June 24, 2008

June 24, 2008

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7 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: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Libby Akin; Kim Akin; Deb Nelson; Rachel Nelson; and Steve Haugen.

PUBLIC HEARING:   Six-Year Street Plan
Mayor Echanove opened the public meeting at 7:01 and asked for public comment on the proposed 6 Year Street Plan.  Hearing no public comment Mayor Echanove closed the public hearing at 7:03 PM.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman asked that the record be removed Under Open Forum “Councilmember Wekenman asked if it is flood-proof.  It’s as flood-proof as anything down there.” having not made this statement.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes as amended of the Regular Council Meeting of June 10, 2008.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  The Mayor states that the council will not entertain any comments regarding personnel issues of city staff.
Girl Scout presentation of project – Libby Akin and Rachel Nelson from Girl Scout Troop #2315 gave a slide presentation describing the requirements of a Bronze Medal Award and their accomplishments to this point.  Along with leadership, planning and communication skills, the bronze award must provide a community service not done in the past.  Libby and Rachel asked for council approval to build five or six birdhouses and install them along the Palouse nature trail on West Main.  Some of the birdhouses would attract the small birds and others the larger ones.  The girls explained that they are not requesting funding as they have already earned what they would need.  They would place them on posts high above the ground to protect the birds from predators.  The birdhouses will be marked with their names.  Councilmember Wekenman suggested they check with Don Myott for placement.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to approve the Bronze Medal Award project for the building and installation of 5 or 6 birdhouses along the Palouse nature trail.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported A & R hit another stretch of hard rock along Fairview Ave. but will continue and finish according to the plan.  Griffin commended A & R for their fine work and stated that the project should be complete in 2 to 3 weeks.  Mayor Echanove asked if there was more hard rock than expected.  Griffin reported yes, especially north of 7th St and along Fairview.  Whitman St. is ahead of schedule, the first train ran on the new tracks Wednesday, June 17 at 3 pm.  The pool is working well after adjusting the filters.  The city received a verbal estimate of $5,000 to replace the heater.  They recommend that we plan to replace it next year before the pool opens.  It is understood, however, that if problems arise it will have to be replaced sooner.  Compost is still coming in and being used.  Public Works has hauled about 2/3 of it to the RV park site.  They are using the old pool solar pipe to water the compost.  They continue to spray weeds, read meters and remove and cap off the city utilities as units at the MH Park are removed.  Supt. Griffin asked what the policy is to surplus material from the site.  After discussion, it was decided that items of value would be put up for surplus bid and items of little or no value will be given away on a first-come first-served basis.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to surplus cinder block as a first-come first-serve basis at no cost.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  It was decided to provide an area free of debris for the blocks.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Mayor Echanove stated the Garfield police car is being utilized in Palouse.  CIAW representatives reviewed police officer candidate Brian Dentler’s application for employment and reported all tests were completed and met.

Animal Control Contract :  Mayor Echanove presented the 2008-2009 animal control contract with Whitman County Humane Society.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the Extended Animal Shelter Contract with Whitman County Humane Society.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Palouse Car Wash Agreement :  Mayor Echanove presented a Memorandum of Agreement between the City and Palouse Car Wash.  The agreement provides tokens to be used for official city vehicles in exchange for the city crew to clean the gravel and rock trap with city equipment.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Palouse and the Palouse Car Wash.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2008-07 – Adopt Six-year Transportation Improvement Plan:  Councilmember Bagott explained how the street plan is used by different agencies to track projects.  To receive funding, a project must first be listed on this annual plan.  She stated that Fairview Ave. was added as the seventh project but may be bumped up at any time.  This is for overlay to the length of the sewer project.  Mayor Echanove read Resolution No. 2008-07.  Councilmember Milano asked which project had a priority shift.  I Street from Alder to Mary and N. F Street from Alder to Cannon was moved to priority #2.  Councilmember Schorzman asked if W. Whitman is on the plan – Yes and can be moved up if needed.  Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adopt the Six-year Transportation Improvement Plan.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Echanove reported updates on the MH Park project.  The city has purchased 6 units to date.  Mayor Echanove asked for council direction on proceeding with negotiations on unit #9, the RV in the last spot.  The owner has relocation plans and is interested in the city purchasing his RV.  The RV was gifted to the resident and with little to no value this would be considered a relocation payment rather than a buy-out.  Council discussed options.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize the Mayor to purchase unit #9 for $750.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion.  Councilmember Schorzman stated that no more than $500 should be offered.  Councilmember Milano reminded council that this is a purchase and relocation project.  Councilmember O’Neill said the city should pay $750 and move on with the project.  Councilmember’s voiced concern that payment may not be a resolution to relocation.  Withdrawing his previous motion, Councilmember Milano MOVED to allow the Mayor to purchase unit #9 for $750 only upon immediate possession by the city.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded it and the motion passed.  Councilmember Wekenman voted no.  Mayor Echanove stated that he is working with the owner occupants of the final two units.  They will be dealt with differently since they both hold value.  Council will be included in the decision for the final buy-out amounts.  The budget is getting tight but we are saving money on tipping fees at landfill.

JOINT FIRE BOARD:   Councilmember Wekenman will have a report at the next meeting.

PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano reported that he made his presentation to the state for the parks and recreation grant program.  The agency gave him suggestions on the development of a more comprehensive project and more effective application and power point presentation.  As a result they will try to increase the local match by providing a handicap accessible play area and access to it.  He reported that perhaps access could be accomplished in conjunction with a walking trail that wraps around the perimeter of the park.  The WSDOT grant manager asked him if Palouse has any project plans.  Milano told him the city is considering a foot bridge across the river to the city park. 
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION Councilmember Bailey asked for direction from the council on the purchase of a Bobcat.  The previous grant applications for this purchase are not applicable to the current grant cycle.  The city can apply for the purchase of property through a 75/25% recycling grant.  Grants to build structures are also available.  Councilmember Bailey asked if he should add the Bobcat to a grant application that would require a $5,000 match from the city.  After discussion the consensus was to include $5,000 in the 2009 equipment budget for the purchase of a Bobcat for the recycling program.  Councilmember Bailey then asked if they should look for property to purchase to use for a city-wide recycling program.  Mayor Echanove asked if we can lease property instead.  Bailey said no, the city would have to own the land.   He also stated his recommendation that the area be big enough to provide a full recycling program.   It was decided that sites would be explored by his committee.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS:   Councilmember Bagott reported that Munir presented the next payment request for the Whitman Street project.  It is pending approval.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The recent installation at the Mobile Home Court is being questioned by a neighbor.  The setback requirement from I Street is their point of concern.  As recommended by Attorney Bishop a letter went out to the park owner requesting a confirmation of the final setback from I Street.  Councilmember Milano asked if the building inspector gave approval for placement.  The mayor stated that Dan looked at alley setback but is unsure of the I Street setback.  Councilmember O’Neill asked why the installation was allowed.  The mayor indicated that public works staff is the most knowledgeable on setback issues and he should have had them take a look at it. Councilmember O’Neill asked if the installation encroaches on neighbors.  Mayor Echanove said no, it is within the fence on the property line and lines up with the neighbor’s garage.  It does, however, seem to not meet the 20’ setback required by code.

The City received a letter from Jerry Moss about the construction of Saint Elmo Street by developer David Lee.  Saint Elmo abuts Mr. Moss’s property and he has concerns about the way the road is sloped and the mess it makes in his yard.  Councilmember Bailey said there is construction issues involved and the actual property line needed to be determined.  It was pointed out that record has not been found that this street was ever accepted by the city.

The City received a letter from a neighbor’s attorney on the condition of the mobile home on Bluff St.  The concern is that there has been no resolution.   Mayor Echanove asked for suggestions from council for a fair and humanitarian way to resolve this issue.  The building inspector has recommended moving forward the abatement of this property.  Mayor Echanove and Attorney Bishop are concerned about the human element.

Mayor Echanove reported that he is responding to a personnel complaint regarding the Police Department.

Mayor Echanove requests that city staff advertise for citizens interested to serve on a civil service board for the Police Department.  The mayor reminded council that the next meeting will include a public hearing for 2009 revenue sources.  Councilmember Bailey stated that it appears an Avista truck tore up the Shady Lane Trail while servicing the lines.  He asked if he could speak to Avista on the city’s behalf to have them repair the trail.  Nobody objected.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Councilmember Milano on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce invited city staff to serve as Grand Marshall of the Palouse Day parade.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid      #13148 – #
Claims Paid
Payroll Paid

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________