September 27, 2016

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting

September 27, 2016


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


ROLL CALL:  Council members present:  Bill Slinkard; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Mark Wilcomb; Christopher Langsett.  Councilmember Wilcomb MOVED to excuse councilmembers Hanson and Wekenman’s absences.  Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  Staff present:  Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Police Officer Joe Handley; City Attorney Eric Hanson; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of September 13, 2016.  Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


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



Palouse Days went off without any problems.

The PD is dealing with the usual ongoing complaints.



On finance end we’re under budget. FD had a planned structure fire training in Potlatch Sept. 24.

There were 7 fire calls in August, 29 YTD.  There were 8 EMS calls in August and 74 YTD.



CT Dixon is at a training workshop in Tenino, WA.

Our 2013, 2014, & 2015 audit is scheduled for Oct. 10-21.



Fiber-optics in Palouse:  Jim Kusznir of NW Fiber is looking to bring fiber-optic internet, TV, & telephone to small communities in eastern Washington.  He envisions, as market demand increases, homes, businesses and schools having state of the art speeds up to 1Gbps.  He is licensed, bonded, and insured to install the fiber-optics.  100% underground network, no overhead lines.  It will connect into the Port of Whitman’s fiber feed.  Discussion ensued.  Jim said it is exempt from occupational taxes.  He believes Palouse having fiber-optics will lure more residents and businesses.  Mr. Kusznir still needs financial backing.  Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow Mr. Kusznir/NW Fiber to proceed with and develop a deployment plan.  Councilmember Wilcomb seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.


Steve VanFleet of WSU Extension Office to discuss the pine beetle infestation in Whitman Co:  Temperature and climate haven’t been conducive to the health of the trees locally.  Pine beetles have done significant damage to the Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs in Klickitat Co.  These pine beetles are moving north.  They are borers.  If you see small holes in your tree with sap coming out, there’s a good chance your tree is infested.  The infested trees die from the top down.  Those are the trees you want removed and taken away and burnt.  There are different treatments/remedies to help eradicate the beetles.  There are systemic pesticides available that work.  Beetles attack weaker trees so healthy, well-watered trees stand a better chance of resisting attack.  Education is key.  Palouse Librarian Bev Pearce will aid Mr. VanFleet in arranging some community talks/trainings for homeowners/residents.




Streets & Sidewalks, Chair Hicks-  Councilmember Hicks is pleased to report that the majority of people who received the letter to repair their sidewalk have done so or are in the process.  The deadline is October 31.


Finance, Property, & Equipment, Chair Langsett-  Councilmember Langsett met with CT Dixon, Mayor, and former CT Bagott to go over the 2016 budget position and upcoming budget 2017.  Our 2016 revenues are up some.  Related, in the 80’s there was a federal program (CDBG Community Development Block Grant) that gave homeowners 0% loans to get home improvement work done.  Homeowners had/have to pay it back via house liens.  Fast forward 30+ years and one of those CDBG houses just sold and the city received $14,000 from that sale.  There are still four or five houses left in that program.


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


The following checks are approved for payment:

Claims Paid      9/27/16             Ck. #7754-7764 & EFT               $3,600.01

Voided checks                          Ck. #7748-7753


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Langsett MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Slinkard seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  The council meeting adjourned at 8:17 PM.




APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________