October 11, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
October 11, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Cecil Floyd; Tim Jones; Mike Milano; Connie Newman; Jeff Snook; Rick Wekenman. Absent: Norm Schorzman. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Snook to not excuse Councilmember Schorzman’s absence. Discussion about what legitimizes an excused absence. Councilmember Floyd voted nay. Motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 27, 2011. Councilmember Jones seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report. In addition, the rain gutter on the PD was originally installed incorrectly so PW repaired that along with the roof.

PW chipped again, using the county chipper this time so it went much quicker because their chipper is bigger and is operated by a county employee. It does cost more than renting Garfield’s. The chipper pile was in the worst condition ever; garbage, birdhouses, metal, clothesline, as well as compost being put in the chipper pile. Council voiced concern but offered no solution other than the risk of losing the chipper program.

POLICE REPORT: Chief Neumann provided the September activity log. Chief spoke of credit card fraud taking place in Whitman County. He advises the public to check charges on credit card statement and work with your provider. By law, www.annualcreditreport.com provides a free annual credit report.

Reserve Officer Snead will be volunteering his time to work Haunted Palouse.

Request for approval to purchase tractor mower with attachments: Marc would like to get bids to replace the old John Deere mower. The JD is 5 or 6 years old and it’s showing it’s age and wear. The attachments are worn out also. The JD is used for plowing snow, aerating, pulling fertilizer spreader, picking up leaves, and some mowing. They’re hoping to trade it in but it won’t be worth much with 1,500+ hours on it. One vendor has a used one for $4000 with 700+ hours on it. This would be for the mower only, not attachments. A new one is approximately $7500 + tax with new snow blade and attachments and a warranty. Attachments from the old JD won’t fit on the new one. Councilmember Milano MOVED to approve the purchase of a new tractor mower with attachments. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 892: Budget Amendment: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Amending Fund 304 Vehicle & Equipment Reserve and Fund 404 Sewer Fund. Fund 304 proposed expenditures include the purchase of two new tires for the backhoe; complete rebuild of sander which was purchased in 1990; and purchase of new mower. Fund 404 Sewer expenditures include increasing line items closer to actual expenditures, and adding a line for professional engineering services for dye testing at the river. Councilmember Milano MOVED to pass ordinance No 892. Councilmember Jones seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Approval for joint funding agreement for river gauge: The annual contract for joint funding for the river gauge under the Potlatch Bridge is up for renewal. This agreement is split with U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Anyone can access the data from the river gauge off the internet. The city started doing this in about 1997, the year after the flood. It gives our city approximately 6 – 8 hours warning on the height and flow of the river. Operation and maintenance of the gauge is contingent upon our sharing the costs. This contract is $1,475. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to authorize the Mayor to sign the agreement with the US Dept. of Interior for the Palouse River gauge. Councilmember Snook seconded. Motion carried unanimously.


Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Councilmember Floyd asked why the STOP legend for Bridge & Main St. hasn’t been installed. It was decided that it would be better to install the legend in the spring, giving it a longer life. Currently, the STOP painted on by PW is still bright and is in the same spot where the new one would be installed. Weather permitting, the company is going to apply a test strip next week to demonstrate how well it holds up.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Continuing to work on the WSP. Prepared preliminary report for the Planning Commission (PC). We’re currently defining our RSA (retail service area). Our existing service area (ESA) is anyone within the city limits including approximately 27 out of city limit hookups, which were grandfathered in 1972 when we adopted PMC 13.08.080. Since 1972 there have been no outside city limits water hookups approved. Our RSA will define the area where we as a city have a duty to serve. All costs of extensions would still be paid by the developer. A few of the options to be considered are 1) revise current city code and allow water connections outside city limits or 2) Allow extension outside C/L and require an annexation. The Water Extension Policy and city code will be reviewed. This is a multi-level thought process. If we annex in areas that want to take advantage of our RSA, it is advantageous to our tax base. There are both advantages and disadvantages to increasing our RSA and they will take careful consideration.

Reminder that tomorrow is WA Public Records and Law Forum in Pullman. Connie will be on the panel. Sponsored by League for Women Voters and also the WA Coalition for Open Govt. Currently 38 states have laws that address excessive public records requests; WA does not.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: Ongoing budget conversations with staff about costs. We will be looking at revenue sources. Preliminary numbers are available to council for review. An updated BIAS software version is necessary and will cost $2,000, ½ paid in 2012 and ½ paid in 2013. Police Car and Police Equipment funds will be consolidated to simplify accounting and allow more flexibility. The SAO is working with Joyce on restructuring our funds with the chart of accounts to meet current state code. It was suggested that we open a separate special revenue fund to receipt REET money. A new law goes into effect 7/2012 redefining the use of REET money. Discussion ensued about various funds and how they are holding up through the economy. We are currently earning 1/3 of 1% in interest which is really hurting us. For example, the endowment fund used to make between $5,000 & $6,000 a year for cemetery operating, and now it makes around $300. Over the course of the last three years, the city is painfully feeling the effects. City assistance income from the state continues to decrease. All indications are that the state must continue to make cuts.

Liquor Control Board, request for Bank Left Gallery liquor license renewal. No objections.

Mayor attended AWC meeting in Pullman. Grim news from AWC regarding revenue for the state, which could continues for a few more years.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Jones MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:23 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claim Paid Ck. No. 3483 $ 1,758.75
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 3484-3503 & EFT $43,333.82
VOIDED Ck. No. 3504
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3505-3531 & EFT $38,945.74

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________