January 22, 2008

January 22, 2008

CALL TO ORDER : Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

ROLL CALL : Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent were: Norm Schorzman and Andy O’Neill. Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present were: Heather McGehee; Boy Scout Troop 326 from Moscow.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES : Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 8, 2008. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : Boy Scout Troop 326 from Moscow came to observe a City Council meeting.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : In addition to his submitted written report, Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin added that in researching used pick-ups, he found what looks like a good deal through the state surplus program. He asked council to set the maximum amount he could spend on this vehicle, allow a purchase under the special market conditions of a government surplus program. He reported that he is considering a 1995 Ford, 250 xl, with manual transmission, 2wd, and a utility box for $5,200. He needs something dependable and bigger than what they have now. The 2008 budget is $18,000 which will buy the new lawnmower and this pickup. Public works will use both pick-ups, Marc will take over the 1987 half ton dodge, while Don & Dwayne will use this 1995. If council approves they will pick it up Thursday or Friday. Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize Dwayne Griffin to spend up to $6,000 for the purchase of a vehicle. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Everything is business as usual. Traffic enforcement has been stepped with Officer Eaton’s presence. The Personnel Committee met and discussed ongoing search for 2nd officer. We’re meeting again in February, hoping to bring candidates in. Chief Neumann has started the process of replacing the Intrepid. He’d like a more traditional police vehicle, fully marked, and more visible. He’s looking at a used Dodge Charger. The intrepid still holds value for trade-in. Chief Neumann would like to update our vehicle every 5 or 6 years. Councilmember Bailey inquired about pricing of the Charger vs. a Crown Victoria. It’s the same engine in both vehicles; we’re dealing with a vehicle size issue more than anything. A used ’07 charger is between $14-15k. The trade-in value of the Intrepid is between $5-$6k. Councilmember Wekenman asked if council needed to discuss the rationale for two vehicles for a town this size and police force this size. Chief Neumann replied that if we’re looking to rotate vehicles every 5 to 6 years it would keep the wear and tear down a little bit. At times there is one vehicle down, etc. Councilmember Wekenman added that a lot of departments are going towards Chargers. Chief Neumann met with the Communications Advisory Board, going over bylaws, policy, etc. Whitman County is in a good position with .08 funding. We’re well ahead of the curve of other counties.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT : Dan Gladwill reported things were very busy until about Dec. 1st, then they slowed down as normal. He’s been working with WABO and joined a technical code advisory group, revising building codes for ’09. He’s going to Minnesota this fall for more training on the legislative side of it, stopping bad stuff from going to print. Getting the WABO seal on things really looks good. At the convention Dan represents both Whitman County and the City of Palouse. Our building permits are down a little from last year but considering the building recession, that’s okay. It’s the same in the county as well. City Clerk Beeson said our valuation went up about 3 million since last year, making it 39,186,000, as reported by the county assessors office.

JOINT FIRE BOARD : Councilmember Snook said they had a quick meeting. Our Fire Chief noted we have not had any calls since Nov. 2nd. EMS had four calls last month. We’re in the process of ordering equipment and new radios for trucks using money from the DNR grant. Chief Bagott thinks the burn ordinance has been a success; we have not had any nuisance calls since that was passed.

NEW BUSINESS : No new business

Ordinance 839: Adopt terms and costs associated with connecting to the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension .
Councilmember Snook MOVED to suspend the reading of ordinance in its entirety. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Councilmember O’Neill reviewed the wording and all points were acceptable. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Ordinance 839. Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Update on Whitman Street Project ;
Councilmember Bagott reported that we’re very close to going out to bid. Munir is working with Paul Weber from DOT Rail design. The final design is complete, contract documents are 95% complete, we just have to attach the cost adjustments. It takes time because we’re working with both the Railroad and TIB to get this finished. We have to meet one more time before it goes to Gloria Bennet at TIB. Once approved by Bennett it will then out to bid. The only other part TIB is waiting for is for Ecology to sign off on the DAHP study done by Rain Shadow Research. Mayor Echanove said everything is right on target for the project. Paul Weber’s salary is being paid by WSDOT Rail so it’s reducing our total project costs.

Mobile Home Acquisition Project : We received the appraisal last week. Numbers came in as expected. At the next meeting, council will be asked to approve the purchase of the property. Councilmember Wekenman asked if we have been in contact with anyone regarding the possible recycling of any mobile homes acquired by the city. The Mayor reported that our efforts to date have been strictly focused on the real estate acquisition piece for the project.

The Mayor asked Dwayne Griffin about A & R Construction’s progress on Breeding’s Addition. They’re waiting out the weather. Councilmember Bailey reported to Dwayne that A & R Construction is referring people to Dwayne in regards to property lines on personal property. It’s not Dwayne’s job; if A& R wants the work, they should be figuring out where property lines are, etc. not public works.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Councilmember Milano reported that an electrical contractor will be in town on the 5th to look at hookup sites and park improvements.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS : Councilmember Bagott reported that the South River Road and Lynd Street signs are in. She inquired whether or not the South River Road residents have been contacted about this change. Letters will go out informing residents of their new address. Darcie found a contact perso at DOT regarding SR27 signage. She will have a report at next meeting. Mayor added that with the pending acquisition of the MH park, we should consider a crosswalk between there and the Shady Lane trail. Since it is crossing a state highway, it would be a prime candidate for TIB funding. Let’s think about putting a sidewalk on the carwash piece and a crosswalk to Shady Lane.

POLICE, FIRE, & SAFETY : Councilmember Wekenman reported that the Personnel Committee will meet shortly to discuss the hiring of a new officer.

Joyce has all the year-end figures if anyone wants to see them and will have a 2007 year end report for the next council meeting.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS : Councilmember Bagott 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 Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 7:54 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Warrants: #12855 – #12874 Payment: $9,842.41

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________