May 14, 2013

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
May 14, 2013

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Tim Jones; Connie Newman (left at 8:33), Bo Ossinger; Alison Webb; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman. Mayor asked for a motion to excuse Norm’s absence. No motion made; absence is unexcused. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Jon Carson; Mellissa Dugger; Pam Brantner; Wade Brantner; Michael Hicks; Ami Kramer; Mary Estes; Senja Estes; Mark Sawyer (7:26);

Applicants for open City Council Position #4. Two applicants: Mike Hicks and Senja Estes. Both applicants introduced themselves and were asked a standard set of questions about serving on council. At 7:25, Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, to adjourn to executive session. Returned from executive session at 7:40 pm. Councilmember Newman MOVED to appoint Senja Estes to council position #4. Councilmember Webb seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Senja Estes was sworn in as councilmember for position #4 and took her seat at the council table.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 23, 2013. Councilmember Ossinger seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann has contacted the owner of the nuisance vacant trailer on Mohr Street. She has 45 days from May 9, 2013, to bring the house up to non-nuisance standard (maintain overgrown yard, put up skirting, siding, stairs, door, etc). Chief will send her a letter outlining the process she must follow.

The surplus Harley was sold for $10,001.

PD called out at 4:45 am on Saturday for “shots fired” on Whitman Street. WSP, Pullman Police, and WSU police responded as well. No evidence found of shots fired. Vehicle was stopped going into Pullman. Palouse PD processed the scene in Palouse. They took one person into custody on unrelated crime of stolen property in the apartment (numerous street signs from city and county, as well as lawn decor from a local yard).

Special thanks to Whitman County Sheriff Dept. Sgt. Cooper and his drug dog. They did a great demonstration at the high school on drug detection.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Committee toured the sewer plant, city shop and various city facilities with Supt. Griffin and Don Myott.
The WSP has been preliminarily approved by the DOH. It has been almost a two year process. All the questions DOH had have been answered to their satisfaction. Next it will be on the May 28th council agenda for Taylor Engineering to give an overview. Council will be asked to vote on a resolution adopting the WSP at that time.

We’ve talked for several months about a potential sewer rate increase. Our current sewer rate isn’t keeping up with expenses to infrastructure needs. Committee will meet and bring their recommendation to the next council meeting.

Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb. Chair: Aaron Flansburg has been looking at possible city property for a skate park. City of Palouse owns the tennis courts and half of the abutting vacated street; the school owns the other half. Aaron approached the school supt. Jake Dingman and other support staff. No official response yet from the school. Supt. is concerned about liability and safety issues over the course of construction, noise, location, electrical and water right-of-ways. Supt. Dingman said he would put it on the next school board agenda to discuss. Hypothetically if there was ever to be a skate park there, one approach would be that the school could sell their half to the city for $1, which is what was done for the purchase of the tennis court property years ago. Also there would need to be an Avista easement to maintain. It is still unknown who would be responsible for maintenance and garbage pick up. The cost of liability insurance is also not known. No decisions have been made yet.

Wade and Pam Brantner brought their concerns regarding locating the skatepark next to the tennis courts. They live across the street from the tennis courts. Some concerns include – A skatepark is not a general function of the school & would become a burden; the tennis courts are in sad shape, so too will the skatepark become; concerns about who the skatepark would attract; who’s going to monitor it; the lot is used as parking for school functions so that will be lost; drainage issues; lack of lighting; liability; bikes in skatepark causing damage. Their number one concern is noise. They didn’t choose to live by a skatepark. It should be in a central location with drive-by surveillance such as downtown or the city park. Aaron said concrete skate parks are relatively quiet compared to other designs. He agreed with their concerns. He envisions it as a day-use facility. Debate ensued about whether or not it should be at the city park; losing too much park to other structures. Councilmember Wekenman encouraged Aaron to approach private downtown property owners about land for his skatepark. This is not a project that will be funded by the city however there are still questions of who will maintain it.

Mary Estes: Wants extra space at Heritage Park to plant some more memorial roses. No cost to city. Councilmember Webb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones, to grant her the extra space. Councilmember Newman amended the motion for Mary to first approach the Palouse Chamber of Commerce for their thoughts since they use the space from time to time. Motion was tabled to the next council meeting.

Melissa Duggar. Her kids have had two close calls on Mohr Street (by the elementary school doors) of almost getting hit by speeders. She wants speed bumps. Councilmember Wekenman suggested crossing guards before and after school. The school should be able to help address this issue. Possible solutions brought up – making Mohr and Alder Streets one way and blocking off that portion of Mohr St during school hours. Supt. Griffin has issues with speed bumps being installed on city streets. Additionally, speed bumps are a concern for snow plowing.

Mark Sawyer: Third annual Palouse Duathlon is scheduled for Saturday, June 8. Two mile run, 10 mile bike, and two mile run again. He would like permission for use of the park, lower parking lots, city streets, and use of barricades. This event raises money for local kids to attend Young Life summer camps. The Palouse PD is fine with it and will help out with traffic control. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to allow city resources for this event. Councilmember Jones seconded. The city is covered under the Young Life insurance policy. Motion carried unanimously.

Jon Carson, Inland NW Broadcasting. Promotions director. Community partnership grant program for advertising for events. This includes public service and public interest events and issues. They also have a full service news team. He left behind literature for anyone interested in contacting them.

Close-out agreement with Department of Commerce for the Brownsfield Project: Michael Stringer of MFA was on speaker-phone. This agreement extends the closing date from 2013 to December 2016 and retains $53,327 for the additional groundwater testing and monitoring beyond 2013. Originally the $53,327 was set to be de-allocated, but Clerk Beeson and MFA’s Mike Stringer were able to work with DOC program manager Bill Mandeville to get this extension. At this point, it is unknown how frequent Ecology will require the testing be done, with only the first two quarter test results in for 2013. The last samples for 2013 will be taken in September. At that point, we hope to know from Ecology what the testing requirements will be. City is contracting for that testing to be done. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones, to authorize the mayor to sign the Close-Out agreement with the DOC. The cost for monitoring, testing and reporting is about $7,650 per event. Motion carried unanimously.

MFA Contract: MFA is asking for a change order to existing contract for 2013 Brownfields project costs. The scope of work includes collection & analysis of groundwater samples, removal of existing barrels on the site and planning documents for riverbank restoration and enhancement through an agreement with the Palouse Conservation District (PCD). The proposed increase is $14,500 and will continue to be 100% grant eligible. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Wekenman, authorizing the Mayor to extend our contract by $14,500. These remaining costs for 2013 will be paid 75% through the Ecology Remedial Action Grant and 25% BRLF 2. Motion carried unanimously.

Draft agreement between City and Palouse Conservation District: Mayor Echanove read aloud portions of the draft agreement between the city and PCD. The PCD will work with MFA on the master plan for restoration by controlling invasive weeds and installing native vegetation. MFA plan will be submitted to Ecology for approval. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones, authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with PCD. Motion carried unanimously.

Two beer & wine license renewals: McLeod’s Market and Palouse Tavern. No objections.

Supt. Dingman is very pleased with the Palouse PD’s activity within the school.

City Clerk Beeson asked for council review of the annual report.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Estes MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Ossinger seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:34 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 4/30/13 Ck. #4830-4848 & EFT $34,910.27
Claims Paid 5/14/13 Ck. #4849-4877 & EFT $23,289.52

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________