June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook;  Absent: Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present:  Dave Reber and Dixie Reber.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 9, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  Dave Reber spoke to council in complaint of his dog being taken to the dog pound by the Palouse officer.  He stated that since the officer knew who the dog belonged to, he could have put him in the gate and attached his leash or could have put him in the RV trailer.  Councilmember Bailey asked Mr. Reber if the PD had permission to enter their property.  Dixie Reber answered no, but they will give them permission in the future.  Chief Neumann explained that Officer Dentler kept the dog in his car for an hour before taking him to the pound and that no citation was issued for animal at large.

Dixie Reber asked council if the city has a permit to dump asphalt in the river.  She explained that she is asking this because of a rumor she has heard.  Mayor Echanove said that the city is not dumping asphalt.  Dixie Reber asked what will become of the asphalt from the H Street project.  It was explained that H Street is a sidewalk project with a very minimal amount of asphalt.  Dixie asked what will become of the asphalt on the school parking lot.  Mayor Echanove explained that the project contractor has agreed to remove it to be recycled.  Dixie then asked if the city is going to investigate this rumor.  Mayor Echanove said it is just a rumor and will not be investigated by the city.  Councilmember Bailey stated that questions about Whitman Street asphalt should be addressed to the contractor.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported that the pool heater thermostat is still not fixed and he is adjusting the temperature manually to keep it at about 82o.  The grass at the RV Park is growing but still needs 2 or 3 weeks before traffic should be allowed.  The grant between Ecology and Whitman County Public Works (Alternatives to Burning Grant # G0900206) has been signed and the city was informed that they could order the equipment needed for the compost facility.  After getting quotes, a used Case brand skid-steer was found and will be delivered.  Councilmember Bailey asked what other equipment would be ordered through the grant.  Griffin said they will get ecology blocks, compost thermometer, and various hand tools such as a pitchfork.

Griffin reported that through the program Rural Resources, Harley Wilmore started working 3 or 4 hours a day.  It was pointed out that this program is at no cost to the City.   

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported a busy few weeks with various incidents and investigations where charges were filed.  These incidents include a DUI accident and thefts at Busch Distributor pumps throughout Whitman County.  Chief also reported that the residence on Union Street is still showing progress.

JOINT BOARD UPDATE :   Rick Wekenman submitted a written report for Councilmember Snook to present.  Two members have been added to the firefighter roster – Cecil Floyd and Ben Aichele.  The FEMA grant application was submitted for 21 sets of turnouts.  The local match for this grant is $2,117 which will be split between Rural and City.  There have been a total of 7 calls so far, which is the same as this time last year.  The EMS is planning a scene management drill.

NEW BUSINESS :    Resolution 2009-06 :  Additions/changes to fee schedule – Mayor Echanove pointed out changes to the fee schedule include the addition of costs for private swim lessons, water aerobics program, private pool party rental, and the basic RV Park rates.  After discussion, Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2009-06.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS :   Discussion of 6 year street plan :  Councilmember Bagott explained that the Street Improvement Plan will include the projects as listed last year except, of course, the ones completed in 2009.  There was discussion about changing priorities and adding an additional project.  Mayor Echanove suggested that West Whitman from Bridge Street to Mill Street be added as a project on its own.  The public hearing for the Street Plan will be July 28th.

Brownfields Update :  Mayor Echanove reported that the Brownfields Citizen Advisory Committee will meet at 7:00 p.m., June 30, at City Hall with our Brownfields consultant Maul, Foster, and Alongi.  The Mayor also reported that the committee will again meet on July 6 at 7:00 pm at City Hall with John Means, DOE, to do economic modeling at the Brownfields site.  The public is encouraged to attend.

PERSONNEL & POOL :  Councilmember Snook reported that the pool is running smoothly.  Mayor Echanove said that pool manager Annie Manning asked for council permission for the swim team to have a pool party as a fundraiser for prize ribbons and equipment.  The event would require five guards for about two hours.  Council voiced no objection.

POLICY & ADMIN :  Councilmember Bailey stated that since the Ecology/Whitman County grant has been in the works for such a long time he would like to make a motion to accept the grant and allow the purchase of this equipment for maintaining the city compost facility.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the grant as previously discussed for the purchase of this skid-steer tractor from Sun Rental and other associated equipment.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Councilmember Bailey also reported that the planning commission met and they are getting close to submitting the zoning ordinance to Attorney Bishop and then council.  The ordinance will most likely be submitted in sections, beginning with the definitions.  They are about 75% through their first pass.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS :  Councilmember Bagott reported that with the completion of paperwork, the H Street contractor will begin on Monday, July 6th.

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS :  Councilmember Milano reported that the lock box at the RV Park will be installed soon.  They are hoping for a mid-July opening date.  He will begin to work on a marketing campaign to get the word out.  As of date, the electricity updates at the park are near completion.  The Palouse Chamber of Commerce has committed to a $700 donation and Schweitzer Engineering Lab has donated $1,500 toward these improvements.   Strom Electric has offered to connect electrical to the Lions Club gazebo at no additional charge.  These improvements will put us at the maximum power input at the park without huge changes.

Councilmember Milano thanked Don & Teresa Myott for the memorial bench installed at the Riverwalk Park.

Avista conducted an energy audit on city facilities.  A report will come from Avista; however it appears that the Police Department building will need the most work.

MAYOR’S REPORT :   The mayor reported that he and three others will be attending the AWC Conference in Spokane.  One of the topics he is most interested in is possible federal stimulus money toward energy audits.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:55 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                 18,927.71