May 22, 2018

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 22, 2018

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Rick Wekenman. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmembers Sievers, Stout, & Wilcomb were absent. Rick MOVED to excuse councilmember Stout’s & Sievers absences. Bill Slinkard seconded and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 8, 2018. Councilmember Snyder seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

The quality of Woltering Construction’s work on the new sidewalk by park was noted.


A lot of calls for dog issues, domestic violence calls, DUI’s, etc. between both cities.

Had to purchase a keyboard holder and wireless keyboard for Officer Anderson’s car.

Chief is hoping to begin install this week of the cameras at the solar plant.


Dixon and Atty Hanson had a conference call with Mike Stringer and Bill Hager from Maul Foster & Alongi to discuss how the city will proceed with a request for proposals for the Brownfields site. Atty. Hanson will draft a resolution officially declaring the site for surplus but will be subject to conditions which council and the Brownfields Committee can grade to determine the proposal that is most beneficial to the downtown area. Atty. Hanson stressed the need to have the site appraised and the winning proposal have at least that amount. This is to avoid anything that can be deemed a gift of public funds. The Brownfields Committee is meeting again during the first week of June to further discuss the criteria to be included in the request for proposals.

The City of Palouse was awarded a $26,530 grant from the Whitman County Commissioners .09 funds to develop a walking trail/park area on the south bank of the Palouse River across from downtown. They are a 75% funding partner, so if the entire grant amount is expended, the city will need to provide as much as $6,633 to complete the project. However, since this project involves land donated to the city and subsequently donated to the project, this number may be greatly reduced. Official plans and cost will be presented to council once completed.

Update from Michelle Bly of TD&H: We have now passed the comment period for the deobligation of the cemetery property. Michelle visited with City Atty. Hanson today and he stated the judgment hearing to deobligate the cemetery property is set for June 15th. Michelle spoke with David Harder at Plateau Archeological Investigations and he said that presuming everything is approved as anticipated on the 15th, Plateau will be on site June 18th and 19th to complete the reservoir site field work. Plateau will have the Cultural Report, with the reservoir site addendum information, completed by the end of the week. Michelle has passed the above schedule to Rural Development because they indicated to me last week at a meeting in Walla Walla that they talk about this project every week and are anxious to obligate funding.

Executive Session: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to go into a 5-minute executive session to discuss real estate matters for the Wastewater Facility Plan. Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


1st Q 2018 BI report: 1st Q 2018 valuations are $350,512 vs. last year at $82,000 valuation. Very strong first quarter.

Discussion ensued about the work done on the Palouse Arms Apt building. The owner complied with the city’s request however Councilmember Wekenman thinks it is still an eyesore and thus a deterrent to future development in the area. Dan will write another letter thanking him for work done and also inquiring to his future plans and anticipated timeframe.

BI contract amendment: Currently there is a 60% of bp fee charged for plan reviews on commercial builds over $100,000. This amendment will add the plan review fee to include multi-unit projects over $100,000, not just commercial buildings. The review for multi-unit housing projects is way more involved than single-family houses. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to amend the contract to include the 60% plan review fee for multi-unit housing projects. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Plan review fees are charged at time of bp purchase. The fee goes to BI upon completion of review.

Resolution 2018-03: Amends the fee schedule to include the above plan review fee to include multi-unit structures. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt the resolution as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.


Ordinance No. 971 budget amendment: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This budget amendment allocates funds for the contract that was signed with Maul Foster Alongi to provide consulting services as we transfer the Brownfields property to a new owner. Additional funding to cover ongoing groundwater sampling at the site has also been included as our grant funding for this project will run out during the next test to be conducted in August. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 971. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.


Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- We’ve interviewed and offered jobs to seven, pending certification. All 7 have accepted positions. 3/7 have already certified and four are still taking course. Pool is set to open June 16th. Swim lesson dates have been set. DC Thompson is working with Annie Pillers to schedule a pool emergency training with our staff.

Councilmember Cook would like the city to purchase survey software to gather data from residents on various topics. It can be used for a multitude of surveys and can also be used by the PC, the BOA, etc. Chris is most impressed with Survey Monkey which costs $360 annually. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to subscribe to Survey Monkey for a trial period of one year. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Councilmember Snyder MOVED to table for a couple weeks until he can investigate the applicability and effectiveness of survey work for a city the size of Palouse. Discussion ensued. Motion to table failed. Motion to purchase Survey Monkey carried.


Sandee Powell with Crime Victim Services Center explained the services they offer. They provide confidential advocacy for victims of crimes: child and elderly abuse, assault victims, neighborly harassment disputes, etc. They help empower victims and secondary victims. The 24-Hour crisis hotline is 1-888-288-9221.

Connie Newman with the Palouse Skate Park. The official grand opening for the Skate Park is June 2. 9 am ribbon cutting, 9-12 learn to skate lessons, then at noon it officially opens to the public. Over $121,000 has been raised for this project. Usage signs, Rules of Conduct sign, and garbage cans will all be in place. Skate park volunteers will be responsible for the ongoing collection and disposal of garbage. Palouse EMS & FD did a formal training at the skate park and put official plans in place in case of an emergency. The gardens at the skate park are coming along nicely.


McLeod’s Palouse Market beer & wine license renewal. No objections.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid 5/22/18 Ck. #9197-9214 & EFT $14,434.65

ADJOURN: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:01 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________