March 27, 2007


March 27, 2007

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; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Absent-Mike Milano. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy City Clerk; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Scott Ellsworth, Second Officer; Dan Gladwill, Building Inspector; Corey Laughary; Kelly Ellsworth; Crystal Bailey; Randy Zehm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Mark Bailey MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 13, 2007.   Darcie Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


Discussion about lease agreement with community center board-Corey Laughary and Crystal Bailey informed the council that the community center building has been sold to Heidi and Sam Kite.  Corey and Crystal would like to open discussions about the lease with the city, change the lot location and partnering with the city on the new building project.  The community center board has assigned a building committee and a fund-raising committee.  They plan on building a new center within two years.  The Mayor said that he had talked to the city attorney and the attorney feels that if the spirit of the lease is intact there should be no problem.  The Mayor said that he would talk to Stephen Bishop and have a written statement drawn to address this issue.  He also asked the community center board to look at the big picture for downtown Palouse and accommodate other needs, a design to show use would be in order.  Council Member Snook asked if partnering with the city, the board meant more then just negotiating the land.  Crystal said that as the project progresses the board may like to talk to the city about operations and maintenance of the building, perhaps a parks and recreation committee through the city.  Corey reported that Crystal has investigated other community centers in the area, and each is operated differently.  Council Member Schorzman agreed with keeping with the spirit of the lease agreement, but it is all about money, where will it come from?  Crystal said that the funds are already at $80,000 and there will be a meeting tomorrow night to begin the planning of the new building.  Council Member Wekenman asked if some of the previous design work could be used.  The Mayor said that he has been contacted by interested architects about the whole block.  He also reminded Corey and Crystal that the property line goes all the way back to the railroad tracks and the Whitman Street renovation will affect some of the land.  Corey asked the city about zoning ordinances.  He was told that the architect must follow flood plain ordinances and conform to the downtown comprehensive plan.  Corey told the council that a new community center will be built.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted a written report and added that the hedge trimmer broke and couldn’t be fixed so he purchased a new hedge trimmer for $300.  The Mayor asked Byron about the well maintenance progress and the time frame to pull the well pumps and pipes.  Byron said it takes about a week, depending on the condition of the equipment and repairs that may be needed.  The city made it through the winter fairly well.  A few trees went down along the river.  Byron purchased rock from Wesmar this year.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported that March has been a quiet month.  He has dealt with animal complaints and a hit-and-run on Bluff and Harrison .  Traffic enforcement and traffic education are ongoing.  The St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a huge success with a great turn-out.

Second Officer Update:  The personnel committee met and hired Scott Ellsworth as the new second officer.  Chief Neumann swore Officer Ellsworth in before the city council and the Mayor.  The Mayor thanked the chief and the personnel committee for working quickly on the new officer selection.  Officer Ellsworth thanked the council, he and his wife are looking forward to the opportunity and hope to move to Palouse someday.  The Mayor told council that Officer Ellsworth will be allowed to take the city police vehicle home to Garfield during his “on call” hours.

Council Member Bailey asked the chief if he could watch the Potlatch highway in the morning because a citizen reported to Mark that people have been speeding on that highway in the morning.

Council Member Schorzman asked the chief about junk in people’s yards.  The chief reminded the council that if the junk is within the property line and does not fall into the nuisance ordinance 8.12, then the department has no control over the situation.  The department cannot regulate lifestyle; if it is a health hazard then it is a matter for the Public Health Department.  Council Member Schorzman said a citizen told him that her neighbor is leaning windows on her fence and is damaging the fence.  The chief told Schorzman to give him the address and name of the complaining party and he will look into it.  Dan Gladwill asked the chief about the home on Bluff Street .  The chief said he would like to meet with Dan to discuss it.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT:  Dan Gladwill reported that he has done several inspections this month and answering question for upcoming projects.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE: Council Member Andy O’Neill reported that Fire Chief Bagott returned from his trip to the grant writing workshop with great ideas for the fire department and effectively applying for grants. One piece of information he thought would be helpful was for the JFB to up the matching amount when applying for grants, this may help the progress of the application.  The JFB would like to start working on improving the parking lot at the Public Safety Building .


 A.      TREASURER’S REPORT 2006- Clerk-Treasurer Beeson provided to council a copy of the 2006 treasurer’s report.  The Mayor said that Joyce has done an outstanding job in budgeting conservatively and the city is on target financially.  Council Member Wekenman asked about the status of the back fill money.  Joyce said that the city should receive about $31,500/year.  The Mayor told council that the SST Bill, the internet and destination sales tax, has passed the House and is waiting for the Governor’s signature.  This bill will generate additional revenue for the 35 states and cities within those states.

OLD BUSINESS: Council Member O’Neill reported that based on qualifications and economy of scale, his committee recommends selecting md+a to engineer the Breeding’s Sewer Extension project.   Council Member O’Neill MOVED to allow the Mayor to negotiate a contract with Munir Daud for the Breeding’s Addition Sewer Project.  Council Member Bailey seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.


PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : Mike Milano-absent

PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook reported that the personnel committee has received several job applications for the Public Works Superintendent position.  They have made their first pass and will start interviews immediately.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No Report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman-No Report

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey reported that the compost grant has been approved and the go-ahead to spend money on the project has been given.  He will work with Joyce and Byron on equipment and the financial aspect of the project.  The compost collection site will initially only receive grass, leaves and weeds.  It was determined that the initial payments for equipment will come from the CDBG funds, with the grant reimbursing the fund.

STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott reported for Mike Milano that he has sent the application for the .08 money and requested the amount of $37,250 for the RV Park.  The results will be posted at the end of April.  The DOT will, at their convenience, place direction signage for Heritage Park on the highways coming into town.  Mike has about half of the Parks and Recreation plan done.

Darcie reported for the streets and sidewalks committee that Munir Daud has scheduled aerial photography of the Whitman Street project, there will be white crosses painted at strategic places in town as reference points.  Munir has been in communication with the WSDOT contact for the railroad tracks and it is going well.  Darcie reminded council that citizens with abutting sidewalks are responsible for keeping them clear of debris and vegetation.  Now is a good time to sweep the rocks off the sidewalks and cut back vegetation.  She will be looking at sidewalks and sending letters to responsible parties.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill-No Report


A.   Board of Adjustment Variance decision-last week the board met and granted a variance to a property owner for building a replacement garage.  He thanked the board for their work.

B.   Draft Critical Areas Ordinance/Planning Commission-Studio Cascade will be at city hall Tuesday, April 3 to meet with the planning commission about the Critical Area Ordinance.  The public is welcome to attend the meeting.

C.   St. Patrick’s Day Parade– the Mayor thanked Lesa Neumann for organizing the parade.

D.   Mobile Home Park -the application for grant funds through the Department of Ecology will be coming up the first part of May.

E.   Legislative Tour– a group of about 50 legislators will be in our area Tuesday, June 26.  The tour is sponsored by the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.  Ben and Janet Barstow are putting it together.  The tour will end with a dinner at the Palouse Arts Council building.  The Mayor asked council if the council meeting, scheduled for that day could be moved to Monday, June 25.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to change the council meeting to Monday, June 25.  Council Member Bailey seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

Building Inspector Dan Gladwill told council that the IBC codes will be updated from 2003 to 2006 and asked if the city would like code books available at city hall, at a cost of $700, or could Dan be a contact for citizens to get code information when needed.  The council recommends keeping things as they are and citizens can contact Dan when information is needed.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Jeff Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. 

Rick Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN : Norm Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Darcie Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:33PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                  Warrants:  # 12297        through # 12307           Payment:  $8,617.75

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________