July 25, 2017

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
July 25, 2017

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hanson asked the minutes be amended to include that discussion was had on the property issue between Duran’s and Roger’s.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 11, 2017.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


There is a lot of new construction in Palouse right now.

BI Gladwill has spoken with owner of the old Palouse Arms apartments regarding their condition.  Owner said he’s looking towards the fall to get working on it.  His plans are to demolish a portion and remodel the rest into apartments.  The old dilapidated part in back will supposedly come down.

BI Gladwill will contact again the owner of the dilapidated mobile home on Mohr Street.  The owner assured Dan that she is awaiting finances but will have it out by end of year.  He will contact her to button up and secure the lower portion.  She has not been given a deadline yet.  BI Gladwill will give her a deadline to remove trailer upon council’s direction.  No council direction yet.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.

Had the generator serviced at the sewer plant today.

Will begin cleaning and repairs on the roof of City Hall this week.

Palouse pool passed the county’s annual inspection.


Chief Neumann is looking into a camera system that will zoom in closer to park to help identify suspects for vandalism, etc.

Councilmember Stout would like to see some kind of educational thing implemented to educate residents on door-to-door solicitors.  Residents don’t have to answer the door and can ask to see their solicitation permit from the city.  Any solicitors in Palouse are required to first obtain a permit from City Hall which consists of a PD background check among other things.


The JFB voted to approve the surplus of the current pumper tanker as soon as the new one arrives and is in service.  They need council approval.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to surplus the old pumper tanker once the new one is in service.  Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The new radio tower was approved by the Board of Adjustment so construction will begin shortly.


PCI Renewables (subcontractor for Apollo) finished the additional row of solar panels needed to expend the remainder of our loan balance with the state treasury.  This added roughly 7Kw to our generating capacity and will help further offset the city’s electrical consumption and cost.

West Whitman Street is progressing as planned.  The first invoice from ML Albright is in tonight’s bills and the Arterial Street fund has been preemptively reimbursed by WSDOT and TIB to allow for this payment.  They’re installing the rubber interface on the tracks this week.  Water pipe is done.  Tire tracks from construction crew through lawn of Kramer’s Funeral home will be addressed upon completion of project and decorative blocks along the Mayhan property will be replaced.

Ken Harper, attorney contracted through CIAW (city’s insurance broker), sent a letter to the Duran’s in regard to the alley issue.  He has given them his opinion and they can proceed accordingly.


TD&H Engineering update on water tower/reservoir on South Hill in Palouse-  Michelle Bly & Gwen Ellis of TD& H updated council.  They have completed their preliminary engineering report to submit to Rural Development for the siting of water reservoir, Culton Street improvements, and Church Street improvements.  They would like to upload their report as part of our application and they also need authorization for mayor to sign forms and approval to upload with report.  Council will review preliminary report and CT Dixon will submit any revisions prior to next council meeting.  TD&H will be at next council meeting.

Varela & Associates update:  Dana Cowger from Varela gave a progress report.  They’re still working on the feasibility of the lagoon site for the sewer plant discharge.  They’re seeing the need to get DOE back involved in the project because DOE has to approve anything we do.  The Palouse Wastewater Advisory Committee is planning to hold a meeting some time during the third week of August, date and time TBD.  Varela is on track to complete final wastewater facility plan for submittal to DOE by their December 1, 2017, deadline.  Improvements to our wastewater treatment infrastructure, mandated by DOE, will have an impact cost-wise and will require sewer rates to be raised.  Eligibility and availability of federal/state funding packages will determine rate increases.

McKinstry Engineering here to discuss possible water system and data collection upgrades:  Jack Knudsen and Dan Funk from Pullman office discussed the possibility of upgrading the city’s water meters and data collection system.  They’ve done a no-cost preliminary audit on city’s water meter system and will email it to CT Dixon for revisions/review.  Kirsten Wilson from DES was present.  DES is a state agency that works on behalf of government agencies in contract discussions and invoicing with Engineering firms relating to energy/water conservation projects. It’s in the RCW as an energy project for DES.  Council had many questions and much discussion ensued.  McKinstry will get some more information and numbers for council to review.  They would like to come to a council meeting next month.


Resolution No. 2017-07: setting a one-year excess property tax levy of $44,000 for street improvements and street oiling to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  Finance committee met this week to discuss the levies.  Last year we discussed a possible 10% increase to our arterial streets levy to account for additional street improvement projects.  However, at this time, considering the estimated balance of the arterial streets fund at the end of the year, the committee decided not to increase the levy by 10%.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wilcomb, to adopt Resolution No. 2017-07.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2017-08 setting a one-year excess property tax levy of $34,000 for maintenance and operation of the swimming pool to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  With the passage of I-1433 last November, minimum wage in Washington rose from $9.47/hour to $11/hour and will rise to $13.50/hour by 2020.  As a result, this year’s pool salaries will be up almost $5,000 over last year and will continue to rise.  The city pool is mostly funded from levy dollars, but the cost of operating the pool each year exceeds this amount, which the general fund absorbs.  City council voted to increase the proposed levy last year to $31,000, an increase of $3,000 from the prior year to help offset the cost of painting the pool.  The pool is still scheduled to be painted after the season ends.  Potential levy increases in the years to come may be necessary if the residents of Palouse wish to keep the pool open, due wholly to minimum wage increases.  A proposed $3,000 increase from last year to $34,000 will still have the pool operating at a loss, but CT Dixon believes it is one of the many small steps needed to keep the pool from becoming too much of a burden on the general fund in the years to come.  When we tried charging for entry years ago, we made only $7,000.  It doesn’t work and it doesn’t pay the bills.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2017-08.  Councilmember Hicks seconded.  Supt. Griffin reminded council the pool was built in 1965 and repairs may be needed in the years to come.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2017-09 setting the six-year Emergency Medical Services property tax levy to be on the November ballot:  Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  This levy comes once every six years.  It is $.50 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation for each of six consecutive years.  This levy helps keep our EMS running and ambulance  contract going.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hanson to adopt Resolution No. 2017-09 as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 958 adopting a Complete Streets policy to be incorporated into the city’s Comprehensive Plan:  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  CT Dixon has been working on this ordinance for a while.  The passing of this ordinance makes Palouse immediately eligible for a TIB Complete Streets grant of up to $250,000.  The final draft sent to Complete Streets Director Chris Workman has been given his approval for content.  Once the ordinance has passed, 1 of 9 nominating agencies must select us to receive an award.  The next award cycle is slated for 2018.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Stout, to adopt Ordinance No. 958.  Motion carried unanimously.


Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Stout–  Committee met this week to discuss tonight’s resolution dollar amounts  and discuss 2018 budget adoption timeline.


The city received one letter of interest for the vacated Board of Adjustment opening.  Mayor Echanove appointed Palouse resident Jim Fielder to the BOA.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to ratify the mayor’s appointment.  Councilmember Hicks seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

RV Park is doing fantastic.  One of the most common suggestions from users is adding picnic tables at the RV Park.  Mayor has instructed DC Thompson to investigate costs for concrete pads and picnic tables.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      07/25/17            Ck. #8442-8466 & EFT              $170,580.75

STOP PAYMENT                      Ck. #8289                                 $       680.22

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:32 PM.


APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________