June 9, 2009

June 9, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Darcie Bagott.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Jon Fleischman; Jeslyn Lemke; and Munir Daud.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 26, 2009.  Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  Jon Fleischman voiced his concern about the purchase of the Harley motorcycle.  His main concern was that this would be putting off replacement of the Intrepid.  He stated that the Intrepid should be replaced since the use of the Harley is limited by weather and it can’t be used to transport.  His other concern was that the CTED grant to purchase the Harley would leave $4,500 that the city would have to pay.  Chief Neumann stated that the Harley lease program costs were $800 a year and factoring in the 10 to 12 year of service the Harley could give the city, the $4,500 would be a good investment.  He also stated that the $4,500 the city has put into the bike for equipment would be lost.  Mayor Echanove thanked Jon for his input and that the council is waiting to see if the CTED grant will be awarded.  Councilmember Milano stated that he sees the value of the Harley during events and as a community outreach tool. He further stated that they put off the purchase of a car so funding could be looked into through USDA.

OLD BUSINESS H Street Contractor Bids – Mayor Echanove introduced Munir Daud, project engineer for the H Street project.  Munir reported that the project went out to bid and closed on Monday at 2:00 pm.  The bids were then read and bid tabulations were sent out to TIB for approval before award could be made.  TIB approval to award the bid was received at 4:00 pm today.  Munir explained that several bid packets went out but only two bids were received.  He then read the bids:  Ace Elliott Landscaping, $124,677; and Motley-Motley, $102,814.  Mayor Echanove asked if both bidders included all necessary bonding.  Yes, bid bonds were included in both packets.  Munir Daud recommended that council accept the Motley-Motley bid.  He pointed out to council that the guardrail is included in the bids.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to accept the bid from Motley-Motley for $102,814.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  Munir stated that the paperwork would probably take about two weeks, and then construction can begin.  It is anticipated that construction may take only about a month to complete.  A pre-construction meeting will be scheduled involving all parties including the school. 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported they have a call into Redinger Heating because the temperature regulator on the new boiler isn’t working right.  The pool water is too warm.

The county chipper will be here on Monday, June 15th.

Griffin outlined his plan for completion of the Alder Street project.  He will close the block between I St and J St first to get it ready to go.  Then that block will be opened and the next block will be closed.

The city has received complaints about the crack seal applied last week.  Griffin explained that they rented the equipment and purchased the material from Whitman County as they always have.  The county changed vendors this year and the material different than expected.  It took 3 or 4 hours to set up.  The city crew did everything the same as always.  The county said that they will go back to the material they used in the past.

Dwayne read to council some telephone quotes he got for 12’x 1’ road oil:  Mort’s Street Oiling $0.69; Lyman Dust Control $0.72; Northwest Dust Control $0.81.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to accept the lowest bid  – Mort’s Street Oiling for $0.81 for a 12’ X 1’.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried with one no vote from Councilmember Wekenman.  Road oiling should begin the end of June.

Griffin asked council what future plans they have for the chipper program.  The program is so successful that the pile fills up very quickly and it takes two or three people most of the day while chipping.  Also, additional man and equipment hours are needed to haul off the debris that cannot be chipped.   Mayor Echanove recommended we get public opinion on how to proceed with this program that has gotten much bigger that anticipated.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported that the nuisance yard which has received complaints is still showing progress.  There is no trash on site that meets the definition of our code.  Chief Neumann is hoping to approach the problem with volunteers or a funding partner to help pay for weed barrier and bark as a more permanent fix to the problem.

There was a report of an ammo box on the playfield at the city park.  Upon inspection, it was determined that it was placed somewhere in the area as a GEO Cache.  The owner was contacted and it will be put in a more appropriate place.

The department worked on a case involving juveniles and a stolen bike that was found in the river.  No charges are being filed but the owner will be compensated and the juveniles spent some time cleaning up along the river.

Chief Neumann reported that the Rot Rod event was a success.  The size of the event nearly doubled from last year.  Councilmember Bailey voiced concern over the noise that went long into the night.   The Chief said we need to address these concerns and increase manpower for next year.   Mayor Echanove suggested that the sponsors of the function should consider providing volunteers to keep the restrooms clean.  Also suggested was that the “for profit” vendor’s dispose of their own trash.

Amendment to FCAAP Grant – This amendment would reduce the grant amount to better reflect actual costs.  It would also include in the scope funding for the 2009 payment for the city share of maintaining the river gauge.   Councilmember Snook MOVED to approve amendments to the FCAAP Grant.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Amendment to FEMA Disaster recovery grant – This amendment would include another funding partner to the 25% city share.  The Washington State Military Department would contribute 12.5% of the city share.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to approve amendments to the FEMA Public Assistance Grant.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported that he is still getting bids for improvements to the electrical system at the park.  He reported that the bids are coming in higher than expected but the needs are great and we should continue.  The 2009 budget includes $2,000 for these improvements and he asked council to appropriate another $2,500 for a total of $4,500.  There is a separate line item in the bid for power to the gazebo.  The Lion’s Club may consider funding that portion.  The Chamber of Commerce may make a donation to the project also.   Avista is unable to donate material because of the size of service.

POLICY & ADMIN :  Councilmember Bailey reported that he will talk to the county about the future of their chipper program and also follow up on the grant for the skid loader.

Personnel & Pool :   Councilmember Snook passed on a compliment to public works from a Garfield resident about all the improvements Palouse has done and how clean everything is kept.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT :  Councilmember Schorzman reported on a finance committee meeting since the last council meeting.   He asked Clerk Beeson to outline what was talked about at the meeting.

With the revenue shortfalls, especially the state “City Assistance”, we need to take a few steps to help fill the immediate gap between revenues and expenditures while looking into more permanent changes.

  • There is a total of $14,000 in budgeted transfers to reserve funds that could perhaps not be done in 2009
  • Not transferring $10,000 from Street Fund to Arterial Street Fund for the city share of the TIB H Street project.  The street levy would be paying this and it was confirmed by Bishop that street improvements include sidewalks.
  • Currently the property tax levy is split 50/50 with Current Expense and the Street Fund. The finance committee recommends changing the split to 65% Current Expense and 35% Street Fund effective with the July 2009 distribution and be considered for the 2010 budget.

Also, Avista will be doing energy audits on city facilities, with particular emphasis on the Police Department building.  The 2009 river gauge funding of $1,420 will be paid 75/25 through the FCAAP Grant Mobile Home Park project and an Ecology grant will be applied for to help with future payments.  After discussion, Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to allow not doing transfers as stated in 2009 and changing the split of property tax to 65% Current Expense and 35% City Street.  Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  The Humane Society contract is being signed for an additional $300 to include Garfield dogs.  The Six-Year Street Plan is being developed and the public hearing will be set at the next meeting.  The contract for Maul, Foster and Alongi is being considered.  Attorney Bishop added language involving MF&A and the planning commission should changes to the Comprehensive Plan occur.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:48 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid     Checks 1348 – 1369   $30,716.46
Payroll Paid     EFT                          $  6,722.66
Claims Paid     Checks 1370 – 1407   $43,170.01