September 22, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

September 22, 2020


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


ROLL CALL: Council members present: Mary Welcome; Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Alred MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 8, 2020. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried.


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

DOH did their inspection on our reservoir and it needs some repairs. They will send us a written report and we will pursue options. Depending on scope of work, the repairs might get tied in with the water project.


Councilmember Fielder will notify the skatepark committee that the tree on east end of skatepark needs trimmed again; it’s blocking street light.


POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.



The Wastewater Facility Plan was submitted again to ECY with responses to comments from their initial review. Major change to the plan was the elimination of the short-term potable water blending alternative with a goal to have lagoons constructed by 2024. Permit Manager Diana Washington indicated that they will not be able to begin their review of this latest submittal until the end of October. We are still proceeding with an application for design funding assuming the facility plan is approved.


The post for the radar speed sign requires a 5’ hole drilled with an auger. The city does not have this equipment, but our local Avista rep has agreed to assist us with this hopefully by the end of next week.


2021 budget prep continues. Mayor Cook will present a rough draft budget document at the next council meeting that will be amended and fine-tuned leading up to budget adoption at the second meeting in November or the first meeting in December. The city will solicit written public comments on the proposed budget that will be shared during the public hearing portions at the October 27 and November 10 council meetings.


Quote from Ziply Fiber representative to Port of Whitman regarding fiber buildout in Palouse: “In Palouse we have finished our design and submission to Avista. I am hoping to see an approved joint pole agreement from them here shortly.” …… “Looking to move the crews in mid to late October, with service before the holidays.”


We are anticipating next week a completed building permit application for the vet clinic from the owners of the Brownsfield site. It will be stick-built with an elevated, slab concrete foundation because it’s in the flood plain.


TDH submitted a written update regarding status of water system improvements. Phase 1 is for the replacing and upsizing of mains under Culton and Church Streets. Phase 1 is moving forward.  Phase 2 is for the full water system improvement upgrade. Phase 2 is on hold right now because we have other more pressing projects on the sewer side. There is a citizen workgroup still looking at options and alternatives for Phase 2. We will reach out to them regarding their timeline for presenting recommendations.




Streets, Properties, & Facilities, Chair Sievers– Committee will have an official resolution up for consideration at the next meeting for the renaming of H Street (school house hill) in honor of Sgt. Jacob Demand, a Palouse native who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The city will solicit written public comment on the proposed resolution between the October 13 meeting and the October 27 meeting. No one lives on H Street so no addresses will be affected.


Councilmember Sievers is still working with FastSigns about modifications to interior pool signage. Should be finalized before winter.


Policy & Administration, Chair Cooper-

Ordinance No. 995 – adding Patriot Day to the flag policy:  This ordinance adds September 11 (Patriot Day) to the existing list of designated dates for flying the flags. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 995.  Councilmember Welcome seconded. Motion carried.


Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder-

FD had three regular meetings and two special meetings in August. We have three new firefighters and three retired firefighters came back on crew.

FD had seven fire calls in August: 6 mutual aid & 1 in-district.

EMS had 11 calls and 2 trainings in August.

The FD voted to purchase equipment for fit-testing EMS N95 masks and FD airpacks. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to approve the purchase of the fit-testing system out of COVID funds, not to exceed $12,500. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. The city received a $32,400 CARES Act distribution for the purchase of COVID supplies and will be receiving another one for $16,800 shortly. The city has worked with the Fire Dept., EMS, the Palouse Chamber of Commerce to purchase COVID-related supplies.



All the park bathrooms were reopened Sept. 4.


Liquor License Renewal for Palouse Lions Club. No objections.


ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Welcome MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Sievers seconded.  The motion carried.


The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      8/22/2020          Ck. #11113-11128 & EFT           $14,352.07


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Fielder MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:41 PM.




APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________