PALOUSE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
Public Hearing – 2019 Final Budget
Followed by Regular Council Meeting
November 27, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
Palouse City Hall – 120 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder (7:07); Rick Wekenman; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joel Anderson; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.
PUBLIC HEARING: Mayor Echanove opened the public hearing to discuss the 2019 Final Budget at 7:04. No public comments. Mayor closed the hearing at 7:04 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cook MOVED to approved the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of November 13, 2018. Councilmember Wekenman seconded and the motioned carried.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report.
POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann recapped police log from last two weeks: two reportable accidents, a couple slide-outs, vehicle theft out of Garfield, ongoing dog issues in both towns, ongoing nuisance yard code violation in Palouse, two medical call assists, and a vehicle lockout.
PD is having a Washington State Patrol records audit and linked computer audit in next couple months.
JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:
- Councilmember Wilcomb reported financially things are very well.
- There were 7 fire calls in October (3 for the McKenzie Butte fire & 1 training call). 11 jurisdictions showed up to address the McKenzie butte fire and keep it contained.
- Continuing rapid intervention training.
- Chief Beeson attended the last Whitman Co. fire chief board meeting in Colfax. That board has asked each fire chief to bring their commissioners to the next board meeting to discuss mutual aid.
- EMS had 10 call in October, 6 within city limits.
- Continuing to work with county to upgrade repeaters and systems for county radios. Should be completed in March.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:
- Avista site visit is next week to look at potential sites for vehicle charging station.
- Varela & Associates will be at next meeting to discuss Wastewater Facility plan.
- Brownfields committee to meet soon to get Request for Proposals (RFP) out again in early 2019. DOE said it would be a good idea for city to retain the testing responsibility; that will relieve any prospective buyers of that burden. More interest has been expressed.
- Budget adoption will be at next meeting. Our budget is ready for adoption for the most part. Below are some budget considerations:
- Pool Chairman Cook is proposing a two-year pool improvement plan. Year one would consist of painting the interior and exterior of pool-house & installing a sun shade on the east side of the pool. Year two would include exterior facility signage, interior way-finding signage, and contemporary graphics within the structure. He thinks such improvements will add community appreciation and support of the pool facility. Estimated cost is $3,000 each year. CA Dixon has already updated $3,000 into the 2019 budget.
- Fund 730 cemetery endowment fund. Municipal Research concluded that the city can use the interest off this fund. Beginning cash started at $25,000 in 1968 for initial principal amount. It’s currently at $126,800. We should keep it above $100k to continue accruing interest. CA Dixon will transfer $5,000 to cemetery fund in 2019. This will be great for cemetery budget. Our ending balance is always at about $1,000 and this will leave us with a much healthier ending balance.
- Allotment under plan review fee for Building Inspector. The city anticipates a commercial building permit in 2019 that will require a plan review fee. CA Dixon has allocated $2,500 for this expenditure however, the city is merely a pass-through as the permit applicant will be responsible for payment of the plan review fee.
- Sewer line on west Whitman Street needs to be replaced.
- Cemetery storage buildings are shot and need to be replaced. REET money can be used for those upgrades and there’s close to $100,000 already in that fund.
- A couple water service lines need replaced.
- Half of the pool roof needs replaced.
- Park sprinkler system needs work.
- Police car reserve fund 311. Chief Neumann reported on patrol vehicle history since 2005. As of 2018 the Palouse fleet consists of:
-Chief Neumann’s 2007 Dodge Durango, 11 years old, 87,600 miles, Avg. 5,500 miles per year;
-Officer Merry/Anderson 2013 Dodge Journey, 5 years old, 73,336 miles, Avg. 8,900 miles per year;
-Officer Snead/Handley 2013 Dodge Journey, 5 years old, 91,648 miles, Avg., 11,500 miles per year.
Chief broke down his reasoning that the current funding is not sustainable in today’s market to keep the fleet healthy. He wants the police vehicle fund transfer from current expense increased from $6,242 to $9,500. He outlined his thoughts for replacing a police vehicle, the costs, needs, and projections. Terrain dictates city’s needs for AWD vehicles with clearance. CA Dixon reported that next vehicle will be ordered in 2019, paid for in 2020. Transfers to the police vehicle fund come in January and this fund will be able to support the purchase of a new vehicle at that time. It is Officer Anderson’s opinion that the Journey is not a good patrol vehicle. His experience is that Explorers are a solid patrol vehicle. Chief got numbers for a new 2018 Ford Explorer with equipment for $38,272. Councilmember Wekenman assured that the city will be shopping around, not purchasing the first vehicle that comes along. Councilmember Sievers thinks a $3,000 increase to police vehicle fund is a small step in the right direction to have a healthy fleet. Whether we buy new or used can be decided later. We need to give ourselves a shot at a program that keeps these vehicles fresh. Much discussion ensued. Chief says if we buy a new police vehicle, it will remain in our fleet for 12 years.
CA Dixon finished up budget discussion by saying as a whole, the city’s doing great.
Resolution No. 2018-10: Public Works Trust Fund pre-construction loan contract for water system improvements: Mayor read aloud the resolution in its entirety. This resolution accepts a Washington State Public Works Board Pre-Construction Loan in the amount of $250,000 at a 0.84 percent interest rate for 5 years. The city will use these funds for pre-construction activities that will include design engineering, bid document preparation, environmental studies, right-of-way acquisition, value planning, permits, cultural and historic resources, public notification, etc. TD&H will provide a detailed road map of the project and new viable options to isolate the water pressure problems around town, Church Street fire flow upgrades and water tower issue. TD&H will also complete the Water System Update for DOH, detailed water modeling to pinpoint the pressure problems, giving us a final set of plans so we could go after funding for construction. Hopeful PWTF will have a call for construction projects next year. Contract has been reviewed by our attorney. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2018-10 as presented. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried unanimously. With the passing of this resolution, Councilmember Sievers MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snyder, to authorize the mayor to sign the Public Works Board Pre-Construction Loan Contract. Motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 976 – accepting 1% property tax increase: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. An increase of 1.1952% in the regular property tax levy is authorized for the levy to be collected in the 2019 tax year. The additional 0.1952% is from new construction credit. New construction credit increases the city’s valuation so the county gives the city an avenue to collect that tax off of increased valuation. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adopt ordinance as written. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 977 – accepting 1% EMS property tax increase: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. An increase of $296.31 which is an increase of 1%. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt ordinance as written. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 978 – setting regular and special levy amounts for budget year 2019: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Sets the regular and special levy amounts for budget year 2019 as follows: Special Street Levy $44,000; Special Pool Levy $34,000; Voted regular EMS Levy $29,927.06; General Levy $181,156.51. This is official document that summarizes what we are collecting. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 978. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 979 – monthly Sewer Reserve Fund increase: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. This ordinance increases monthly sewer rates effective January 2019 and allocates the increase to the Sewer Reserve Fund 441. Discussion ensued as to what amount to raise the rate. The state won’t even look at us for loans unless we have $80 a month for sewer rates which we aren’t even close to. We are going to need financing help with these state-mandated projects. Rates will be going up substantially for the next 9 or 10 years. Councilmember Sievers would like to be a little more aggressive and see a tiered approach over the next couple years versus a huge lump raise all at once. And any money we save now is less we have to borrow later meaning less interest to pay. He proposes a $5 increase for 2019. We’re heading in that direction and we need to get people used to it. CA Dixon and Mayor prefer a $3 increase this year and larger increases later after we have more hard data to present to public. This is all on DOE; we have a quality plant and effluent but they’re requiring this new facility. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 979 with the $5 increase. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Councilmember Cook voted nay. Motion carried.
Looking at a resolution in 2019 regarding climate change projects. Our solar project and LED lights are two such projects already done in Palouse.
CA Dixon and Mayor attended the IACC conference in Wenatchee last month. CA Dixon drove them in his personal vehicle. A fluke road debris incident caused his car to break down and resulted in him having to get a rental car and repairs to vehicle. After submitting to his personal insurance, he is out $268.90. We don’t have a city vehicle for office staff so how do we handle this? We only pay mileage which doesn’t cover these rare mishaps (deer collision, hit and run). Mayor said in his 20+ years with city this has never occurred. CA Dixon asked CIAW and they said to take it to council. Council wants to establish a city policy after CA Dixon talks with city attorney.
Councilmember Sievers MOVED to cancel the second council meeting in December. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Cook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 10/31/18 Ck. # 9598-9616 & EFT $43,209.39
Claims Paid 11/27/18 Ck. #9641-9669 & EFT $88,247.38
Claims Void 11/13/18 Ck. #9634 $ (18.00)
ADJOURN: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Cook seconded and the motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 9:16 PM.
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________