May 9, 2006


May 9, 2006

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Police Chief Neumann; Sue Foster; Jerry Foster; Caitlyn McGehee; Dale Tronson; Kay Tronson; Randy Zehm; Dennis Griner; Thinh Nguyen.

PUBLIC HEARING :  Public comment regarding annexation request for Power’s Addition; Block 3; Lots 9, 10, 11 and 12.  Also known as including 754 West Illinois Street .    

The Mayor opened the Public Hearing at 7:02PM.  The floor was opened to public comment.  Bev Pearce, resident at 620 W Illinois commented on concerns of increased traffic on Illinois Street with the addition of more homes.  The corner of Fir and Illinois is generally a blind spot with traffic coming up from Fir and traffic turning north onto Fir from Illinois .  She stated that a street light and proper signage would address this issue.  Pearce stated her support of the annexation.   A letter from the Lila, Neil and Bart Johnson was read requesting that Poplar Street , which abuts the west side of the annexation request, remain open.  They expressed no concern over the annexation.



APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Mike Milano MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 25, 2006. Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ANNEXATION REQUEST DISCUSSION: The Mayor began the discussion by reviewing the annexation process.  He stated that this annexation will bring in one new home and potentially more in the future.  Public Works Superintendent Hodges had no objections to the annexation.  There was discussion on whether the alley and another street would be included.  Illinois street would be the main access to the properties.  The Mayor said he would get clarification from the city attorney.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to allow the annexation of Power’s Addition; Block 3; Lots 9, 10, 11 and 12 with adjacent right of way property.  Council Member Snook seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

Byron Hodges asked council if it would be appropriate to refund a portion of the Fosters hook-up fee to the sewer.  The Fosters paid the higher rate for hook-up outside city limits, and the sewer work has still not been started.  This was generally agreed upon by the council.

Council Member Snook MOVED to allow the city attorney to proceed with the annexation request.  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

OPEN FORUM : Council Member Schorzman requested that the water meter be turned on at the Main Street lot for the Haunted Palouse corn patch.  The bill is to be sent to the Chamber of Commerce.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted a written report.  Byron added to the report that the crack seal work went well. He hired Dwayne Griffin and James Martin to help.  Council Member Schorzman complimented Byron and his crew for their hard work and long day doing crack seal throughout town. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: The Chief reported that overall things have been quiet.  Reserve Officer Cassidy made a simple traffic infraction stop that turned into a drug arrest.  The county K-9 officers were called in and assisted with the arrest.  The Whitman County Animal Shelter contract is up for renewal on May 31.  The Chief recommended continuing with the $600 per year fee.  This covers a delivery of up to 12 dogs to the county shelter.  Council Member Milano MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the contract from the Whitman County Humane Society for the 2006-2007 year.   Council Member Bagott seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  Council Member Wekenman addressed the policy and admin committee about an ordinance regarding what breed of dogs are allowed or not allowed in city limits, specifically pit bulls.  Chief Neumann said that he would support this type of policy; the city already has in place an ordinance for aggressive dogs.  The Chief said that the bike race went well; it was a great opportunity to break in the Harley, putting 100 miles on it.  The Mayor thanked the Chief and Byron for the effort they put in to making the bike race a success.  A note from the director of the race also thanked the city.  Chief Neumann reported that the department purchased ammo for their upcoming firearms qualification tests.


  1. Sludge Press Update:  We will be working with the Department of Ecology during this project.  The council and Byron discussed the benefits to installing this new equipment.  Council Member Snook MOVED to allow this project to go to bid with Byron acting on behalf of the city.  Council Member O’Neill seconded the motion.  Further discussion continued on how this equipment would be paid for.  Treasurer Beeson said that there are a couple of loan options available and the sewer rate would need to be examined.  Byron thanked all the council members and city staff that attended the demonstration.  He appreciated the interest. The motion carried unanimously. 
  1. Update of the Critical Areas Ordinance: The Mayor read an email from city attorney Stephen Bishop regarding a workshop to go over the update of the Critical area ordinance.  The attorney will be attending on behalf of his client cities, but he does encourage any representative from the city to attend as well.  The update of the Critical Areas ordinance is state mandated, with a deadline of December 1. 2007.  The cities are required to adopt a plan only for the identification and protection of critical areas and natural resources.  Studio Cascade was contracted to assist a group of cities, of which Palouse is one to create the ordinance and plan.  The Mayor read council minutes from May 11, 2003, which the council at that time tabled the discussion.  Council Member Bailey MOVED to remove from the table the Critical Areas Ordinance.  Council Member Bagott seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  The Mayor requests that council read the ordinance to prepare for future discussions.  Council Member Schorzman stated that he has a problem with the state mandating what citizens can and cannot do with their property.  Caitlyn McGehee asked Council Member Schorzman if he had any property that would be affected by the ordinance.
  1. Breeding’s Addition Sewer Extension: The Mayor provided to council some updated numbers from JUB, an engineering company that did some preliminary work for the city regarding the Breeding’s and Fisher’s Addition sewer project.  Dale Tronsen, Breeding’s addition resident restated that he began pursuing this project with the city in 2002.  He pointed out that the Small Towns Environment Program (STEP); an Ecology program might work well to lower costs and help move this project along.  He again asked the council to either decide to move forward or reject to project because he has septic problems that need to be addressed.  Council Member O’Neill said that he proposes a Town Hall meeting to get all concern groups together, and  also wants to proceed with the final engineering of the Breeding’s Addition and gravity flow trunk-line.  The Mayor pointed out the engineering plans will not come with out cost and asked Treasurer Beeson how this could be funded.  She indicated that the Sewer Facility Reserve fund could help pay and other resources will be explored.  Dennis Griner, Breeding’s Addition resident expressed supported for the sewer extension project.

NEW BUSINESS: Council Member Wekenman reported that he had a discussion with LuJane Nisse regarding the publishing of the council minutes in verbatim form.  She indicated that if the city would like to pay for publishing she would be able to publish verbatim.  Council Member O’Neill is opposed to paying the Boomerang for public council meeting minutes.  Council Member Wekenman has no objection to the paper publishing the minutes, if it gives an accurate account of the proceedings.  Council Member Bailey suggested that the paper note that the actual council minutes are available on line at the city website, or at city hall during working hours.



Council Member Milano provided to the council a Site Assessment and drawings budget of $2,500 for the proposed RV Park on West Main .   Council Member Milano will be asking the Lions Club, Chamber and any other potential partners to join in the project.  Rich has provided to Mike a contract that would be viewed by city attorney, Stephen Bishop.  Council Member Bailey commented that he is proposing a compost drop off area that may conflict with the RV Park.  Milano said he would see that the consultant is informed of this use.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to proceed with the site assessment portion of the RV Park and allow Mike Milano to represent the city in this project.  Council Member Bailey seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  Chief Neumann pointed out that an RV park would pay for itself.  Byron Hodges commented that the RV park in Potlatch operates year round and Palouse’s could too if considerations are made to meter electricity accordingly. 

Clerk Beeson reported that Susan Redman requested for the pool to be open on June 8 for the elementary school picnic.    Council Member Snook referred this request to Byron. 

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman-No Report

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
Council Member Wekenman reported that he has been meeting with contractors to look at the police station for electrical and heating bids.  He asked Joyce if they are required to advertise for this work.  Joyce said this could go through the Small Works Roster.   The Chief has been working on the building as well, tearing down the ivy on the outside so that the mason can get a better look at the condition of the brick.

Council Member Bailey is working on developing a yard waste drop off site near the sewer plant. The area would be about 20’ by 30’.  He also looked into the cluster housing information given at the last council meeting.  Pullman and Colfax have done the cluster housing and now Pullman is landlocked unless these cluster request for annexation and go through the process of rezoning.  He believes the situation in Pullman may push development to other areas, such as Palouse.  He feels this is an issue that the cities planning commission needs to review.


Council Member Bagott met with the committee to discuss the six year street plan, which needs to be finalized before July.  They discussed the list of streets and goals for the cities future street projects.  The committee will do drive bys to assess the streets in question.  A Public Hearing will be held on Tuesday June 27th.  The Whitman Street project is moving forward.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill
Council Member O’Neill informed council that a town hall meeting will be set up for discussion on the Breeding’s Addition sewer project.  He also asked who owned the property south of the cemetery.

MAYOR’S REPORT : The Mayor reported that he continues to seek Planning Commission board members and that any interested persons willing to serve should contact City Hall. 

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. 

Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN Mike Milano MOVED to adjourn. Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 11710        through  # 11740          Payment:  $21,644.30

Payroll Paid                   Warrants:  # 6141           through # 6163             Payment:  $26,068.65

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________