May 14, 2019

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 14, 2019

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper; John Snyder (8:00).  Staff present: Police Officer Leighton Cox; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Council Meeting of April 23, 2019.  Councilmember Cooper seconded the motion and the motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.

POLICE REPORT:  Officer Cox reported all is well.  Nothing to report. There were no problems with the bike race.


-CA Dixon provide a written report.  All is well.  No major updates to report.

-Varela will be at next meeting to discuss a contract amendment to get us to a completed wastewater facility plan.  CA Dixon will provide council with a draft of that amendment this week.

-TD&H is finishing up the water model and evaluating fire flows. They should have an update for us at next meeting.

-The Brownsfield Committee is meeting this week to discuss proposals and how to proceed. Mayor updated council on the two proposals the city received for the Brownsfield site. Neither proposal had ideal terms. The city has gone out for proposals two times without the response we were anticipating and hoping.  Mayor thinks the city has been going about the process wrong. There is a lack of retail space in Palouse and the public wants a solution. Why not consider developing it ourselves? Over the years the city has gotten involved numerous times in real estate projects all with a stellar track record: Heritage Park, mobile home park conversion, Brownsfield site, Congress Hotel & Oasis café property, our RV park, fire station. The site already has all infrastructure and we already own the site. Much discussion ensued about various ideas the city could do there that would provide retail space, river access, etc.  There are three ways it could be approached: city can operate it (like RV Park), form a Public Development Assn PDA (like Dahmen Barn), or even a private LLC.  If we do it as a city, we become eligible for funding.  Property is already ours.  City will have to of course discuss with city attorney.  There is a lot of potential.

-Council decided to move forward on installing the charging station at Heritage Park, as previously voted and approved. Paul Kimmel from Avista and CA Dixon will move forward with that.


Jamie Gaber presented her ideas for new plantings and ongoing volunteer maintenance at Native Plant Walk. The donated plants from Palouse Conservation District (PCD) have arrived and she wants permission to plant this Friday.  She has three Americorps volunteers from PCD coming to help with plotting and manual labor. Regarding sustainability of upkeep, she is recruiting locals and is also talking to PCD about writing us into their grants so we get attention. Dennis & Vickie Griner who have been tending the area will continue to help. There is a desire to have a manicured look to the Native Plant Walk.  Next Friday she, along with high school ag students, will re-chip the path.  Jamie went on to discuss the various plants she will be using including: iceberry and elderberry, edibles, Hawthorne, roses, mock orange. She is also looking for boulders if anyone has any. Council gave Jamie their blessing.


Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook–  Cliff Knauff has begun work at the pool building: power washing and priming and minor repairs.  Weather permitting, we are hoping the painting will be completed within a couple weeks.


Paul Kimmel dropped off brochures on smart grid project, changing all electric and gas meters to “smart meter”.  This technology will provide instant information to customers on their specific account usage, etc.  This is a $170 million project for state of Washington.  Radio Frequency is substantially less than microwave, tv, cell phones, etc.  Pullman is hoping to go to smart meters for water meters as well, which is something Palouse has been discussing for ourselves for a few years.


Liquor license renewal for McLeod’s Palouse Market.  No objections.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      4/30/19             Ck. #10001-10023 & EFT           $60,024.57

Claims Paid      5/14/19             Ck. #10025-10056 & EFT           $83,733.64

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:46 PM.


APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________