CITY OF PALOUSE
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING-DRAFT ONLY
November 23, 2004
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at
ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Norm Schorzman, John Sell, Jeff Snook, Linda Dillard, Dave Willmore, Steve McGehee, and Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Joyce Beeson, Clerk-Treasurer; Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Randy Zehm, Police Chief; Cheryl Johnson, David E Caudle.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Jeff Snook MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 9, 2004. Rick Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING-2005 FINAL BUDGET: Opened 7:00PM The mayor opened the public hearing asking for any public comment. No public comment, Closed 7:02PM .
OPEN FORUM :
Cheryl Johnson ask the council to be proactive on the opening burning issue. She has suffered medically from neighbors burning near her home. She presented the council for review, the City of Pullman’s open burning ordinance and quoted from a WAC code that is to be in effect in two years. Council members questioned Cheryl on her situation. The mayor handed the data provided by Cheryl to council and stated that they would address this issue.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Written Report Submitted By Byron Hodges
The city crew has been cleaning storm drains, doing leaf pick up, sweeping curbs and sidewalks.
Marc has finished his fall fertilizing and will mow one more time. A leak was fixed on Wall St and some minor equipment repairs were done. The city is finished with their work on the Public Safety Building.
POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Written report submitted by Chief Zehm
- Whitman County Humane Society 2004-2005 Animal Contract
The mayor signed the contract and the council asked Chief Zehm how many dogs does he take to the pound.
His answer was 8 in the 2003/2004 contract year.
- Scooter ordinance – the work is progressing and the draft ordinance will be turned into the Police, Fire and Safety committee for review.
JOINT BOARD FIRE & EMS UPDATE:
Council Member Wekenman reported that the Public Safety Building (PSB) is coming along well. It is planned that by the middle of December the Electrical and Heating contracts will be completed and then the vehicles can move in. The equipment committee has a line on a Tanker truck in Utah. Two fire department personnel will fly down to check out the truck. Since this vehicle has an automatic transmission and this specification was overlooked in the original specs. Rick is asking the council to amend the former truck specifications. Rick Wekenman MOVED to amend the former tanker truck specifications to include an automatic transmission option. Norm Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Rick addressed the budget for the PSB; he noted that there is an estimated need for an additional $8,000 to be spent in 2005 to complete the PSB. This $8,000 would be split with Rural. He asked council how the city would handle this additional cost. Council Member Willmore stated his concerns about any cost overruns. Discussion continued. The council agreed to include an additional $4,000 city share in the 2005 budget.
- Resolution # 2004-09-Cancel Lost Warrant
The Mayor read this resolution through one time. This is a resolution allowing the clerk to cancel an unexpended Warrant from the payroll clearing fund. Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve this resolution. Dave Willmore seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Ordinance # 804- Establish new rate for city sewer service
The Mayor read this ordinance through for the first time in its entirety, which would increase the current monthly sewer rate by One Dollar. Treasurer Beeson noted a change in section one. Council Member Willmore commented that raising the rates is not always the answer. The Mayor read the ordinance through for the second time by title and ordinance number. The mayor pointed out that the city has a state of the art sewer plant in place and costs of supporting the entire system are increasing like everything else. Council Member Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance #804, establishing new rate for the city sewer service for 2005. Council Member Snook seconded the motion. Council Member Wekenman asked Joyce where Palouse is compared to other cities for sewer rates. She noted that Palouse is in the low to mid range for rates. The motion carried unanimously.
- Code Book Update
Deputy Clerk Pearce provided council members with a quote from Code Publishing, Inc, a company that specializes in codifying codes books. The council asks Pearce questions about the cost involved and she stated that this company is willing to work with our budget and keep costs down. City Attorney, Stephen Bishop spoke the council explaining the past work his office performed for the codifying and his current work state. He is unable to perform this task again and supports the city staff with their choice of code publishing company. Joyce Beeson noted that $5,000 would be needed to reformat our current code book and get all uncodified ordinances in the book. The mayor commented that if we do this project, we do it right. The council recommended that we send our current code and the additions to the Code Publishing for a more accurate price of the work involved.
- Ordinance Number 805 – Grave Markers
The Mayor read the ordinance through for the first time in its entirety. Ordinance number 805 would be allowing the installation of grave markers in certain sections of the cemetery which are larger then 3 feet previously allowed, under certain conditions. Byron Hodges commented that he felt this was a reasonable and workable ordinance for the city. This ordinance will allow the addition of military markers to be placed on the existing and future grave sites when conditions allow. Council Member Snook MOVED to adopt ordinance number 805. Council Member Wekenman seconded. Council Member Sell asked about the exact dimensions of the markers. It was indicated that the grave sites are only 4 feet by 11 feet and any additional markers must fit within that space. The motion carried unanimously.
- 2005 Budget Discussion
The Mayor began by reviewing the budget, special items that were discussed was the purchase of the West Main Street property from the railroad. The mayor proposed that $4500 come from the CDBG fund and the remaining balance from the Building Maintenance Fund. The council approved this action. The issue of the additional funds for the PSB was discussed and it was agreed by council to take the needed $4,000 from the CDBG fund as well. Heritage Park has a remaining balance of $9800 in its fund account. The council discussed the cost of the new code books and it was agreed by council to spend $3500 from the Current Expense Fund. Council Member Schorzman recommended freezing wages at the 2004 salary schedule and also a hiring freeze. Byron Hodges asked if this meant no summer help and Schorzman said yes. The Mayor asked for this discussion to be tabled at this time. Council Member Schorzman continued by recommending the city not transfer any funds from Current Expense to the Police Car Reserve fund. Chief Zehm commented that he will look for grants to fund a new police car. Council Member Willmore MOVED to transfer out of the Police Car Reserve $1000. Council Member Wekenman seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. Council Member Schorzman requested that the transfer out of Current Expense to the Equipment Reserve Fund be reduced by $1000.
- 2005 Salary Schedule Discussion
The Mayor asked for an executive session to discuss the salary topic, he asked City Attorney, Stephen Bishop if this was appropriate. Stephen answered that if the council was to have a discussion about personnel, then yes, an executive session was in order. The Mayor reviewed the proposed 2005 Salary Schedule. The Mayor stated that he supports a raise for all staff members, but recommends that the following employees, Chief Zehm, Deputy Clerk Pearce, Marcia Hershaw and returning life guards receive raises in the 2005 budget. Council Member Schorzman MOVED to adjourn to executive session to discuss personnel issues. Council Member McGehee seconded. The motion carried unanimously and the council adjourned at 8:21PM. Council returned at 9:03PM. The mayor stated that only personnel issues were discussed and no decisions were made. The mayor asked for any further discussion. Council Member Schorzman stated that hard decisions need to be made and the Finance committee recommends a wage and hiring freeze for 2005. The Mayor wishes to have it recorded that he does not support a wage or hiring freeze. Council Member Schorzman MOVED to freeze wages and hiring for the 2005 year. Council Member McGehee seconded. Council Member Dillard requested another Finance committee meeting to discuss this issue. Council Member Dillard MOVED to table the wage and hiring freeze. Council Member Snook seconded this motion. The secondary motion carried unanimously. Treasurer Beeson reminded council that unless the budget is adopted at the next council meeting, December 14th, we would have to schedule another meeting before the end of December.
STREETS & SIDEWALKS: Linda Dillard
FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman
PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS : John Sell
PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Steve McGehee
The Mayor turned the open burning issue to the policy committee
WATER & SEWER : David Willmore
POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman
A committee meeting will be needed to review the scooter ordinance.
MAYOR’S REPORT :
A. The Mayor turned the open burning issue over to the Policy committee.
- The Mayor asked Chief Zehm what the status of the property is that had a complaint about junk against it; he wants to see progress on this issue. Chief Zehm said he would get back to the property owner.
- The WACERT list will only have the water reservoir and Fishers Addition sewer extension on the list for 2005. There was not enough time to add the sludge process equipment.
- An article was printed in the Boomerang in regards to the Hazard Mitigation Meeting.
- The Mayor noted another article in the Boomerang for the North Fork Palouse River Project, of which Don Myott is a member.
- There are Thank You notes from the Bicycle Club in Seattle on the city bulletin board for all to read.
- Joyce Beeson asked for the following items to be put on the surplus list: Two HP computer, one HP 610 DeskJet Printer, one HP 660 Printer, one Gateway 15” monitor and one Canon BJ printer. The city also has a surplus of concrete blocks leftover from Heritage Park. There was discussion on whether or not the city could use them for a future project. It was suggested that they may be used for possible renovation of the old fire station. These blocks will not be put on the surplus list at this time. Council Member Schorzman MOVED to surplus the computer equipment. Council Member Willmore seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
- The mayor announced a city staff Christmas party on Friday, Dec. 17 at 2PM at Old City Hall. This will be a potluck gathering.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.
Linda Dillard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Jeff Snook MOVED to adjourn. Rick Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 10:00PM
The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Warrants: # 10735 through # 10751 Payment: $4170.65
Claims VOIDED Warrants: # 10736 Payment: $28.00