September 22, 2009

September 22, 2009

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

ROLL CALL:   Council members present:  Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook; & Rick Wekenman.  Absent: Mike Milano and Andy O’Neill.  Also present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann and City Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson.  Public present: Pete Hertz, Steve McGehee, Dixie Reber and Bruce Reim.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 8, 2009.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:     Supt. Griffin reported they completed the sewer connection for Habitat for Humanity and will work on the water next.  Griffin said there are still a few problems with the sprinklers at the RV Park which they will work on.

POLICE REPORT : Chief Neumann submitted a written report, also reporting that through a meeting for Haunted Palouse (HP), issues of concern were raised about the Shady Lane venue.  They are still in the early stages of resolving these safety concerns.  No incidents to report over the Palouse Day weekend.

JFB REPORT :  No quorum, meeting re-scheduled for Monday the 28th.

Whitman County Library director Kristi Kirkpatrick gave handouts and outlined the accomplishments at the Palouse branch and Whitman County libraries.  Several new programs are coming in and grants are pending for the latest improvements in technology.  The Whitman County Library district will have on the Nov. 3rd ballot, a request for a levy lid lift.  Kirkpatrick explained that this would be an average increase of about .03 cents an acre on farmland and an increase of $5.20 on a $100,000 home per year.  Councilmember Bailey further explained that the technology grant is to get fiber optics cable through the rural communities.  This would be a great opportunity for economic development to rural communities.  The Gates Foundation has stepped up to help supplement the 20% match that is required.

Grant of Restrictive Covenant – Mayor Echanove read the document and explained that this is a requirement to close the grant with Ecology for the mobile home park project.  This is a covenant that restricts the development of the now Riverpark, formerly mobile home park.  It limits the use to open space and accessory uses to enhance the open space.   Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow the mayor to sign the Grant of Restrictive Covenant.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion.  After discussion on possible enhancements, the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution adopting City Purchasing Card Policy and Agreement – Councilmember Bailey explained that no changes were made since presented at the last meeting.  No concerns addressed by council.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2009-11 – City purchasing card policy and agreement as attached.  Councilmember Schorzman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution adopting Council Rules of Procedures – Councilmember Bailey outlined changes made to the rules of procedure.  While minor language changes were made, the only substantive changes were:  Identify non-agenda items as open forum; and the section concerning a consent agenda was removed.  Councilmember Bailey MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2009-10 – Adopting Council Rules of Procedures as attached.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

USGS Contract for maintenance of the rivergauge near Potlatch, ID – Mayor Echanove explained the joint funding agreement between U.S.G.S. and the City of Palouse.  The city share went up 4.1% from last year.  In past years the Ecology FCAAP program has offered funding for a portion of the city share, however, this funding is no longer available.  Councilmember Snook MOVED to allow the mayor to sign the rivergauge maintenance contract.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION:  Councilmember Bailey reported he is working on adapting an Identity Theft Prevention Program for the City of Palouse.  This program is mandated by the state and will be required.  The key points of the program will be to protect personal information and learn to recognize and respond to Red Flags of identity theft for any new and existing covered accounts.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT:  Councilmember Schorzman stated that cuts to the General Fund budget must be made, as well as increases to revenue.  Continuing discussion from the last meeting, council should consider implementing the utility tax for water and sewer.  There is code already adopted allowing this, but was never implemented.   The code would be amended to allow a 6% tax to water and sewer operating rate payers.  Based on current rates, this would add $1.05 to the basic water ($17.50), and $1.26 to sewer ($21.00).  Another cost saving measure recommended is to open the pool two weeks later than usual.  This would cut down on payroll as well as heating the pool for the earlier days in June when the weather is usually cool.  After discussion, Councilmember Bagott MOVED to direct the attorney to amend the code allowing the utility tax on water and sewer service.  Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.

STREETS & SIDEWALKS:  Councilmember Bagott reported that through the Safe Routes to School program, signage and enhancements would likely be approved for the route students are taking over the bank on North hill and across SR 272 to 8th Street in Breeding’s Addition.  She will follow up on this.

MAYOR’S REPORT :  Reminder to council and the community of the Brownsfield project update and presentation by MF&A. This is being done through the Integrated Planning grant from Ecology.  Everyone is encouraged to attend – September 30th at the Palouse school gymnasium.  Open house begins at 6:30 PM, with the meeting following at 7:00.  MF&A will follow up with a wrap-up meeting at City Hall on Oct. 1st before they leave town.

Mayor Echanove asked Pete Hertz if there is any update on the county chipper program.  No, they have not met yet.

Due to the Mayor’s absence, the next meeting will be chaired by Mayor Pro-tem Wekenman.

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

ADJOURN:   Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Bagott seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid     Checks # 1677 – 1694    $35,827.52
Payroll Paid

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________