October 8, 2013

Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
October 8, 2013

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Senja Estes; 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: Aaron Flansburg; Lindsey Hylton; Mary Estes.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Amend the minutes as follows: under open forum, clarify that it was Kelly Dow who said “the significance this petition shows is that there is overwhelming proof that not everyone is on board with locating the skatepark in the Palouse Park.” Councilmember Newman MOVED to adopt the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 10, 2013. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt Griffin submitted a written report. They finished the paving on Wall Street which included replacing 500’ feet of sewer main with all kinds of problems. At the PCC they asphalted around the catch basin where there have been problems in the parking lot.

The 2004, white, Ford 1-ton service pickup needs some major repairs. The estimate is $3,000 to fix. It’s also the truck we use for snow-plowing. A new, rebuilt engine would cost $10,000-$12,000 and it wouldn’t be worth it putting that much money into that vehicle. Councilmember Newman MOVED to authorize the repair of the pickup for $2,975 + tax from Jess Ford. Councilmember Wekenman seconded. Councilmember Wekenman inquired when we should think about replacing this vehicle since it takes such a beating. Motion carried unanimously.

Ongoing nuisance cleanups. Mohr Street house owners are trying to be more neighborly by securing the siding and securing the door. We’re still trying to coordinate to have it recycled.

Had several calls in regard to the train causing a traffic delay. It lasted about 35 minutes. Chief Neumann gave the RR contact numbers to the complainants. The train delay was a violation of our local code which allows a 10 minute delay, which is in line with the state. Half our community was/is cut off when this happens. City Hall will put out the contact phone numbers for the public so they can call. [Ask for Les or Stan at 509-523-4445; 208-553-6196; or 208-290-8148; 302 N. Mill, Colfax, WA 99111].

Geared up for Haunted Palouse. We’ll have help from reserve officer Snead.

Still working on the ATV/ORV ordinance.

Resolution No. 2013-09: accepting terms of AWC EBT Interlocal Agreement: This was read in its entirety at last council meeting and tabled for more information until tonight’s council meeting. The questions that council had were answered by AWC – A 6 month notice would have to be given to AWC in order to withdraw; they considered themselves to be fully funded based on projections even for catastrophic events. Also, we sent it to Atty. Bishop and he said it looked fine. Councilmember Jones MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2013-09, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman. There are no changes to employees’ coverage with this resolution. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 906: Budget amendment to Cemetery and Sewer Capital Improvement: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. Cemetery’s hours came in a little higher than anticipated so we are increasing the fund budget by $500. For Sewer Capital Improvement, we went over budget. PW had so many problems on the Wall Street project that the estimated hours it would take to compete was not enough. So we are increasing the fund budget by $2,500. Discussion ensued. Mayor read the ordinance aloud again by title and number only. Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman, to adopt Ordinance No. 906.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Tim Jones, Chair: Councilmember Jones MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to adopt the Third Quarter 2013 Financial Report. CE is quite low because we’re awaiting grant payments and our second half property tax income. There is concern that we are budgeting the cemetery fund so close. Council reviewed and discussed the preliminary budget for the enterprise funds – Water and Sewer.

The 2014 budget projections for Water and Sewer:
Water fund is doing well and expected to have a good ending balance. Water is reserving funds for future projects identified in the Water System Plan. Water System Reserve is the fund that built our well. It makes principal and interest for the loan. The final payment will be made in 2019.

The sewer fund is still paying off some debt – 2014 is the last payment for the Breedings Addition interfund loan from the Water fund. Any Breedings connections that come in will go towards that debt, with the balance being paid by sewer operating. The sewer plant loan will be paid off in 2016 so three payments are left and those payments are made through fund 441 Sewer Facility Reserve. Fund 440 Sewer Capital Improvement buys the material and pays salaries for projects and repairs throughout town. It receipted $9,600 for a Breedings sewer connection in 2013 and in the year 2020 all homes there who haven’t hooked up would be required to. Also if any of the homes change hands or their septic system fails they would be required to hook up to the sewer system. The LOCAL loan for the sewer press has one payment left in 2014. Fund 441 makes the payment for the sludge press and also the payment to the sewer loan upgrade (about 17 years ago; the one that will be paid off in 2016). As far as the state is concerned when the annual report is sent in, we have one sewer fund and one water fund, but for our purposes, we use separate funds by function for budgeting and planning. Motion carried unanimously to accept the third quarter 2013 Treasurer’s report.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair:
Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair:
Personnel & Pool-Norm Schorzman, Chair:
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb. Chair:
Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:
Streets & Sidewalks-Senja Estes, Chair: Senja, Mayor, and Supt. Griffin are meeting Friday with Avista to discuss the street light project.

Aaron Flansburg for the skatepark project. Based on discussions he has heard/had, there is opposition not to the skatepark but to placing the skatepark in the Hayton Greene park (city park). This led him to investigate alternative sites. Stating that for the project to be successful, we need to come up with a location that pleases the largest number of people. There are two areas of public property he would like to look into. One area is to the north of Main Street between the sewer plant and the park. Aaron’s comment – the space is under-utilized with a walking trail through grass where the original plantings didn’t survive. The second site is on the north side of Whitman Street, below the Public Safety Building. One negative to this sight is it’s somewhat off the beaten path and there are some challenges because of trees and vegetation there. Aaron would like to pursue both of these sights and get public feedback over the next few weeks.

Mary Estes commended Aaron for his efforts and gave him a big hurrah about either of those new locations. She has been opposed to it being at the park, but not opposed to the skatepark. She is also concerned about any insurance costs to the city. Aaron spoke with the city’s insurance provider who said it would be covered under the city’s policy with a “negligible” cost, perhaps about $100.

Councilmember Jones still favors it at the park because he thinks recreational uses belong in the park. But he recognizes that Aaron would meet less opposition if he moves it. Of the two new proposals he prefers the one next to the sewer plant on Main Street. He reminded all that years ago we developed a tennis court off the beaten path and all we hear is that it was a bad location. Therefore, he thinks it would be the same with putting a skatepark on Whitman Street. Councilmember Jones asked council for preliminary approval for the location next to the sewer plant so Aaron doesn’t have to keep resubmitting plans for different sites. Councilmember Wekenman stated that all projects should be scrutinized. Discussion ensued.

Councilmember Newman thinks next to the sewer plant is a win-win for various reasons – Increased visibility for increased usage and police patrols; access to the restrooms; good entrance points and the skatepark could draw more people to the nature trail (goes from sewer plant to the river). She thinks the Whitman Street site has too many drawbacks such as being close to residences.

Chief Neumann doesn’t think Whitman Street is feasible. Regardless of what the neighbor says now, he may not say that next week. However, on Main Street, next to sewer plant, older kids could go to skate park, young kids could go to playground, and mom could watch. And from a policing perspective, it’s much better for patrolling.

Supt. Griffin warned that there are underground utilities on the Main Street site. With fiber optics, natural gas, water, sewer, etc. Councilmember Jones stated that utility location is part of the design process not part of the feasibility. Identify the sight and make the features not damaging to the present utilities. Aaron is going to start by calling for locates at both sites and do a little more groundwork to present to council.

The city received a PRR from Steve McGehee for all of the email the Mayor has sent and received since January 2013.

City Staff (Joyce and Ann) are responsible for retaining all of the Mayor and council’s emails because they are public records. Deputy Clerk Ann is attending a Washington State Archives workshop in Spokane tomorrow on electronic records management.

David Mayhan has filed a lawsuit against the City of Palouse for negligence in the investigation of his son’s death. We have turned it all over to CIAW (our insurance carrier) and we will be meeting with them next week. Everything has been well-documented.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Jones MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:47 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 9/30/13 Ck. #5177-5196 & EFT $39,653.56
Claims Paid 10/9/13 Ck. #5197-5220 & EFT $15,344.35

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________