September 26, 2006


September 26, 2006

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

ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook. Absent – Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Byron Hodges, Public Works Superintendent; Bev Pearce, Deputy Clerk; Jerry Neumann, Police Chief; Dan Gladwill, Building Inspector.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Norm Schorzman MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 12, 2006.  Mike Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT : Byron Hodges submitted a written report.  He added a big “thank you” to the Palouse Fire Department for sweeping the streets the Friday prior to Palouse Days.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:   Jerry Neumann reported that the city will have the bench replaced that was damaged in the accident in front of the Palouse Tavern.  The Chief reported that he enjoyed his first Palouse Days and that he won the Hot Dog eating contest, with Council Member Andy O’Neill coming in second. The Police Department building remodel is moving along.  The Chief received a bid for sheet rock hanging, repair and door hanging.  The cost will be $25/per hour plus materials.  This should start this week and take about two days.  The chief attended an emergency preparedness meeting in Pullman .  The group is viewing the plan and will be putting together a county plan, with each city having their own version of the plan.  There may be some exercises that would coordinate with the school in the future.  The Mayor told council that our police department was involved in a serious arrest over the weekend. The incident highlighted the need for a 2 man police department and commended the chief on a job well done.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT: Dan Gladwill reported that he continues to respond to all calls made to him regarding building questions.  All projects are moving along well.  He reminded the council that when he attends official meetings he represents not only Whitman County , but the City of Palouse as well.  Dan reported that the situation with a home on the South Hill is now in the hands of the Adult Protective Services.  He has made his assessment and found the home to be uninhabitable and a fire risk.  The Police Chief said that the main goal now is to find better housing for the homeowner.  The city attorney is compiling information regarding the city’s responsibility if the house were to come into city ownership.

JOINT FIRE BOARD & EMS UPDATE: Council Member Snook reported that the fire department has a full roster of volunteer firefighters. The calls have been slow over the past month. The new sign for the building is being painted.


Continued discussion of 2007 Budget: The Mayor read from a checklist that Clerk-Treasurer Beeson had complied.  Council Member Schorzman said that the finance committee may meet one or two more times before the final budget is finished.  On the list was a 2% salary increase for all city employees.  The Mayor would like to see the park and cemetery sprinkler systems reviewed, with perhaps installing a newer technology that would detect moisture levels.  The Streets fund includes 3 blocks of Alder St next year.  Fire Chief Bagott requested that the city start putting money into the Fire Equipment reserve fund.  Council Member Milano requested that the $12,500 that was requested for the RV Park to be carried over to the 2007 budget as it was not used this year.  Byron requested that the city look at purchasing an ATV next year for spraying.  He has been using his personal ATV for city use but will be retiring.  He estimates the cost without additional equipment to be about $8,000.  The city vehicle fleet is generally in good condition, with new tires needed for next year on almost all the vehicles.  The city needs to think about replacement costs over the next few years for some of the trucks.  The backhoe is the number one piece of equipment used every day by the city.  Council Member Milano requests that the city look at a new and relocated Public Works Building .  This building is in poor condition and located in the flood plain.  He thinks that access to the equipment is crucial in the event of a flood.  The Mayor also discussed the new reservoir that will need to be built sometime in the not-to-distant  future with reserve funds currently being set aside now.  Council Member Schorzman asked Byron if the lawn mower could do the work that the ATV has been doing.  Byron said no, the ATV can access many places on the railroad track and along side the river that a lawn mower cannot.  Byron also stated that he believes that the purchase of monitoring equipment for when the grass needs to be watered is not necessary. 


A.         Ordinance No. 824 – Amend the 2006 budget for the purchase and installation of sludge de-watering equipment at the sewer plant – Council Member Milano MOVED to suspend the full reading of Ordinance No. 824 and Ordinance 825.    Council Member Bailey seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  The Mayor gave a brief description of the ordinance and read it by title only.  This is to amend previous ordinances regarding the financing of the sludge de-watering system.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to approve Ordinance No. 824.  Council Member Bailey seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

B.         Ordinance No. 825 – Annexing certain property into the City of Palouse – Mayor Echanove read the ordinance by title only.  Council Member Snook MOVED to approve Ordinance No. 825.  Council Member Bagott seconded the motion.  The motion carried with Council Member Bailey abstaining.

C.         Resolution No. 2006-07 – Revision to 2006 Salary Schedule-Clerical Assistant

Council Member Snook MOVED to approve Resolution No. 2006-07.  Council Member Milano seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.



Council Member Schorzman asked Mike if a feasibility study on revenue for the RV Park had been done.  Mike said no, but he would look into it.  The Mayor asked what could be done with the event parking that uses the proposed RV Park space.  Council Member Bagott asked who would manage the park.  Mike said that it would remain city owned and operated, but it would be a self serve park.  People would fill out a form and insert payment into a box.  A city employee would have to check on the box and make sure folks pay.  Shelley Goertzen is moving right along with her fund raising project for the play equipment at the park. Mike presented to council her 4 phase report.  Byron said the equipment will need to be secured as a form of flood proofing.  Council Member Milano thanked Byron and the city crew for a job well done at the park, he received many compliments about the park, and he also thanked the city for welcoming the Cossacks into town.

PERSONNEL & POOL : Jeff Snook reported that the committee will need to start working on Byron’s replacement and he thanked the council for approving the salary schedule.

FINANCE, PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT : Norm Schorzman reported that the committee may need to meet a few times.  The Mayor reminded council that revenues and expenditures have been discussed and asked Council Member Schorzman if there would be any major changes.  He said no.

POLICE, FIRE & SAFETY : Rick Wekenman-Absent

POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Mark Bailey presented council with a report on the dangerous dog ordinance.  He has researched the issue and found that there is no statistical evidence that a particular breed of dog is more prone to aggressiveness and that there are inherent problems in determining a dog’s breed.  Popular opinion of vicious dog breeds tends to change over time.  Aggressive dog behavior is more a result of poor training and neglect.  He is quoting from the American Dog Owners Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States .  Police Chief Neumann believes that the only thing lacking in our current ordinance is a hearing process.  The chief also told council that there could be a First Bite Ordinance that is in place in other cities.  Council Member Schorzman MOVED to adopt a First Bite Ordinance.  The Mayor asked for second to the motion twice.  There was no second, the motion failed.  The Chief will research the language for such an ordinance.  He met with Cindy Leper from Whitman County Recycling and talked about the grant.  There is competition for this grant money, but it will still be submitted.  Council Member Bailey MOVED to submit the grant to Whitman County .  Council Member Schorzman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

STREETS AND SIDEWALKS: Darcie Bagott reported that the town hall meeting regarding the opening of B Street was well attended and progress was made.  The results of the meeting are available for public review.

WATER & SEWER : Andy O’Neill-no report

MAYOR’S REPORT : The AWC will be having a legislative meeting on Thursday at 7:00PM at the Hill Top Restaurant.  The Mayor recommends council members attend.  Joyce will be attending the IACC conference in Wenatchee , if any one is interested in attending please contact her.

ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Norm Schorzman MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. 

Jeff Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURN Jeff Snook MOVED to adjourn. Mark Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:53PM

The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:

Claims Paid                   Warrants:  # 11946        through # 11956           Payment:  $16,835.43

APPROVED:________________________________   ATTEST:________________________________