November 22, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
November 22, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
Special Council Meeting: Final Budget Hearing
Followed by: Regular Council Meeting

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Tim Jones; Connie Newman; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Cecil Floyd is on vacation. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to excuse Councilmember Floyd’s absence. Motion carried unanimously. Public present: Pete Hertz; Bo Ossinger.

7:02 PM, Open final public hearing for 2012 Budget. No comments. 7:03 Close public hearing and open regular council meeting.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: We’ll be looking at all possible ways to increase revenue but forecast is bad for state assistance. Water/Sewer Committee will be making adjustments for reallocating funds to replace large equipment.

Discussion ensued about the pros and cons of keeping the chipper program. Raise fee or eliminate program? The savings if we eliminate program would be significant, between $4,500 and $5,800. Raising the permit cost to $40 still wouldn’t break us even, and there is an increased chance of not selling as many permits at the higher cost. How much would it cost to load into container to be hauled to county dump? The county is considering raising costs but they won’t have numbers until January. Supt. Griffin explained raw material will fill up a dumpster in just a few days and would be labor intensive. Plus it potentially creates another overtime situation by making PW dig through and sort debris just as they have to do now. Chipper is too expensive for now; we can revisit when times are better. After discussion, council decided to eliminate the Chipper program for all of 2012. City will still allow compost dumping with an annual permit fee of $15.00.

Swim lesson fee will go up to $35 for people residing outside Palouse city limits, and stay at $25 for those residing within Palouse city limits.
Police Department paper service and accident report fees will increase.
There are 42 lights on Main Street, plus two at Heritage Park. Only 19 are lit now as a way to conserve money. A citizen inquired about “adopting” a lamp post. City will look into how much it costs approximately per month per lamp post.
3% pay reduction for all staff. Councilmember Milano MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook, to reduce pay by 3% for all city staff.
Mayor Echanove and PW Supt. Griffin both voluntarily gave up their city cell phones.
Individual, volunteer option for council and Mayor to defer all or partial pay.

Still discussing plans for the lighted sign at corner of Bridge & Main Streets. Sign averages $1,300/year to run/light. Councilmember Milano will speak with Avista, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Lions Club, about possibly sponsoring the sign. Or perhaps it could be used for paid advertising by others. For now the sign will be turned off.

Medical insurance premiums increased by 11%. Dental insurance premiums decreased by 5%.

An Event Impact fee is being considered. Certain private events such as Bluegrass Festival, car show, and Haunted Palouse require public works to empty garbage cans, clean restrooms, restock garbage can liners and paper towels, etc. on the weekend. Impact fee would help pay for those supplies and labor. This will be part of future discussions.

Discussion on public works’ shifts and the sewer plant and well pumps requiring maintenance 7 days a week. No changes were suggested. There was discussion of the elimination of overtime except on emergency basis. Mayor Echanove stated that snow events should be recognized as emergency since Palouse is situated on three hills and safety is an issue. It was decided that public works is left with the decision on safety.

Discussion about closing Heritage Park restrooms Jan, Feb. & March to save on the heating costs. Closing it could negatively affect commerce. It is used by many throughout the winter. It will go on consideration list for things to cut. Thermostat is down as low as possible without freezing.

The 2012 Budget Message was read and discussed. It details expenditures, revenues and changes that have been proposed.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Newman amended the minutes under w/s committee report to add “We “will” have a current, accurate city boundary map and a city zoning map.” Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 8, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Additionally, they turned off every other lamp post on Main Street for cost savings.

Was PW satisfied with the street oiling this year? The product isn’t oil-based so it doesn’t soak in as well, just kind of sits on top. Overall, PW is satisfied with the product and would use again.

Regarding the camera at the chipper plant, the hard drive is broken. They had a few successes using it to determine who was misusing the site.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann reported they have completed lowering the ceilings and adding insulation to 2 of 3 rooms at the PD. It should be completed by Tuesday. A special thank you to volunteers from the Calvary Chapel men’s shelter for all their hard work on the ceiling and insulation. PD replaced 50 gallon hot water tank with a 3 gallon tank. Chief put in for an Avista rebate. The new police software program is in and working great.

JFB REPORT: 17 fire calls YTD and 47 EMS calls YTD. Budget looks really good, mostly due to lack of fire calls. This was a good year, unfortunately they have to budget such in case you have a lot of calls. The pump on the pumper truck is having issues so they will probably have work done on it next year.

Ordinance No. 894: Changing the date of the December 27, 2011 council meeting. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Changing the date of Dec. 27, 2011 council meeting to December 20, 2011. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Milano, to adopt Ordinance No. 894. Motion carried unanimously.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Anticipating completion of WSP by this spring.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Committee report is written above under budget hearing.

We will need a councilperson to fill Jeff Snook’s vacancy on JFB beginning in January.

Staff would like permission to surplus two printers. Councilmember Snook MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Jones to surplus the two printers. Motion carried unanimously. Signs announcing surplus will be posted at P.O., and sent out on city list serve. Is it possible to donate a printer to PCC? We can give to another government entity (like FD or PD) but not to private enterprise. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to go out to sealed bid for these two items. Motion carried unanimously.

December 1st, 2011, at 7 pm is our Brownfields meeting at Gar-Pal High School gymnasium.

TIB awarded us the Mohr Street Project which Councilmember Floyd applied for. The school and the city are each putting in $2,500, and TIB is putting in $88,000, for a total of $93,000.

Salary Schedule, Fee Schedule, & 2012 Budget will be ready at next council for adoption.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3596-3609 $3,293.06

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________