January 8, 2013

Palouse City Council Agenda
Regular Council Meeting
January 8, 2013

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd, Connie Newman, Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Tim Jones; Alison Webb. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to excuse both councilmembers’ absences. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Sharon Tharp, Mike Milano; Aaron Flansburg; Janet Barstow.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Move the paragraph from the Streets & Sidewalks committee report to under the Mayor’s Report. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 11, 2012. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Submitted a written report. Continuing to clean up snow.

POLICE REPORT: Had a call-in for a burglary in progress in Palouse. Chief and Officer Merry responded. They caught the perpetrator without incident and he was taken into custody. Homeowner didn’t want to press charges (friend of a friend).
Clean-up is progressing at the Union Street house.
Investigated a vehicle school collision. Minor to no damage to school. Driving too fast for conditions.
Jan. 1st was start of new schedule with decreased hours for Officer Dentler. Chief outlined for council the daily activity schedules of PD staff.
How does this new marijuana law play out? For a juvenile it’s still illegal; it’s never okay for a juvenile to be in possession in any way. As an adult, the Whitman County prosecutor will not entertain any misdemeanors. We still have 9 months to see what the feds will do; still illegal and a controlled substance federally. Should not be consumed in the presence of minors. Right now there’s a lot of gray area. We’re waiting to see the final ruling of the feds and how this is going to be governed.

Ordinance No. 903 – Budget Amendment: The Brownfields grant money from the DOE and DOC simply didn’t arrive in 2012, arrived the first week of 2013. So we have to do a budget amendment. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Ord. 903 amends Ord. 902 to receipt and expend incoming grant monies that should’ve arrived in 2012. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt ordinance 903. Councilmember Newman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb. Chair: absent
Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: no report
Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: no report
Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: absent
Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: no report
Finance, Property, & Equipment-Norm Schorzman, Chair: no report
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Still waiting to hear back from DOH on second review of WSP. Hope to have it by second meeting in February.

Janet Barstow. On February 9th, there will be a 1st Annual Cabin Fever Brew Fest as a fundraiser for the Palouse Community Center for ages 21 & over only. Admission is $15.00 and you get a souvenir pint glass and 6 tasting tickets. Canopies and propane heaters will be within a fenced-in area in the parking lot. Since they will be using the parking lot (similar to a beer garden), they are seeking approval from council. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to approve allowing them to set up in the PCC parking lot. Councilmember Schorzman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Received a liquor license renewal request from Washington State Liquor Control Board for the Green Frog. No objections from council.

Mike Milano, Chamber of Commerce. Regarding Heritage Park restroom winter closure. As a group they feel strongly about keeping that open; vital to our economic viability. People are working hard to raise funds to keep the restrooms open. Based on computations, he came up with the figure of $930 needed to cover electricity and supplies for the three coldest months. After community donations, the Chamber will donate whatever amount necessary to meet $930 to cover electricity and supplies in exchange for a commitment from the city to keep bathrooms open. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to keep restrooms open with the agreed $930 donation. Councilmember Floyd seconded. Councilmember Newman said the $930 still leaves us short on covering the wages of cleaning the bathrooms. Motion carried unanimously. Mike Milano presented a list of total 2012/2013 chamber earmarks and commitments thus far and it comes to $4,963 in donations.

Aaron Flansburg, on behalf of skate park effort. He and a couple local kids went on a research mission to the Lewiston Skate Park. Came back motivated and inspired. With help from community, they created and delivered 41 pizzas and raised $515. $4,200+ raised thus far. Cost is dependent on how you build, where you build, and size. With in-kind donations of materials, reclaimed material, and volunteer labor, he thinks it could be done for under $10,000. Aaron would like to move forward with establishing a site. His ideal spot is behind sewer plant, near compost facility. Wouldn’t have to run water to it or build restrooms because of the proximity to the park. Supt. Griffin is concerned that location would be a hot topic. It’s been set up as a nature area. Aaron is mindful of perceptions that this could be viewed as a frivolous expense and he doesn’t want it to be viewed that way. He doesn’t want the skate park to become another park for already-burdened public works to have to care for and empty garbage, etc.

Councilmember Floyd brought up discussing the results of the police levy question from the Planning Commission survey. Councilmember Newman is very unhappy that disparaging remarks or complaints about specific staff people were included with the planning commission survey results that went out to the public. Thinks it was unethical to print some of those comments and violated our city practices; we would never allow someone to attend a council meeting and say those things about staff. There are procedures to follow. Her comment is to the Planning Commission, that in the future, any dissemination be thought out more. The PC will be talked with about this. Sharon Tharp from the Planning Commission explained their reasoning for sending out the results. Jim Farr has submitted a PRR to the city requesting a copy of every single returned survey, so the PC decided to compile all the comments and distribute them. The city attorney was consulted and yes, the surveys are a public record and cannot be redacted. Much discussion ensued.

Mayor is working with the Public Works Trust Fund to host an academy in Palouse this spring.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Dec. 26, 2012. Ck. #4560-4571 $ 2,417.42
Payroll Paid Dec. 31, 2012. Ck. #4572-4590 & EFT $41,535.23
Claims Paid Dec. 30, 2012 Ck. #4591-4604 $ 4,652.17
Claims Paid Jan. 9, 2013 Ck. #4605-4613 $17,204.88

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________