July 9, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

July 9, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse councilmember Cook’s absence. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Sievers absence. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Councilmember Wekenman voted nay. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 25, 2019. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried.

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


-Flat tire on Chief’s vehicle last week;

-Ongoing dog issues in both towns;

-PD has stepped up patrols on Hwy 27 south entrance into town;

-Ice Cream Social this weekend;

-Officer Anderson broke his right wrist while off-duty on Monday. He will have surgery and be off for next 10 days or so. That will result in an amended shift coverage for Chief Neumann until he returns.

-Chief received certificate of completion for the state-mandated technical security audit. It was an onsite audit where they look at things like background checks, record keeping, state reporting, how we’re accessing and storing sensitive information, how secure building and computers are, etc.

-Police, Fire, & Safety Committee met with Mayor Echanove and both officers on Monday night. Councilmember Wekenman (chair of Police, Fire, & Safety) explained that since Officer Cox’s termination, it is just two officers covering both towns (Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson). There are a lot of on-call hours being logged to provide 24/7 coverage. Chief Neumann wants he and Officer Anderson compensated hourly for the remaining 88 hours in a work week that they’re on call (168 hours in a week, minus 40 x 2 = 88 hours left). There are federal laws that cover fair compensation for these kinds of things. These are compensable hours and by law need to be compensated for. However, Mayor Echanove read aloud FLSA Section 213, and RCW 49.46.130, which exempt the city from that compensation due to our size. Much contentious debate ensued about what should be compensated and what the city actually needs. Chief Neumann has already spoken with FLSA and will proceed with a complaint if payment for overtime/on call hours is not addressed. Councilmember Wekenman wants to pay them and avoid litigation. Prior to making any decisions on this, Mayor wants this issue sent to Policy & Admin Committee and the city attorney. There are a number of stakeholders that need to have a voice in this: policy and admin committee, Chief Neumann, Officer Anderson, Mayor Echanove, and Mayor Pfaff. CA Dixon will contact a mediator and city attorney and get this meeting scheduled.


2nd Qtr Treasurer’s Report: No red flags. All is well.

-CA Dixon and Councilmember Cook attended the AWC conference in Spokane last week. It was a productive conference.

-Next meeting there will be some street and pool levy information. CA Dixon will discuss the budgetary needs with PW Supt Griffin and bring back to committee.

-There is a Planning Commission meeting tomorrow to discuss a minor subdivision in the Amber Ridge development. Proposal states that footprint for duplexes remains the same but creating lot lines will allow them to pass title on each side of those duplexes.

-Shady Lane project is still proceeding. CA Dixon is consulting with engineer on final specs before bids will be assessed.

-Will invite Alex Anderson of Palouse Welding to attend next council meeting in regards to how he wishes to tackle some code violations on his property.


Water system improvements update from TD&H Engineering: Luke Antonich was present to update council. After council’s direction at last meeting, they proceeded with Phase I (the design of main replacements under Culton and Church Streets and the investigation of options to increase the pressure in a specific area of the north hill bounded by Cannon and Mohr Streets on the north and south and J and H Streets on the west and east). Thus far they have completed the topographic survey for Church Street and Culton Street. A base map will be prepared and design for the replacement of those mains will begin. They investigated options for increasing the pressure for the North Hill low pressure pocket: a) tried adding a dedicated line from the tank to the booster pump. Pressures remained below the 30 PSI threshold; b) added a looping main that would connect the high-pressure zone from K Street to G Street which resulted in pressures raised above the 30 PSI threshold to approximately 50+ PSI. Luke thinks overall the water system in in great shape in large part to the care Public Works takes of it and the dollars provided to utility infrastructure. They continue to develop the SWSMP (Small Water System Management Program) for Palouse. Under the SWSMP the city’s Public Works Dept could continue maintaining and replacing existing infrastructure and upsizing mains by ONE pipe size without having to seek DOH approval.

Technical discussion ensued. Do the benefits outweigh the cost? Council wants TD&H to begin Phase II but keep the two phases separate enough to be delineated from each other. Continue investigations into options as to how to solve redundancy, fire flow, and pressure issues on south hill. Regarding funding, once we have a defined scope of work for the project, particularly regarding Phase II, we will bring funding opportunities back to council for direction on applying for funding.


Resolution No. 2019-05 salary schedule: Mayor read aloud the resolution. This is just a housekeeping issue to remove retired Don Myott’s pay from schedule and add new WWTP Operator’s (Tyler Furchtenicht) pay. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Resolution as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.


Police, Fire, & Safety, Chair Wekenman- See under Police Report.

Policy & Administration, Chair Wilcomb- Committee hoping to meet this week with city attorney, both mayors, CA Dixon, both police officers, and a mediator to find a resolution to the police on-call pay, scheduling, etc.

Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Cooper- Met with Kyle earlier to go over budget.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Snyder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 6/30/19 Ck. #10094, 10018, 10133-10160, & EFT $51,951.80

Claims Paid 7/09/19 Ck. #10161-10191 & EFT $51,240.93

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:36 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________