March 10, 2020

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

March 10, 2020

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; Public Works Supt Dwayne Griffin; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 25, 2020 as written. Councilmember Alred seconded.  Motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.

Facility upgrade for public works. The old wooden shed at base of H Street is city’s equipment shed, (used for equipment storage, sand pile, signs, barricades, etc.) is in disrepair. The brick building next to the shed is the current public works shop, subject to yearly flooding. The city can look at replacing the shed in existing location or relocating altogether. Supt. Griffin would like to see a new shed & shop go up by well #3 on the city-owned 5 acres NE of the solar panels. Pros would be out of the flood plain and would allow all three public works to be in same shop (currently Mike Wolf works out of a different shop on Whitman Street). Supt. Griffin would like to have two buildings at the same site: one with an office and 5 bays for storage and the other one a pole building to use as a shop. Lots to consider: pole building vs metal building, etc., security, etc.  Mayor Cook wants Supt Griffin to meet with committee and get some bids for both locations.  It’s important to maintain good equipment and provide good work space for our public works. There is money in that fund and REET money contributes to it. If council decides to relocate, city could surplus the property if so wanted.


-In last 14 days there were 10 calls in Palouse, 5 in Garfield.

-Equipment is fine.

-Officer Snead’s last day is Thursday.

-Still waiting for info back from WASPC on grant for flashing speed signs.


-Started our Level 2 operator search for our WWTP. There is one outfit that will come to Palouse and provide service and they are $100/hour. We’re looking for something closer to $50/hr. We have until August so will keep looking. We need to find somebody that also offers a training component for Walter.

-TD&H engineers will be here on the 24th for an update on water system improvements.

-Sale of Brownfields site was already voted on and approved by council however our lawyer is requesting a resolution by council to sign the deed. To have a completed conveyance we need an exact condition of the planned build, therefore, based on available plans, new language will contain “2,160 square foot vet building”. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to have Resolution 2020-03 read-in. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution 2020-03. Snyder seconded. Motion carried. Official closing paperwork will be completed tomorrow at Bishop Law.

-Spoke with Pullman Fire Marshal about the Palouse Arms Building. Area fire inspector doesn’t have regulatory authority but the state fire marshal does. CA Dixon will put him in touch with our fire chief and our BI. Our fire code states that these buildings can be subject to inspection yearly so this gives us some authority to move this forward.

-CA Dixon read aloud a letter from Vandal Cycling Club. The club is having their annual race in Walla Walla instead of Palouse this year. There has been concern from city staff in the past about the challenges of hosting the race and the labor and costs the city incurs without a clear economic benefit to the city. Mayor Cook hopes that the cycling club in the future reaches out to Palouse sooner to collaborate. There are a lot of options for them including finding an alternate route, paying Palouse for our services, and/or providing their own flaggers, set-up, and tear-down. Student organizations don’t typically have a lot of resources at their disposal. This will be up for council consideration if they intend to return.


Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions, Chair Welcome-

Councilmember Cooper asked committee to consider installing diaper changing stations in park restrooms.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard-

Wastewater Facility Plan update: Mayor Cook, CA Dixon and Bill Slinkard had a follow up meeting with ECY and Varela Engineering to verify the city’s direction to maintain permit compliance. Varela has been negotiating with ECY to determine specifics and a strategy to accommodate their desires. We’re looking at mixing groundwater with the effluent to bring the temperature down to an acceptable level and the means to do that. That is a short-term, as well as lowest-cost, strategy to get us into compliance with ECY. The long-term plan is moving to lagoons which will address both the temperatures and the nitrates. The plan has to be in by end of this month. We’re right on target with their schedules. Supt. Griffin reminded council that regardless of the path taken with ECY, the city still has to comply with DOH on their Water Use Efficiency requirements and this short-term strategy could negatively impact that. Completed facility plan will be to city for final review in the coming days.

Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Councilmember Cooper is still looking through the ordinances to establish historic preservation committee. She and CA Dixon will be meeting soon with the Planning Commission.


City received a letter of interest from Michael Echanove for the Planning Commission vacancy. We have received no other interest in the position. Mayor Cook appointed Michael Echanove to Planning Commission.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      2/27/2020         Ck. #10697-10712 & EFT          $42,344.32

Claims Paid      3/10/2020         Ck. #10713-10739 & EFT          $39,374.08

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:01 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________