June 12, 2007

June 12, 2007

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Open Public Hearing to order at 7:02 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges and Dwayne Griffin, Public Works Superintendents; Ann Thompson, Clerical Assistant; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Stephen Bishop, City Attorney; Dan Gladwill, City Building Inspector; and Greg Kessler, Pete Hertz, Nicole Wood, Mike Wolf, Fred Spencer, Vicki Bradley, Sandra Schorzman, Dale Tronsen, Kay Tronsen, Roger Gamet.

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING:  Ordinance regulating development and management of environmentally critical areas within the City of Palouse.

Fred Spencer asked if the ordinance was going to change.  The Mayor told him the ordinance will stay as written.  Fred Spencer was given a copy of the ordinance to read.  The gallery asked when it takes effect.  The ordinance takes effect five days after it is published.  The public asked if the decision could be put off until December.  Council said the decision does not have to be made today.

With no further comment, Mayor Echanove closed the public hearing and opened the regular meeting at 7:05 PM.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Minutes of May 22, 2007 were approved with two corrections:  Under Open Forum, change “The council agreed to pay this cost and it will be split evenly between three funds…” to “between four funds…”  Under Building Inspector Report, remove Byron “is very much opposed to this”.   Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of May 22, 2007.  Darcie Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : Council member Schorzman inquired about the availability of skunk traps.  Superintendent Hodges said that if the trap cannot be located they will order one or two more.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted a written report.
In regards to the problems with Well #3, Byron and Dwayne met with the company who admitted there was a problem with the pipe which was installed when the well was drilled.  They will repair the pipe at no charge to the city.  This will bring the cost of the maintenance of the well close to what would normally be expected.

Mark Bailey asked if the railroad has done any spraying along its right of way.  Mayor Echanove reported that based on his call to the state, the rail operators are responsible for weed control along the tracks.  If noting is done, we should call WSDOT to report it.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported he gave a bike safety talk at the grade school.  He has scheduled a bike rodeo for the fall.  The hot rod show went well, with no incidents or reports.  Chief Neumann recently returned from Portland where he returned the old cycles and picked up the new ones, as a part of our new lease with Harley-Davidson.  Police reports include: a couple small thefts on Birch Street, a malicious mischief at 120 E. Whitman, minor damage at the car wash, and a couple dog complaints.   Chief Neumann assisted the building inspector with the Bluff Street clean up project.  Extra patrols have been added in the park area due to the busy summer activities there.  All in all, things have been quiet.  Rick Wekenman inquired about the legality of pocket motorcycles.  We do have an ordinance in place setting restrictions.  Driver must be over 16 and licensed, and be wearing a helmet.  They have to stay on 25 MPH or less roads.

NEW BUSINESS:  The Boy Scouts will be having their summer jamboree in Palouse, June 18-22.  Mike Milano asked Attorney Bishop if there was any way he could get a variance to municipal code, on behalf of the Boy Scouts, in regards to BB gun usage for that one week.  Attorney Bishop said no.


  1. ORDINANCE NO. 820 – Regulating Critical Areas within the City of Palouse.

The Mayor read past minutes to get everyone up to speed on this issue.
Councilman Snook MOVED to suspend the reading of ordinance 829.  Councilman Milano Seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Mayor Echanove presented to the public the city map with the four overlay zones:  wetlands setbacks, aquifer protection, priority habitat, and geological hazards.  Dan Gladwill explained that the large aquifer protection zone looks a lot scarier than it is.  Primarily it affects a business that uses chemicals that would create eco-hazards.  The Priority Habitat and Wetlands Setback are regulated already by the County.  The updated ordinance isn’t anything new, as it is environmentally friendly issues that all citizens should be concerned about.

The public asked about how this would affect use of their own property.  According to Attorney Bishop, this ordinance doesn’t prohibit anything.  You just have to examine the effects on the environment.  On existing wetlands, how do you mitigate what you’re doing to the wetland environment?  The Building Inspector has the authority to make a determination.  He could tell you fairly quickly.  If the BI deems it necessary, he can require landowners to hire an engineer.  Councilman Milano said council has the opportunities to reduce setbacks by up to 50%.  City staff has to get up-to-speed so we’re not at risk for allowing something that should not happen.

Gallery asked if the city or county was responsible for the enforcement.  Palouse has jurisdiction to enforce the ordinance.  The state has no jurisdiction, it’s strictly city.  This all came out of the Growth Management Act.  The Mayor reminded everyone that every city in the state has to do this.

Roger Gamet had questions about installing private septic outside of the 210’ main line.  It will be on a case-by-case basis to be reviewed.  PW Supt Griffin inquired as to why Well #3 isn’t on the map.  Council may have to amend the aquifer protection to include Well #3.

The process to enforce this ordinance will begin at City Hall.  When someone applies for a standard building permit, they’ll have to point out on the map where their project lies.  If it’s within one of the overlay zones, Dan Gladwill will begin the process on a case by case basis.  Rick Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance 820.  Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension

Engineer Munir Daud was not present.   Mayor Echanove instructed the map people that they are needed urgently.
The engineering for Breeding’s sewer extension is now in the budget and a construction line of credit is being considered during construction.  CDBG grants are not available because Palouse’s income level is too high.
Roger Gamet asked when sewer would be extended further.  Mayor Echanove said the next extension would be much more expensive and there is no timeline.


PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Mike Milano has set up a Town Hall Meeting for the RV Park.  It’s June 13th, 7:00 PM at the school cafeteria.  The main concern seems to be security.  Chief Neumann will be at the meeting to address those concerns.  Milano reported there is a group collecting money for a toddler playground at the park.  ADA grants may be coming in next year for the underlayment.

Mark spoke with Cindi Lepper, Whitman County Public Works.  She said funding for the compost facility and chipper may be available after July 1st.  Signs are in, and the permit policy is in place.  The permits serve two purposes: 1, to ensure users are residents of Palouse, and 2, to ensure ONLY discarding leaves and grass at this time.  Norm Schorzman asked about the odor.  Andy O’Neill said the odor should be minimal, usually only when it’s turned over.  The main issue is proper aeration.  We’ll need to train the operator.   Council member Bailey reported that he is looking at a draft Interlocal agreement with Whitman County for use of the chipper.  Bailey stated that he would like to put the burning ordinance on the next agenda.

STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott read a memo from Munir Daud regarding progress of the Whitman Street Project.  Things are slow because we’re waiting on the maps.  Once the maps arrive, we will establish elevation of the railroad tracks, extending 300 feet on each end of the Whitman Street project.

The contract with the Whitman County Humane Society has expired and an amendment to extend it from June 2007 through May 31, 2008 is ready to sign.  The annual payment and number of dogs has not changed.  Councilman Milano MOVED to approve the contract extension with the WCHS.  Councilman Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Our regular council meeting on June 26th has canceled and there will be a special meeting on June 25th

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:    Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN Mike Milano MOVED to adjourn.  Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:46 PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                  Warrants:  # 12398         through # 12438             Payment:  $25,496.65
Payroll Paid                  Warrants:  #   6516         through #   6540             Payment:  $34,121.29

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________