Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
September 10, 2013
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Senja Estes; Connie Newman, Bo Ossinger; Norm Schorzman; Alison Webb. Absent: Tim Jones & Rick Wekenman. Councilmember Ossinger MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Newman to excuse both absences. Motion carried unanimously. Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Public Works Assistant Marc Arrasmith; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Scott Beeson; Kelly Dow; Heather McGehee; Mike Kammeyer; Daniel Eastner; Debbie Arrasmith; Aaron Flansburg; Ami & Daniel Kramer; Jens & Berlyn Hegg; Mary Estes; Kari & Garrick Watkins; Robin Rilette.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 27, 2013. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
Award of Wall Street paving bid. We received two bids: Poe Asphalt – $23 sy = $12,052; Motley & Motley – $22.25 sy = $11,659. We’d like permission to award the bid to Motley & Motley. Councilmember Newman MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Schorzman to accept the Motley & Motley bid of $11,659 for the Wall Street paving project. Motion carried unanimously.
POLICE REPORT: Reserve Officer Snead will be helping out for Palouse Days Friday and Saturday nights. There are active nuisance property clean-ups going on. We continue to get barking dog complaints; dog owners need to be responsible. Even if your barking dog doesn’t bother you, it bothers others. Chief has been working on an ORV ordinance to allow ATV’s to be ridden into and out of town as access points. With adult supervision, juveniles 14 and older would be able to ride ATV’s into town. There are certain types of rules, equipment, etc. required. Councilmember Webb MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Estes, authorizing Chief Neumann to continue to investigate and bring forth more data. Motion carried unanimously.
The Palouse-Garfield police contract is in Atty. Bishop’s hands. It is a four-year contract (2014-2017) with 2%, 4%, 2% & 0% increase over the next four years. Councilmember Newman MOVED to authorize Mayor to sign the contract once it comes back from the Attorney. Councilmember Schorzman seconded. Motion carried unanimously. In 2013-$70,019, 2014-$71,419, 2015-$74,276, 2016-$75,726 & 2017-$75,726. Per person, Garfield residents pay about the same as Palouse residents for police services.
Skate-park – Aaron Flansburg: review drawings of proposed skate-park at Palouse’s city park. As per the July 9 council meeting Aaron was instructed to come up with a set of drawings. At the July 9 meeting the skatepark was approved for preliminary development. He would like feedback. Much discussion ensued. Following are some of the comments:
The elevations don’t align with existing sidewalks, etc. Why weren’t dimensions, elevations, etc provided? 48” elevation gain. 6” difference between the sidewalk at pool. The bank at the parking lot end is 5’ high. There could be a short fence along pedestrian area to catch loose skateboards. Skateboard traffic will mostly be in a north-south direction. There will be a visual impact to the park aesthetics. There is certain to be a monetary impact to the city even if it is built with outside funding. There have already been cuts to city services. The insurance company will need to approve the design.
PW Supt. Griffin pointed out that there are water, sewer, and gas lines directly under the park plans. The skate park won’t work as drawn.
Mary Estes: Who are you looking for to use this park? He’s hoping the youth of Palouse and Garfield will use it.
Mike Kammeyer of Potlatch, owns a skate shop in Moscow said Pullman and Moscow skateboarders are supporters because they’re feeling their cities are missing the boat. The current skate scene in Palouse is small because there’s nowhere to go.
Mary Estes: 30 years ago we went through this same process for the need of a tennis court and unfortunately it has fallen on its nose. Why are we giving up green space and a beautiful park that is very serene? I cherish it. I don’t want to have a skatepark there that languishes like the tennis court. She asked about usage and intended hours of operation. Aaron – It’s up to city to decide use and hours of the park but his intent is that it is for daylight use since it will have no direct lighting.
Jens Hegg: There are three local skaters here tonight so he thinks it shows interest.
Scott Beeson: Regarding the location, that spot is one of the most used spots of the park. And it’s right next to the swing set and pool. Is there a better location than this? Scott isn’t against a skate park, but doesn’t think it should be at the city park. On the other side of Main St. below the sewer plant comes to mind for Scott. Aaron likes the idea of it being at the park. He thinks it will augment the use of the park.
Councilmember Webb: How can we talk about adding another park when employees haven’t been reimbursed for the pay cuts they took and we’re cutting city services?
Marc Arrasmith: This is huge and it’s jammed between the pool and playground equipment. Too much concrete jammed in there. He never envisioned it looking like this.
Robin Rilette: Admires Aaron’s perseverance but dislikes the location. What about the space behind the pool, between the pool and river? PD said that didn’t work because of the low visibility and PW was concerned about access into the pool pump house.
Garret Watkins: Thinks by the school it’s a hiding place for drug dealers.
In a neighborhood it decreases property values, creates noise, etc.
Aaron will have to get a performance bond and will need engineered plans. He will also probably need a building permit. He will need to factor in all those things and the fencing into his budget. He is looking to raise $20,000 for this plan. Idaho Beverages will donate $2,000 towards his project with the understanding that it will be at the park and there be signage acknowledging the donation. Mayor informed Aaron that isn’t his decision to make.
Kelly Dow: inevitable there will be a cost to the city when this is built. The lighted signs are turned off, we reduced a police officer, and you’re trying to build a skate park? There is an eyesore of a skatepark in Spokane dealing with graffiti and litter. Right now the Palouse Park is open to everyone. She feels the skatepark is exclusive to a very small minority. The park belongs to all the city residents. Pullman and Colfax skate parks aren’t in their main parks for a reason; because they know it will attract non-family crowds. Kelly believes many truly don’t want this to happen. Also, what about EPA erosion concerns? Can this be voted on by the public, just to see what the interest is? A vote isn’t feasible. A survey was suggested but that would cost approximately $400. Councilmember Newman doesn’t support the money being spent on that. People can come to council meetings or send in their thoughts. Councilmember Webb MOVED to spend the money to send out a survey to see what the public’s opinion is on the skatepark. Motion failed for lack of second.
Aaron has debated about the cost to the city. Pullman hasn’t spent a dime outside of trash collection. The Spokane park, with the graffiti, is a unique situation since it is under the freeway. It’s a far different city than Palouse.
Debbie Arrasmith asked when the graffiti hits the skatepark, who cleans it up? Once the park gets built, the skatepark committee can do it. Yes, there will be upkeep. 20 years from now Aaron can’t say who will care for it. Mike Kammeyer said Lewiston’s skate park is graffiti free.
Kari Watkins wants a safe place for her son to skate. She is seeing more kids trying to skateboard in unsafe areas.
Councilmember Newman suggested that Aaron continue to work with PW and the Parks Committee, specifically locating utilities. She would like to see the measurements and dimensions written into the drawings. Make sure PW, PD, and Councilmember Estes’ concerns are addressed. Perhaps give a Powerpoint presentation next time so everyone can see what he’s talking about.
Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Regarding the city council student liaison position, Mr. Bishop is currently writing a resolution for that. The student will be allowed to sit at council table, participate in discussion, but it is a non-voting position. For this position to be available, a councilperson has to mentor the student. This will be primarily for a senior student to fulfill their senior project. If no senior student is interested, it can be open to other grades.
Policy & Administration-Bo Ossinger, Chair: Had a meeting to get Councilmember Estes up to speed with the poultry issues.
Personnel & Pool-Norm Schorzman, Chair:
Parks, Cemetery, & Buildings-Alison Webb. Chair:
Police, Fire, & Safety-Rick Wekenman, Chair:
Streets & Sidewalks-Senja Estes, Chair:
Finance, Property, & Equipment-Tim Jones, Chair:
Our health insurance carrier, AWC, is transitioning from being fully-insured to self-insured. Their data shows whatever plan the employees’ take, with the self-funded plan there is a 0% increase whereas if it’s fully funded they’re showing a cost increase. The city will send to our attorney to look over and we’ll learn more about the difference between fully-insured and self-insured.
The TIB, LED street lighting project is still moving forward. It will convert both the city and Avista-owned street lights to the LED technology. It’s 100% funded. Once underway, it will happen fairly quickly. We currently spend about $25,000 per year on street lighting. These LED lights will save us thousands.
Mayor, Clerk-Treasurer Beeson, met with Finance Committee (Councilmember Ossinger was only one in attendance) for a budget meeting. Mayor instructed Joyce to include the following in the 2014 budget: city employee 3% increase; the purchase of a backhoe; $5,000 for new, updated city maps. Joyce showed the budget with and without the levy lid lift. We will present the budget without the lid lift and will make the adjustments if it comes through. If the lid lift passes, it will be approximately $30,000 increase to the budget and we will send 60% to CE, 30% to streets, and 10% to Fire Equipment reserve.
Between the levy, donations, & lessons, the pool is within a couple hundred dollars of breaking even this year. The new pellet chlorinator uses half the chlorine so we saved about $800 on chlorine this summer. Pool payroll stayed right where we needed it to stay.
Cemetery budget has been cut too close. Joyce has bumped that up a little for 2014. We’re trying to restore that budget. We’re more than likely going to have to do a budget adjustment before the year is up.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Ossinger MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Webb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Estes MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Webb seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 8/31/13 Ck. #5111-5136 & EFT $40,347.84
Claims Paid 9/11/13 Ck. #5137-5159 & EFT $91,044.82
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________