January 23, 2018

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

January 23, 2018

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson (until 8 pm); Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Stout, to excuse Councilmember Slinkard.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 9, 2018.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported that our last potential hire (Flowers) didn’t work out.  The city expended $950 on his background check & testing, etc.  Each potential hire has to have these tests done so those subsequent fees put the policing services budget upside down.  We interviewed another potential hire (Kreig) yesterday (1/22/18).  He is state academy trained and a 7-year veteran but he’ll need some additional training.  His training is not reimbursable because it’s not CJTC criminal justice training commission sponsored.  If we hire him, it will be imperative to keep Officer Snead on while he was being trained.  This too will require additional funding so we need to determine where that will come from.  Chief will do as much as possible prior to expending any money on testing for new applicants.

The camera system for surveillance at the well-head/solar plant has been purchased.  Chief Neumann will install once the weather is a little warmer.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:  4th Q 2017 year-end report.  3 new homes in 4th Q, 8 YTD.  It has been an excellent year.

Regarding the Palouse Arms apartment.  BI Gladwill gave the owner a verbal deadline of May 31, 2018, to have the site cleaned up and made safe.  City council has asked CT Dixon to have our city attorney follow-up with a letter so we have something in writing that will outline what happens if he doesn’t comply by deadline.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:  Budget finished strong.  For 2017 there were 22 total fire calls.  EMS had 79 calls in 2017, down from 110 in 2016.  The current ambulance contract is split so that the city pays 70% and rural pays 30%, however Annie Pillers will watch the call data to determine if this cost split remains fairly distributed.  EMS & FD continue their trainings.

CLERK-TREASURER REPORT:  TD&H, Plateau, & Bishop are still working with us on decertifying the cemetery plot to proceed with our water system improvement project.

The public comment period for the Dept of Ecology’s new permit for Palouse River/WWTP ended on January 20th. We anticipate they will grant an extension to Palouse to submit a final facility plan by 4/1/19.

Closeout paperwork for the West Whitman project is almost complete.  All change orders and overages were approved.  The city has a new regional engineer at TIB who cautioned city council on approving change orders as they are not guaranteed to be reimbursable.


Apollo Solutions presented council with their findings from their lighting audit and possible project proposals:  1) One project proposal is adding an additional 25kW to our existing 75kW solar farm.  Just like the first phase, this phase would have guaranteed minimum energy production; 2) Second project proposal is upgrading lighting at various city buildings to LED.  Benefits, costs, funding, available grants, etc. were outlined.


Ratification of Whitman County Mutual Aid Agreement:  This document outlines the relationship between Palouse FD with other regional fire departments:  Albion, Colfax, Farmington, Garfield, LaCrosse, Malden, Oakesdale, Pullman, St. John, Tekoa, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, Tekoa Community Ambulance Assn., Volunteer Firemen Incorporated (Colfax), and Whitman County Hospital District No. 2.  The agreement is pretty straight forward; in an emergency, nearby departments can and will respond to give mutual aid at no cost.  The JFB has already approved this agreement.  County already ratified their end of it and now the city needs to ratify their side.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to ratify the Whitman County Mutual Aid Agreement.  Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman–  This committee and the Civil Service Commission interviewed the potential new officer 1/22/18.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb-  CT Dixon and DC Thompson will work with committee on staff organizational flow chart, job descriptions, etc.


There were no objections to the Brewfest special liquor license.

Councilmembers Hanson, Sievers, Snyder, Wekenman, Wilcomb, and Stout attended a training from Clear Risk Solutions on their roles, procedures, minimizing liability, etc.  DC Thompson and CT Dixon were in attendance as well.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      12/31/17            Ck. #8905-8908                        $  5,823.29

Claims Paid      01/23/18            Ck. #8904, & 8909-8928             $19,432.81

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:23 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________