June 11, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

June 11, 2019

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse the absence of Councilmember Wekenman. Councilmember Cooper seconded and the motion carried. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 28, 2019 were approved as written.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. He praised new employee Tyler Furchtenicht. Water quality Consumer Confidence Report is complete and has been submitted to DOH.

POLICE REPORT: The Hot Rod car show went well, only a couple noise complaints.

School is out, please watch for kids. Will be doing extra patrols around town and the park and will put the radar trailer up after it gets some needed repairs.

Durango has developed a small oil leak.

Palouse PD solved a stolen vehicle case which originated in Spokane. The vehicle was purchased with counterfeit bills so the Secret Service is involved and the Spokane PD is taking over the case. Through some investigation, the Palouse PD was able to track down the suspect through social media.


Permits are being finalized for construction of pathways and concrete pads for benches and shelter off of Shady Lane toward the river. City will solicit bids later this month and look to begin construction by the end of July.

CA Dixon met with Port of Whitman last week to discuss fiber buildout in Palouse. There’s a good spot for their fiber infrastructure below the PD. In exchange for housing their equipment in the PD, they will provide fiber to the PD and city will look for other beneficial uses for this agreement. Current schedule is for the Port of Whitman to begin fiber buildout this fall and through 2020 bringing fiber to homes in Palouse.

City received an application for a variance for the four lots on end of Harvest Loop. The developer had gotten a variance last year to build duplexes, but they want to further subdivide those four lots with a zero setback. Footprint will be the same however. The BOA will handle the variance and the PC will handle the application for a minor subdivision.

CA Dixon applied for and received a waiver from Dept of Commerce to forego ongoing measurement and verification for the solar panels. Normally, Commerce requires at least three years of testing after project completion, which costs the city just under $2,000 each year for these reports. We had already prepaid for years 2&3 so the city will receive a refund for not performing those tests as a result.

Dept of L&I administers the paid family medical leave act. We began withholding those amounts in January, with first payment due to L&I in July. Employers with less than 50 employees are eligible to recoup those costs if they cover this expense on behalf of the employee. CA Dixon will provide further information to council and bring a resolution to the next meeting that proposes the city cover this expense on behalf of employees with the understanding that these costs are eligible to be recovered.


Palouse resident Moses Boone asked council to consider adopting an official flag for the City of Palouse. He explained that city flags don’t just represent the community, they help enhance the community. Moses is a scholar of flags. He discussed in-depth the characteristics and symbolism of his design: a figure-8 follow-through knot which represents authentic, hard-working people. The green background represents Palouse’s natural, rural surrounding and is the same shade of green as on the official WA state flag. The knot is comprised of one blue and one gold cord. Blue represents the Palouse river. Gold represents grain, agricultural production, and commerce. The two different cords were very deliberate, representing different people from different backgrounds coming together which is the essence of community. Policy Committee will meet to discuss and decide.


Varela & Associates update on wastewater facility plan: Dana Cowger presented an update to contract amendment #3 for council approval. This amendment has been revised in response to the May 21, 2019 letter from DOE regarding additional funding for the project. In the letter and during subsequent conversations DOE requested that a draft engineering report be submitted before they will consider an additional funding request. The earlier amendment amount was $153,239; the revised amendment is $85,395, bringing the total to $264,994. After this first step, there’s going to be a pause, may take 6 months before moving to final step for facility plan. Dana believes the money spent so far has been well spent, in part due to a project where alternatives are expensive. When the magnitude of the project is $8-$10 million, spending planning dollars to investigate all reasonable alternatives is important. Reclaiming the water will be most pleasing to DOE. Reclaimed water gives city more options when the city has to be completely out of the river. CA Dixon believes that proceeding with current council approved plan, understanding that it is not necessarily the least cost alternative, will ultimately put the city in a better position to receive funding assistance for construction from DOE as well as other state agencies. Sewer Facility Reserve fund can absorb this amendment, but the hope is for DOE to ultimately extend funding once they have reviewed the engineering report. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to approve revised amendment #3 for an additional $85,394. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried.

TD&H Engineering update on water system improvements: At last meeting TD&H attended, council asked for some more information regarding 1) existing pressures in the system; 2) the required height of the tank in Alternative A4 (adjacent to cemetery) and Alternative A5 (south of cemetery); & 3) how upsizing key mains in the system may or may not impact pressures in the system. The city had serviced the pressure-reducing valves in the water system and TD&H has now calibrated the model and is using it to generate data and evaluate scenarios.

1) Existing pressures in the system. The minimum operating pressure required by the DOH is 30 PSI under Peak Hour Demands (PHD). Running a PHD scenario in the model shows low pressures of 14 PSI to 30 PSI in the south hill area along Wall Street, Park Street, and along the cemetery line. The east branch of the system shows pressures of 13 PSI to 27 PSI under PHD. Resolving the low pressures in the south hill area requires increasing the hydraulic grade of the system, typically accomplished by adding a storage tank and/or boosting pressures by using a pump. A majority of the low pressures in the east branch can be eliminated by inactivating the pressure sustaining valve on Myott Street.

2) Tank Elevations and Heights query. Alternative A4 Construct elevated storage reservoir adjacent to the city cemetery: A water elevation increase of 70 feet from the existing ground elevation is required to meet the 30 PSI minimum pressure requirement from DOH. A rough, high level, 25% contingency estimate of this option is $3.3 million. Alternative A5 Construct elevated storage reservoir on farm land south of cemetery: an increase of 80 feet from the existing ground elevation is required to meet the 30 PSI minimum pressure requirement from DOH. A rough, high level, 25% contingency estimate of this option is $4.2 million. That $4.2 million does not include land acquisition.

3) Upsizing mains. Upsizing key mains can significantly improve fire flows to the south hill area but will not resolve pressure issues. Increasing the pressures in the south hill area requires adding head to the system. Fire flows in the south hill area can be increased by creating an 8” loop around the river connected to the north water tank with an 8” main and upsizing the main under Wall Street to 8”. These improvements would raise the flows in all but three fire hydrants on the south hill to over 750 GPM.

The DOH has indicated they will need to see a project report for the water tank portion of the project. This report would outline the project priorities, how the addition of the tank would impact the existing system, and provide specs and/or drawings of the proposed tank.

The DOH would also like to see Palouse develop a Small Water System Management Program (SWSMP) and operate under it unless the city intends to expand its service area or exceed 1,000 services or add significant infrastructure for the purpose of expanding service. The SWSMP would stand in the stead of the WSP and it is less restrictive for smaller communities. Under the SWSMP the city’s PW Dept could continue maintaining and replacing existing infrastructure and upsizing mains by one pipe size without having to seek DOH approval. An SWSMP would need to be completed and approved if DOH funding was going to be pursued. However, as previously discussed and again confirmed with DOH, the city would most likely rank very low on a DOH application and it is unlikely funding would be procured through the DOH.

MUCH technical discussion and funding discussion ensued.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the SWSMP in replacement of the WSP. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried.

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to divide the project into two phases and moving ahead with phase 1: surveying and geotechnical investigation and design being performed on Culton and Church Streets as well as investigating a couple pockets of low pressure on the north hill. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.


Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-

Pool opens Saturday. The painting of the pool-house is coming along nicely and we’re hoping it’s completed in time. Lifeguards are running hypothetical pool emergency drill with EMS Friday night.


Mayor Echanove verbally appointed Joe Handley May 31 to the vacant seat on the Planning Commission. Mayor read aloud Joe Handley’s letter of interest to the council. Councilmember Cook MOVED to ratify Mayor’s appointment. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Sievers 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 May 2019 Ck. #10024, 10075-10093, & EFT $44,598.17

Claims Paid 6/11/19 Ck. #10095-10017, & EFT $34,666.93

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Sievers seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 9:34 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________