September 10, 2019

Special Palouse City Council Meeting

PUBLIC HEARING #1 – 2020 Revenue Sources

PUBLIC HEARING #2 – Six-Year Street Plan

followed by Regular Council Meeting

September 10, 2019


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


ROLL CALL:  Council members present: Chris Cook (7:40 pm); Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper.  Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.             Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.


OPEN PUBLIC HEARING #1, 2020 Revenue Sources at 7:04 pm:

CA Dixon discussed current and proposed levies.  Standard General Levy increase is 1% unless we do a levy lid lift.  Palouse does not need to pursue a levy lid lift at this time. 1% increase will be brought to council for approval in November.  EMS levy remains at $.50/$1,000 of assessed valuation, as approved by voters last year.  County updates on assessed values were briefly discussed, City will receive those numbers next year.  Neither of the dollar amounts for the special street levy or the special pool maintenance & operation levy will change.  Total proposed taxation for all levies is $4.81/$1,000 of assessed value.  Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:14.


OPEN PUBLIC HEARING #2, Six-Year Street Plan at 7:14 pm:  We update this every year and submit to DOT so it’s documented when we apply for funding.  Supt. Griffin does a good job of tracking the needs for the city streets.  Closed hearing at 7:19 pm.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 27, 2019 as written. Councilmember Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.


PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:  Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.

There is a house going in on Sumner Street and public works doesn’t have the time or manpower to extend trenching to that house.  Supt. Griffin is requesting council permission for Boyd & Boyd Construction to do that work on city right-of-way. Property owner pays for it all.  Supt Griffin inspects the work. As a general rule of thumb, public works doesn’t do that work for property owners.  This is just a right-of-way issue.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to allow Boyd & Boyd Construction to do work in the city right-of-way.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.



-Chief met with Spokane ATF last week to pick up more evidence from that weapons case out of Garfield.  The suspect is still in custody and looking at about 40 charges.

-The police continue to patrol Cove Road and south Hwy 27 for speeders.

-Tomorrow is the 9/11 anniversary.  We’re thinking about all the lives lost in that tragedy.

-Ongoing dog complaints;

-Radar trailer isn’t working.  Might be cheaper to replace instead of repair.  Or perhaps this would be a good time to instead purchase the flashing, solar-powered, speed signs.

-Palouse Days is this weekend.



Varela Engineering dropped off the completed draft wastewater facility plan for review.  They will deliver it to DOE once council says ok and then DOE willl start their review of it.  DOE’s review could take months, so the sooner we can get this process started the better.  This is not a binding document; it can be revised during design phase if necessary.   We’re essentially looking at storage lagoons on city-owned property for 6 months out of the year.  The long-game environmentally is going the reclaimed water route.  This will be a phased approach. Council took some action last year and we need to continue with our incremental rate increases rather than a large increase every few years.  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize Varela to submit this report to DOE.  Councilmember Cooper seconded.  CA Dixon will inquire with Varela about waterway cybersecurity being added down the road to the report.  It’s a thorough report.


Construction has started on Shady Lane improvements.  Should be done by end of month.  We will get some benches and fences ordered for that and we’ll invite our insurance carrier to take a look at it from a liability standpoint. Project is paid for by a $26,000 grant from .09 money that CA Dixon applied for.


State auditors are wrapping up their work for our audit.  We should have results by end of September.  No red flags at this point.


Budget season is upon us. CA Dixon will meet with finance committee in October.


City will post notice later this week to accept bids for surplussed fencing and street light equipment that has been stored in the flathouse for years.



Resolution No. 2019-09 salary schedule amendment:  This resolution makes the changes approved at the last council meeting: increasing the third officer pay (to be hired) to $4,300, and increasing the reserve officer pay to $24/hour. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2019-09.  Councilmember Snyder seconded.  Motion carried.



Information Technology needs and assessment plan for City Hall:  City had Mark Bailey of PSTech come last month to diagnose ongoing computer and technical issues. We quickly realized we are seriously lacking in our security and equipment policy.  We’ve been erroneously operating city-wide on an “absolutely as-needed only” updates for technology and equipment.  In his assessment, Mark Bailey prioritized the city’s needs. Finance Committee will review and bring forward for 2020 budget.



Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook-  Finishing up the annual pool report.  Now that we have a baseline, this report will provide a year-by-year comparison so we can see trends.  Will finalize and send out to council.


Policy & Administration, Councilmembers Sievers & Cooper–  Moses Boone will be unveiling the new city flag Saturday after the Palouse Days parade.



Liquor license renewal for Palouse Lions Club.  No objections.


The city has received an inquiry about the council vacancy left from the resignation of Councilmember Wilcomb.  The city hesitates to temporarily appoint someone because the general election is three council meetings away. Council wants to continue with six councilmembers until the election so as not to show favoritism to anyone running in the election.


ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Snyder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.


The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      8/30/19             Ck. 10285-10309, 10311-10314, & EFT              $56,740.13

Claims Paid      9/10/19             Ck. 10284, 10310, 10315-10341, & EFT             $35,414.63


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Sievers seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.




APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________