June 25, 2007

PUBLIC HEARING – Street vacation request
June 25, 2007 7:00 PM


One time change to Monday night immediately following

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called Public Hearing to order at 7:00PM

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent: Darcie Bagott and Andy O’Neill.  Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Dwayne Griffin, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy City Clerk; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Beverly Parks-McDonnell; Neal McDonnell; Dennis Griner; Michael Wolf; Nicole Wood.

OPEN PUBLIC HEARING: Petition to close portion of alley between Houghton St & Cannon St east of I St
The Mayor asked the petitioners to introduce themselves and explain their petition to vacate.  Neal McDonnell and Bev McDonnell own their home at 500 E Cannon Street and are the petitioners to vacate the alley lying between their properties.  Beverly McDonnell explained that she grew up in this house they were never aware of a platted alley until it showed up on a survey they had done.  This area is and always has been part of their yard.  Mayor Echanove asked for public comment.  Hearing none he closed the Open Public Hearing at 7:05PM.

Mayor Echanove opened the special council meeting at 7:05PM.  The mayor began discussion on the petition to vacate.  Council Member Bailey asked about the utility poles and lines located in the area of the alley.  Neal McDonnell said that they had AVISTA check the lines out and were told that there was access from the east side of the property.  Mayor Echanove asked C-T Joyce Beeson to read the staff reports: Public Works-concern about future access of gas and electrical lines to the property east of this petition.  Police Department-no police issue; Fire Department- no fire issue; Building Inspector-no issue, make sure setbacks are maintained. Though there are no water/sewer lines in the alley, Byron restated his concern over the lack of access for a future gas line.  The Mayor read the street vacation policies and procedures.  He read from a street vacation of two years ago regarding the cost of purchasing the property if the petition were granted.  The McDonnell’s were asked if their intent was not to allow any easement for utilities on their property.  They said yes, if the street vacation passes, they will not allow any utilities to pass through their property.  McDonnell further explained that the gas line could run through Houghton or Cannon.  Council member Wekenman MOVED to grant the petition to vacate that portion of the alley between Houghton and Cannon east of I St.  with the McDonnell’s paying one half of the fair market value set as $1.00 per square foot.  Council member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 12, 2007.   Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : written report submitted by Byron Hodges and Dwayne Griffin
Byron added that Well #3 repair continues.  Dwayne told council that the new camera and laptop computer for the department has been received.  The surveillance cameras for the compost facility have also arrived and are at the police station.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported that things have been quiet.  The Cub Scout Day camp was a success with a huge turnout of scouts.  The Chief told council that he will be publishing a press release about the use of fireworks within the city limits.  He is working with Fire Chief Bagott on this issue.  Their will be zero tolerance for firecrackers and bottle rockets.  If you purchase fireworks on Tribal property you must use the fireworks on Tribal property.  Fireworks can be used in the city from June 28 to July 5 within certain hours.

JOINT FIRE BOARD AND EMS UPDATE: Council Member Snook reported that the Blood Drive was a success.  The Rural side of the board reported that they may have funds available to pave a small portion of the parking lot at the Public Safety Building.  The city would have to amend the current budget before construction begins.  Joyce would like council in their budget discussions to address the Public Safety Building fund.  This fund needs money to both maintain and make improvements to the building.


  1. Update from Munir Daud on the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension & Whitman Street Project.

Munir Daud was not present.  As of last Friday, the Mayor said Munir was speaking to the property owners who would be in line of an immediate hook up if this sewer extension were to proceed.  Dennis Griner asked if this project was likely to start this year.  The Mayor said that was still his hope.

  1. Ordinance # 831 – Regulation of outdoor burning & providing penalties for violations.

The Mayor read the ordinance through in its entirety.  Council Member Bailey stated that the fire calls  to leaf and grass burns were one of the reasons this ordinance has moved forward.  There is pressure from the state as well to eliminate residential burning.  The Mayor read the ordinance by title and ordinance number only, then a third reading by title only.  Council member Milano MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 831.  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  Council Member Bailey said that it is unfortunate that it has come to this because a few people on both sides of this issue cannot be good neighbors.


PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Mike Milano reported that the group raising money for the toddler playground equipment will be offering recommendations, through the parks committee. Milano held a public workshop for the RV Park on June 13th and submitted the meeting notes to council.  The main concerns were security and length of stay.  The Policy committee will be reviewing needed policies for the operation and use of the RV park.  Palouse Welding donated electrical equipment that may work for the park, a big thanks to them.  Council member Milano also reported the the city website, www.visitpalouse.com, you can now view the tombstone data.  Giving thanks to Chris and Donna Langsett and Bo Ossinger.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No report
The Mayor reported that the state audit team performed the exit interview today.  The city is in good shape.  The auditors had one finding, which states that the city does not have adequate controls in place to ensure the reliability of financial statements.  The auditors recommend the council take a more active part in reviewing bank and other financial statements.  The auditors pointed out in the interview that multiple cities have had the same finding due to a new audit regulation.  The city has 10 days to respond with how they will resolve the issues as presented.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey reported that the security camera system for the compost facility has been delivered and will be installed soon.

MAYOR’S REPORT : The Mayor reported that Joyce has given council the budget schedule for 2008. The public hearing for revenue sources will be held July 10th. The Mayor said that he has received comments about the eligibility of Council member Schorzman to file for his position on council for the 2008 elections.  Council Member Schorzman moved out of town over a year ago on a temporary basis.  Currently and at the time of filing, Council member Schorzman does not reside in the city.  The Mayor has talked with Municipal Research, the city attorney and the Secretary of State’s office.  The State provided to the Mayor a form that any citizen may fill out and submit challenging the voter registration of Norm Schorzman.  This form is available at City Hall.  In addition, the mayor was advised that the council has the authority to remove any member they feel that does not meet eligibility requirements. The Mayor reported he will continue to follow the recommendations provided to him in regards to this issue.  Council Member Bailey asked Norm if he intends to move back into town.  Norm said yes.  City staff asked for an estimate of a date when he would move back to the city.  Council Member Schorzman said by the first of the year.
Council Member Snook and the Mayor attended the AWC conference in Tacoma last week.  It was a good trip and the Mayor received information that the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) will be allowing funding for repair to existing sidewalks with their Pavement Preservation Program.  The Governor informed the legislation that the State is running with a one-half billion dollar surplus.  This could mean additional funds for small cities.  It is estimated that there will be over 100 legislators and caucus members in Palouse on Tuesday as part of an eastern Washington tour sponsored b the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.  Council Member Snook brought back information on traffic lighting that is imbedded in the asphalt.  He said the city should consider alternatives to the current stop sign at Main and Bridge which is not as visible to traffic as he feels it should be.
Chief Neumann informed council that the Ride Idaho group will be in town tomorrow to check things out for their tour through the area next month.  He asked council if he could offer the park for overnight camping for the group.
Council Member Bailey asked to be excused from the next council meeting, July 10th.

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. Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:06PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 12439          through # 12457           Payment:  $13,944.87

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________