Palouse building is reported unsafe

October 28th, 2015 by —

(Written by LuJane Nisse from draft city council minutes)

A safety concern about a downtown apartment building and a citizen complaint against city staff was received at the October 27 Palouse City Council meeting.

Building Inspector Dan Gladwill reported he inspected the vacant Palouse Arms apartment building downtown Palouse from the outside and it “doesn’t look safe.” Gladwill has written a letter to the property and mailed it by certified mail.

Personnel and Pool Chair Bev Pearce reported a formal complaint was received from Nicole Wood against city staff. Pearce has started research on this complaint and said she will take it to committee and follow-up with Wood.
The SMP consultants responded in detail October 21 to Wood regarding the shoreline management plan issues she submitted in writing to the council October 13. Her ongoing issues with her property and the city were discussed and no further action taken at this time.

The city received a complaint letter from a north hill resident regarding neighbors. The complainant is concerned with accumulating garbage and junk in the yard as well as a persistently barking dog, all of which may be violations of Palouse’s nuisance ordinance. Council member Rick Wekenman observed the property from the vantage point of the complainant and reported it’s very obvious what’s going on. Wekenman encouraged the police to treat it as any other complaint or issue. Wekenman will follow-up with the complainant.

Wekenman inquired about care of the City’s Nature Walk. He wondered if the council wanted the public to maintain the landscaping there. It was decided the Parks Committee will meet to discuss the future care of the Nature Walk.

A typo in the last council minutes was noted with a correction made in the record. The Under Clerk-Treasurer reported a typo in the amount left due on the city backhoe. The remaining due on the backhoe is $7,647.75, not $71,647.75 as was reported last month.

Council member Wekenman moved to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing on the Shoreline Management Plan and the amended minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of October 13. It was approved with a second from Council member Chris Langsett.

Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin submitted a written report to the council reporting Well #3 pump was pulled for annual preventative maintenance. Some bearings and other minor things are needed, he said.
During the Police Report, the council was told Officer Joe Handley will be attending a field-training in Spokane next week.

The police department is continuing to investigate a resident verbally accosting people around Palouse. Also the battery on Chief Jerry Neumann’s police vehicle went bad but was replaced free because it was still under warranty.

The building inspector reported Palouse has done pretty well this year with four of the six new in the new Palouse Cove development having their final inspection and has been signed off. The other two are mid-stage.

The Joint Fire Board conducted a meeting October 19 with council members Wekenman, Langsett and Ossinger in attendance. Annie Pillers reported everything is still way under budget, even though they dispensed firefighter reimbursement checks early and EMS spent $3,800 on training and supplies.

There were eight EMS and three fire calls in September (26 fire calls year to date). The fire department participated in a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) training recently.

Firefighters Marv Pillers and Moses Boone attended an Emergency Vehicle Incident Program recently. EMS is sending two people to EMT training soon.

Council member Mike Hicks has begun identifying properties in town for follow-up of dangerous sidewalks in town. He is drafting a letter to go to those specific property owners whose sidewalks are in definite violation of the code. He will also have the rest of the committee review properties.

Council member and Chair of the Parks, Cemetery and Buildings Committee, Senja Estes, will follow up on the Palouse Arms building. She will also meet with the committee in regards to the care of the Nature Walk.

Finance Committee members Wekenman and Langsett met with Clerk/Treasurer Bagott and Mayor Michael Echanove October 22 to review the 2016 budget. Langsett reported they examined the budget for nearly two hours going line-item by line-item. Overall, Langsett said, the budget is extremely conservative. According to Langsett, Bagott reduced the expenditures and lowered estimated revenues for a “worst case” scenario outlook. “With telephone land-line revenue dropping and unknown factors such as sales tax revenue, it’s best to be cautious and factor revenues in lower than they currently are,” Langsett reported. “Overall our finances look sound and attainable.”

The legal announcements for both the preliminary budget public hearing and the final budget public hearing have been sent to the paper for publication.

Bagott and Echanove attended the IACC conference last week in Wenatchee. They heard from multiple funding partners in attendance and what they see in store for 2016 and 2017.

In November, Bagott and Echanove plan to attend the CERB meeting in Olympia regarding the $50,000 grant applied for the WWTP facility plan. The Palouse WWTP citizen advisory board will be meeting November 3 with the city’s consultants Varela & Associates.

The city received a liquor license renewal for the Bank Left Gallery and Bistro for beer, wine and restaurant privileges. There were no council concerns.

Hua Ming Newman was in attendance to observe the council meeting to help him earn a Boy Scout badge.

Bills were allowed paid in the amount of $1,918.98 and a $3.74 check was voided and the meeting adjourned at 7:48 p.m.

After the meeting adjourned, PW Supt. Griffin remembered Roto-Rooter needs council permission to work in the city right-of-way on I Street to replace a sewer line for a resident. All council was still present and there were no council objections.

Those present at the meeting include Council members Doreen Hanson, Bo Ossinger, Mike Hicks, Senja Estes, Rick Wekenman, Bev Pearce and Christopher Langsett. Staff members present were Public Works Superintendent Dwayne Griffin, Police Chief Jerry Neumann, Police Officer Joe Handley, Building Inspector Dan Gladwill, City Attorney Eric Hanson and Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson.

(This article was written from draft minutes of the Palouse City Council meeting without council review or approval. There may be changes reported in the next meeting report.)