Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
January 13, 2015
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bo Ossinger; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce; Christopher Langsett. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Jerry Moss; Teresa Baker; Roy & Debbie Druffel; Donna Langsett; Munir Daud.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 9, 2014. Councilmember Pearce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
Councilmember Wekenman thinks the street lights on Main Street stay on too long in the morning but apparently that’s how the light detecting mechanism in the new system works. They’re not adjustable.
Between Garfield and Palouse, we’ve had some domestic issues, suicide concerns, two burglaries in Garfield (one individual placed in custody).
Chief Neumann has been working diligently on the animal complaint PRR; it will be completed this week.
The PD had a computer crash due to a virus; VGH was able to repair and recover the police database.
Regarding the junk yard complaint received in December; the residents did remove the mattress. The PD has tagged one junk vehicle. Jerry Moss and Teresa Baker live nearby and want something done; they are very concerned about their abutting property values. Code says their debris needs to be screened from the road. The PD is going to work on getting the residents of said property into compliance, including fixing fence in the back, removing junk vehicles, etc. Officer Merry said that this Friday (1/15/15) will be the deadline for the tent trailer to be moved off the right-of-way. The junk vehicles in the back are being identified. Officer Merry will send the residents a certified letter in which they’ll have 10 days to respond. The PD just initiated this process this week. The owner knows the tent trailer has to be resolved. The nuisance violation has been ongoing for 10 or so years. Teresa Baker also thinks the garage/carport looks unfinished and unstable. She is going to call the Building Inspector. Teresa Baker wants a deadline put in play by the PD. Officer Merry wants 60 days; and “we’ll have that thing cleaned up and/or tickets issued”. By February 1 we should see a visible change. When the certified letters go out, the clock starts. Officer Merry will be doing some enforcement up there this weekend (separate from the junk vehicles). Councilmember Wekenman wants this issue on the police report agenda for the next few months.
As a result of the accident, the PD is down a patrol car. They’re using the old Garfield dummy car. Additionally, the 2007 Charger has developed an engine noise. Bagott Motors has examined the car and believes that the noise may be indicative of a major engine problem. The car is now at Wysup Dodge for a second opinion. It could be a $6,000 fix on a vehicle worth $5,000. So the Durango is totaled and the Charger may need extensive repairs. Chief Neumann doesn’t want to spend money on repairs that may or may not work or could exceed the value of the car. With insurance money and budgeting, if Chief was to deplete his funds, he’d have $40,400 to buy two police vehicles. He’d like perhaps to do an interfund loan to make sure his budget doesn’t go over. We’ll need about $5,000 or $6,000 cushion to have the ability to keep the vehicles running. We’re downsizing from a Dodge Durango to perhaps a Dodge Journey which is a midsize SUV. Whatever vehicle we get, there will be an extra $2,000 in extras needed (shields, light bars, etc). A budget amendment is one option over an interfund loan.
Ordinance No. 929 amending PMC 6.20 regarding pigs: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This ordinance repeals the allowance and licensing of commercial pig sties within the city limits. It also amends the code to specify that no one in the city limits can keep for any purpose, swine kept for marketing, private consumption, FFA, 4H, breeding, or propagation of litters. Each household may keep as a pet one miniature pig weighing not more than 125 pounds and continuously registered with a nationally recognized miniature pig association. Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 929. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Brantner easement: Craig and Kelly Brantner have an ownership interest in property that is adjacent to the road going to the old city dump. It’s in the county but the city has property down there. It’s not maintained. The Brantners want to have an easement from the city to use that road; they will take all the responsibility for it and to maintain it. They asked permission from council in 2014 for access to use the road. Council saw no objection at that time. We’ve received the legal easement from Attorney Bishop. The easement frees the city of any and all obligations, held-harmless for perpetuity, and the city has perpetual use of that road to get to the city property. Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Langsett, to adopt the easement as presented. PW Supt. Griffin is fine with it. Motion carried unanimously.
Sand Road Development project – final subdivision plat: Whitcom finalized the addressing. Community Action Center has already requested the first four lots. The plans are awaiting Avista and Frontier construction plans. The sewer and water plans were already approved and look good. The water usage was sent to Taylor Engineering and they approved the water plan and we have that in writing. Ellie Key from DOE has stated that the sewer system has capacity for the 21 additional connections. Streets will be paved with rolled curbs and sidewalks on one side using WSDOT specs, as soon as the weather permits. Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to approve the final plat for Sand Road Development project pending review, approval, and any corrections by the city attorney. After 10 homes are built, there will be a review of the lift station as outlined by engineer Munir Daud. The wording will be in the dedication on the plans. Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2015-01 purchase police vehicle under special market conditions: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. When a used piece of equipment is available which meets specifications and is at a favorable price it would likely be sold before the usual bidding process could be completed. The City has appropriated a maximum of $21,000 to cover the purchase price for this vehicle. It shall have no more than 35,000 miles. This resolution authorizes Chief Neumann to negotiate and purchase a used police vehicle according to these specs. The 35,000 mile thing is important here to remember. We’ve had pretty good luck with these types of purchases in the past using these methods. The Police Fire and Safety committee is behind this resolution. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2015-01 allowing Chief Neumann to enter into the purchase of a vehicle under these conditions. Councilmember Hicks seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
JFB MEETING: Insurance last year was 25% higher than anticipated. 5 fire calls in December, 35 YTD. EMS had 83 calls YTD. They need to develop a recruitment strategy because their personnel are aging and they don’t have enough for daytime coverage. It’s difficult finding available people during the day because jobs take them outside of Palouse.
Water & Sewer, Chair Bo Ossinger- A letter was sent to Palouse residents informing them of the $1 sewer increase.
Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Rick Wekenman- Committee met last night to discuss the police car concerns and Resolution No. 2015-01.
Personnel & Pool, Chair Bev Pearce- Bev wants council to consider a mass mailing to the residents notifying them of the new Title 6 code (animals). She will draft something for council approval or not. There was discussion on whether the expense of mass mailings outweighs the effectiveness.
Liquor event license for the Palouse Community Center’s third annual Brew Fest Feb. 7, 2015. No objections.
Liquor event license for the Viola Community Center fundraiser at the Palouse Grange Jan. 24, 2015. No objections.
Liquor license renewal for the Green Frog Café was read by Mayor Pro Tem Wekenman. No objections.
RTPO Regional Transportation Planning Organization. Council passed Res. 2014-03 authorizing our membership therein. City signed the interlocal agreement in October 2014. On January 5, 2015 (last week) the city received a letter from RTPO regarding a revision to the agreement which has a hard deadline of January 29, 2015. Councilmember Hicks MOVED authorizing the mayor to sign the interlocal agreement. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
AWC meeting Feb. 18 & 19, 2015.
In first 10 days of 2015, the RV Park has already sold 27 nights for $675.00.
Planning Commission Chair Corey Laughary submitted his resignation. Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to accept his resignation. Motion carried unanimously. Three members now need to be replaced on the Planning Commission. Interested parties should submit a letter of interest to City Hall. It is a three-year term.
In a follow-up to the Aug. 12, 2014 council meeting in which Scott Storch was granted temporary permission to hook his motor home up to city services on-site during construction of his home, he has submitted his application for a conditional use permit to continue doing so as his house isn’t complete yet. This will be handled by the Board of Adjustment.
Varela submitted their comments on the WWTP permit review. DOE submitted their responses and findings of fact. They backed off the screws on some of their requirements for nitrates but they didn’t on the temperature. Public Works staff were very disappointed in DOE’s responses. 10 years ago DOE awarded the city with a plaque for our award winning sewer plant. The sewer plant hasn’t changed; DOE has. Every time we hit the bar, DOE raises the bar. It’s back up for public review again because they changed it. Thus far we’ve spent about $11,500 with Varela. Initially council authorized up to $13,000 for them to work on the permit and get our applications ready to go for funding in 2015.
The city needs to decide if they want the staff to surplus the most of the replaced street lights. Public Works Supt. Griffin and Deputy Clerk Thompson will research.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Pearce MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:40 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid – 12/31/14 Ck. #6241 – 6260 & EFT $41,995.02
Claims Paid – 12/31/14 13th Month Ck. #6262 – 6282 & EFT $15,033.24
Claims Paid – 1/13/15 Ck. #6261, & 6283 – 6297 $21,687.91
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________