November 22, 2016

Palouse City Council
FINAL PUBLIC HEARING: 2017 Preliminary Budget
Followed by Regular Council Meeting
November 22, 2016

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; Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Handley; Building Inspector Dan Gladwill; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

FINAL PUBLIC HEARING: 2017 Preliminary Budget: Mayor opened the hearing at 7:01. Council discussed the preliminary budget. Minimum wage increase in 2017 is going to affect our pool salary expenditure. Councilmember Wekenman would like the city to consider giving the police the option of being paid for admin OT vs. time off. Much discussion ensued. Mayor reminded council it has to be financially sustainable. No action was taken at this time; it will be discussed prior to budget adoption. Hearing closed at 7:25 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing and Council Meeting of November 8, 2016. Councilmember Hanson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Superintendent Griffin submitted a written report.

Palouse is having good development including a few new houses currently being built.

BI Gladwill recommends having the Planning Commission make their recommendations regarding the 40’ tower First Step Internet wants to construct near the public safety building.

Overall finances are looking good for the year. May need a budget amendment.
0 fire calls in October, 32 YTD.
Marv Pillers and Mike Bagott attended the recent County Fire Chief’s meeting. County-wide radio frequency coordination is in progress, may be completed by year’s end. A county-wide mutual aid agreement is in development; it creates a county-wide umbrella. With increasing numbers of full-county responses happening, it’s a very smart idea. It should be completed in 2017.
District 12 is hosting a large-scale training in December which Palouse is attending.

10 EMS calls in October, 99 YTD. New volunteers have been very responsive. Washington state is increasingly stringent on trainings so will be a significant increase in paperwork and audits.

JFB’s December meeting will be December 12, at 7:30 pm, at the PSB.

There was discussion on the various levies in the last election and the failure of the county levy. It was suggested that the JFB possibly coordinate with the city and run the rural and city levies together on the same ballot. It will be important to coordinate with one voice with EMS services for both the city and the county. Perhaps run on the August ballot so there is a second chance if needed on the November ballot.

Our 3-year financial and accountability audit started today. We’re having our entrance conference Wednesday.

The city is now up and running for accepting utility payments via debit/credit card. Can pay using debit/credit in person or online at

Solar farm is up and running. Ribbon cutting tentatively December 2. More information to come.

The Department of Commerce is still holding $21,000 from the Brownsfield grant. Maul Foster wants Commerce to stretch that out for three more soil tests into 2018 and Commerce has agreed to hold that through 2018. This doesn’t prohibit private enterprise from being engaged.

Ordinance No. 946 decreasing the speed limit into and out of south entrance of town at SR 27: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Decreases the speed from 45 to 25. This ordinance is the next step in a multiple-step process for the city to change the speed limits. The State Department of Transportation still has to approve. This entrance into and out of town is the only one that has had a speed study done by WSDOT thus it’s the only one on this ordinance. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 946, with amendment to delete “Burlington Northern”. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 947 adopting the property tax increase for Emergency Medical Services for collection in 2017
Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This is a maximum allowable state increase of 1% totaling $273. It amounts to approximately .25 cents a person. Councilmember Langsett MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Slinkard, to adopt Ordinance No. 947. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 948 adopting the property tax increase for collection in 2017. Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. The increase is the maximum allowable state increase of 1% totaling $1,688. This averages out to approximately $1.66 per person. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 948. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 949 setting the regular and special levy amounts for budget year 2017. Special Street Levy $44,000; Special pool levy $31,000; voted regular EMS levy $28,104; General Levy $174,243. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt Ordinance NO. 949. Councilmember Langsett seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 950 authorizing the operation of off-road vehicles within the city: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Estes, to suspend the rules for the reading of ordinance No. 950. Residents Chris Ricketts and Lynne Nelson were present to voice their opposition to the ordinance for a variety of reasons including having non-insured vehicles on the road, noise, etc. Much discussion ensued. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to table Ordinance No. 950 indefinitely. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Water & Sewer, Chair Slinkard – is going to schedule a meeting to discuss the need for a new water reservoir. The reservoir was taken off-line December 14th for repairs due to damage from severe wind storm. CT Dixon will notify Brian Sayers from the Department of Health of our intention to pursue state funding for further repair/upgrades.

Finance, Property & Equipment, Chair Langsett – Held a finance meeting November 7th.
For personal reasons, Councilmember Langsett submitted his resignation effective Dec. 31, 2016. He sincerely thanked fellow council, mayor, and city staff and has appreciated his three years on council.

Councilmember Langsett MOVED to cancel the December 27 council meeting. Councilmember Hicks seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

MDA wants to go out to bid for West Whitman Street January 14th.
The city is no longer in need of the short-term line of credit from Banner Bank to assist in funding the West Whitman St project. This will save the city between $4,000 and $6,000 in loan origination fees and interest. It was originally needed as a buffer from the time the city would pay large invoices to the time we were to receive reimbursement back from WSDOT. CT Dixon scheduled a conference call with Gloria Bennett from TIB and Bob Westby from WSDOT, where verbiage in WSDOT’s contract was altered to allow the city to submit and receive reimbursement funds before invoices are paid.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid 11/22/16 Ck. #7914-7934 & EFT $99,671.09

ADJOURN: Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________