update :  Commissioner Partch reported that TIB is funded by $.03 of every gas tax dollar.  With normal income around 80 million a year, this year it’s at about 60 million.  They did have to cancel some projects but currently are holding their own.

The county had a difficult budget year but is okay, with no lay-offs.  If I-1033 had passed, things would have been worse.  They are still maintaining decent reserves.

There are a number of committee volunteer openings if anyone from Palouse is interested, particularly the county planning commission.    

Planning Commission Reappointments : Jay Iverson and Corey Laughary’s terms have expired and they would like to continue.  The mayor recommended their reappointments.   Councilmember Snook MOVED and Councilmember Zehm seconded to reappoint Jay Iverson and Corey Laughary to the Palouse Planning Commission.  Motion carried unanimously.  Mike Sanderson stepped down from the PC thus leaving an opening.  The city received interest from two individuals.   The mayor recommended the appointment of Mary Estes to the position.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Zehm seconded the appointment of Mary Estes to the Planning Commission.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Planning Commission is currently reviewing zoning and the comprehensive plan.


Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings:   Milano reported that he is looking into a Byways grant and a state RCO grant for the pedestrian bridge project.  He will see if the match money certification will allow us to apply for both grants for the project.

Mary Estes will be shopping for trees for the RV Park, using donated money.  Mary said we can plant anytime the city staff is ready.

Water & Sewer :  Roger reported the city is in the process of developing a small city water plan.  They are looking into having a rate study done also for water and sewer.  If Palouse continues as is, we will be operating in the red as rates have not kept up with inflation.  The w/s committee, Supt. Griffin, Clerk Beeson, and Doug Willcox met to discuss the water plan and the Breeding’s Addition request for a 2” line.        

A WSU professor contacted MFA to see if his class of 22 students could use the river walk project, (Brownfields area, Shady Lane, the river, the Lions Club Park and City Park) as a class project, making conceptual designs, etc.

This spring there is going to be a Japanese miniseries filmed outside of Palouse.  A majority of the filming is taking place at Gary Kendall’s ranch.  The cast and production company will be in Palouse in April.  Locals are involved in props, animals, catering, etc.

Brownfields Update, Economic development – The mayor reported on a great meeting involving the community in this phase of the project.  About 20 people attended.  Doug Willcox gave a full report at the last meeting.

Councilmember Snook and Mayor Echanove attended the legislative conference in Olympia.

Mr. Farr filed a complaint to the State Auditor about the city.  They will review his concerns when they do our city audit later this year.

We received 4 public records requests this week from Jim Farr along with a complaint against the Planning Commission.  Corey Laughary and Mark Bailey both submitted written responses.  All of these are public record and available by contacting City Hall.

Susan Fagan’s bill to charge for PRR staff time after 5 hours didn’t make it out of committee.  Approximately 30 states do charge, Washington does not.

Roger Marcus attended training in Yakima for newly elected officials.  He recommends it to all council members.

Canfield & Associates will be here Feb. 23 for a workshop.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Marcus seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     #2051 –  #2082            $10,537.87
Payroll Paid     2032 – 2049 & EFT     $38,037.31

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________