Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
August 27, 2019
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; PW Asst Mike Wolf; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Officer Joel Anderson; BI Dan Gladwill; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse Councilmember Wekenman’s absence. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried. Mayor Echanove read aloud Councilmember Wilcomb’s resignation letter dated Aug. 5, 2019.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Cook MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 23, 2019. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. The August 13th meeting was cancelled due to no quorum.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
POOL MANAGER REPORT: Noah Hopkins gave a brief report on the season. Had one minor incident that resulted in an EMS call (all was fine). Maintenance went well. Staff was good. Patron count was normal for a colder year. He thanked city for the job opportunity. Councilmember Cook praised Noah on his job performance and we are hopeful he returns next year.
BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: Palouse is a busy little town, doing great. Palouse keeps BI Gladwill busy with inspections.
Zane Rivers, Troop 455 Boy Scout. For his Eagle Scout project, Zane wants to renovate the kiosk at the Eden Valley Cemetery. Previously it was done with paper and plexiglass and laid horizontally, resulting in snow and water damage and leaving it illegible. This cemetery is unique because the majority of the graves are from the 1800’s with a lot of history. Zane plans on installing an approximate 4’x3’ vertical sign with a donated metal roof. Materials include lumber and printing on a vinyl-wrapped aluminum sheet. Sign will contain a cross-reference of all the buried with a site map of where they are located in the cemetery. It will also include a summary of what life would have been like for these people. Budget for the project is $500 and he is requesting $300 from city. He has a couple adult mentors helping with the design process. Councilmember Cook MOVED to donate $300 towards this project. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.
Mary Estes and Janet Brantner representing the rose ladies. The rose gardens need 5+ hours of direct sunlight a day to thrive and the rose garden on Whitman Street doesn’t get enough light due to two plum trees. The ladies are requesting having those two trees removed. Supt. Griffin looked into moving them but they’re way too big. There is also a plum tree next to the Police Station that is growing into the building that needs removed. And there is a locust tree on corner of Whitman and Hall Streets that is growing into the street light. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to authorize Supt. Griffin to remove the three plum trees and one locust tree. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.
Jim Fielder of the Planning Commission gave an update. 156 community surveys were completed. Overall people like the town. They are hoping to crunch the survey numbers and have a formal presentation to council in a couple months. They currently have a full commission which is nice.
-The police had a situation a few weeks ago in Garfield with an unstable man. What started as an assault call-out resulted in verbal threats against Chief Neumann and Officer Anderson. Chief has had dealings with this man over the years. The man was taken into protective custody. A cache of weapons was found including 1500+ rounds of ammunition, numerous weapons, a homemade loaded cannon, homemade silencer and a homemade grenade. ATF and bomb squad from Spokane cleared the scene without incident and confiscated everything. The man is being held in Colfax. ATF stressed the urgency to keep him behind bars. Chief is meeting with prosecutor this week.
-PD also had an arrest of a Garfield resident for gas thefts, ongoing dog complaints, noise complaints.
-School starts tomorrow. Please slow down and watch for children.
JOINT FIRE BOARD REPORT:
Councilmember Cooper reported. Budget looks like it should. They adopted the 2020 draft budget. Expected increases include the ambulance contract, insurance policies, and slight increase for maintenance & repair. Two fire calls in July and 10 EMS calls in July.
National Night Out was a success.
With Mark Wilcomb’s resignation, another councilperson is needed on the JFB.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:
Met with contractors on Shady Lane donated land. Construction should be done by end of September. Being funded by .09 money from the county. There will hopefully be continued access during construction.
Varela has almost completed with our Wastewater Facility Plan. Kyle will forward plan to water/sewer committee for their review. Should be wrapped-up by end of next week and delivered to DOE.
EV Charging Station is up and running over at Heritage Park.
CA Dixon will be working with Chief Neumann on identifying and notifying properties around town that don’t conform to existing nuisance ordinances. City gets fairly frequent complaints about property appearances.
Following the $5 on-call pay for police department which council authorized at July 23, 2019 meeting, council received an email from Supt. Griffin requesting the same for Public Works, also retroactive to June 15, until a formal on-call policy is adopted. Public Works is on-call as well. This will cost city $6,632.50 for June 15 to August 31 for Public Works, to be split between Water and Sewer funds. In an effort to treat all employees equally, the Policy Committee is recommending to approve the on-call pay for Public Works. The PD staffing shortage that began in June has brought to light what they feel is a rather restrictive and unfair on-call policy in our interlocal policing contract with Garfield. CA Dixon said the city can absolutely accommodate continued OT but cannot recommend continued on-call pay. It’s KD’s opinion that if we approve a continued on-call policy for the PD, we have to extend the same offer to Public Works. They have always responded to after-hours emergencies. CA Dixon’s recommendation to Policy Committee is, effective September 1, cease all on-call pay and implement a minimum two-hour call out at overtime rate. This is a standard policy seen throughout the state. Two-hour minimum call-out applies to both departments.
#1 – Councilmember Sievers MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Cooper, to pay $5 on-call from June 15 to Aug. 31 to Public Works. Motion carried;
#2 – Sievers MOVED to increase third officer salary to $4,300 monthly effective Sept. 1. Cooper seconded. Motion carried.
#3 – Sievers MOVED to increase Reserve Officer Snead’s pay from $22/hr to $24/hr effective Sept. 1. Cooper seconded. Motion carried.
#4 – Sievers MOVED to notify City of Garfield of our intent to terminate our contract in 180 days, with intent to renegotiate the contract with staffing and on-call issues addressed. Cooper seconded. Motion carried.
#5 – Sievers MOVED, effective Sept 1, the city eliminates the $5 on-call pay for both PW and Police Dept. and go to the minimum two-hour call out at overtime rate for both departments. Cooper seconded. Motion carried. The Police Dept.’s Admin Leave will be reinstated effective Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, pro-rated, as it has already been paid out through June 15th.
Resolution No. 2019-08, adopting official City of Palouse flag: Policy Committee researched various ordinances and resolutions and met to discuss. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to adopt the resolution. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Amberly Boone stated that she and Moses will donate funds towards having some flags made. Motion carried.
Continued discussion on PMC 8.12. Public Nuisances and Palouse Welding: Mayor read aloud from the January 28, 1997 minutes. “It was decided that Bagott Motors and Ed Anderson (Palouse Welding) won’t need to install a fence around their businesses.” Ordinance must still be enforced; he must continually keep it clean and tidy and not pile up scrap metal/junk, but fencing isn’t required.
Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook– Chris is working on finalizing the pool summary report. 53% of swim lesson revenue was from non-residents, keeping in mind that non-residents pay more for lessons. City received $1,000 in pool donations. Full report at next meeting.
Mayor passed on condolences for former Dayton, WA, Mayor George (was mayor for 16years) who passed away last week.
CA Dixon and DC Thompson just completed the three-year state audit. Auditors were here for about a week. There will be an exit interview with the results and final report.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Cook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 7/31/19 Ck. #10192, 10210-10236, & EFT $58,105.23
Claims Paid 8/13/19 Ck. #10237-10269, & EFT $25,771.93
Claims Paid 8/27/19 Ck. #10270-10283, & EFT $ 3,013.84
ADJOURN: Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried. The council meeting adjourned at 8:49 PM.
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________