May 9, 2017

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

May 9, 2017

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Mark Wilcomb; Bob Stout.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse the absence of Councilmember Wekenman. Councilmember Hanson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hicks requested a word change under the streets and sidewalks report from “dispute” to “issue”. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 25, 2017 as amended.  Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report


POLICE REPORT: Search and arrest warrants issued in Garfield. Update on burglary in town; Officer Merry received full confession from suspect currently being held in Boundary County in Idaho. Another burglary east of town was reported last week. Investigation is ongoing.

New computers in police vehicles are connected. Currently working to install Spillman policing technology to computers.

Cameras on West Main overlooking park, RV park, sewer facility and compost site will be up and running shortly.


The 2016 annual report for the City was filed with the State Auditor’s Office on Monday, May 8th.

A pre-construction meeting for the West Whitman Street Reconstruction Project will be held in city hall at 1 PM on Wednesday, May 10th. Those in attendance will be: project engineer Munir Daud, contractor ML Albright and Sons, Bob Westby from WSDOT, Rail Engineer Paul Weber, CT Dixon, PW Supt Griffin and Mayor Echanove.

The Public Works Board, a state agency that oversees the funding of various infrastructure projects, is holding a funding conference in Reardan next week. CT Dixon will attend.

Frontier will be removing the payphone in front of McLeod’s Palouse Market sometime this summer due to declining revenue and rising maintenance and service costs.

A decision on Building Inspector Gladwill’s pay increase will be made at the next city council meeting. BI Gladwill took a voluntary 20% pay cut in 2012.


Palouse Wastewater facility plan – engineering agreement amendment #2

Dana Cowger from Varela outlined the second amendment to our Wastewater Facilities Engineering and Planning agreement dated December 1, 2014. Excerpt outlining history of project and amendment is as follows:


Introduction – Palouse’s wastewater treatment facility currently discharges treated wastewater to the Palouse River. The City is under compliance requirements from the Department of Ecology and is required to prepare an engineering report/facility plan to address future compliance regulations. Amendment #2 continues the previous amendment’s scope of work, estimating costs for advancing the facility planning process and completion of the Ecology required engineering report/facility plan. Completion of engineering report is due to Ecology by 12/1/17.


Scope of Work – The work scope is based on completing the facility plan based and the selected alternative (chosen at advisory committee meeting on 3/7/17) of seasonal wastewater storage and winter discharge to Palouse River. Estimated cost of this option is $6.5 million. This will be the most cost effective option in the long term.


Compensation – New contract amount will be roughly $11,000 higher than preliminary estimates prepared back in 2015. Evaluations of additional alternatives and increased advisory committee meetings contributed to difference from original estimate.


Schedule – Work outlined in this amendment will result in completion of the engineering report/facility plan document. The schedule of completion of the work will be established as follows:

  • Conducting initial site development and evaluation work by 6/30/17
  • Conduct City/advisory committee review meeting in July
  • Assuming City concurrence with findings, and proceeding with facility plan preparation by August 1, complete draft facility plan report by 10/31/17

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to allow the mayor to sign the amendment with the correction of a date on the last sentence under “schedule” changed from “10/1/17” to “10/31/17”. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously

Continue discussion and possible decision on TD&H pursuing grants for water project

The City is looking into funding opportunities for a water tower/reservoir on the south hill in town and to update the Water System Plan. USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for funding packages and the deadline is fast approaching. To fulfill the application requirements, an abbreviated Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) is required. TD&H will prepare and complete this report for no more than $10,000. Council discussed pros and cons of submitting application.

Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow TD&H Engineering proceed with Rural Development application and abbreviated PER on the condition that the abbreviated PER will be fully transferrable to the eventual full PER (ie not a ‘sunk cost’). Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Ordinance No. 955 Opening and Closing Graves – Responsibility

Ordinance outlines new policy requiring notice of two full business days from funeral home in advance of a grave opening and closing. Mayor read ordinance aloud in full

Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt Ordinance 955 as written. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson- Pool committee will meet to discuss potential summer staffing shortage and where to cut pool hours if necessary.

Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks- Discussed ongoing alley issue between Rogers and Duran properties. Palouse resident Doug Rogers was present. Fire Chief does not have concerns about accessing the alley at this time. Plan going forward will be to allow partial entrance to alley that is agreeable to both parties. Committee meeting will follow. The sidewalk adjacent to Tarola property that was marked for repair has since been torn out to repair a water leak.


Palouse resident Diane Main: Very concerned about the living situation at the Calvary Chapel men’s shelter near her house where confessed burglar was staying. She would like to see some solution to this problem because there is no supervision of these people. Council and Police Chief discussed, including alerting the public to the importance of properly securing personal property.

MAYOR’S REPORT:  BI Gladwill met with the owner of apartment building (formerly Palouse Arms) on main street next to post office and also to the owner of trailer on Mohr St. near Bridge Street regarding plans for their structures. Property owners need to perform significant improvements to structures or have them demolished/removed within 60 days. City staff will work with BI.

Friday at 9:30 AM, the Department of Ecology will be touring several sites in town.

Mr. Akin the advisor to GPHS National Honor Society has students that are interested in helping with a community project.

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


The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      4/30/17 Ck. #8267-8282 & EFT              $40,145.95

Claims Paid      5/09/17 Ck. #8283-8306 & EFT              $  7,318.52


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.




APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________