March 13, 2012

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
March 13, 2012

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Bo Ossinger; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to excuse Norm’s absence due to work-related responsibility. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Aaron Flansburg.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 28, 2012. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Heating contractor serviced the furnace in Marc’s shop and also looked at Heritage Park restrooms. He said the heating systems in the bathrooms are as efficient as they’re going to get; just need to replace the doors for between $100 to $600 each. The problem with the doors is they’re not exterior doors. Another option is buying electric wall heaters to heat the air.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted the February 2012 activity log. The PD is showing 50%+ in energy savings since doing the two phases of lowering the ceiling and insulating. Chief Neumann would like to start final phase 3 of walling in the furnace to help insulate it plus it will provide more storage. The work is estimated between $1500 and $2000.

Aaron Flansburg, skatepark project. Presented a brief history of how and when the project started nine years ago. $1,480 was raised. Efforts were sidelined. But now Aaron would like to take on the responsibility of starting up the project and fundraising again. There are many issues of concerns: liability, costs, upkeep, locations, etc. He has ideas for locations but it will be up to the city what works best. His first goal is to settle with the city on a location so he can move forward. It needs to be visible and accessible to people. And you don’t want it to be a noise bother to homeowners. He favors the park. His hope is a cement park, durable, low maintenance, and flood resistant. Needs to be fenced so small children can’t get in and get hurt. He sees it as smaller than 8,000 sf. Grants are tougher to come by now than in better economic times. He sees this as a five+ year project. Aaron’s next move will be to meet with the parks committee.

Resolution No. 2012-01: Adoption of Whitman County Solid Waste Management Plant (SWMP):
Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. The city signed an Interlocal agreement with the county to participate in this SWMP rather than developing our own. The county has completed the SWMP and is ready for the city to adopt through this resolution. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Floyd, to approve Resolution No. 2012-01adopting the county SWMP. Motion carried unanimously.

Brownfields Project Update: MFA contract extension. There are three grants coming our way for the next phase of the Brownfields Project. The first is federal ARRA (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act)) for $150,000 – for professional fees and demolition. The ARRA grant will have provisions for reimbursing pre-award work back to March 1, 2012 and must be spent by June 30, 2012. The second grant is BRLF II for $200,000 – for construction and remediation costs. The third grant is Remedial Action grant for $436,800 – for construction/remediation costs, some professional fees and ground water monitoring. Total of all three grants is $786,800.

In order to meet the deadline of June 30 for execution of the ARRA grant, MFA would need to begin work as quickly as possible. They put together a contract and once signed by the mayor, would begin work even though the ARRA would not be signed until later this month. There is a provision in the contract (Page 5) which states that payment to MFA is subject to the execution of the grant as expected. The key here is they’re taking monetary responsibility if funding for work done though this contract falls through. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize the Mayor to enter into a cleanup and construction oversight contract as outlined with MFA. Seconded by Councilmember Jones. Councilmember Newman asked if there is a monetary cap to potential modifications to this contract. Mayor stated that we’re not spending more than we get from these three grants. That’s why there is the 20% contingency built in to all tasks as outlined. Motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to have the Brownfields Committee reactivated as part of the process as early as next month. Councilmember Newman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Planning Commission Update:
The Planning commission is considering mailing out a survey and asked if there is money in the budget for it. There is $700 budgeted for Community Planning. We can possibly include the survey with the city’s Consumer Confidence Report which goes out every June. The mayor appointed Cecil and Tim as the city’s ex-officio liaisons to the Planning Commission.


Finance, Property, & Equipment-: no report

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Norm Schorzman. Chair: no report

Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: Rick is representing Palouse on the Whitman County Hazard Mitigation Committee. They are putting together a county-wide plan and once approved, will qualify Palouse for monies in the event of any natural disaster such as flood, fire, wind, etc. Technology has really changed; there are all kinds of databases now that tell for example how an earthquake in Othello would affect our buildings here in Palouse, and how it affects our appreciable value.

Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: Still working on cost allocation. We’re about ready to present the resolution to council after it gets looked at by the state auditor.

Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Cecil reviewed aloud his submitted written committee meeting report. They decided they need more information on the process for request of a private driveway on an unimproved city street. The committee will gather information, consult with Attorney Bishop and revisit the whole issue.

Also they discussed the design of the Mohr Street sidewalk project. Calvin from Taylor Engineering thinks there’s enough funding in the grant to extend the sidewalk all the way to the school, but would need to pass through city right-of-way which raised no concern from council or staff. It has always been the city’s plan that Taylor Engineering be both the design and project manager for the Mohr Street project. Taylor Engineering will look into handicap accessibility issues for the abutting house affected by this project.

Discussed future projects: West Whitman Street classification as an arterial, making it eligible for TIB grant money. They invited Gloria Bennett from TIB to a committee meeting. Cecil talked to DOT about the Bridge St bridge. Rick said this bridge actually came up at his Hazardous Mitigation meeting. It might very well receive some funding. Cecil and Rick will each continue to pursue this through their different avenues.

Cecil asked for clarification about if B Street is opened all the way to Fairview Avenue. Dwayne explained that it has only been improved to Kessler’s house. Public works builds up berms below Kessler’s to keep mud and water off of Fairview.

Personnel & Pool-Tim Jones, Chair: Time is upon us to begin working on the 2012 pool season. Ann sent a letter out in January to various Palouse groups about taking on swim team. No takers yet. Will continue trying to get word out to see if anyone wants to be a swim team coach and take on the duties related with having a swim team, with reminder that swim team is not a city responsibility/project.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Submitted a written report. Committee continues to meet regularly to continue work on the WSP. Palouse will be implementing a WUE (water use efficiency) plan. The plan will demonstrate that we take measurable steps to show we are preventing water waste and that we’re monitoring the whole community’s water use. The WSP is scheduled to be submitted to the DOH for review by April 2012. DOH does not require a public review and comment period for the WSP, but we are going to offer that for a period of time.

The mayor would like to appoint Bo Ossinger to the JFB.

Hawkins Developer would like to discuss their side of the project with Palouse City Council. Mayor will tell him it would be better to make it a community-wide forum through the Palouse Chamber of Commerce rather than at a council meeting.

Connie asked about the parking lot at the new PCC. The city’s role is to excavate and install rock and fabric that has been purchased by the PCC. The area need to dry out first.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Jones MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:57 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid, Check Nos. 3873-3897 & EFT $17,061.69

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________