September 26, 2017

DRAFT ONLY.  Without council review or approval.
Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
September 26, 2017 

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

ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Doreen Hanson; Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Bob Stout.  Councilmembers absent:  Senja Estes, Rick Wekenman, & Mark Wilcomb.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to excuse their absences.                 Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; Clerk-Treasurer Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 12, 2017.  Councilmember Stout seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

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

We need to upgrade/update our well telemetry.  The well telemetry is the radio communications between the two wells and the reservoir and tells the pumps when to run and when to shut down.  It’s been having all kinds of issues for years.  Just last week water was running down the street because the telemetry isn’t working properly.  Just within the past couple weeks both wells have pumped over 30,000 of wasted gallons due to bad telemetry.  The system is so old it still runs on DOS.  Automatic Electrical Systems (AES) out of Rathdrum, ID submitted a bid of $14,200 to upgrade the system.  We will be able to monitor things via screen vs. having to climb up and in every time.  The money will come out of the water fund and/or water system reserve fund.  We’re open to more bids if someone can find a company willing to come to the east side of the state.  Besides saving water, it will save a ton of wear and tear on our pumps.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to accept A.E.S. bid of $14,200.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to table the motion for two weeks so staff can try and obtain more bids and have the bids itemized.  Councilmember Stout seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Fixed a water leak by Grain Growers today.

The City received approximately 10 applications for Marc Arrasmith’s position. We interviewed four people and hired Palouse resident Mike Wolf.  He began full-time Sept. 25.

The pool will most likely be painted next spring. Public Works has too many other projects of higher priority right now.   Don has spent a lot of time pressure washing and prepping the pool to be painted.


Began cleaning out the basement.  Donated to a non-profit approximately 30 bicycles collected over the last 8 or so years.

Met with Garfield council regarding the Garfield policing contract.  Garfield wants the next contract be a four-year commitment from Palouse.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Chief Neumann to present proposed interlocal police agreement to Garfield with no increase to Garfield in 2018, and 3% COLA increase for years 2019, 2020, and 2021.   Councilmember Hanson seconded.  There is a 6-month termination clause written in to the contract for either side.  Motion carried unanimously.


JFB’s revenue from current expense has stayed flat over last five years.  They’re looking at about a $5,000 increase in their yearly operations budget for 2018.  CT Dixon has no objections.

New radio tower is working out great.


West Whitman project still needs street lights installed, curbs matching ADA standards, the Beeson/Anderson curb cut, painting for RR, and a few other things that subcontractors are dragging their feet on.  CT Dixon gets cc’d on all of the emails between MDA and subs and Munir Daud is doing his due diligence in getting the subs on this.

TD&H has completed the application to Rural Development for a funding package for water system updates and a new water tower on the south hill in Palouse.  The State Dept. of Healthy Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is a potential back-up funding plan should Rural Development’s funding package not meet the City’s expectations.  Michelle Bly of TD&H is working on that app as well.  She will follow up with us when she hears back from Rural Development.

We have an invoice from Apollo for $39,000 which is once again well below the remaining funds the City is required to spend to satisfy the loan terms set forth by the State Treasury for the City’s Solar Farm. CT Dixon will have an updated total after Kirsten Wilson of DES signs off on change order and possible next steps the City will take should further spend down be required.

2018 Budget Discussions –   

CT Dixon presented a 5-year cash flow spreadsheet.

RV Park has sat at $25/night since it opened.  RV Park has taken off.  CT Dixon proposes increasing it to $30/night.  That modest $5 increase won’t dissuade RV guests but will generate approximately $5,000 in unencumbered revenue directly to our general fund.

Chief discussed the replacement of the 2007 Durango police vehicle.  There should be about $24,000 in police car reserve fund next year.  The Durango has approximately 80,000 miles.  He thinks he can get between $2,000-$3,000 for it.  We’d look for another slightly used vehicle.  He has been looking at replacing it with a pick-up similar to the Spokane Tribe’s new fleet of F150’s.

Public Works needs a new dump truck.  The current dump truck is a 1973 bought used.  It has over 200,000 miles on it.  Supt. Griffin thinks $20,000 should cover it.  That purchase would be split among four funds: water, sewer, streets, cemetery. Supt Griffin would like to purchase a truck that would not require a CDL to operate.  The dump truck is used primarily for gravel, dirt, snow, and street projects.

City Hall services expenditures will be bumped approximately $2,500.  The library is getting new carpet and paint so the city will get quote for new carpet in here at same time.  This carpet was installed in 1997.

2018 wage discussions:  CT Dixon requested a salary increase to $48,000 from $42,000.  That pencils out to a 14% increase.  Mayor:  Sustainability is very important.  Mayor Echanove proposes a 5% increase to all employees with the exception of CT Dixon, Officer Handley, & new hire Mike Wolf. Officer Handley will assume Officer Merry’s salary upon his retirement, plus the 5% increase, which pencils out to $50,300; CT Dixon increase to $45,600, PWA Wolf increase to $40,320.  Much discussion ensued.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hicks, to put together a position description change to City Administrator for CT Dixon.  Motion carried unanimously.  CT Dixon will put together a salary spreadsheet outlining wage history of all staff.  He will also bring a preliminary budget to next meeting.


Ordinance No. 959 – amending 13.20.090 & .095 regarding water delinquency notice –  Councilmember Hanson MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Hicks, to suspend the rules of reading of the ordinance in its entirety.  Motion carried unanimously.  This is just housekeeping which changes the wording from “On or about the tenth day following the date of delinquency…” to “On or about 15 days after the date of delinquency…”.  It also removes a portion requiring the city hang shut-off notices on doors.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED, seconded by Councilmember Stout, to adopt Ordinance No. 959 as written.

Ordinance No. 960 – Budget Amendment for 308 Fire Equipment Reserve and 311 Police Car and Equipment:

Housekeeping.  Sold old firetruck to Farmington for $15,000.  Half of that goes to Whitman County Rural FD #4.  As a result, we have to adjust the Fire Equipment Reserve Fund to reflect that.  And Police Car & Equipment housekeeping to account for the $1,400 grant received by Officer Handley for radar equipment purchased earlier this year.  Nothing being appropriated.  Councilmember Hanson MOVED to approve Ordinance No. 960 as written.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.


Personnel & Pool, Chair Hanson-  DC Thompson has requested a meeting with the pool committee.  Doreen will schedule one.


The Mayor is sending a letter to the DOE requesting an extension to the Wastewater Facility Plan deadline of 12/1/17 currently included in the city’s NPDES Permit, to a revised deadline of 4/1/19.  Mayor read aloud the letter in its entirety.  This request is resulting from the 8/23/17 meeting between DOE, city engineers Varela & Associates, and Mayor Echanove, CT Dixon, and Tony Wright.  In this meeting DOE provided new information to the city regarding polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  New PCB requirements will impact the city’s future discharges requiring the city to eliminate its river discharge, year-round.  Since that meeting Palouse has been considering the impact of this news and trying to decide our new path.  After considerable deliberation, we have concluded we will change direction and pursue only alternatives that will eliminate discharge to the river year-round.  Therefore, we are requesting this deadline for submission of a Wastewater Facility Plan.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow the Mayor to sign the letter to DOE.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Council members strongly feel Varela & Associates dropped the ball on this; they should have been aware of this EPA change from 2016 because they are paid to know these things.  The city has spent two years and a lot of money on this project based on Varela’s guidance.  Councilmember Slinkard pointed out that Varela admitted this was their oversight and we fully expect they will come forward and make the proper financial adjustments.

Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Deputy Clerk Thompson to purchase ten picnic tables for the RV Park; one for each site.  Councilmember Stout seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

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

The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      9/26/17 Ck. #8601-8618 & EFT              $49,815.75

ADJOURN:  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 9:33 PM.

APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________