Final Public Hearing for 2014 Preliminary Budget
Followed by Regular Council Meeting
November 26, 2013
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Senja Estes (7:08); Tim Jones; Connie Newman, Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Alison Webb. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Christopher Langsett; Donna Langsett; Scott Beeson; Tylor Wilson.
Mayor took a moment of silence to recognize our friend and fellow councilmember Alison Webb who died last Thursday evening. Mayor read aloud some letters from various agencies offering their condolences to the community, city staff, and her family.
FINAL PUBLIC HEARING for 2014 Preliminary Budget: Mayor opened the public hearing at 7:08 pm. Hearing no comments, Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:08 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing & Regular Council Meeting of November 12, 2013. Councilmember Ossinger seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Scott Beeson, representing the 2nd Annual Palouse Cabin Fever Brewfest, Feb. 8, 2014. They will be applying for a special occasion liquor license. It’s an indoor-outdoor event at Palouse Community Center, which extends into the PCC parking lot which is city property. Councilmember Newman MOVED to approve the use of the city-owned parking lot at the PCC, February 8th, 2014, for the brewfest. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Proceeds benefit the PCC. Last year they were able to donate almost $3,000. Motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. Additionally, we had a pump failure at the sewer plant this week. It’s been replaced already and will have the damaged one repaired and kept as back-up for these types of emergencies.
~Things are going well with both Palouse and Garfield.
~Chicken issue came up again last week in Palouse; wants council to keep moving on that.
~Haunted Palouse paid to have the carpets cleaned at the P.D., library, and City Hall.
~The Palouse Food Bank, which stores their food in the basement of the PD, purchased a new pass-through door for the PD.
~We had to put new snow tires on two of the patrol cars.
~We’re working with involved agencies on the missing kayaker to improve communication between all the agencies.
~A GPHS student, for his senior project, would like to bring the old bell on top of the current PD (old FD) off the roof and have it displayed outside the PD with a plaque, etc. describing the bell’s history. The bell was used in signaling fires & emergencies, and rung nightly to signal curfew time. Council said that would be fine.
~Regarding the crumbling cap on the PD, it’s going to need the work of a mason.
EMS is at 86% of their budget right now with December left to go. It’s pretty tight with only 14% left but they’re reasonably sure there won’t be any overages. FD budget will be well under budget; no concerns.
There was 1 fire call in October, 23 YTD. They’ve been training with their SCBA and keeping fire trucks tuned up. This time of year the firefighters get reimbursed for their calls throughout the year; this year it came to $2,869.25.
EMS had 10 calls in Oct., 60 YTD. There was some discussion on renaming Cove Road. JFB came to the conclusion that they have no addressing concerns as far as emergency services. Their recommendation was non-action.
2014 Budget Discussions: Mayor read aloud the 2014 budget message. Councilmember Newman asked to go on record as saying that she hopes in 2014 it will be a council priority to give COLA raises to city staff.
Resolution No. 2013-11, 2014 Salary Schedule: The only changes are an increase to return staff to 2010 salary before the 3% cut. Also, the range for lifeguard pay was increased to reflect increase to minimum wage and to allow for raises for returning guards. Councilmember Newman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2013-11. Councilmember Jones seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 907- 2014 sewer rate: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety and again by title only. It is necessary to increase the monthly rates charged for city sewer service, to take effect Jan. 1, 2014. Each service is raised $1. The current rate is meeting our sewer expenses but not allocating enough to reserves to meet the expenses of future infrastructure and higher maintenance costs since the plant is now 18 years old. Also, Dept. of Ecology will be taking more action in the next few years in terms of the temperatures of the river and having the city make all necessary required changes to the effluent to the river. When we did our rate study 2.5 years ago, it was recommended we do annual rate increases, which we haven’t implemented yet but Connie recommends the city re-look into that. That will avoid what we had to do a few years ago when we did a large increase at once. Councilmember Newman MOVED to approve Ordinance No. 907. Councilmember Jones seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 908- Budget Amendment to sewer fund: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. We are increasing sewer plant supplies & materials from $2,000 to $7,000, thus decreasing sewer ending balance from $16,940 to $11,940. Councilmember Jones MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 908. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution No. 2013-13 closing travel expense account at AWB: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. The travel expense account established in 1995 hasn’t been used since 2004 because it doesn’t fit into the city’s travel policy. This resolution closes that travel expense account. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2013-13, seconded by Councilmember Jones. Motion carried unanimously.
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Discussed sewer rate above.
Connie has met with student advisor Tylor Wilson. He’s going to ride along with Chief Neumann and also try to spend some time with the PW. Tylor is working on using part of the school bulletin board to share city news with the students.
Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: no report
Personnel & Pool-Norm Schorzman, Chair: no report
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb, Chair: no report
Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair: no report
Streets & Sidewalks-Senja Estes, Chair: no report
Finance, Property, & Equipment-Tim Jones, Chair: no report
~Councilmember Jones MOVED to cancel the second council meeting in December. Councilmember Estes seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
~Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman, to authorize the closure of City Hall Dec. 26th. Motion carried unanimously.
~A short-plat is going through the Planning Commission and the Building Inspector for Beeson property on Cove Road. It is first engineered by owners, then the preliminary plat goes to the Planning Commission and the Building Inspector for approval or denial before it becomes a final plat.
~City had its audit exit interview today with the state auditor. City passed with flying colors. No findings, no management letters. Our audit was for 2010, ‘11, & ’12. The city is audited once every three years and has been free from findings for seven consecutive audits
~Since our levy lid lift didn’t pass, the levy amounts will be set by ordinance at the next council meeting.
~Alison’s memorial service is this Saturday, Nov. 30th, at 1 pm at Palouse Federated Church.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Jones 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 Estes seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid Ck. #5291-5313 & EFT $37,359.20
Claims Paid Ck. #5290 & 5314-5351 $18,937.69
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________