January 13, 2009

January 13, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann.  Public present: Steve McGehee, Dixie Reber, Pete Hertz, David Milano, Jana Mathia, Gabe Cocking, Mitch Jamison, and Diane Mecham.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 23, 2008.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM The Mayor states that the council will not entertain any comments regarding personnel issues of city staff.
Mayor Echanove thanked the Boy Scouts attending the meeting as part of their award program.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on snow removal and cleaning up after wind and high water damage throughout town.  On Christmas morning, the F Street sewer pump station was frozen and the crew was called out to clear and repair.  Griffin explained how the alarm system works.  Councilmember Snook thanked the crew for going out on Christmas morning to handle this emergency that could have gotten much worse.  The river peaked at about 15 feet and the water did not reach to back door of the shop.  Boy Scout Gabe Cocking asked how much it costs to join the Chamber of Commerce.  Councilmember Milano stated that individual memberships are $15.

Mayor Echanove stated that in 2008, snow plowing cost the city about $20,000 in overtime.  In case the winter weather trend continues as it is in 2009, perhaps council should consider developing a written policy for snow related overtime.   Councilmember Milano added that along with the overtime, an equipment upgrade plan should be considered.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann handed out the PD call log and reported that the holiday season was fairly uneventful.  There was a near emergency situation as an ice dam developed near the Bridge Street Bridge.  Whitman County emergency management was very helpful, as well as PW Griffin, and Councilmember Wekenman who kept an all night vigil even after the ice dam broke at about midnight.  The Mayor thanked all involved.

NEW BUSINESS:   Resolution 2009-01:  Cancel lost warrant
This resolution was withdrawn since the lost warrant had since been delivered to the vendor.



PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano handed out pictures and a description of a piece of art offered as a donation from Will Murray to the Palouse River park project.  He asked for council and public feedback on how to proceed with Mr. Murray’s offer.  After discussion, councilmember Milano suggested that a committee be put together for any public art installation.  The Little People’s park project is in the public comment phase and so far the feedback is positive.  The park improvement grant program will be awarding this spring so we are still hopeful.

The water reservoir and park trail project has been sent to Southeastern Washington Development where it will be sent on to other economic development lists to be ready for any stimulus programs that may move forward in the next few years.  Mayor Echanove stated that the footbridge is on a Whitman County economic development list.  There will be a great deal of engineering and permitting involved in this project.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION :  Councilmember Bailey handed out the newest version of the proposed zoning from the Planning Commission (PC).  The only change noted was a Light Industrial section along Cove Road was changed to R-2.  PC is asking for council feedback.  Their next meeting is Tuesday, Feb 1st and would like any comments and concerns by then.  When the PC is ready, they will submit their proposal to council and council will vote to either set a public hearing or send back to the PC for further review.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested that we look at past notes of a public meeting the PC may have held before submitting proposal to council.

Mayor Echanove explained to council that PC members Sam Gregg, Maggie Brushears and Ann Warrington have resigned and three citizens have stepped forward to fill these positions; Dixie Reber, Robin Rillette and Mike Sanderson.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to install Dixie Reber, Robin Rillette, and Mike Sanderson to the Planning Commission.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott asked Dwayne if he looked into the placement of street signs on the city posts at the Main & Bridge intersection.  Dwayne said there is no room.  Councilmember Bagott will call the state to ask permission to put these city signs on their posts.

WATER & SEWER :   Councilmember O’Neill reported that his committee met to identify infrastructure needs for 2009.  Mayor Echanove stated that the city received a request from James Farr for infrastructure extensions on Breeding’s Addition.  The request is being reviewed by the Water & Sewer Committee.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Ecology planning grant for the Brownfield’s project is in draft form.  There is no word yet on the availability of a grant for the purchase of the property.  The next Brownfields meeting is scheduled for January 21st at 7:00 PM.

The city’s insurance provider settled the Omoto claim for $7,500.  That was a $1,000 deductible to the city.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:43 PM.