July 28, 2009

Special Council Meeting:
Public Hearing for six year Transportation Improvement Plan
Followed by
July 28, 2009


CALL TO ORDER : Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

ROLL CALL : Council members present:  Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Darcie Bagott, Mark Bailey, and Norm Schorzman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson; Palouse pool manager Annie Manning.  Public present: David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune; Pete Hertz; Kai Eiselein, The Eagle/ Boomerang; Dixie Reber; Steve McGehee; Jeslyn Lemke, Gazette; Jon Fleischman.

PUBLIC HEARING for Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan 7:02. 
Supt. Griffin read aloud the plan.  The project and priorities are:  1.  Fairview Ave. from SR 272 to above Tuttle’s for shoulder work and overlay; and Union St. from Palouse Cove Road to county shop for reconstruction; 2.  West Whitman from Bridge St. to Mill St. for total reconstruction; 3.  West Whitman & Fir from Mill St. to Illinois St. for build-up and pave; 4.  I Street from Alder St. to Mohr St., North F St. from Alder St. to Cannon St; 5.  Wall St. from Bluff St. to Park St. for reconstruction; 6.  Culton St. from Park to Holyoke and Park St. from Culton to Wiley for overlay; 7.  South Sumner St. from Union to Palouse Cove Road for overlay.  The priorities may change from time to time.  Supt. Griffin thinks that all but No. 2 would fall into our $35,000-$40,000 street levy.  With no public input, Public Hearing closed at 7:08.

Open Regular Meeting:  7:08 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Pete Hertz amended his comments from last meeting:  He stated that Palouse’s (not his) assessed valuation went up by an average of 23% and he wanted to know how much of that 23% does Palouse receive.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 14, 2009.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Annie Manning, pool manager:  Annie asked for permission to have another late night swim this Friday, July 31, with all proceeds going to swim team.  The late night swim will require five guards on 2 hours of overtime.  Council agreed to the request.

Annie proposed that the council approve the purchase of removable pool stairs.  The ladders are very difficult for the elderly, injured, disabled, etc.  It would be approximately $500-$600.  It can come out during swim meets, for cleaning, etc.  This just makes it a more welcome environment for everyone.  Pool chairman Snook will look at it with Joyce.  Councilmember Milano MOVED, and second by Councilmember Wekenman authorizing personnel & pool committee chairman Snook to act as our agent on this.

Annie also explained that typically the pool closes mid August because all the guards and students are going back to school.  Gar-Pal doesn’t start school until September this year.  Annie proposes extending the summer season an extra week but at reduced hours.  She thinks there will be three guards available for work that last week.  She proposes the pool would close M-F at 6:00 and weekends at 5:30.  If we have reduced pool open hours the last week, we can make it work.  Personnel & Pool committee will discuss this as well.

Pete Hertz added that he took his grandson down to the pool and he was very impressed with Annie and the other guards.

Dixie Reber had a list of prepared questions.
1.  What is the real need of the purchase of the motorcycle, or does it just look good?  Mayor explained that COP has a 3-vehicle fleet in good repair.  Some years ago we started working with Harley on a very affordable lease program.  With the economic downturn, the lease program was no longer available and we have the option to purchase it at a reduced rate.  The price was approx. $15,000 to purchase, and Chief Neumann secured a $10,000 grant specifically for the purchase of that motorcycle.  Council decided that because our fleet was in such good shape, and the Harley has proven itself to be valuable for “in town” uses such as events and light patrol, we could afford the $5,000 from the Vehicle Reserve fund.
2.  Why don’t we have a snowmobile for the winter since we can only use the motorcycle in the summer? The mayor explained that the EMS and FD do actually have snowmobiles available to borrow if the need should arise.
3.  Why do council members get paid when they don’t show up for council?  Currently council members get paid $60/month.  After three consecutive unexcused meetings, Councilmembers can be dismissed by vote of council.  It has not been a problem with this council.
4.  In regards to the Planning Commission and her previous question about the Site Review committee – A new grain elevator is going up near McGregor’s.  PC is concerned that it could be blinding and the sunlight could be directed onto the city park.  Building Inspector Gladwill said as long as it’s zoned for agricultural use, there’s no issue to come into play, it can be built.  There was some confusion among council and staff as to what project she was referring to.

Steve McGehee had a list of prepared questions.
1.  Were any public hearings held on the Breeding’s Addition sewer extension?  No.
2.  Going back to the contract between Munir Daud and Breeding’s Addition …there is verbiage in the contract about the water system in Section 6.  Why all this water wordage in regards to the sewer system?  Council will review it.
3.  Has Spokane Rock ever been given permission to dump on city property?  Mayor Echanove answered that the deal was between Mr. Farr and the contractors.  As far as we know, the answer is no.  Supt. Griffin responded No also.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:    Supt. Griffin reported they’ve been working on Alder Street and progress is being made.  Alder St bid award – Supt. Griffin read aloud the four bids received for Alder Street paving which we’re opened July 28th at 8:00 AM.  The bids were for approx. 1200 SY of 2” compacted class B mix asphalt, 1 water valve adj. and 3 storm drains; blade and compact existing gravel; and dispose or recycle old asphalt stockpiled on site.  Poe Asphalt:  $26,144.20; Spokane Rock:  $29,000.00; Motley & Motley:  $30,700.00; Herco:  $39,969.70.  Dwayne recommended the bid go to POE Asphalt.  He would like to have Alder done before school starts.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the low bid of $26,144.20 from Poe Asphalt.  Second by Councilmember O’Neill.  Dwayne said the bids were close to his expectations.  Motion carried unanimously.

Dwayne said the park looked great after the Bluegrass Festival.  He thanked everyone who worked down there.  In years past it was a two or three hour deal for PW to clean up.

Last Friday on Whitman and H Street, in order to save the city an add-on, Dwayne and Don located and hooked in an existing stormdrain.  Engineer Daud sent a note saying that what they did saved the city $4,000 because of their knowledge and willingness to work.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT :  Dan reported this year is going okay.  It’s not the boom year we had a couple years ago but we’re still plugging along with smaller builds like decks, remodels, reroofs, mechanical permits, etc.  One stick frame house is going in.  He has gone through older files and getting caught up.  Things at the county level are average.

Regarding Seth Harris’s issue of wanting to turn his garage loft into a rental.  Joyce spoke with Attorney Bishop.  He will write his legal recommendation to the city and we can forward it to the property owners.  Dan was asked how it happened and what was the understanding at the time of the project?  Dan said he has duties as inspecting down but not the planning.  When this one came about, the property owner decided they wanted a loft in their garage.  I looked at their plans and told them the life safety needs but did not consider the zoning issue.  It was his (Dan’s) error.  We weren’t trying to break the rules, it was just an honest mistake.  He knows now the questions to ask.  The project was not presented as a rental but rather a place for his father-in-law to live while convalescing. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported the Bluegrass Festival was a great success.  Great thanks to public works summer help in setting up the barricades.  The motorcycle was an intrical part of getting in and out of the traffic.  Coming up on August 4th, 6-9 p.m., National Night Out Against Crime.  The PD, FD, EMS, vendors, and live entertainment will be there.

Councilmember Wekenman asked if Chief has seen the kids riding the electric scooters.  Chief explained that electric scooters are legal.  There was debate on this subject and Chief Neumann will review the code.  Councilmember Wekenman thinks that regardless of the answer, these kids need to be stopped because they are not wearing helmets and are driving erratically.   [Note from the Chief added July 30, 2009:  Motorized (electric and gas powered) foot scooters shall not be operated upon a public roadway by anyone under the age of 16 years.  For more information, please see PMC 10.42].

Chief is finalizing paperwork with the state for the motorcycle purchase grant.

JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:  Rick Wekenman said the next meeting in August will be the one to approve the 2010 budget.  Very few increases; there shouldn’t be any reason for the budget to be bogged down with negotiations.  The FD has been actively involved in training for the wildfire season.  We’ve been lucky so far this year but this time of year when things can get out of control.  There have been some burn complaints.  All these complaints were unfounded.  The EMS had three calls last month.  EMS will be assisting with high school sports physicals August 6th.  Fire Chief and EMS coordinator want the city voters to know the ambulance and fire reserve funds are critical.  Those funds need to be contributed to every year if at all possible.  The ambulance is going to need to be replaced or upgraded in a few years.  March of next year the county is trying to convert all of the radio communications to the narrow band which would require new radios.

2nd Quarter Treasurer Report:   The revenues are coming in as expected, while expenditures are coming in at an average of 35%.  Steve McGehee asked Joyce if there are any statutory dollar amounts that these funds cannot fall below.  The only one Joyce knows of is the Fund 322, Sewer Facility Reserve.  Three of our loan payments must be in reserve for the duration of our sewer loan.

Joyce pointed out that when city’s new software was converted, the initial setup was wrong for allocating to Funds 321 & 322.  An adjustment will be made to reallocate those two funds.  It will raise 322 balance by approximately $9,000 and lower 321 by same amount.  The problem was fixed a few months ago so those two funds are now getting their proper allocation.  Councilmember Wekenman inquired on the Fire Equipment and EMS Reserve, funds 308 and 313.  Chief Bagott said there would be no or limited contributions to those funds.  Wekenman asked if that was true.  Mayor Echanove state that a few meetings ago there was a council motion to not do several of the budgeted transfers in 2009 because of revenue shortfalls.  The issue will be in writing the 2010 budget and thereafter.

Ordinance 858 – Adopting the General Levy Property Tax Increase:  Mayor read the ordinance in its entirety.   He passed it to Mayor-protem Wekenman to consider.  Councilman Wekenman read ordinance No. 858 in its entirety.  After discussion, Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance 858.  Second by Councilmember Snook.  Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 859Adopting the EMS Property Tax Increase:  Mayor read the ordinance no. 859 in its entirety.  He then passed it to Mayor-protem Wekenman to consider.  Councilmember Wekenman read ordinance no. 859 by title only.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adopt Ordinance 859, second by Councilmember Snook.  Jon Fleischman asked if the $168 increase is per household.  No, the $168 is spread over the entire tax base.

Ordinance No. 860 – Setting Regular and Special Levy Amounts:  Mayor read the ordinance no. 860 in its entirety.  He then passed it to Mayor-protem Wekenman to consider.  Second reading by title only by Councilmember Wekenman.  Rick stated that this is basically the same language we’ve had in the past.  Councilman Wekenman MOVED , second by Councilman Milano to adopt Ordinance 860.  Steve McGehee asked if the levy is for 2010 expenditure.  The money is collected in 2010, answered the mayor.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2009-07:  Instructing the County Auditor to place the Special Street Levy on the November 3, 2009 ballot.  Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety. Dixie Reber stated that the resolution should read “Street Improvements” first and “Street Oiling” second because when she saw “street oiling” she didn’t read any further because she doesn’t have gravel roads, and voted no.  Councilmember O’Neill agreed and Joyce made the change.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-07, seconded by Councilmember Snook.    Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2009-08:  Instructing the County Auditor to place the Special Pool Maintenance and Operation Levy on the November 3, 2009 ballot.  Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Wekenman wishes people could realize that the cost of running the pool isn’t $26,000, it’s actually twice that; that we’re not asking them to fund the whole cost of running the pool.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-08, second by Councilmember Snook.  Supt. Griffin asked what would happen if the levy didn’t pass.  Rick said it would be a hard decision to make.  Dwayne agrees with Rick that the public needs to know how this levy is being spent.  They need to know we’re not just blowing their money.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution 2009-09:  Adopt the attached Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan for 2010-2016.  Mayor read the Resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-09.  It has been a good program.  The work gets done and it gets done properly.  Second by Councilmember O’Neill.  Motion carried unanimously.


PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported he received the RCO grant contract for the park improvement project.  The funding amount from the state is $12,000, $11,200 from private source donation and $800 in-kind (city staff labor).  In addition to the $11,200, the Little Peoples Park Project (LPPP) has agreed to pay for professional installation of the equipment which will add an additional $6,000 to the project.  The LPPP are fully funded and prepared to write a check to the city for the purchase and installation of the selected equipment.  Mike explained that he had approval from council to pursue this grant but does not yet have approval to sign the contract.  Councilman Milano MOVED to be authorized to sign the contract with RCO for purchase of playground equipment.  Second by Councilmember O’Neill.  Other than the $800 in-kind labor by the city crew, this is 100% funded between the state and the Little Peoples Park Project.  This state grant must be administered through the city.

Our RV Park is open and positive comments as well as some suggestions have been received from our guests.  Since reservations are not guaranteed until payment is received, the City needs a way to accept payment over the phone, such as credit card payments.  Mike Milano reviewed pricing for accepting credit card payments.  Jon Fleischman said he would donate his machine, printer, paper, and ink to the city. The mayor and councilmen thanked Jon for his offer and asked him to work with city hall.

Dixie Reber asked if people can use the RV dump.  Councilmember Milano explained where the RV disposal is and that is free for public use.

We received and are still reviewing the Avista energy audit.  It is very heavy on lighting improvements.  Councilmember Milano will consider recommendations for his report.

MAYOR’S REPORT : No report

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 Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     1516-1542       $22,177.53


APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________