May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman.  Absent:  Mark Bailey.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present:  Pete Hertz; Scott Beeson; Dixie Reber.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 12, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:   Superintendent Griffin reported they chipped last Wednesday and the chipper area is completely full after 5 days.  The chipper won’t be here again for a couple more weeks and they will be busy with the Alder Street project starting next week.  When the chipper comes, it takes 2 city staffers almost a full day.  He asked for suggestions on what to do.  If we’re full, we’re full; we can’t change that or the fact that the chipper operator is on vacation until June 8.  Council agreed that we need to temporarily suspend accepting chippable yard waste.  In order to communicate this to the 180 permitted users Ann will email her city list serve.  Additionally, Council and Ann will call everyone with a permit to notify them of the suspension.

The city rehired Mirko Mayes for seasonal summer help.

They’re reading meters this week for the first time since October.

They will be sweeping streets and getting everything cleaned up for the Rat Rod show.

The areas to be grass at the RV Park have been leveled.  The sprinkler will be installed.

At the MHP they put in drip irrigation along most of the trees on the south side.  Beavers took about 6 more trees.  They will order more trees through FCAAP grant to plant this fall.

They’ll clean the pool Thursday, fill it Monday, and test-run the new boiler Tuesday.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Chief Neumann reported he’s moving forward with the CTED Justice Assistance Grant for the motorcycle.  The price Columbia Harley came up with for the bike is $14,500.  If we get the $10,000, we’ll be short $4,500 for the balance of the Harley.  Mayor is concerned about finding alternate sources for the remaining balance.  Chief said his vehicle fund has $15,000 budgeted to spend, which could be used for the Harley, and he would put off replacing the Intrepid for a year or two.  Chief would like to submit the grant by next week.  Councilmember Milano MOVED to authorize Chief Neumann and/or the Mayor to submit and sign the grant application to CTED for the purchase of this motorcycle.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. It’s a non-competitive grant; you have to show the need.

In regards to the written complaint received about the nuisance property, Chief talked with the property owners. Through financial and medical hardships, they have had little time.  To the best of his ability, he’ll try to clean it up.  The overall theme of things on the corner probably won’t get much better, based on his financial situation, etc.  We can’t require someone to live to our expectations.  I don’t know if it will ever be brought up to the complainants’ expected level of order.  The word “trash” in the ordinance is referring to garbage, not junk.  Chief stressed that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.  Council asked if the homeowners would he be open to volunteers helping haul junk off.   Chief is making weekly checks at the residence and told them he wants to see effort to make improvements.

In regards to the crossing flags at the intersection, new ones were ordered.  The purchase will probably come from the police budget.  It seems that the other flags were stolen/vandalized.  If the person(s) responsible are caught, the charges could be 3rd degree theft, littering, and malicious mischief.

JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE:  The Open House/dedication was very well attended.  It was a nice event.  There were approximately 23 acceptable blood donors, plus several donors at the school.

Palouse Community Center:  Respond to request to host a beer garden at the city park during the Blue Grass Festival.  Joyce spoke with our attorney and he didn’t see anything in our code to prevent us from having one as long as state codes were followed.  Our insurance provider said the city’s insurance would not be affected; we’re covered.  Mayor asked Scott Beeson about the location of the beer garden.  Scott said they’ll set up wherever they’re told to.  The west parking lot was suggested.  Scott said that is an emergency vehicle access so we can’t block it.  People serving the beer will have to take a class.  The alcohol service will be higher-end microbrews, not a college keg type event.  People can’t bring their lawn chairs into the beer garden and camp out and get drunk.  There will be a few pub tables and standing only.  The beer vendors monitor the whole thing.  The liquor control board requires the rules to be posted.  Supt. Griffin asked about power needs because there’s barely enough power for the music.  Location and power seem to be the only concerns.  Councilmember Milano MOVED , second by Councilmember O’Neill authorizing the PCC to hold a beer garden for the Bluegrass Festival under the guidance of the PD and the beer vendor.  Motion carried unanimously.

H Street Update:  The H Street project is still out to bid.  It closes on June 8th at 2:00 and the bids will then be read.  It is hoped that the committee will then be ready to make a recommendation to council on June 9th.

Brownfield Update:  We haven’t got the contract back from Maul, Foster, & Alongi yet but it should arrive soon.    

PARKS, CEMETERY, & BUILDINGS:   Councilmember Milano reported he met with Strom Electric regarding power upgrades at the City Park.  Using the small works roster, he will get more bids.  At one time Steve Brink mentioned possible donation of supplies from Avista for this project.  The power needs at the park are pretty great.  We budgeted a couple thousand and may need more than that.  Clerk Beeson asked Mike if they’ve thought about asking the organizations that use the park for events for donations.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Because the state shared revenues are going to be down in 2009, the finance committee needs to be right in the middle of the budget right now.  We need to start the budget process early this year.

Miscellaneous :  Dixie Reber from the Palouse Planning Commission asked for access to City Hall for their meetings.  Chief Neumann said they can contact the PD and he will open City Hall.  She asked about the comprehensive plan; it is currently with Don who is filling in the blanks that the Planning Commission left.

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

The annual report will be mailed off this week.

ADJOURN:   Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:09 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                             $3,129.76