May 26, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 26, 2020

Via Zoom Videoconferencing


CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Cook called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.


ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 12, 2020. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.


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

Councilmember Cooper commended staff on how nice downtown looked for Memorial Day.


POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann submitted a written report. PD had six call-outs between May 13-25.


CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:  CA Dixon submitted a written report.

-We have posted the job announcement for the Public Works Superintendent job. Depending on initial interest, we will coordinate interviews with the Personnel Committee once per week hopefully beginning the first week of June.

-CA Dixon is finishing up 2019 Annual Report. No issues to report. Waiting on updated code clarification on some line items from the State Auditor’s Office. Will submit at the end of this week.

-CA Dixon spoke with ECY permit manager Diana Washington last week. They will have comments on Wastewater Facility Plan prior to our first council meeting in June. At that meeting we will have our engineers Varela & Associates provide context on ECY comments and our plan to proceed.

-We are collaborating with the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to provide masks for businesses in town as they plan to reopen. Some of the funding from Palouse Cares Act can go towards that purchase. Funds can’t be used to replace lost revenue but can be used for emergency expenses.

-Deputy Clerk Thompson is finalizing the updates and rewrite of our water and sewer connection fee ordinances as discussed at the November 12th, 2019 council meeting. Water/Sewer Committee is meeting to discuss later this week and will have an update at the next council meeting.

-Hoping to have the pool open June 20th if the governor’s Phase 3 schedule allows it.



Palouse Cove sidewalk bid documents: MD&A has presented initial bid documents for review by council. The two main costly items will be the block walls with chain link fence and the pedestrian push button flashing beacon sign.  Costs should be available by next meeting.



Contract with Garfield for temporary Level II Certified Wastewater Operator: This came from ECY’s requirement that we have a Level II Operator in order for us to be in compliance. The town of Garfield is willing to contract with us for use of their Level II operator’s services for eight hours per month. As compensation for his services, Palouse shall provide Garfield with a sewer operator to perform any needed sewer operation services for eight hours per month. No exchange of money. Contract term is June 1, 2020, through December 31, 2022. Council expressed concern that there was no language in the contract addressing the need for a response in the event of an emergency. Mayor Cook and CA Dixon will follow up with Garfield to see what language we can include to address this. No action taken on contract.



Budget, Finance, & Major Acquisitions – Chair Welcome:

CA Dixon reports that Covid-19 shouldn’t affect our sales tax revenues too bad. Sales tax revenue will take a hit for a couple months but the vast majority of our sales & use tax revenue is through online sales so if anything, that has increased. However, the RV Park revenue has taken a big hit. We are hoping that reservations bounce back and we don’t get any more cancellations.


Streets, Properties, & Facilities – Chair Sievers: Met with FastSigns regarding signage and design work for interior of pool facility.



JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT: Councilmember Fielder reported.

-Financials are a little tight due to upgrading supplies for Covid-19. Some of the purchases will be reimbursed by the Palouse Cares Act.

-There were two fire calls in April to assist with traffic control for two accidents; Zero trainings due to Covid-19;

-There were five EMS calls in April: two city residents, one rural resident, and two non-residents; Zero trainings.

-Additional volunteers are needed.



-Regarding the ongoing sewer complaint, Mayor Cook has met with complainants. The city’s insurance will continue to handle this claim.

-We have put together a Citizen Water Advisory Committee consisting thus far of Doug Wilcox, Moses Boone, and Robert Lopez. CA Dixon will look into enlisting a couple more people for the committee. The committee’s goal is to explore fundamental principles as well as technical issues of our ongoing water system improvements.


ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.


The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      5/26/2020          Ck. #10870-10880 & EFT           $4,448.20


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Fielder seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:53 PM.




APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________