January 25, 2005


January 25, 2005

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Norm Schorzman, John Sell, Jeff Snook, Linda Dillard, Dave Willmore, and, Rick Wekenman. Absent: Steve McGehee. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Bev Pearce, Deputy City Clerk Randy Zehm, Police Chief; Linda Snook; Janet Barstow; Greg Partch; Pete Hertz; Thinh Nguyen.



APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Council Member Wekenman requested the following corrections to the minutes: Open Forum- B. Residents to Residence ; Police Department Report-“The chief said he tried to pinpoint where the water was coming from but as is does ( add: not ) leak all the time….; New Business: 2005 projects-#8. The city owns a lot on ( correction-East ) Main Street. Old Business A. (correction): may re-vote on the issue or withdraw the motion that was voted secretly; The (add: mayor) restated the ….; Council Member Wekenman stated….; “the majority of the finance committee was against the wage freeze , and said the committee….. Jeff Snook MOVED to approve the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of January 11, 2005. Linda Dillard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.



  1. Greg Partch- Local Government Funding

County Commissioner Greg Partch began by explaining the intent of Whitman County to contest Initiative 747. The initiative as well as I695 removed funding to cities in the state by decreasing the re-licensing fee for vehicles. The effect of this is a large decrease in funds which greatly affects smaller towns and cities in rural Washington. The cities and towns many times cannot afford the cost of putting a new levy on the ballots. Partch stated that in even number years the county pays the whole cost putting a levy on the ballot and in odd number years the cost is split between the county and the city. The county commissioners are working with King County to repeal I747. He continued describing the different issues that can be contested, different taxing districts are putting up small portions of money to help with the cost of the repeal. Commissioner Partch was asking the City of Palouse for a support letter. Providing this letter makes the city a “Friend of the Court” and there is no cost to the city. Council Member Wekenman asks if the support letters can come from anybody. Partch said yes, all taxing districts are encouraged to write a support letters as well as individuals. A law firm will assess all the letters and may ask for additional information if needed.

Commissioner Partch continued with discussing other items such as the WACERT list. He stated that Palouse is ranked #2 on the list, with three projects. In order to be considered for funding your projects must be on the list. The City of Palouse has received funding in the past. The Palouse Cove road project is basically done. The project ran one month behind schedule, which is why the road was not paved. In the meantime, the road will stay in its current condition until May, with some light grading. Partch explained that more frequent grading is not done because there is only 2 inches of gravel on top. The road condition is monitored and he stresses that people need to drive the posted speed limit on the road. Council Member Willmore asked Mr. Partch how projects on the WACERT list are ranked. Partch replied that it is based on how prepared and ready to go the project is, whether funding can be matched by the city, the size of the project, water and sewer projects rank higher. The mayor brought up the Solid Waste Management Plan for Whitman County. He read a brief summary; every town and city is mandated to have a solid waste plan. Commissioner Partch recommend the city read through the plan and make any changes or suggestions, he said there was a meeting next week to go over the plan. Council Member Willmore asked about rates, Partch replied that the rates will stay the same for the next two years, but there will probably be an increase after that. Commissioner Partch mentioned the recycling coordinator, Cindy Leper; she has worked hard to develop the program and is a good resource to visit with. Commissioner Partch reminded the council that he visits Olympia every other week and he can take with him any issues that they feel need to be brought up in Olympia; he is just a phone call away. Council Member Wekenman asked about the feedback on the Hazard Mitigation surveys. Partch stated that there will be a meeting next week on that subject.

Council Member Schorzman MOVED to approve the city to write a letter of support, contesting I747 and allowing the Mayor to speak on behalf of the city on this subject. Council Member Dillard seconded the motion. Council Member Willmore stated that he wants to look at the original initivative before making a decision. Council Member Sell said that the city can still prepare a letter. Council Member Willmore MOVED to table the issue until the next council meeting. Council Member Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried with one opposed vote from Council Member Wekenman.


PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Written Report Submitted By Byron Hodges

Byron was not available to answer any questions. Council Member Willmore asked what the sewer plant hours are. The Mayor stated that they are 7AM to 930AM. But the sewer plant in general is open 24/7.




POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Written report submitted by Chief Zehm

Chief Zehm has nothing to add to his report. Council Member Willmore asked the chief if he had any word on his grant application for a new vehicle. The chief said that he should hear something in the first couple weeks in February. The council member also asked about the plans for the Crown Victoria car. The chief said he has been discussing the options with the Mayor. The Mayor asked the chief about the concern of increase activity behind the Palouse Tavern. Chief Zehm said they have not noticed any thing different.



  1. Scooter Ordinance Number 807

The Mayor entertained a motion to suspend the reading of the entire ordinance. Council Member Wekenman MOVED to suspend the reading ordinance Number 807. Council Member Willmore seconded the motion and the carried unanimously. The Mayor read briefly from the ordinance. This ordinance is to establish regulations for Motorized Foot Scooters within the City of Palouse. Council Member Schorzman MOVED to approve Ordinance # 807. Council Member Snook seconded. Council Member Wekenman asked if the rules apply to private property. Chief Zehm said no. Council Member Snook asked the chief about enforcement of this ordinance. The chief said education of the public will be through a newsletter to the students at the school, notices in the local papers, the city web site and notices posted around town. The motion carried unanimously.



Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson provided the council with a detailed finalized city budget for 2004. The city was able to come out ahead for 2004, by spending less then it took in. The balance of $3,178 will be forwarded to the 2005 budget. Joyce said she saw no reason why the city could not do the same for 2005. She recommends that the city increase the streets funds by 2006. The water fund may need more money in the next few years. The Mayor complimented Joyce on her constant hard work on managing the city funds. He stated that Joyce has completed the 2004 final report before the end of January. Clerk-Treasurer Beeson and Deputy Clerk Pearce informed the council that the code book has been sent off to Code Publishing for codifying. The Mayor had in his hand the contract for services to be signed. Council Member Schorzman MOVED to have the Mayor sign the contract. Council Member Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.



Council Member Wekenman began by stating that Council Member Snook is now the current chair for the JFB. Council Member Snook reported that the JFB has had an offer on a 1961 International Fire Truck in the amount of $1,000. Council Member Snook MOVED to accept the offer of $1,000. Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion. Council Member Willmore asked who owned the truck. Council Member Wekenman said the title is being searched for. Council Member Sell asked if the truck had been advertised. Joyce Beeson said yes, the correct procedure was followed and if the bid date has come and gone, it is acceptable to receive any offers that may come in after the date has passed. Council Member Willmore asked if the truck would go as is. Council Member Wekenman said yes. The motion carried unanimously. Council Member Wekenman gave a PSB update, last weekend 12-13 volunteers worked on putting up sheetrock on the ceiling, only the areas for the electrician were left open. The finish work will be done professionally. The in floor heating appears to be working well, some electrical and plumbing inspections need to be completed. The facility should be ready to house the vehicles in 5 to 6 weeks. Council Member Willmore asked if 5/8” sheet rock was being used. Wekenman said yes. Palouse Welding donated the use of a lift truck to help with the hanging of the sheet rock on the ceiling. Council Member Snook stated that there will be a change to the distribution of the JFB packets. Jill Griffin will be sending the packets via e mail, unless a board member needs it to be sent through the US mail.



Deputy Clerk Pearce brought up the topic of a council workshop. The city pays into an insurance policy that provides workshops for the cities. The topic of the requested workshop is Public Officials Liability and Creating Balance Between Elected Officials and Administration. These workshops are to educate and give the council tools to have a well managed and directed public entity. The council discussed various days and times that all may be available to attend. Clerk Pearce was going to make the appointment and inform the council of the workshop date.


No Report

Council Member Willmore asked about a changing the traffic on Whitman Street to a one way direction, in front of the old fire station and city hall. He stated that the road condition is poor and he blew a tire out that day. Council Member Sell stated that by law the railroad is responsible for the repairs to the track area. He continued to comment that with the state possible taking over ownership of the railroad lines in the future there may be hope of repair. Council Member Wekenman stated that the bulk of the funds would not be available until 2007. Chief Zehm stated that there would be problems with making Whitman a one way street, the banks access, redirecting traffic during events. Council Member Sell commented that one option may to pour concrete in between the tracks, as the city did on school house hill, H Street, then the railroad can come back in and set the ties.

No Report

No Report

The Mayor told the Council Member Sell that the Lions Club approached him about new windows in the Legion hall, above City Hall. Council Member Sell stated that this should be a maintenance issue and funds should come from building maintenance. There was discussion on how many windows were up there and it was determine there are three.

No Report


No Report

WATER & SEWER : David Willmore
Council Member Willmore asked Clerk-Treasurer Beeson for a meeting to discuss the budget in more detail. He wants to have a better understanding of the funds.

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
Council Member Wekenman wants to set up a committee meeting to discuss options for relocating the city police department.


A.         Northwest Bicycle-April 23

The Mayor informed the council of the upcoming WSU bicycle race. This will be a regional event and there will be more attending. There is a preliminary planning meeting this week. The Mayor urged the Admin and Policy committee to work on an outdoor event policy; he reminded the council that Palouse has an increase of outdoor events. The Mayor has discussed with Byron purchasing new and updated barricades for the city. Byron did get a quote and for around $1300, there could be enough barricades purchased to cover the needs of the city. The Mayor also mentioned that there could be a possibility of the cost being shared by other groups in town, such as the chamber, as these barricades are not used exclusively by the city. Council Member Snook commented that he has done some research on the internet and there are a lot of options for different types of barricades. The cost of $1300 to $2000 seems to be the range. Council Member Willmore agreed that the cost sharing would be a good idea. Council Member Dillard mentioned that she would like to have a parade and a dance on July 4, as part of wedding plans for her family.

The Mayor read a proclamation from the FFA, stating February 19-26, 2005 as FFA Week. The Mayor asked for the council’s approval to sign the proclamation. Council Member Willmore MOVED that the mayor be allowed to sign and proclaim, February 19-26 as FFA Week. Council Member Snook seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The Mayor stated that Paul Dorning from RC&D has an opening to work on the Fishers Addition sewer extension project. The Mayor feels now is the time to move forward on this project. Council Member Willmore has been given all available data on this project to get up to speed. The Mayor proposes that the next two weeks be spent on getting the package in order and DOE ready. Council Member Willmore agreed and stated that cost may be increased since last time this issue was looked at. The Mayor asked for this item to be put on the agenda for the next council meeting.


ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Rick Wekenman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.

Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


ADJOURN:    Dave Willmore MOVED to adjourn. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:58 PM


The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants: #   10885             through # 10886                         Payment: $461.00

Claims Paid                   Warrants: #   10886             through # 10901                           Payment: $7,634.12



APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________