May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Jeslyn Lemke, Colfax Gazette; Scott Beeson; Dixie Reber; Dean Huber; Doug Willcox.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 28, 2009.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM :  Dean Huber, representative of Habitat for Humanity (H for H) updated Council on their progress.  He’s on the family selection committee.  Of the seven applications received, three have met the criteria.  By the end of the month they’re hoping to make their recommendation for the family selection.  The home will then be designed around the needs of the family.  While all this is going on, the demolition of the existing home is underway which should be done before the end of May.  Because it’s built by volunteers, construction will take longer that usual since Saturday will be the primary work day.

Supt. Griffin asked if there are going to be 1 or 2 homes built.  Dean said that as it turns out the house is sitting on two lots, so the current plan is to put up two houses.  The second house will be in the future.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported on normal activities.  Beavers ate approximately 15 of the new trees at the MHP.  They built some metal cages around the remaining trees and that seems to have helped.

The pool heater is currently being installed.

The chipper pile is full again.  Dwayne reminds people when emptying the bed of your pickup into the chipper/compost pile, please be sure and NOT sweep garbage, cans, old nails, etc.  Our mulch pile isn’t quite ready to use yet; it takes a few years.  PW picked up mulch from Garfield to use at the RV Park.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann presented the police log.  Chief Neumann has been in negotiations with the Humane Society for housing our canines.  The current contract was $600/year for up to 12 dogs.  To add Garfield they will extend that to 16 dogs at $900/year.  Anything over 16 dogs would be $75/dog.  They have a great, humane program.  With no concerns by council, he will have the contract for the next meeting.

May 10-16 is National Peace Officers Memorial Week.  Friday the 15th there is a request for all flags to be lowered to half-mast.  Homeowners are requested to do the same.

Chief Neumann is looking into applying for the Justice Assistance Grant for American Recovery Reinvestment.  It is a non-competitive $10,000 grant to be used for police programs.  Dixie Reber asked for the definition of non-compensation to victims.  That means the funds cannot be used to give to victims of crime.  With the downturn in city revenues this would help.  Councilmember Wekenman asked if some of that money can be used for the motorcycle.  Possibly under a “law-enforcement program”, but one of the exemptions is for the procurement of vehicles.  The grant is due the end of June.  Chief Neumann was instructed to apply for the grant.

Resolution No. 2009-04:  Authorizing Clerk-Treasurer Beeson as the representative to obtain federal and/or state emergency or disaster assistance funds.   Clerk Beeson met twice with FEMA to look at possible reimbursement for some of the city’s expenses during disaster declaration.  There must be a minimum of $1,000 in a category to qualify for funding and it looks like we’ll meet that in two categories:  debris removal and emergency protective measures (i.e. Christmas Day emergency sewer problem, etc).  FEMA will contact us next week.  Mayor Echanove read the resolution in its entirety.  Councilmember Milano MOVED and Councilmember Bagott seconded to adopt Resolution No. 2009-04.  Motion carried unanimously.

Palouse Community Center:  Request to host a beer garden at the city park during the Blue Grass Festival.
Scott Beeson, representing the PCC, has requested permission to apply for permit to serve beer and wine at the Blue Grass Festival July 25.  They must apply at least 45 days in advance.  PCC has talked to their insurance agent and they said the event would be covered with an extra premium.  Mayor thought the current city code doesn’t allow for the consumption of alcohol on city property.  Councilmember Milano said last time it came up we were told we’d have to change our city code to allow for that.  It won’t be an open policy but a “by approval” basis.  Through the permitting process from the Liquor Control Board, they require proper fencing, proper signage, etc.  Councilmember Bagott stated she is not necessarily opposed but has concerns with the location of the beer garden, that it not be near the pool, playground, etc..  Heidi Kite suggested perhaps in the parking lot.  Councilmember Bailey wants to check with the city’s insurance.  Mayor would like to see it on the next agenda to allow public comment on the issue.  It was agreed to gather facts on the location and insurance, talk to our attorney, and have it on the next agenda.

Brownfields Project Update:  Doug Willcox, Brownfields Committee Chair, discussed the Integrated Planning Grant (IPG).  With securing the IPG, we need to engage an appropriate engineering firm to conduct the processes that we need done.  The “integrated” part of this grant is very significant in that the vision of the business district will be looked at along with this particular site.  One of the steps is cleaning up the site so that it’s an economic viable part of our community; not just another park.  We need a firm not only to provide engineering services, evaluating requirements for cleanup but also the necessities in studying the economic impact for our community.  With these thoughts in mind, the committee selected 3 firms from the list to be interviewed.  USKH from Lewiston, PBS from Portland, & Maul, Foster & Alongi from Vancouver, WA.  MFA presented far and away the best economic and planning approach to the whole process.  They were very in touch with the DOE which bears note with respect to the future.  Ecology will be involved in this project since they are funding it.  The committee requests that council ratifies their recommendation of hiring Maul, Foster Alongi (MFA) for the IPG.

Doug Willcox indicated that incredible things have occurred in this community in the last 10-12 years.  An opportunity like this is terrific, as far as evaluating where we are and the future of our community.  15 years down the road we may look back on this opportunity as another incredible landmark in the success of our community.  The IPG is a tremendous opportunity for us and this firm is a tremendous operative under the terms of this grant.  Councilmembers Milano, Bailey, and Wekenman concurred with Doug Willcox.  MFA would invest a lot of time in this project as it could be used as a model for projects going on around the state.  Dixie asked what the owners’ asking price is for the land.  The city has been given a price range from the owner which we cannot discuss at this point.  Part of the IPG will develop the course of action for the purchase.  Dixie then asked when we have to own the property.  We can apply for cleanup funding before we are the owners.  Whether or not we proceed depends on whether or not we get the funding to purchase the property.  Doug added the acquisition is one of the near end term steps.  We will get very important counsel from this engineering firm in guiding us through site-acquisition.  Doug feels more comfortable knowing this firm will be able to give us this guidance.  There’s a minefield of liability issues which the firm will guide us through.  Councilmember Snook MOVED, and Councilmember Schorzman seconded authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Maul, Foster & Alongi.  Motion carried unanimously.

H Street Project Update:  Councilmember Bagott reported that once Gloria from TIB approves the paperwork, Munir can put the project out to bid.  He wants to close the bids June 5th, and council review on June 9th.  We’re still on task for starting the Monday after school is out.  The legal description for the school’s section near Little Sprouts has been written up.  Because of insurance and legalities, Little Sprouts can’t temporarily move the daycare to the school so they will stay on-site however they’ll move the entrance pathway to the back of the building.

PERSONNEL & POOL:   Councilmember Snook reported he spoke with Annie Manning our new pool manager.  She’s on track with guards, schedules, wages, etc.  Councilmember Milano asked that Councilmember Jeff Snook speak with Annie about RV Park guests having access to the pool and pool staff tracking them for safety sake.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Liquor Control Board asked for concerns or objections for the Palouse Tavern and McLeod’s Market renewing their liquor licenses.  There were no objections

May 21st is the dedication for the Fire Station and a blood drive.  The mayor, in the spirit of honoring those who have served the department, would like to declare May 21, 2009, as Palouse Volunteer Firefighter Day in honor of Ancel Jeffers and Bill Wolf.

As a result of Ted Olsen at Ecology reading the emailed Palouse Council minutes, he contacted City Hall indicating DOE could potentially help fund the river gauge.  That could save the city about $1,300.

In regards to the 4 council positions that are up this year, May 18 – June 5 is the window for candidates to file by mail and June 1 – 5 to apply in person.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid                             $33,157.23
Payroll Paid                             $37,212.07

APPROVED: ________________________