July 13, 2010

Palouse City Hall – 120 E. Main Street
Special Council Meeting
Public Hearing for Six Year Street Plan &
Public Hearing for 2011 Revenue Sources
followed by
July 13, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Cecil Floyd; Mike Milano; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Roger Marcus and Norm Schorzman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz, Wyatt Mitchell, Aimee Stormo, Mo Hendrickson, Chris Mitchell.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED , second by Councilmember Snook to excuse Councilmember Marcus from council.  Councilmember Wekenman amended his motion to include Councilmember Schorzman.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING for Six Year Street Plan:   Councilmember Floyd reviewed aloud the plan.  The idea is to maintain in good condition our roads and to fix roads that need help both through our own Street Levy revenue and funding from other agencies.  This year, Fairview will be widened back to the original width and Union Street will be reconstructed with no utility work.  Some of the streets on the plan are dream plans, but they have to be on the list before we can apply for outside funding.   We had an inquiry why there weren’t any Breeding’s Addition streets on the plan.  Public is encouraged to speak with Councilmember Floyd about their ideas for street improvements.

Joyce attended a Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) workshop last month and learned of some grant opportunities.  The city will be applying for pavement preservation funding which could be funded at 100% with no match requirement.  The levy amount of $40,000 voted in by the city could be used for a different that year or reserved to the next year, allowing a bigger project.  Supt. Griffin explained that just to pave two blocks (300’) of Alder Street last year cost $27,000 for paving plus gravel.  TIB funding comes from the fuel tax and they have a small city assistance program that is wonderful for small cities like Palouse.  Mayor Echanove asked for public comment, hearing none he closed the Public Hearing for Six Year Street Plan at 7:17 PM. 

PUBLIC HEARING for 2011 Revenue Sources Mayor Echanove opened the public hearing at 7:17.   Councilmember Milano reported that the city, along with the county and state, are running at a deficit.  We will have to dip into reserves this year and possibly a $20,000 deficit next year.  Our city assistance from the state is estimated to come in at about $12,000 this year; at one time it was $80,000.  We are proposing for the general levy the maximum increase of 1%, which is estimated 2.461/$1,000 assessed value, plus banked capacity of $7,350.  We are proposing the same 1% maximum increase for the General EMS levy which is $0.365 per $1,000 assessed value.

Voter Approved Levies.
Special Street Levy has been the same since 2008.  We propose to leave that levy alone for now.
Special Pool Maintenance & Operation Levy.  Current levy amount is $26,000 where it has been since 2003.  We should consider an increase to help offset the approximate $14,000 that the pool spends over revenues.  If, however, the pool levy is voted down, the pool could essentially be closed for a year which would be regrettable.  We need a 60% pass for a special levy.  Griffin reported the decision to open 2 weeks later was good since only 3 of those days could’ve been swim weather, saving the city about $4,000 in payroll costs over last June.  Not to mention the overhead savings like chlorine and electricity.  Mayor Echanove asked for public comment, hearing none he Closed Public Hearing for 2011 Revenue Sources at 7:27 PM.

Councilmember Wekenman doesn’t think $2,000 is enough of an increase but he doesn’t want to price ourselves out of the pool; it’s an essential service to many.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to increase our 2011 pool operation levy from $26,000 to $28,000.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried with one nay vote from Councilmember Zehm.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to hold our 2011 special street levy at $40,000.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Banked Capacity is at $7,350 and 1% increase is the maximum allowed by law.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt our general levy increase of 1% and levy the banked capacity of $7,350.  Councilmember Snook seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Zehm asked to amend the minutes as follows.  Under his committee report add the following:  “Councilmember Zehm requested that the radar trailer have the correct speed posted.”
Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 22, 2010.  Councilmember Zehm seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Wyatt Mitchell:  Eagle Scout Project proposal .  For his project, Wyatt would like to build a fire pit at the new RV Park.  It would benefit the community and guests of the park.  Wyatt presented a map and explained what products he would use and why.  Down the road benches could be added.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to fund the Eagle Scout project up to $50 for his fire pit project.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Councilmember Milano amended his motion to include user guidelines prior to installation.  Councilmember Zehm amended his second and the motion carried unanimously.

Mo Hendrickson:  Alcohol use at City Park .  They are having a wedding at the city park next month and they would like to serve wine and beer at their hosted reception following.  They are using the gazebo and shelter by it.  They will tastefully rope it off for their approximately 75 guests.  Wedding starts at 5:30 and out of the park by 10:00.  There will not be an excessive amount of alcohol.  The liquor store told them they had to have city permission in order to get a permit from the liquor control board since it is on city property.  The city’s attorney said if it follows our policy then we could permit it and then it would fall into the liquor board’s jurisdiction.  The city does not have its own policy; we’ve always just used state law.   We do allow the beer garden at the Bluegrass Festival with Liquor Board approval.  The Parks Committee and the Policy Committee need to meet to come up with a city policy.  In the mean time, Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow them to have alcohol at their wedding reception at the park as Mo outlined above.  Councilmember Floyd seconded.  Councilmember Zehm said they need to work with the P.D. and P.W.  Motion carried unanimously.

Pete Hertz attended a Dept. of Commerce meeting on making our town a destination.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:     DG reported the parks and pool have been very busy.  The pool donation box is working really well.  They have been mostly working on maintenance issues at the sewer plant, pool, etc.

Union Street Reconstruction bids :  The bid specs were sent out for tight blade, compact, & install two lifts of 773 square yards of asphalt (300’ of street).  Dwayne opened and read aloud the two bids received.  Motley & Motley bid $23,963.00.  Poe Asphalt bid $24,349.50.  One of the reasons these bids are high is because we’re asking for two lifts of asphalt because of the heavy traffic and equipment on Union Street from Cove Road to the county shop.  Supt. Griffin would be happy with either contractor.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to authorize Supt. Griffin to accept the low bid pending verification of taxes included.  Councilmember Floyd seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Whitman Co. should be here by the end of next week to finish Fairview.  Public Works needs to repair some of the manholes first.

POLICE REPORT :  Submitted the police log.  Chief spoke with Atty. Bishop in regards to ongoing issues of restricting access from people who have violated rules and laws at the city park.  He has found some city ordinances that are in place that would permit us to do this a little more easily than the direction we’ve been going.  We need to establish some park rules. … no vandalism, no unauthorized use of alcohol, no lewd conduct, no drug use, attempts to sell, etc.  Failure to abide by the rules established by council, can result in removal and/or restriction from the park.  As long as people have an avenue to state their case as to why they shouldn’t be barred or restricted, we’re within our rights.

Chief Neumann stated that the overall point of the speed limit radar travel is safety.  The speeds on the radar trailer aren’t just randomly chosen.  We chose the 20mph speed because it was during the Hot Rod show with a large volume of traffic and pedestrians.  Councilmember Zehm’s findings are based on a permanent basis.  Chief was not doing a study or trying to change the speed limit; just trying to slow people down for the event.  In the future, if we want to temporarily change the speed for events, we will go through the state.

Chief Neumann handed out a 2 page email that was sent by Zehm to a few councilmembers regarding an ongoing case.  Everything the PD has done in handling this particular case has been above board.  If they want to sue me, there are proper ways to do that.  Chief stated he would rather be accused of something in front of council and the public rather than behind doors.  Chief handed out the city’s official complaint form and asked that if anyone has a complaint, they use the proper avenues.  Chief Neumann stated that the way Councilmember Zehm handled this was wrong.

Resolution No. 2010-03:  Adopt Six Year Street Plan .  Mayor read aloud the resolution.  Councilmember Floyd MOVED to adopt the 2011-2016 Six Year Street Plan.  Councilmember Zehm seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.


Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :  Suggests adding to the VisitPalouse website a ‘City Park’ tab for policies on use, no-reservations, etc. Councilmember Wekenman asked if vendors for events get charged any kind of city fee.  Clerk Beeson explained that would be an “impact fee” which at this time the city does not charge.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  The PD, PW, and city staff have done a great job in reducing expenses.  We will have more budget meetings to talk about finances.

The city received 7 public records requests this week from two individuals.

The Dept. of Health received a formal complaint against the City of Palouse from Jim Farr.

Council agreed to set August 20th as the closing day of the pool.

Joyce worked up a preliminary budget amendment for the IPG.  There is $48,000 more now available through a second grant.

The Planning Commission still needs two members.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid     Ck # 2367 – 2394 & EFT                    $42,335.10
Claims Paid     Ck # 2366 & Cks. # 2395-2439          $73,239.13