November 27, 2007

November 27, 2007 * 7:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

ROLL CALL:  Council members present were:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; and Rick Wekenman.  Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.  Public present were:  Pete Hertz, Mike Wolf.

PUBLIC HEARING 2008 Final Budget.  Hearing no comments, the Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:02.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Bagott MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 13, 2007.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Pete Hertz expressed his concerns about Palouse not having an ATM.  Particularly during Palouse Days, Haunted Palouse, etc., does he notice the absence of an ATM.  Pete asked the city to put a little pressure on the bank to install an ATM.  Mike Milano explained that the Chamber has been working with Tim at the bank.  The corporate side of AmericanWest Bank doesn’t think it’s worthwhile here.  Will Thurman from the grocery store has also been talking with Tim about it.  The chamber is looking at fees, etc.  There are some big financial barriers with the associated costs.  The Mayor agreed to craft a letter to AmericanWest Bank in support of an ATM in Palouse.

Mayor thanked Pete Hertz and the Solid Waste Advisory Committee for their excellent program and the success of our compost facility.  There is no news on the chipper.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  In addition to his submitted written report, Superintendent Griffin added that A & R Construction started digging on Breeding’s Addition today.  They made a lot of headway; the rock wasn’t as bad as they thought.  The line under the F Street Bridge is still dripping because they haven’t had time to work on it.  The well telemetry system is working better than it ever has.  Snow plowing season has started.  Don and Dwayne attended a fire hydrant repair class this morning which will be valuable information.  Superintendent Griffin discovered two of our hydrants aren’t running properly.  The furnace should be installed at the shop mid-December.  Ackerman’s wanted 30% down so the mayor approved an advance payment.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Chief Neumann reported things are quiet.  He went to the school and handed out safety bike helmets to the preschool.  Mayor expressed appreciation to Officer Ellsworth for directing traffic during the Thanksgiving Walk/run.  The chamber of commerce donated money to the PD.

Councilmember Wekenman inquired about the demolished shed behind the Family Café.  Chief Neumann understands it was given to Dave Mayhan to recycle the lumber.  He’ll look into it.

Building Inspector Report:   Dan Gladwill submitted a written report.

Joint board-fire & ems update:   Councilmember Andy O’Neill stated the FD is going to continue to work on DNR (Dept. of Natural Resources) grants for turnouts and expendable goods.  The city should start thinking about a 5-year plan setting money aside to replace one of the trucks.  We set aside $5,000 this year and $10,000 next year.  Councilmember Snook said the old Dodge will need to be replaced.  The realities for grant money for a fire truck for our size town is slim; the computer weeds us out before it goes to the selection committee.  Mike Bagott is considering a local fund-raising push for paving the lower lot and replacing turn-outs.  Councilmember O’Neill said it’s noteworthy to mention that the firemen make less than $10 per call, whether it’s an hour or 10 hours.  A majority of the men are donating the money right back into the department to pay for our expendable goods.  We’ve had 38 calls year-to-date.  While that is up, our burn ordinance has helped diminish nuisance calls.  We could see more mutual aid since firefighter enrollment is down and new applications have not come in.


Resolution No. 2007-07:  A resolution authorizing short-term inter-fund loans totaling $100,000.00 to pay for a portion of the cost to extend sewer to Breeding’s Addition.  Mayor Echanove read the resolution.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution 2007-07.  Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2007-10:  Resolution adopting the 2008 Proposed Salary/Reimbursement Schedule for City of Palouse.  Mayor Echanove read the resolution. Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2007-10.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.



PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS:  Councilmember Milano said it could be as late as next spring before the DOT signs go up for the Heritage Park Restroom on SR 27 and 272.  He has traded communication with the Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office about upcoming grants for park improvements, match funding for playground equipment, safety at the playground, access to waterways for kayakers, etc.

Regarding RV park water/sewer extension; we have a list of materials and prices from Ferguson’s.  Their work order will include the usual markup and fees that any developer would be charged.  Electrical work bids are due in December.  We’re working with three contractors for bids to include 100-amp hook-ups, if needed in the future.  Purchasing may happen in early December so we can finalize spending for end of the year.

WA State Scenic Byways grants may be available for infrastructure along SR27.  The downtown Palouse area would certainly qualify.  One thing to consider might be a parking lot behind the new community center.  It could qualify as a safety improvement for Byway visitors to help ease parking limitation downtown.  Councilmember Milano will write a pre-grant application in 2008 for 2009 funding.

Breeding’s Addition – The mayor read a proposed letter to property owners within the project and asked council to approve allowing A & R Construction to work within the right of way if the property owner chooses.  Historically, only the city crew does water/sewer connections between the main and property line.  Councilmember O’Neill MOVED to allow A & R Construction to work within the City of Palouse right-of-way for side connections.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion.  Councilmember O’Neill AMENDED his motion to allow A & R Construction to work to provide side connections within the City of Palouse right-of-way, provided there is city oversight and approval . Councilmember Milano seconded the amended motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Echanove then explained that council needs to instruct the clerk to have an ordinance drafted to include the following –

  • Setting a maximum date that property owners have to connect into the new sewer main .  Mayor Echanove explained that with fairly new construction in the area, some septic systems are not in immediate need of being replaced and it is his hope to not force connections immediately.  After discussion council agreed to require existing homes to connect upon transfer of title, failure of current septic system, or before the end of year 2020.  Councilmember Wekenman asked if we should be concerned with future development or annexations outside the current code of 210’ from a sewer main.  He also asked about the possibility of including current homeowners who do a substantial improvement or addition being force to connect to the sewer main.  The council decided that they would like to include language for both these points if the attorney agrees.  It was also decided to not allow any new septic system that could be otherwise serviced by this extension.
  • Setting the connection fee for Breeding’s Addition sewer connection .  After discussion, this was set at $7,000 plus the hook up fee valid at time of extension, which is currently $250.  Council then discussed a schedule for increasing this amount a certain percentage for five consecutive years until it is capped.  It was decided to add a composite percentage of 7.5 in 2009 through 2013.

Mayor Echanove instructed Clerk Beeson to work with the attorney to develop this ordinance.  Clerk Beeson would like to try to have this ordinance ready for the December meeting.  She explained to council that if we get at least 11 connections within the first year, the AmericanWest loan can be paid off within the first year.  She then suggested the Interfund loan payment schedule be in the following order: 1. Water System Reserve since it is a reserve fund; 2. Current Expense since it is our operating fund; and 3. CDBG which is not a dedicated fund.  Council agreed to this payment schedule.    Clerk Beeson informed council that they would also be working on an ordinance for the December meeting setting terms for the AmericanWest Bank loan.

Mayor Echanove explained that historically there is only one council meeting in December.  Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to cancel our December 25th Council meeting.  Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Echanove reported that his state representative aspirations came to an end last night as he was not selected.

Clerk Beeson reminded council they still need to allocate the last of the HUD initiative for sale of the Mary Street house, $9,200.  The mayor suggested this be allocated to the MH Acquisition project.  This would go toward our $30,000 cash and in-kind match.  Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize the SR 27 Manufactured Home Acquisition Project a community development initiative, allocating the remaining $9,200 from the Mary Street Fund.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:52 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid                   Warrants:   #6671   through    #6694        Payment:  $29,094.27
Claims Paid                   Warrants: #12699   through  #12717        Payment:  $9,138.14

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________