REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
January 8, 2008
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:02 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent was: Darcie Bagott. Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present were: Crystal Bailey and Heather McGehee.
Swearing in Council Members : Councilmembers Snook and Wekenman, and Mayor Echanove read their oaths of office, which was followed by signings. Councilmember Schorzman was previously sworn in at the Auditor’s Office. Mayor Echanove recommended and Council agreed that Councilmember Wekenman should continue as Mayor Pro-Tem.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 11, 2007. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
OPEN FORUM :
Crystal Bailey with the Palouse Community Center Committee (PCC) came to update Council on the community center. She brought some rough sketches of the proposed building. PCC understands that City Council is offering them a wider piece of land. In addition PCC would like an update on what’s going on with the parking lot in the back because they would like to amend their lease if that area is retained by the City. Crystal detailed all the dimensions on the proposed site. Mayor talked about the city’s land exchange with the Kite’s. The city now owns the north end of the Kite’s lot to allow improvements to Whitman Street and the Kite’s own an additional six foot strip along the west side. Attorney Bishop said we need to make a lot-line adjustment on the remaining city land that is leased to the PCC to make one lot instead of two. As part of the Whitman Street Project and future funding, the Mayor proposed that the city retain ownership of the PCC lot to develop a public parking lot. PCC thought it was a good idea for the city to own and maintain the proposed parking lot. The storm drain issue was discussed in conjunction with the Whitman Street project. Councilmember Milano asked about getting an estimate from Munir on the parking lot for planning purposes. Mayor Echanove asked council if they were ready to act on the request from PCC to amend their current 99 year lease. Councilmember Snook MOVED to amend the PCC lease to include ’56 x ‘110 foot lot and proceed with a lot-line adjustment. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: In addition to his submitted written report, Dwayne Griffin added: No news from A & R. They’re on hold due to weather. They did dig from Fairview to 7th Street, probably only 1% done. There is a 90-day clause which only includes workable-weather days. The Mayor reported that we may get a request to open a previously vacated street in the area of the Breeding’s sewer extension. The Mayor informed Council that he has no problems with the PW working overtime plowing the streets. He’s received many compliments on the job they’re doing. PW Superintendent Griffin said there were kids being delinquent in the Heritage Park bathroom, making messes but no damage. We’ve received a few bids for the Variable Frequency Drive. A local company has come in lowest so far. Dwayne has done some research and learned that the new drive will pay for itself within a year.
POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Scott Ellsworth submitted his resignation. He decided to return to school. His last effective day was Dec. 31st. It’s been just Chief Neumann since then, basically on call 24/7. We brought in a reserve officer last weekend allowing him a few days off. Chief Neumann has been focusing on traffic enforcement, proactive type patrols. Illegal turns are down. He had two infractions and a couple paper enforcements. Things are in good shape. Thankfully there has been only one weather-related accident so far. Councilmember O’Neill asked Chief Neumann about his options for replacing Officer Ellsworth. Chief Neumann is actively looking and is hopeful he’ll have a replacement towards the end of January or first of February.
Ordinance 839: Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension Connection Requirements and Costs: The Mayor read the entire ordinance. Councilmember Bailey voiced concern with the 210’ distance requirement. What if someone builds just beyond the distance and doesn’t hook up? The Mayor explained how the past council came up with that distance and that the county would most likely be reluctant to allow a septic system with city sewer available in the area. Councilmember O’Neill was concerned with the paragraph regarding penalty – 13.46.040. He would like to have a clearer penalty section. The ordinance was tabled and sent to committee for review. Chief Neumann asked to be included in the meeting.
Resolution 2008-01: Setting the terms and conditions for the construction loan for Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension: The Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2008-01. Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Update on Whitman Street Project ; The Mayor showed a map which includes some changes to the plans. For example, a roundabout by the PD was added and parallel parking on Whitman St. The Mayor read a note from Munir updating City on his progress. The construction phase will go out to bid in January. With the right of way along Kite’s secured, the state can continue with the construction phase of the railroad.
Update on MH Park Acquisition Project : Attorney Bishop received the figures from the property appraisal and the figures were right in line with what we expected. The appraisal includes just the land purchase, not the individual trailers. We’re proceeding with the land acquisition portion. Homeowners were informed by the landlord a couple months ago of the situation. The City is not yet able to receive rent.
PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS: Councilmember Milano heard from DOT regarding the signs for public restrooms to be placed on HWY 272 and 27. They should be in place in March. RV Park electrical bids are due in January.
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION: Councilmember Bailey had a request from WHITCOM about Elmo Street. They need clarification on the actual name – is it Elmo or St. Elmo Street? We will verify, change signage if necessary and service addressing.
MAYOR’S REPORT : The Mayor explained that the City needs to design Whitman Street how we want it to be 20+ years from now because as we all know, it will be this way for many, many years. Whatever we do there is going to be permanent.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.
The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Warrants: #12813 – #12824 Payment: $7,967.24
Claims Paid Warrants: #12825 – #12854 Payment: $29,944.27
Payroll Paid Warrants: # 6723 – # 6747 Payment: $30,240.91
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________