July 27, 2010

July 27, 2010

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Roger Marcus; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman; & Randy Zehm.  Absent:  Cecil Floyd.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Zehm excusing Councilmember Floyd from tonight’s meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.  Public present:  Lynn Youngblood, Greg Pearce, Bev Pearce.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Regular Council Meeting of July 13, 2010 .  Under the “alcohol use at city park”, amend the minutes to reflect that Councilmember Zehm voted no.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of July 13, 2010.  Councilmember Marcus seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Griffin reported:

  • The new pool ladder has been installed and we have heard positive comments.
  • The county completed Fairview Avenue work.
  • DOH was here last week and did a sanitary inspection of our well heads and both reservoirs look good with just a minimal amount of work to do.
  • Road oiling for the year is complete.
  • Our new 2004 truck is now in service.

The wall near the ramp entering the flathouse has failed and needs to be repaired ASAP.  We got a bid from Woltering Construction for $3,350 + tax.  The Palouse Chamber of Commerce graciously offered to match 50% up to $2,000.  We are only required to get one bid for this work.  Building Inspector Gladwill said their proposal is an excellent fix for this situation.  Price includes buttress wall.  Woltering Construction will send ½ the bill directly to the Chamber.  The ramp is not drivable anymore; it’s not safe.  Floor joist work will be needed as well; PW will have to do some carpentry work.  Councilmember Snook MOVED , second by Councilmember Schorzman authorizing Dwayne to proceed with Woltering Construction for $3,350 + tax, with Chamber paying 50% match.  Motion carried unanimously.

POLICE REPORT :  Chief Neumann reported:

  • Bluegrass Festival this weekend; same setup as last year.
  • The park vandalism issues seem to have resolved themselves.
  • The PD received a notice on the DOJ Bureau Assistance grant for the purchase of the motorcycle stating that the audit is complete and Palouse is in compliance with the grant.

Councilmember Zehm stated that he spoke with the county prosecutor who stated that the prosecutor did not authorize a letter of trespass regarding the park vandalism as Chief Neumann reported in the June 22, 2010, minutes.

Councilmember Zehm questioned the length of time it took the PD to give Dave Mayhan an evidence receipt for his BB gun; Chief said it was a simple mistake.

Councilmember Zehm questioned the Mayor’s responses to his concerns regarding the PD.

BI Gladwill got a $2,500 grant from WABO to attend the Final Action Hearing for the International Code Council in Dallas representing Palouse on the national level for the building codes. He spent 4 days in session voting.  It’s good for small jurisdictions to go over there and vote because it keeps it real.  Industry tries to get their products required by code to get their product on the market.  Dan tries to vote that stuff down unless it’s a mandatory life/health/safety issue.

Palouse has been keeping Dan busy the last few weeks; just did a final inspection on a new build.

Dan offered, if necessary, to take a budget cut to include his pay for the greater good of the city since building income has decreased in the past few years.  Councilmember Milano will speak to Clerk-Treasurer Beeson about his generous offer.

Ordinance No. 870:  An ordinance adopting the property tax increase for collection in 2011 .  As discussed at the public hearing last council, Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  Mayor asked Deputy Clerk Ann to clarify for the minutes the definition of banked capacity.  The dollar amount increase over the actual levy amount for the previous year shall be $1,069 which is an increase of 1%, the maximum allowable by law.  The levy will also increase by $7,350 which is the city’s banked capacity that has built up from previous years but has not yet been levied to the taxpayer.  If we don’t actually collect the highest lawful levy amount that we are due, that levy capacity is then banked.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Ordinance No. 870.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 871: Adopting the property tax increase for EMS for collection in 2011 .  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  The increase of 1% over last year’s levy is $169.  The EMS needs to stay current with their supplies so they can offer the best services possible.  Supplies and ongoing trainings are expensive.  Bev Pearce stated that the donations and this $.365 per $1,000 of assessed value is what keeps EMS going.  The EMS levy is a voter-approved levy but state law allows them to be in effect for 5 or 6 years.  Councilmember Milano MOVED, second by Councilmember Marcus to adopt Ordinance No. 871.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2010-15:  an ordinance setting a one-year excess property tax levy which will be used for operation and maintenance of the swimming pool.   Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety.  The resolution proposes to impose an excess property tax levy upon all taxable property within the city in the amount of $28,000 an estimated $0.610 per $1,000 of assessed value in the year 2010 for collection in 2011.  Roughly $14,000 has to come out of the general fund to cover the total operation and maintenance of the swimming pool expenses over the levy amount.  Councilmember Milano projects we’ll see a minimum wage increase so there will be added salary expenses next year.  Councilmember Snook would like to open 2 weeks later again next year like we did this year because that saved approximately $4,000.  By opening two weeks later there is no loss of revenue in swim lessons or pool parties, etc.  Councilmember Zehm spoke against an increase for at least another year.  The city will need a 60% voter approval on this levy.  If the levy doesn’t pass, we are essentially unfunded for pool operations next year so pool may not open.  Councilmember Zehm stated if the levy fails in November, there could be another vote in the spring.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember Snook to adopt Resolution No. 2010-15.  Councilmember Zehm voted no.  Motion carried.

Resolution No. 2010-14:  ordinance setting a one year excess property tax levy to be used for street improvements and street oiling .  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  For the purpose of funding street improvements and street oiling, the city proposes imposing an excess property tax levy upon all taxable property within the city in the amount of $40,000, an estimated $0.871 per $1,000 of assessed value in the year 2010 for collection in 2011.  This fund needs to be charged regularly.  As discussed at last meeting, $40,000 for streets doesn’t go very far.  Our project list is fairly long for street improvements.  Councilmember Milano stated city staff does a great job working with the money they have.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Wekenman to adopt Resolution No. 2010-14.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 872:  An ordinance setting the regular and special levy amounts for the Budget Year 2011 .  Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  This ordinance summarizes all the previously mentioned ordinances and resolutions:  Special Street Levy (estimated $.871/$1,000) = $40,000; Special Pool Levy (estimated $.610/$1,000) = $28,000; Voted Regular EMS levy (estimated $.365/$1,000) = $17,102; General Levy (estimated $2.461/$1,000) = $115,339.  Total amount to be raised by taxation is $200,441.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , seconded by Councilmember Wekenman to adopt Ordinance No. 872.  Councilmember Zehm voted no.  Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 873:  Ordinance amending ordinances No. 865, 866, 868, & 869, amending certain funds within the 2010 annual budget.   Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety.  All our Brownfield project funding came out of CDBG so the EPA grant of $48,000 will be added to CDBG as those funds will also be used for the Brownfield project as well.  Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to adopt Ordinance No. 873.  Motion carried unanimously.


Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Randy Zehm, chair :  No report.  Councilmember Zehm asked about the policy for getting items on the agenda.  Councilmember Milano stated he believes it is state law that the Mayor, as chair, is responsible for the agenda.        

JFB REPORT :  Jeff Snook reported the budget is looking okay.  The FD had one call in June, 15 YTD.  The FD had an off-road training with trucks in fields, etc.  The FD is still working on turn-outs grant.  Ran into a need for 5 new personal radios which cost about $390 each; Mike is going to put in for a grant to replace all those next year but we need a stopgap in the meantime to get us through.  There were three EMS calls in June, 31 YTD.  They trained with LifeFlight.  EMS provided pool training and had all praise for the lifeguards and manager.

Water & Sewer-Roger Marcus, Chair :  We signed an agreement for free service with RCAC.  The rates for water and sewer services are an immediate concern.  Our rates are too low.  It’s premature to say at this time what we should be charging, but it is something we need to be thinking about.  It will be unpopular so just be aware.  We will be getting a rate study from RCAC on where we are and where we should be with our water rates.  Concerning sewer rates, Joyce showed Councilmember Marcus that within the next couple years we’re operating in the red if these rates continue.  We’re not interested in raising rates to make money; it’s just to stay afloat.

It’s very imperative that we develop a water plan.  We don’t have $35,000-50,000 to engineer a plan; we need to find a way to come up with a more economical way to get a plan.  Doug Willcox has been very helpful with this and he has a lot of information and a blueprint to use.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair :  Joyce is working on 2nd Q financial reports.  We’re looking at building improvements at the PD to see if those would yield long term utility savings.  Councilmember Milano will meet will Supt. Griffin about the PW budget.  Supt. Griffin has requested additional summer help; would like someone for a couple weeks for help with 3 or 4 projects.  They are behind and don’t know when they’re going to get caught up.  It will cost approximately $3,000 to hire a temporary helper.  We know DG will use the city’s money with discretion.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow Dwayne to hire temporary help at his discretion at his terms for up to 4 weeks with Joyce’s approval.  Seconded by Councilmember Schorzman.  Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  MFA is getting the core soil sample test results back from the Brownfields site and they are looking pretty good.  They want to come in this week and have their subcontractor punch a few holes on the city right of way to the east of the property to see if there is any kind of groundwater flow right there.  They can use part of the $48,000 EPA grant which has to be spent by this Saturday.

The Planning Commission is still looking for members.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Zehm 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 9:08 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid
Claims Paid      Ck. No. 2440 – 2451      $11,789.52

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________