September 13, 2011

DRAFT ONLY. Without council review or approval.
September 13, 2011

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

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

Councilmember Milano MOVED to excuse the absence of Tim Jones and Rick Wekenman. Councilmemeber Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 23, 2011. Councilmember Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Dwayne Griffin, PW Superintendent. The crosswalks and railroad crossings have all been painted. I Street is almost ready to pave while F Street still needs patching. This project was put out to bid and bid opening was done as scheduled. Griffin read the bids to council. Both bidders provided the required bid bond. Poe Asphalt – $25 SY for I Street paving and $25 SY for F Street patches for a total bid of $16,000 including taxes. Motley-Motley – $27 SY for I Street paving and $25 SY for F Street patches for a total bid of $16,694 including taxes. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to accept the bid of $16,000 from Poe Asphalt. Councilmemeber Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Ecology is mandating that dye tests be done on the river in preparation for the placement of temperature monitoring equipment. The crew is putting together a plan and this will be discussed later in the meeting.

POLICE REPORT: Jerry Neumann, Police Chief. They are gearing up for Palouse Day and all three officers will be on duty. As part of the intersection safety on Bridge and Main, the curbs will be painted yellow for a no parking zone to open up visibility. Work will begin this month on the Police Dept. building as planned to be more energy efficient.

OPEN FORUM: Scott Beeson, representing the Palouse Lions Club, asked council for permission to use the Shady Lane trail again this year for Haunted Palouse. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to allow access of the Shady Lane to the Lion’s Club for Haunted Palouse. Councilmemeber Schorzman seconded the motion. Discussion – GPAC will be taking over the creativity portion of the event. Councilmember Milano said the Chamber will participate in the costs to get the trail ready and help address any safety issues. The motion carried unanimously.

Sandra Schorzman reported updates on progress of the new Palouse Health Center. Pullman Regional Hospital has expressed interest in partnering with them. They asked Sandy to question council about any need they see in the community for services that could be provided through the clinic. The clinic may open as early as the first of next year. A doctor is lined up to fill the position and Sandy will continue as Nurse Practitioner. They will have X-ray equipment and plans for a pharmacy are in place. She asked council to consider other ideas that would meet community need. Councilmember Milano asked about extended hours for “Urgent care”. Sandy said that she would take ideas back to them and they may want to poll the community. Mayor asked about the pharmacy. Sandra reported that a pharmacist is interested in opening for early morning hours and perhaps include durable medical equipment such as crutches and braces, to name a few. Mayor and Council commended Sandra on her progress and contribution to Palouse. They will all consider future services that would enhance the community.

Cheryl Johnson, resident, asked council if roosters are addressed in current city code, stating that she is being bothered by one in her neighborhood. It was pointed that while poultry is allowed in city limits, there seems to be no language about roosters. Chief Neumann said that Garfield is currently working on an ordinance which would restrict roosters. Mayor Echanove stated that they would take a close look at current code.

Joe Poire, Port of Whitman County, updated council on the Fiber Optics Project. Mayor read the past minutes allowing him to sign the Grant of Easement for placement of the portion of fiber going through city property rather than state right-of-way. The route will be staked out before construction and will be bored. The contractor doing the boring is well-equipped and will be able to handle the project even through the rock that Palouse has. Councilmember Floyd requested a drawing of the route through Palouse. Joe Poire said he would provide one as soon as he receives it. They will perhaps be in Palouse June of 2012.

Contract for WWTP dye study: Ecology requires an engineer to sign off on the methodology used for the WWTP outfall dye tests done on the river and submission of the final report. The contract with Taylor Engineering is for a lump sum of $800 for assistance in the methodology of the dye tests and $1300 for development and submittal of the final report to Ecology as required. Councilmember Floyd MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the contract with Taylor Engineering for a total of $2,100. Councilmemeber Newman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


Streets & Sidewalks-Cecil Floyd, Chair: Councilmember Floyd researched the STOP legend at the intersection of Bridge & Main. Given the amount of traffic, the product they will be putting down should last about two years. It was recommended that the sales rep does the application for at least the first time. The cost for the legend is $250 plus $150 shipping. Since it was previously voted to move ahead with the legend, City Hall was instructed to contact the sales rep.

Water & Sewer-Connie Newman, Chair: Water System Plan (WSP) update – The committee will be meeting to start with their hands-on work to the WSP. As part of the contract with Taylor, the city will be gathering info on various things such as demographic projections, land development analysis, zoning and development issues the planning commission may be working on, and historical/statistical data.

Councilmember Newman asked for council permission to attend the conference put on by the Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council (IACC). This conference is highly recommended by state agencies involved in municipal infrastructure. The fee is $220 and may require 3 nights in a hotel. Council had no objection to her and other members that are able to attend.

Personnel & Pool-Jeff Snook, Chair: Councilmember Snook MOVED to take from the table discussion of the options presented at the last council meeting on the future of the City’s involvement in the operations of the Swim Team. Councilmemeber Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Summary: Over the years, the city involvement in operations of the swim team has evolved to coaches being paid for practices and meets (competitions) both home and away including travel time. The city does not receive any money from swim team participants. The city has always provided the facility to the team for practices and meets. Since swim team has never been a program actually sponsored by the city, paying of coaches and their assistants is something that needs to be addressed and clearly defined. The two options presented by Councilmember Snook were:

The swim team would become a formal program sponsored by the city. The time guards spend coaching and managing the swim team would be paid by the city. A typical week at the pool with lessons, swim team, and two meets cost the city approximately $2,250. Without swim team involvement the cost would be about $1900.
The city continues to provide the facility and guards for practices and meets but the coaches would be the responsibility of a separate swim team organization. This would be similar to other programs such as Little League and GPAC.

Councilmember Newman commented that it is good that the city provides lifeguarding during meets and practices. Years ago they were not provided. Councilmember Snook recommended Option 2. Discussion continued. Councilmember Snook MOVED to move forward with Option 2 with the city providing only the facility and lifeguarding as needed for swim team functions. Councilmemeber Newman voiced concern with community backlash of this option. Snook offered to send out a notice explaining. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Floyd and the motion carried with one no vote, Councilmember Newman.

Finance, Property, & Equipment-Mike Milano, Chair: With shrinking revenues and increasing expenses the city will have to come up with ways to fill the gap. Some options that have come up are –

Combining park maintenance with the pool levy, increasing it from $28,000 to $40,000
No salary increases again
Council option to relinquish their pay, saving the city about $8,800 a year
Continuing to pay the employee costs of dental insurance but not the spouse and family cost, saving the city about $4,600 a year
Taking a closer look at revenue sources within the general fund with, perhaps, increasing fee for the chipper permit, more widely marketing the RV Park
Implement a fixed structure for incremental increases in Water and Sewer service. Given the large increase in 2011, this should possibly be considered for beginning in 2013.
Work toward solutions to turn back the trend of the declining balance in the Cemetery fund.

These budget discussions will continue through committee and brought back to council.


Encouraged council to attend the Mayors’ Roundtable in Uniontown later this month.
Passed around an article about Palouse that appeared in the magazine “Outdoor Photographer”
Read a thank you note to the city for use of the park for a wedding
Encouraged council to attend the Palouse Basin Water Summit at SEL on October 4
Thanked the Chamber of Commerce for the beautiful brochure being distributed highlighting Palouse as a destination

For the 2012 budget, the Mayor asked council to consider improvements to the city-owned parking lot behind the newly constructed Community Center. Councilmember Milano said that this may qualify for grant funding through the Washington State Scenic By-Ways. He will look into it and report back. Previous estimates were that it may cost around $30,000.

There is no update to the Brownfields project except that an archeological study will begin next week as required for federal funding.

Councilmember Newman explained that she will be participating in a panel discussion as part of the Washington State Coalition for Open Government. She would like to attend the panel discussion representing her as a councilmember and asked for council approval. Council had no objection.

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

ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:32 PM.

The following checks are approved for payment:
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3400 $ 7,031.86
Payroll Paid Ck. No. 3401 – 3429, & EFT $45,469.92
Claims Paid Ck. No. 3430 – 3468, & EFT $25,586.76

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________