September 8, 2020

Palouse City Council

Regular Council Meeting via ZOOM teleconferencing

September 8, 2020


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


ROLL CALL: Council members present: Bill Slinkard; Tim Sievers; John Snyder; Jim Fielder; Steve Alred; Katie Cooper. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to excuse Councilmember Welcome’s absence. Councilmember Slinkard seconded. Motion carried. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Public Works Supt. Mike Wolf; City Administrator Kyle Dixon; & Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Councilmember Slinkard MOVED to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 25, 2020. Councilmember Alred seconded. Motion carried.


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


POLICE REPORT:  Chief Neumann submitted the police log.

A reminder to watch for elementary kids walking to and from school.



Varela & Associates is finalizing our Wastewater Facility Plan for submittal to ECY later this week. A meeting is tentatively schedule for the 3rd week of September to discuss with us, Varela, and ECY to solidify path forward for design phase and application for funding.


CA Dixon is getting estimates for wireless water meter reading devices. Going wireless will provide a host of benefits to our system, but the conversion is costly. We will be investigating funding options with the hope to have the majority of the project funded by grants. The goal is to have enough information by the end of the year to develop a cost estimate for the 2021 budget.


The rail line that services the tracks through town was recently acquired by a new company (Spokane, Spangle and Palouse Railway). We have received complaints about the storage of the PROCOR tanks in city limits. CA Dixon has reached out to them and they confirmed that there is nothing in the tanks and that their plan is to have them removed by the end of the month.



Ord. 994 – NWFiber, LLC franchise agreement: The city is authorized to grant non-exclusive franchises for the maintenance of fiber optic cable networks. This agreement is identical to First Step’s agreement. It grants NWFiber LLC, the right, privilege, and authority to construct, operate, maintain, replace, acquire, sell, lease, and use all necessary facilities for a fiber optic cable network in Palouse. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Ordinance No. 994 as written. Councilmember Cooper seconded. Motion carried.


Resolution 2020-05 amends the 2020 salary schedule to reflect the changes to the new Public Works Supt’s pay, the new Public Works Assistant’s pay, and to add the Entry Level Public Works Assistant position and pay. Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adopt Resolution No. 2020-05. Councilmember Fielder seconded. Motion carried.



Personnel, Chair Snyder- Working slowly and steadily on the pay and promotion model. We will take to city staff for feedback and then present it to council.


Joint Fire Board, Chair Fielder- In the last three weeks the Palouse FD has responded to 10 mutual aid fire calls including two last Saturday (8/29/20). There were multiple serious fires in Whitman County yesterday (9/7/2020). A total of 14 firefighters were either deployed or on call for 12 straight hours. They were at three different scenes concurrently. During the Malden fire the water tender truck suffered a breakdown; it has since been repaired. Our gratitude to all the firefighters and EMS.



GPHS student Christian Burt is seeking permission and funding to paint 17 of the city’s fire hydrants as part of his Eagle Scout project. He will be painting all the yellow hydrants which are part of the FD’s color-coded hydrant system. He estimates $500 to cover supplies and paint. Councilmember Alred MOVED to fund up to $500 towards supplies to paint the 17 fire hydrants. Councilmember Sievers seconded. Motion carried. He will return any usable leftover tools & supplies to Public Works.



Native Plant Walk is looking great and people have been seen enjoying it this week.


ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS:  Councilmember Snyder MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed.  Councilmember Cooper seconded. The motion carried.


The following checks are approved for payment:

Payroll Paid      8/31/2020          Ck. #11075-11093 & EFT           $50,042.47

Claims Paid      8/08/2020          Ck. #11094-11112 & EFT           $18,451.12


ADJOURN:  Councilmember Sievers MOVED to adjourn.  Councilmember Cooper seconded. The motion carried.  The council meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM.




APPROVED: ________________________________   ATTEST: ________________________________