Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
May 13, 2014
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bo Ossinger; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce; Christopher Langsett. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Jim Farr; Steve McGehee; Will Hume; Donna Langsett; Aaron Flansburg.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 22, 2014. Councilmember Ossinger seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
Chief Neumann spoke with the high school driver’s ed class last week about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Officer Snead is settling in with training and paperwork. Next week should be his first full-time week.
We want to purchase a solar-powered battery for our radar trailer.
Skatepark update – The proposed sewer plant site for the skatepark is exempt from the SEPA process because the
flexible thresholds for the city of Palouse state that any park development 12,000 or under square feet is exempt. An alternative site has been proposed just to the east of the PD, on Whitman Street, across from the PCC, on property owned by the Dillard family. The Dillard family has generously offered to donate that space for the purpose of building a skatepark. That space could accommodate a skate site approximately 10,000 square feet. Aaron pulled a dig ticket and all underground lines look great; water and sewer are stubbed to that sight. On May 29, at 7 pm, the skatepark committee is having a public forum at the police station to discuss this new site. The core skatepark group thinks it’s a good site to consider. Ed McLachlan submitted a letter opposing the site which Aaron read aloud.
Draft Resolution allowing Palouse Reserve Officer’s participation in the Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief and Pension Act.
Reserve officers don’t qualify for the LEOFF program (police pension). Board for Volunteer Firefighters automatically covers our firefighter and EMS personnel. For reserve officers to participate the city must pass legislation allowing it and that is what this resolution does. Fee would be $185/yr for disability and $120/year for retirement. When enrolled in the disability program, L&I costs are not paid, thus reducing the cost to the city. If passed, it would be in place for any future reserve officers who do not qualify for LEOFF. Police, Fire, & Safety committee will meet to discuss and also the Joint Board Fire & EMS may assist writing the resolution.
Water & Sewer – The committee met last week with Supt. Griffin and Clerk Beeson. Nothing to report from the meeting. Councilmember Ossinger said he learned a lot.
Streets & Sidewalks – Councilmember Hicks met with Will Hume who is planning on putting together an outdoor seasonal restaurant licensed for beer and wine called the Palouse Caboose. He will be working from a large, modern food truck on the lot next to the PCC. He is planning on putting power in, and running sewer and fresh water to the truck itself. There will be a 42” barrier around the beer/restaurant area as per WA State Liquor regulations. He asked for permission from the city to have Avista put a 15’ power pole on the NE corner of the property and run overhead lines across a portion of city land to an existing pole. The truck will be hard-wired in and have water and sewer from an existing service. He is absorbing all the costs. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow for a temporary power pole to the “Palouse Caboose” on the basis that Will Hume is absorbing all the costs. Councilmember Ossinger seconded. Motion carried. Councilmember Pearce abstained because she is one of the property co-owners.
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings – follow-up on the offer of a 6’ angel statue donation. Councilmember Estes and her committee would like to respectfully decline the offer. There isn’t money in the cemetery fund to support building a foundation for it or maintaining it in the future. Clerk Beeson will forward this response to Will Murray.
Police, Fire, & Safety – Councilmember Wekenman attended the Whitman County Master Shoreline Program Steering Committee meeting. Wa. State Shoreline Mgmt Act was created in the 1970’s and no updates have been made to the act or its guidelines since then so the state is updating. In a nutshell, this committee is attempting to accommodate reasonable uses of the shoreline. Palouse qualifies because of the Palouse River going through town. It’s designed to protect our shoreline resources such as our city park, residential areas near the river. And there are ways to promote public access and provide recreational access and activities. At the meeting, Rick highlighted areas in Palouse that need more attention, etc. We could potentially qualify for money for riverbank restoration, etc.
Personnel & Pool – Committee, along with pool manager Rachel Witthuhn, interviewed three enthusiastic prospective lifeguards. All three are young high school students so will be good for when our college-aged lifeguards leave.
Jim Farr: wants a 2” meter with a 2” line at 435 C Street. Mayor told him we don’t install 2” meters/lines to residences. Jim also submitted a complaint against Supt. Griffin and wants him fired.
Steve McGehee: Wanted to know what the city is doing regarding the potential of asbestos in the mortar between the old bricks from the tavern debris. Joyce explained that the Dept. of Ecology considers it inert debris at this point and it can be taken to one of three licensed sites which handle this type and volume of debris. Councilmember Wekenman spoke with Larry Hunt, the contractor doing the removal/demo/clean-up, and he’s prepared to keep the site watered down, use covered trailers, etc.
Deputy Clerk Thompson explained that a large amount of the city’s archival documents have now been transferred to the Washington State Archives, through the Secretary of State’s office, who are now the legal custodians of those documents. As such, people wanting to view those documents will now have to contact Washington State Archives. Eventually they will all be available online through their website, but that will take a year of so. We will continue to transfer documents as time allows. This protects the city’s history from fire, flood, theft, etc.
Deputy Clerk Thompson clarified that the Palouse Arms Apartment are a privately owned building and the city did not condemn them, nor did our building inspector. Whatever that owner did, was on his or her own accord. The city had/has nothing to do with that.
Mayor reported that Jim Farr and Steve McGehee have submitted to City Hall 10 PRR’s (public record requests) in the last 7 days. Jim Farr then said they have 100’s more, and will continue until their questions are answered.
Palouse Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) is reforming itself and sent us a draft resolution that would update the current interlocal agreement. It will be in next week’s packets for your review.
We received from the WA State Liquor Control Board a license request for a private club beer/wine license at the Palouse Lions Club upstairs at 120 E. Main Street. There are some concerns raised since this is a city-owned building. This potentially puts the burden on the city. Our insurance broker, insurance provider CIAW, and our attorney said the Lions Club needs to provide a commercial liability policy for $1 million minimum, and a liquor liability policy for $1 million minimum, and both policies must name the City of Palouse as additional insured. We also need to update their lease to include stronger/specific language concerning liability. Council discussion included concerns about the stairs and location in a building owned by the city. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to request a 20 day extension from the liquor control board for further discussion, and to have Lions Club representative(s) come to city council to discuss our concerns and their ideas. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
May 19th is the AWC meeting in Rosalia.
Councilmember Wekenman talked with our building inspector and Larry Hunt regarding the fire clean-up. The major holdup on the clean-up is some disagreement between what building is attached to what. The adjacent property owner is concerned that clean-up will damage her building. Larry Hunt is ready to roll as soon as permission is given. He is taking salvage to one site, recyclable material to one site, and debris to yet another location.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Langsett MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:33 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid Ck. #5666-5682 & EFT $35,415.20
Claims Paid Ck. #5665 & 5686-5714 & EFT $26,302.55
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________