July 25, 2006

July 25, 2006

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove 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; and Rick Wekenman. Absent-Jeff Snook. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Tom Boone; Randy Zehm; Dean Huber; Thinh Nguyen.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 11, 2006.  Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


Deputy Clerk Pearce spoke on behalf of the EMT squad regarding a call that took place at the pool a couple of weeks ago.  She told council that the lifeguards did an excellent job, doing crowd control.  Beau Fisher met the squad as they entered the pool area and explained the situation.  Toshia Smith directed the Pullman ambulance onto the property and the other lifeguards kept the crowd away from the scene which helped the EMT squad do their job.  She suggested that the council give the lifeguard crew a pat on the back for a job well done.

Dean Huber commented that living in his new home on Church Street he can hear the joyful sounds of young people using the city pool, which is a good example of what Palouse is doing in the community.

The Mayor thanked the city tax payers for allowing our city to have such a wonderful pool and staff.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted written report

Byron added that the Alder Street project has been more difficult than anticipated because of the rock bed.  The State started painting the crosswalks on the highway/Main Street.  The city will begin painting side streets and school crosswalks prior to school starting.

The Mayor asked Byron if the same type of rock that is on Alder would be found in the Fishers Addition area.  Byron said yes.  Byron said that he is happy with the chip seal work the County did.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported that regarding police matters all is quiet.  There has been an increase of dog complaints, which is due to hot weather and open windows.  Animal owners have been contacted repeatedly and suggestions have been made as to owners keeping their dogs quiet.  Some citations have been handed out.  The Chief responded to a fire call at the Palouse Tavern this afternoon.  The Mayor asked the chief about the dog bite incident on Spokane Avenue a couple of weeks ago.  The Chief said that the dog had not been located, or any owner identified.  The progress on the Police Station is going well.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: Dan Gladwill reported that this has been a very busy time for permits.

JOINT FIRE BOARD & EMS: Council Member O’Neill reported that Jeff Bofenkamp will be building a custom wooden name sign for the Fire Station.  This will be handled by a three person committee from the department.  It has been determined that roughly 90% of the recent EMS calls are for out of town visitors to Palouse.  The fire department has room for 25 volunteers and the crew is at 24, the EMS squad has room for 13 to 15 and is close to that now.


  1. Ordinance No. 820 – Authorization for the acquisition of personal property and execution of a financing contract and related documents for the purchase of a sludge dewatering system.

Joyce briefed the council on the two different funding options, one was a loan from Aero Mod with a higher percentage rate, and the second is a loan from the Washington State Treasurers Office, with a rate of 4.5%.  This is the loan the city is applying for.  The city will use a down payment of $32,000 and increase the sewer rate by $2.00 per month.  The length of the loan is 8 years.  The Mayor read the ordinance through in it’s entirety once. Then by title and subject, then by title only.

Council discussed the tracking of the payments and when the loan is paid for, what would happen to the $2.00 per month increase.  Joyce told council that she tracks payments using an amortization chart and when the loan is paid for the council will discuss whether to continue the increase to cover current needs or to discontinue the increase.  Dean Huber asked council how the city determines the rate of increase considering that the new system will save labor hours and equipment costs.  Joyce said that it would be a year’s time before those numbers could be determined.

Council Member Schorzman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 820.  Council Member O’Neill seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

  1. Resolution No. 2006-04 – Reimbursement resolution for financing, through the State Treasurers Office, the purchase of a sludge dewatering system for the wastewater treatment plant

            The Mayor read the resolution.  Council Member Milano MOVED to approve Resolution No. 2006-04.

Council Member Bailey seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.


  1. Addendum to contract with First Step Internet

The Mayor reminded the council that in 2002 the city signed a contract with First Step Internet to use city property to attach their equipment to.  First Step is now expanding their services and wishes to use the Fire Department building for placement of access point equipment.  In exchange First Step will provide free wireless service to the department.  Dean Huber questioned council about other internet companies that may provide service to the city.  The Mayor said that Clear Wire has been given the same options as First Step if they so choose.  Council Member Bailey MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the addendum to the contract with First Step Internet.  Council Member Bagott seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

  1. Discussion of current City of Palouse Comprehensive Plan

The Mayor provided to council copies of the comprehensive plan for their review.  He asked that they review the plan over the next two weeks and be ready for discussion at the next council meeting.  Council Member Milano asked about maintenance of the plan.  The Mayor said that portions of the plan were not adopted and with a planning commission in place work can continue.  Dean Huber asked about the change in population demographics and the increase of factory built homes compared to stick built frames.  Tom Boone asked about the green belt along the river.



  1. RV Park Update: Mike has received preliminary information from the consultant.  They have determined that about 10 spaces could fit into the space.  Mike will be asking a few more questions then set a public hearing date.

PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook – no report

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman reported that he will set a committee meeting to begin budget discussions.  The Mayor reported that he sent a letter to CIAW revoking the cities’ intent to change insurance carriers.

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman reported that no committee meeting has taken place.  Work is proceeding on the Police Station.  This will be Rick’s last council meeting until harvest is done.  He will meet with Chief Neumann as needed.  Volunteers will be needed for sheet rock, painting and refinishing floors.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey reported that he has given the Library contract to the city attorney, who will be contacting the Library district regarding certain points in the contract.  Council Member Bailey asked the council how they would like him to proceed regarding unmuffled Jake Brake use coming into the city.  Chief Neumann said that the city could enact an ordinance banning unmuffled Jake Brake use within city limits.  The council would like to see signs posted outside city limits banning unmuffled Jake Brakes, though they feel that it would hard to monitor and enforce.  The Chief said that there is equipment that can read the decibels; this would need to be purchased if the council proceeds.  The Chief said that only two individuals are complaining about the noise.

Dean Huber asked about state law on excessive noise from brakes.  The Chief and Officer Zehm said that the laws are not very clear on this issue.

STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott reported that the committee is proceeding with the application to TIB for funding on Whitman Street .  She has met with Munir Daud to update drawings and plans and also with American West Bank officers.  They are in agreement with improvements to Whitman Street .  Council Member Bagott also reported that the committee has looked at future parking situations for the Police Station and the apartments on Whitman Street .  These issues will be addressed by the engineer.  There is a Public Hearing set for Thursday August 3 at the Palouse Community Center on this project.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill reported that Joyce attended a Utility Finance workshop in Colfax last week, he was unable to attend.  Joyce reported that it was a good workshop, with useful information.

MAYOR’S REPORT : The Mayor reported that the Night Out Against Crime event will occur Tuesday, August 1 at the city park.  AWC will have a Small City Roundup in Colfax August 10, from 6:30 to 9:30PM.  The Habitat for Humanity of Palouse will be sponsoring a “Tour de Palouse” bike run Saturday, August 5.  The bike run will begin and end at the Palouse City Park .  It is expected to have about 100 bicyclists on a 22 mile ride that day.

Council Member O’Neill said that one item mentioned at the JFB meeting was that when events of this type take place in town, the Fire and EMS should be notified, to make sure enough personnel are available.  The Mayor reminded council that is why an Event Policy needs to be in place.

The Mayor reminded council that now is the time for committees to start work on the 2007 budget.  If any council members have requests, now is the time.  The mayor then engaged council with a discussion of the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee(PBAC) including their history and mission to understand and stabilize the Grande Ronde and Wanapum aquifers.  Current PBAC members include cities of Moscow , Pullman and Colfax, the University of Idaho and Washington State University and both Latah and Whitman counties. The Mayor also explained that he is currently the chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAG) organized to provide input to PBAC.  Currently, PBAC is reassessing member’s financial contribution to the program.  The Mayor then requested to council that $1.50 per person ($1500) be  budgeted in our 2007 to support the efforts of PBAC.  Council Member Wekenman would like to have another member of the group present their program to council.  The Mayor said he would indeed request that the executive manager of PBAC come before the council.

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

Andy O’Neill 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 9:00 PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 11848         through #11864          Payment:  $ 17,704.88

VOID                            Warrants: # 11819

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________