Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
September 8, 2015
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:01 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bo Ossinger; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce. Christopher Langsett is absent. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse his absence. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Officer Joe Merry (until 7:15); Clerk-Treasurer Mike Bagott; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 25, 2015. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
Getting ready for Wall Street paving project. The city sent out bid requests August 21 for 880 sy of paving and we only received one bid. Motley & Motley bid $20.75/sy for a total of $18,260 (includes tax). Supt. Griffin is going to re-measure and downsize the length from 880 sy to approximately 710 sy. That will ensure that we stay within our budget. If Motley is agreeable, this would take price from $18,260 to $14,732.50. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to accept the square yard price of $20.75 from Motley & Motley as long as they’re willing to allow the city to reduce the size of the total project. Councilmember Pearce seconded. If Motley isn’t agreeable to this, the city may have to go out for bid again or just gravel Wall Street and pave next year. Motion carried unanimously.
Officer Handley’s training is going well; we’re continuing to introduce him around both towns. He has exceeded Officer Merry’s expectations.
CT Bagott is still working on a grant application with CERB for WWTP project planning. He will have the application completed and a resolution authorizing that by next meeting. We’re looking at $50,000 in grant funding with a $16,667 local match.
RV Park revenues have come back down to earth and we’re right at where we were last year. Of course we’re still above budgeted revenues so that’s good. The smoke caused a few RV Park cancellations but we can’t forecast those types of things.
Jamie Gaber: Jamie and her husband and kids have been Palouse residents for about three years. The Palouse PD has made numerous contacts with them over the years and the Gaber’s feel like they’re being harassed. They feel as if the contacts are unwarranted and they think the officers’ demeanors are unprofessional. As a result, they are submitting a formal complaint against the PD for harassment and also against Mayor Echanove for not addressing their concerns. Mayor Echanove thanked her and explained that filling out the formal complaint form is the correct first step. Councilmember Wekenman, as the chair of the Police, Fire, & Safety Committee will have a meeting to discuss it. He will get all sides of the story.
Connie Newman – skatepark update. The skatepark committee has hired a private contractor skatepark designer. The skatepark is under construction and should be skateable by next spring. Many generous donations have come in including a $3,000 donation from Idaho Beverage and Pepsi Cola. The edible forest surrounding it will begin next spring.
Ratify appointments to Citizen Advisory Group for WWTP project: Received three more letters of interest for the CAG. They will be joining Bruce Baldwin, Carie Saunders, and Tony Wright. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow the mayor to ratify the appointment of Dennis Griner, Bob Barry, and Dave Tharp to the Citizen Advisory Group. Six is plenty so this will be our group. Councilmember Pearce seconded and the motion carried unanimously. September 15 Don Myott is going to give them a tour of our plant followed by a meeting. This group is advisory to the council and mayor.
Mayor and Councilmember Hicks attended the mayor’s roundtable last week in Tekoa. Marijuana was the main topic. The tax rate on retail sales of marijuana is 37% and this money isn’t making its way back into the communities. The state is producing about $1 million a day in revenue sales. Marijuana is the second highest cash crop in the state behind apples. The whole issue of legalizing it was to lessen the black market demand but it’s having the reverse effect because retail is so high. It’s a cash cow for the state legislature to balance their budget rather than going back into the communities. Sheriff Brett Myers reported there’s also a larger amount of impaired drivers now.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Pearce MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Estes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Ossinger MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 8:05 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 8/31/15 – 23 employees Ck. #6848-6874 & EFT $45,258.87
Claims Paid Ck. #6875-6901 & EFT $27,097.30
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________