REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING – DRAFT ONLY
September 9, 2008
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Michael Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present were: Darcie Bagott; Mark Bailey; Mike Milano; Andy O’Neill; Norm Schorzman; Jeff Snook. Absent were: Rick Wekenman. Also present were: Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin; Police Chief Jerry Neumann; and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present were: Rich Villa, Trevor Villa, Patty Villa, Kirk Burnham, Steve McGehee, Pete Hertz, Jay Iverson, Greg Partch, Jerry Finch, Dave Mayhan.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Milano MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 26, 2008. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
OPEN FORUM : The Mayor states that the council will not entertain any comments regarding personnel issues of city staff.
Trevor Villa – Eagle Scout Presentation. Trevor presented his Eagle Scout project to build two gates; one on each end of Shady Lane walking trail to prevent snowmobiles and 4-wheelers from riding on the trail. The gates will hinge open to allow authorized vehicles access. He asked how big the walking gap should be and what kind of sign is going to be needed. Late October is the planned finish date. The city will have possession of the gate keys and can distribute them to public works, fire, police and Avista. Trevor is requesting $1,063.10 from the city in order to complete the project. Clerk Beeson said this money would come from the Park Improvement fund and the current budget would allow the expenditure. Trevor will contact city hall to arrange a meeting to finalize his plans. Councilmember Milano MOVED to fund Trevor’s Eagle Scout project for $1,063.10, pending review and approval by city staff and Fire Chief. Councilmember Bailey seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Whitman County Commissioner Greg Partch updated the council on activity at the county level, including economic development in the Moscow Pullman corridor. Partch informed the council that the county had received an Economic and Development award from the Governor’s office last week at the Governor’s Conference in Lynnwood for their economic development work on SR 270 for which he and Mayor Echanove attended. Commissioner Partch highly praised the city of Palouse for the Whitman Street Project. He explained to council how well received the Transportation Improvement Board’s (TIB) evening in Palouse went in June. He also praised Palouse for their other projects and the City for getting things done.
He then introduced Commissioner Jerry Finch then left the council meeting. Mr. Finch is running for his third term as Whitman County Commissioner. He spoke of his accomplishments and future goals if re-elected. He praised Palouse’s success at getting .08 funding in the past and the economic development it has helped to stimulate. He ended by saying how proud we should be of Palouse.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Superintendent Dwayne Griffin reported the new swings are in at the park and the slide has been reassembled and installed. They started on the water system at the RV Park and will try to clean up and level the lot for parking. Whitman St. is open to traffic and the lights are still coming. A water pipe broke and flooded the new booster pump that we put in a year ago. Strom Electric has it for repairs and the back-up pump was installed temporarily. There was about a 4-hour outage as a result. The crosswalks were painted. They installed another sewer hook-up last week in Breeding’s Addition and another is ready to hook up as soon as they can get to it.
POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: Chief Neumann reported he is working with ongoing yard nuisance cases. Like anything else, it’s a long process. The PD is doing active patrols near schools every morning now that school is back in session. The 6-month review of the Garfield contract will be up in November. We’ve been working diligently on the PD lower level, installing a new doorway allowing for better access throughout. They’d like to repaint the garage doors to match the new light poles and all the new work on Whitman Street. The paint should be about $100 and they will provide the labor. Chief Neumann handed out a projected budget that would allow them to replace a police car after 5 years of service. In doing so, the vehicle would maintain a higher equity for trade. Chief Neumann recommended to council that they purchase a third car before the end of 2008, reminding council that they are only borrowing the Garfield car and then replace the existing fleet on a rotational basis. Every two and half to three years, one of the police cars will be rotated out under this plan. The civil service manual is completed and ready for the future civil service board to adopt. Councilmember Milano asked if the safety programs at Palouse schools will extend to Garfield schools. Yes. Councilmember Bailey asked if there have been any complaints about compression brake usage this fall. Chief Neumann hasn’t received any complaints but is aware of one driver in particular who uses them. Chief has spoken with him and reminded him that unmuffled compression brakes are illegal in the county, not just in Palouse.
Dave Mayhan complained that someone has moved property pin and it’s a felony. Chief Neumann said he’ll discuss it with him as soon as council is over tonight.
JFB meeting : The FD is looking into possibly purchasing a used pumper fire truck. Any costs will be half city and half rural. This is to replace the old Dodge.
Resolution 2008-13 : Cancel and replace lost warrant #13062. Mayor read the resolution. Councilmember Snook MOVED to adopt Resolution 2008-13. Councilmember Bagott seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Review Carpet cleaning bids : Three written estimates for carpet cleaning at city hall and library were submitted. More bids were solicited but no more were received. Bestway Cleaning $312.12; Castle Carpet $471.24; ABM $225.00. The lowest bidder did not seem to be the most responsible as they did not physically come to the premises to look and we were left unsure about hidden charges like stain removal and travel. Councilmember Bailey MOVED to accept the most responsible bid as Bestway cleaning. Councilmember Snook seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. More bids were solicited but no more were received.
Surplus item – 1966 Trailer : The surplus and sale of the 1966 Mobile Home is still pending. State relocation laws are being reviewed by city attorney Bishop. As a result, we will not put it back up for surplus or dispose of the unit until we receive clarification.
Civil Service Advisory Board : The Civil Service Rules and Regulations Handbook has now been developed and a list of interested parties given to the mayor. The mayor will review, contact candidates, and give his recommendations to the council at its’ next meeting for ratification.
Breeding’s Addition Sewer : Munir Daud submitted the final billing statement for A&R Construction. Mayor Echanove explained that this was a quantity bid and he listed the quantities that changed as well as the two field orders. Both Munir Daud, project engineer and Mayor Echanove recommended that this statement be approved for payment as final except for retainage. Councilmember O’Neill MOVED that we pay the total amount for Payment #3, $54,030.13 leaving only retainage. Councilmember Milano seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Steve McGehee asked whether the $228,653.50 total price included the price of engineering. No, this amount was for construction only. The price for engineering, legal and mapping was $6,918.00. Steve McGehee wants a total cost of all monies expended on this project. The total price, including engineering, is about $235,000.00. Steve McGehee asked about the loans the city has for this project. Clerk Beeson explained that loans included a short term note at AWB for up to $75,000 and Interfund loans that total $100,000. Steve McGehee wanted to know where the money would come from to pay the final $60,000 for Breeding’s Addition. The Mayor stated to McGehee that any numbers he was talking about were simply from him and that he could discuss the budget with Joyce and himself any time.
Kirk Burnham inquired about the asphalt repairs that are currently underway. Dwayne told him the repair that is underway is a state project along their right of way. Atlas will be in town tomorrow for some Whitman Street work and they will also do the asphalt repair in order to fulfill our requirement with the state. This is not a good time to get asphalt bids with the shortage of oil and higher costs. Instead of costing $10-$15/yard, it’s $100/yard. Poe is not accepting new bids until they’ve fulfilled their prior obligations. If we can’t get a bid this fall, we’ll have to incorporate into next year. Supt. Griffin would like to see it get done this fall and will do his best to get some bids.
PARKS, CEMETERY & BUILDINGS: Councilmember Milano discussed Palouse Days plans. Mike is expecting 175 cars for the show. The flyover for the ping pong ball drop is at 2:30. Palouse city staff is the grand marshals for the parade. The RV Park project is going well. Hopefully the electrical work will be installed this fall.
POLICY & ADMINISTRATION : Councilmember Bailey reported he was asked to look at providing police logs to the Boomerang. Mark spoke with Chief Neumann and reviewed Moscow and Pullman’s procedures. He recommends posting logs to the city’s website so anyone who wants that information can view it. WhitCom will only have dispatched calls which aren’t a true representation of what the Palouse’s PD does so Chief Neumann will have to submit the logs. Putting it on our website is the most efficient way to go. Councilmember is reluctant to put into policy but thinks it should be more like a public courtesy that the PD can provide as long as time allows. Chief Neumann agreed.
Councilmember Bailey looked at the strip of land on Pauline Lane and thinks it would be fine for the car crushing/hauling site. Confirming that the railroad right of way is 20’ from center, there should be enough space there.
The chipper will be here Oct. 6, 7, & 8th. Citizens can bring their yard debris to the compost facility beginning October 4th. Supt. Griffin is concerned about how things will flow. With the space available, we may have to limit the amount of debris we take in. The first few times with the crusher will be very busy but will probably slow down after that.
PERSONNEL & POOL : Councilmember Snook, Supt. Griffin, and Clerk Beeson will be meeting with pool manager Kasey Manning Sept. 10 for an exit conference.
STREETS & SIDEWALKS : Councilmember Bagott reported that the new trees on Whitman Street are being watered by city staff and volunteers for the first year until they’re established. Engineer Daud is looking into getting a three year warranty on the sidewalks.
WATER & SEWER: Councilmember O’Neill is working with city attorney Bishop to amend the city’s sewer ordinance to allow residents like Kirk Burnham to be excluded from the 210 foot requirement to hook-up to city services if such a hook-up would be deemed impractical. The change will be to include the words “where feasible and practical”.
MAYOR’S REPORT : Whitman Street dedication is this Saturday Dave Mayhan asked why, if Munir Daud cared so much about the sidewalks, he didn’t put rebar in the sidewalks. Dave stated he was required to put rebar in his driveway. Mayor told him they were poured as per code. Councilmember Snook explained to Dave that sidewalks aren’t driven upon, driveways are.
Deputy Clerk Thompson is drafting a ‘Requests for Access to Public Records’ form. It is modeled after Asotin’s version. Council will review for approval at next meeting.
The mayor discussed with council a thought on videotaping council minutes and putting them online for public viewing on the city of Palouse’s website. The intent would be for residents to get a fair and accurate reporting of council meetings at their disposal. Councilmember Bailey explained some of the pros and cons he sees at the City of Pullman. There is some cost and labor involved. Councilmember O’Neill thinks the city is doing a good job providing copies at City Hall and now at the grocery store, online, and various other locations around town.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Snook MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Councilmember O’Neill wants to get the word out to people that when they buy big items for delivery such as furniture, appliances, and cars to make sure to designate our city’s zip code so the taxes go back to Palouse. Over the counter sales are exempt. It’s a destination-based tax.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Schorzman MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember O’Neill seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.
The following vouchers/warrants are approved for payment:
Claims Paid #13312 – #13343 $71,683.73
Payroll Paid #6934 – #6967 $44,096.62
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________