September 25, 2018

Palouse City Council


Followed by

Regular Council Meeting

September 25, 2018

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

ROLL CALL: Council members present: Chris Cook; Bill Slinkard; John Snyder; Mark Wilcomb; Katie Cooper. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; City Attorney Eric Hanson; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Councilmember Cooper MOVED to excuse the absences of councilmembers Sievers and Wekenman. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded and the motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING for Steve and Cindy Alred’s request for alley/easement vacation- Mayor Echanove opened the public hearing at 7:02 pm. Mayor Echanove outlined the request. The Alreds want vacated the alley between lots 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 of Block 23, Wiley’s 2nd Addition in Palouse. The Alreds own and reside on lots 5 & 6. If alley is vacated, the Alreds want to purchase lots 3 & 4 and fence in entire yard. If granted vacation, Alreds will pay ½ the appraised value of $1,500 (so $750). The city has never exercised their right to the alley; that doesn’t mean the city won’t ever, they just have not yet needed to. PW Supt. Griffin submitted in writing his concerns about vacating the alley. Discussion ensued. Councilmember Cook MOVED to vacate the alley as presented. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. Motion carried. Mayor Echanove closed the public hearing at 7:35 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The September 11, 2018 council meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 28, 2018. Councilmember Cook seconded the motion and the motion carried.

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

POLICE REPORT: No real issues for Palouse Days. A great turnout.

Had a slow-speed pursuit with an RV which ended in Latah County.

Skatepark is getting busier; have had a few issues with language, inappropriate behavior and clothing, some minor graffiti, some thefts of decorative fencing and some disrespect towards police. Aaron Flansburg has been very responsive in assisting with and monitoring these issues. Graffiti has already been removed.

Chief stated over the next three years the PD will be needing $90,000 in vehicle fund for replacing the fleet. Officer Handley’s vehicle has just crossed 90k miles and has a tic. PD will look at grants to maybe help offset the costs.

Chief wants to update their duty firearms next year. He wants to replace the four existing 40-caliber Glocks with four, 9mm Glocks. He will trade-in the 40-calibers. Their duty holsters will still fit the 9 mm.

Will have reserve officers Snead and Wright assisting us with Haunted Palouse. They assisted with Palouse Days as well.


Reviewed and approved the budget for 2019.

No serious injuries or fires during harvest which is great news.

Chief Beeson is off to a great start.

SCBAs have been ordered.


Kyle submitted a Complete Streets grant to the Dept. of Commerce for a sidewalk from west side of South Hill down Palouse Cove, crosswalk across highway by McGregor’s, and footbridge across river near Lions Club Park to city park. Goal is to provide for pedestrian access to connect that area of town to parks and downtown. Grant is funded by TIB. TIB calls on 11 state agencies to provide nominations. Award amounts are generally $100,000-$250,000 for smaller cities. Decisions are made in January.

September 4 we had a wastewater advisory committee meeting to continue discussions about our wastewater facilities plan. Committee agreed with council that it is worthwhile to further explore the option of eliminating river discharge entirely. City has identified two preferred sites just out of town that can accommodate the requirements for this option.

Kyle and TDH Engineering completed application to Public Works Trust Fund for pre-construction loan for water system improvements. Awards should be announced sometime next month.

City didn’t receive any proposals for Brownsfield site. MFA, our environmental engineers aren’t concerned. We aren’t under any big rush to release the site, with the primary goal to transfer the property to a developer that will integrate it back into the community. City had three parties that had initially expressed interest, but timing wasn’t right. Brownfields Committee will meet again before the end of the year to discuss a timeframe for the next RFP.

Kyle will be meeting with department heads and finance committee prior to next council meeting to discuss 2019 budgeting needs.

Kyle met with parks committee to discuss some concerns that contractors had expressed regarding the proposed riverwalk trail below shady lane. Project is funded by grant from county. Kyle is in contact with DOE and county planner on self-permitting procedures for light shoreline development that enhances visibility and use of Palouse River in town. City may request an extension to expend grant funds to complete project in summer of 2019 if necessary.

Avista electric vehicle charging station is still in the works. Just waiting on site agreement liability verbiage change from Avista.

City surplussed our snow plow for $2,500.


Ordinance No. 973 — First Step Internet franchise agreement: Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to suspend the rules of reading the ordinance in its entirety. Councilmember Cook seconded. Motion carried. This ordinance grants First Step Internet, LLC the right, privilege, authority, and nonexclusive franchise for ten years to construct, maintain, operate, replace, and repair a fiber optic cable network, in, across, over, along, under, through and below certain designated public rights-of-way in the City of Palouse. City Atty Hanson wrote and proofed the agreement. Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 973 as presented. Councilmember Snyder seconded. Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 974 – changing speed limit on south Hwy 27 in city limits: Beginning in 2015, Palouse residents John and Chris Bofenkamp requested from the city and WSDOT setting the speed limit to 25 MPH on highway in front of their home. As a result, WSDOT conducted engineering and speed studies. City and Bofenkamps both have contacted WSDOT a number of times since 2015. Fast forward three years, WSDOT got back to city last week and said they were going to change speed limit and signs but need an ordinance first. Mayor read aloud Ordinance 974 in its entirety. Councilmember Slinkard MOVED, and Councilmember Cooper seconded Ordinance No. 974. Motion carried.


Hold Harmless Agreement – Atty. Hanson wrote this agreement. Officer Handley is now Uniontown’s police dept. It’s in addition to his work for Palouse and Mayor Echanove gave him his support. This agreement states both Uniontown and Palouse each agree to hold the other party to this agreement harmless from any claim for damages arising from Handley’s actions. Councilmember Cook MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement with Uniontown. Councilmember Wilcomb seconded. This agreement covers the city, and the department. Chief Neumann is unhappy with the agreement calling Handley the “chief” for Uniontown because it gives Handley more clout to gain training over other legitimate chiefs. Chief Neumann thinks agreement should call Handley Uniontown’s “Town Marshall” otherwise he’s falsifying reports as far as title. Mayor Echanove and Atty. Hanson explained Uniontown codified the title as Chief and not Marshall. It’s Uniontown’s code and Uniontown can call him whatever title they want. Much discussion ensued. Motion carried.


Personnel & Pool, Chair Cook- Still working on pool statistic data and will report when complete.


Press release today announcing that Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board is investing $2.9 million toward rural broadband infrastructure. Included in that is $750,000 loan and $250,000 grant to the Port of Whitman County to bring broadband to five rural communities in Whitman County including Palouse and Garfield.

The ISP will be Noah-net from Tri-Cities. This means another choice for Palouse for internet service.

Liquor license renewal for Lions Club private beer & wine license from Wa St. Liquor & Cannibis board. No objections.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid 8/31/18 Ck. #9448-9474 & EFT $42,800.54

Claims Paid 9/11/18 Ck. #9475-9502 & EFT $30,175.43

Claims Paid 9/25/18 Ck. #9503-9515 & EFT $ 5,058.14

ADJOURN: Councilmember Cook MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________