January 24, 2006


January 24, 2006


CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman. Absent – Jeff Snook and Mayor Echanove. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Caitlyn McGehee; Heidi Kite; Mike Bagott; Emily Bagott.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Mike Milano MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 10, 2006.  Mike Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman swore in new council member Darcie Bagott



  1.   Heidi Kite-Blue Grass Festival: Heidi asked council for permission to use Hayton Green Park for a Blue Grass Festival she is planning in July.  The dates she proposing are either Saturday July 22nd or 29th.  The hours would be from Noon to 9 PM.  She estimates about 8 or 9 bands.  She would like to have the parking lot near the bridge closed off to band crew only, as they will be moving in and out all day. Council Member Schorzman MOVED to allow a Blue Grass Festival in the Hayton Green Park on either July 22nd or July 29th.  Council Member O’Neill seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.


PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges: Byron reported that three trees have been cut down in the cemetery this week and the debris and wood has been hauled away.  The city crew continues with maintenance and repair of equipment.  The new lawn mower is due to arrive this week.


POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Mayor Pro-Tem reported that Chief Neumann and Officer Wright had the opportunity to escort Paul Allen at the Seahawk football game.


BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: Dan Gladwill: Dan reported working on 20 permits.  He is on the phone several times a day with Palouse business and is in town 2 to 3 times a week.


JOINT FIRE BOARD AND EMS UPDATE: Fire Chief Bagott reported that he has received and completed the paperwork for the DNR grant.  He will be purchasing replacement and new equipment for the fire department.  Mayor Pro-Tem reported that the JFB has decided to merge the Equipment and Facility committees. This merged committee will began work on a 25 year plan for the Fire Department.  Chief Bagott reported that the AVISTA utility bill for the Public Safety Building was about $349 for the last billing period.  He checked on the old fire stations bill for the same period and it was at $490.  The Chief is extremely satisfied with the efficiency of the new building.



  1. Discussion of issues concerning closure of Main Street for events: Council Member Schorzman MOVED to put the discussion of Main Street closures back on the council table. Council Member Mike Milano seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  Mayor Pro-Tem began the discussion by reading a letter from business man Will Thurman.  Will’s letter requests a specific traffic pattern to better facilitate parking in front of his store during the June 3 car show and future events.  Mayor Pro-Tem Wekenman also reported that the Palouse Tavern did a good business during the previous car show.  Heidi Kite, owner of the Open Eye, said that she had no bad effect from the car show.  When a customer purchased a large piece of furniture, Marc VanHarn and friends helped move the piece out of her store to the customer’s vehicle.  Council Member O’Neill suggested that the city needs better signage for events.  Mayor Pro-Tem reported that this has already been discussed with the Police Department.  Byron Hodges stated that 3 new signs were purchased prior to Haunted Palouse and one was stolen.  He agrees that bigger and brighter signs would be better.  He also pointed out that during Haunted Palouse some of the street lights were covered, which added to the traffic problem.  It was suggested that we partner with the Chamber of Commerce on traffic control issues.  Council Member O’Neill suggested setting up a traffic flow standard for all events on Main Street.  Mayor Pro-Tem suggested the chamber members in attendance tonight take this concern back to the chamber meeting.  Council Member Bailey suggested an event planning strategy for the city.  Treasurer Beeson stated that all street closures have to be submitted to the Department of Transportation through city hall or the police department.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to allow Marc VanHarn to have his car show on June 3, 2006, with a one block street closure between SR27 and Beach St and the North half of Main St between Beach and Hall.  Mike Milano seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Compression brakes- Byron Hodges reported that a no compression brake sign would cost $75 per sign and pole.  He checked with the Department of Transportation and found that for safety reasons, they do not like this type of signage.  The signs would need to be placed within city limits and a noise ordinance would have to be put in place by the Department of Transportation, it would take 90 days for the process.  If the state were to put up the signs it would be a city expense.  Byron pointed out that placing this type of sign within city limits would be too late of a warning.  Council Member Bailey reported that the state put in place a new stature which gives cities the right to ticket for using compression brakes and set the noise level to 80 decibels.   Council Member O’Neill asked if any one has contacted the offending truck drivers to ask that they not use their compression brakes.  Mayor Pro-tem suggested the Policy and Administration committee continue looking into this matter.  Council Member Bailey, chair of this committee, suggested going through a season to observe the situation.  Mayor Pro-Tem stated that the only business that might be affected by the noise of a compression brake would be Kramer’s Funeral home and perhaps should be contacted.




  1. Resolution No. 2006-01: A resolution authorizing the establishment of a health reimbursement arrangement / voluntary employees’ beneficiary association (“HRA VEBA”) plan.

Treasurer Beeson explained that in 1999 the city approved a medical savings plan for its employees.  This resolution updates the past resolution.  The name of the plan changed and employees are given increased investment options.  Mayor Pro-Tem read Resolution No. 2006-01.  Council Member Milano MOVED to adopt Resolution 2006-01.  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.


  1. Changing a street name: Council Member Milano proposed to the council to name a currently unnamed street after Bill Wolf.   This was passed to the street and sidewalk committee for review.




Council Member Bagott reported that Muir Daud prepared documents, drawings and a cost estimate for the Whitman Street Renovation.  This was submitted as part of the pre-application process for funding of this project.  She also reported that an application for funding of chip seal on Fairview Avenue and the F St to Bluff St road was submitted.


FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No Report


Treasurer Beeson reported that the city crew is pursuing bids to re-point the west and back walls of the city hall building.  This has already been approved and budgeted for.  She asked council if Marc Arrasmith could begin pulling out the shrubs on the west and east walls of the of Central Park at City Hall.  She asked the council to consider landscaping options for this area.  The council gave its general approval for the re-landscaping to begin.


PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook –Absent-No Report

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey- Reported under Old Business.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill-No Report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman-He reported under JFB Update.

MAYOR’S REPORT : Mayor Pro-Tem reported that there will be a 10-year Flood-Free Party on Wednesday, February 8th 6 to 8PM at the Palouse Community Center. Hot dogs and drinks will be provided.  The citizens are asked to bring side dishes or desserts.  At the same time the EMS is considering a Blood Drive for the American Red Cross but has not yet been confirmed.  This event is sponsored by the Palouse Block Watch and the Palouse EMS.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.

Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


ADJOURN: Norm Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:06 PM


The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 11548      through # 11566               Payment: $9,870.79


APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________