June 27, 2006


June 27, 2006
7:00 PM

June 27, 2006

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

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, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Police Chief Neumann; Steve Witthuhn; Shane Heston; Roy Huckaby; David Gruenewald; Sam Gregg; Tiana Gregg; Caitlyn McGehee; Robin Rilette; Doug Brown; Sandy Schorzman; Tim Boone; Steve Troendle; Tom Boone.

PUBLIC HEARING: City of Palouse 6 Year Street Improvement PlanCalled to order at 7:01PM

Byron Hodges asked what it would take to get the Beach, I and Bridge Street extensions paved.  He has put in $30,000 worth of work developing his property there.  The Mayor asked Byron about all of the older graveled streets that have not been paved and have yet to be included on the plan, including the streets in Fisher’s addition.  Council Member Bagott presented the plan using photos taken of the proposed streets.  Steve Witthuhn asked if streets in Fisher’s addition could be considered for the six year plan.  Council Member Wekenman voiced concern over the I Street extension not being on the plan, as the road runs right by the water tower and dust could be a problem.  Byron stated that street oil is up 50% from last year.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of June 13, 2006.  Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : Tiana Gregg requested a town meeting to discuss the RV Park location.  Robin Rilette asked what the motivation is for putting in an RV Park.  Council Member Milano explained that the city is following its comprehensive plan in regards to rural development.  Mike as Chamber president receives calls and emails at least once a month asking if the city has facilities for RV’s.  The object is to be able to accommodate travelers who want to visit Palouse in their RV’s and generate economic development for the city.  Robin voiced concern over the length of time someone could stay in the park and is interested in other options for the space.  David Gruenewald, who is a new resident in Palouse also voiced his concern over the location being considered for the RV park and would also like a town meeting to take place.  Robin, who is a new resident to Palouse as well, has been hearing feedback from her friends about how Palouse is the up and coming community.  She does not want to see any changes that might affect the direction the town is heading.  Council Member Schorzman stated that the city has an excellent Police Department, a Solicitors Ordinance in place and that people should not worry about their children because an RV park is in town.

David Gruenewald said that it’s not the type of people that may use the RV park, it’s the issue of how do we want our downtown to look.  Sandy Schorzman commented that the council will do it’s best to make the best decision for the city.  Sam Gregg, who lives on Main Street near the proposed RV Park location stated concern over the size of the lot and how many RV’s it could accommodate.  He feels that the city is trying to shoehorn a great idea into an inappropriate space.  The city needs to look at the value of the space because it is in the middle of the community.  He has observed the lot currently being used on a daily basis.  He stated his appreciation to Mike Milano for his effort to keep the community updated.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted written report and added to the report that the city crew has finished work on a manhole on K St and the street oiling is finished.  The crew had to fix a leak on Holyoke and the lawn mower broke down and was taken in for repair, under warranty.  Marc picked up a loaner for the time being.  The re-pointing of city hall is all but complete and looks good.  The council asked Byron the cost of the street oiling, he said $7,900.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported that all is well in regards to police matters.  He has employed two Whitman County Class A reserve officers to cover the city during the chiefs off days.  The new police department building is progressing well.  He thanked Council Member Wekenman for all his volunteer labor and organizing the contractors for the project.  The Chief provided photos of the new ADA toilet and vanity for the building.  He reported that mason and electrical work has begun.  The Chief also thanked Mike Dymkoski for his volunteer time for framing work at the station.  Council Member O’Neill asked if the Chief had addressed the long time yard sale location.  The site has been voluntarily shut down.  Sam Gregg voiced concern over city police officers making excessive traffic stops and handing out tickets.  The Chief said that Officer Cassidy only gave out one ticket during his time with the city.  Council Member Schorzman suggested that the Main Street speed limit be reduced to 20 miles per hour, from 25 miles per hour.  The Chief requested a volunteer impact study and would report back.  Since Main Street is a state hwy a petition would need to be submitted to the state, explaining reason for a speed limit change.

Steve Witthuhn voiced concern over the Main Street and Bridge Street intersection, many people do not stop and parking is too close to the corners.  The Chief said that he would look into State setback requirements.  The State also is responsible for painting the crosswalks on Main Street and the city paints the work “STOP” on the street on East Main Street .



  1. Sludge Press cost update- Byron reported that AeroMod had to modify their quote for the cake pump portion of the de-watering equipment.  It increases the cost by $4,000, bringing the total cost of equipment to $132,055 tax included.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to accept the updated price bid from Aero-Mod.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.
  2. Police Department masonry cost update-Council Member Wekenman reported that when the mason bid out for the work on the police station it did not include some work that is needed on the back side of the building as well.     This work could add up to $3,000 to the bid.  Joyce provided to council a budget amendment which would increase the amount budgeted in 2006 from $33,000 to $65,000 for masonry work to city hall and costs associated to renovating Old City Hall to the Police Department Building .  The Mayor would like Rick to be the owner representative in regards to the mason work and negotiate the cost with them.  Council Member Snook MOVED to allow Rick Wekenman to be the owner representative and allow up to $5,000 additional funds for the mason work on the police station.  Council Member Milano seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  The Mayor asked the council about the city paying itself for building permits on the police station.  Building inspector Gladwill said that the county pulls permits for their work, but only the state fees are paid.  The council generally agreed not to charge the city for permit fees.


  1. Ordinance #819 – Budget Amendment

The Mayor read Ordinance #819 through in its entirety, a second reading by title and number, and a third reading by title only.  The budget amendment increases the 2006 budget by $32,000 for the Building Maintenance Reserve to allow for additional spending on costs associated with the new Police Department facility.  It also increases Sewer Capital Improvement by $12,000 for the 10% down payment and additional costs associated to the purchase and installation of the Sludge De-watering System at the sewer plant.  Council Member Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance #819.  Council Member Bailey seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

  1. CIAW – Insurance Services, Shane Heston

Shane gave a presentation describing Cities Insurance Association of Washington (CIAW) policies, the insurance pool and the company’s clean audit history.  The council gave CIAW a letter one year ago stating its intent to change insurance carriers.  Shane provided a draft letter to the council that would rescind that letter if they so choose.  Steve Witthuhn, CIAW’s broker for Palouse, explained to the council what insurance coverage was like prior to CIAW and the creation of insurance pool.  In order to cover the city property and personnel, individual insurance companies were contracted.  Now the insurance pool covers all the cities needs.

  1. Clearwire high speed internet service, Doug Brown

The Mayor began by explaining that he had received inquiries in regards to Clearwire and if it would work in Palouse.  The Mayor contacted Doug Brown, Clearwire representative, and he began advertising and a list was developed for people interested in another choice for internet service.  Clearwire uses a licensed FM radio band that does not require line of site for antennas.  If the system comes to Palouse, the city would give Clearwire the same consideration they have given First Step Internet.  Doug reported that the company just completed their survey of the town and if they can put an antenna in place above the water tower, they can provide service to most residents in town and a range of about 3 miles outside as well.  Doug showed the council the modem that would be required by a user.  The installation cost would be $50 with one year contract, or $0, with two year contract.  The monthly cost would range from $30 to $50.  Clearwire would like to see 60 names on the feasibility survey.  Doug will put together a proposal and have it ready by the July 11th council meeting.

  1. Weed Seal, Roy Huckaby

Roypresented to council a product that would keep weeds down around poles and under fence lines eliminating the need for spray and trimming.  Pullman is currently using the weed seal under their fence line for their baseball fields. Byron said that public works would consider using this product.

At 9:57, the Mayor entertained a motion to continue the council meeting for another 30 minutes.  Council Member Snook MOVED to continue the council meeting for another 30 minutes.  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.


Dan reported that someone wants to bring in a 1997 mobile home.  This does not follow city ordinances.  He will be checking with the city attorney, but he feels that the current ordinance should be changed, as not to discriminate against older mobile homes. Dan attended a Washington Associations of Building Officials and represented Palouse during the conference.  Permits are slow at this time.



Council Member Milano reported that RV Consultants has submitted an invoice for the consulting work they will be doing for the city.  Mike is checking with WSDOT on signs to direct people to the public restrooms in town, about 7 signs would be needed.  Council Member Bagott asked why there were no benches around the playground equipment at the City Park .  Byron said because they would not be able to mow around them.

PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook – No report

Council Member Schorzman told the council that he has moved out of town on a temporary basis with the intent to return to Palouse in a short amount of time and would like to remain on council.  The Mayor consulted the city attorney on this matter and is comfortable with the current arrangement since it is for a short period of time and Councilman Schorzman fully intends to return his primary residence to within the city limits. Council Member Schorzman said that the finance committee will meet to go over the two insurance carriers offers and will have a recommendation for the council on July 11th.

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman – No Report


Council Member Bailey reported that the question of signage in the downtown area has come up.  The current ordinance does not allow for wood signs.  Mark is looking for direction from council.  This issue will go to the policy committee for further review.  Building Inspector Gladwill reminded council that there are building codes in relation to signage.


Council Member Bagott gave a presentation at the Public Hearing.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill
Council Member O’Neill reported that the JUB engineer scope of work will cost $47,000.  This is a three phase project. Steve Troendle from the USDA, Rural Development talked to council about the Fisher’s addition project and funding needed for the engineering.  He told the council that grants are few and far between.  The Public Works Trust Fund would probably work best with a low interest rate loan.  The council and Troendle continued to discuss the division of the sewer into three separate projects, how to finance such a project and the possibility of working with the county on the portions of the project outside city limits.  Council Member O’Neill clarified what is included in JUB’s proposal.  Council Member O’Neill MOVED to proceed with the JUB scope of work for $47,140.  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion.  Byron Hodges wanted to know when the city was going to extend sewer service to other parts of town.  The Mayor asked if a proposal for those areas has been brought to council.   Tim Boone asked if the council has the funds this year to pay for this.  Joyce said that would need to be explored.  He also asked Steve if he proposes the city run sewer out to county residents.  Steve said that what he suggests is that when the project proceeds the city and county need to look at health hazards and work together using an inter-local agreement.  Byron commented that sewer rates will need to be increased.  Council Member O’Neill withdrew his motion and Council Member Schorzman withdrew his second.  Discussion continued and it was agreed by council that funding options would be explored for the Scope of Work for engineering the sewer extension to Breeding’s/Fisher’s addition.

Annexation request, Tim Boone

Tim asked the council if they would consider an annexation request for 8 acres outside city limits for one single family residence  Council Member Bailey asked Tim what city services he is seeking.  Tim said water.  The council generally agreed to consider an annexation request from him.

The Mayor reported that the Six Year Street Plan needs to be adopted at the next council meeting.  He wants the committee to reconvene and look over all the additional considerations brought up during the public hearing.

The Mayor received the contract from the Whitman County Library.  The contract will be forwarded to the Policy Committee, then on to the city attorney.  Byron asked why the library can’t do its own janitorial.  The city crew could still pick up the garbage, but the other chores should be done by the library staff.

The mayor presented to the council a letter from Don Myott regarding new Pet Waste containers.  These containers were placed in the city park, Shady Lane walking path and at Heritage Park .  Pet waste was identified as possibly one source of fecal Coliform bacteria entering the Palouse River .  As part of a clean up plan for the North Fork Palouse River, the Department of Ecology suggested this type of dispenser.  The dispensers and bags were purchased by the Palouse Conservation District and installed by the city.

The University of Idaho has been working with Don to install new Data Loggers at the Palouse wells. Byron mentioned that the scientists from the U of I were willing to purchase the Data Loggers and the city would then need to purchase and install pipe.  The object is to have the same Data Loggers throughout the area, to keep research information on an even basis.

The Mayor, Council Members Snook, Bagott and Joyce attended the AWC conference in Spokane last week.  It was a good experience he recommends all council members attend this conference in the future.

Byron asked the council to keep an eye out for noxious weeds this time of year.  He has been starting his day at 5AM spraying as much as he can, but if anyone sees thistle, knotweed and knapweed that is getting out of hand, let him know.

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 Jeff Snook MOVED to adjourn. Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 10:26PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 11795     through #  11815           Payment:  $19,248.63

VOID                            Warrants: #11815

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________