City Council met in regular session on April 20, 2020 at 6:10 P.M. via teleconference due to COVID-19.
Mayor Lester presided
City employees present were Chief Drew, Attorney Green, Public Works Director Mager and City Administrator Kennedy.
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the minutes of March 19th and April 6th were approved as presented by Councilor Peterson, seconded by Councilor Grant. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VISITORS: Jerrilyn Elliott, 810 S Hall, presented a request to allow chickens (without a rooster) in all zones in the City. She and her husband have lived here for almost five years with five kids and she has thought about having chickens before. They own just a little under one acre. It’s an ideal place to have them. She has talked to her neighbors and some of them want chickens too. She called different towns to ask about their regulations. Boise allows property owners to have up to 6 chickens, Palouse just increase the allowance from 10 chickens to 20. Lewiston approved chickens in all residential zones, Cottonwood only has some zones that allow it. Nezperce allows chickens and Kamiah can have chickens in a coop. Some of the issues that have been raised are noise, smell and privacy of not having chickens. A dog bark is around 90 decibels and chickens are 60-70 decibels, dog waste is larger than chicken waste, chickens are kept in a coop, while dogs and cats roam even though they aren’t allowed to. The City could have regulations on how far the coop could be from property lines to protect the neighbor’s rights. Chickens are good. They teach responsibility, they lay eggs, eat bugs, the kitchen waste goes to chickens for food and they provide good fertilizer.
Councilor Farris stated if we start allowing chickens in all zones, who is to stay the next person won’t want other animals such as a cow or horse. The zones are there for a reason. Jerrilyn responded she is only asking for chickens and that would be someone else’s fight.
Councilor Grant stated she lives in town for a reason. She doesn’t want to have animals next to her. She understands Jerrilyn’s lot is big enough, but in her area, lots are 50’x100’ and there isn’t enough room to keep them far enough from the neighbors. Jerrilyn explained that would be one of the rules the Council could set, based upon the size of the lot, or how far the enclosure would need to be from the property line. If it didn’t fit on the lot they couldn’t have chickens.
Chief Drew stated the City normally has problems with the people that aren’t like Jerrilyn, but rather those that don’t take care of their animals. Then the City gets complaints on smell and noise and they are difficult to deal with.
POLICE AND ANIMAL CONTROL REPORT: The department had 91 calls for service, 9 cases written and 2 dogs returned to owners for March 2020. Ryan Brown is on staff fulltime training with Sgt. Quintal.
PUBLIC WORKS: Public Works Director Mager stated the City continues to work on the Cross Connection program. There will be an article in the paper explaining the City is still moving forward with the program. It will also state with the stay at home order, if you can’t get a tester or you are on the schedule after the deadline, you need to contact the City. The City will work with the property owner on the deadline if the owner has communication with the City, however everyone will still need to eventually comply. Approximately 656 surveys have not been returned. Mager wanted to make sure the Council was still on board with shutting off water if there is non-compliance. Councilor Winkler stated he supports Mager and doesn’t know why the City wouldn’t move forward. The Council agreed.
BILLS: The bills, in the amount of $212,033.53 were approved and ordered paid out of their respective funds, on motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Winkler. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
SIDEWALK WAIVERS: JMS Properties (Palenque building), 711 W Main has a sidewalk on North C but not on Main Street. The City and the state plow snow to that area on Main Street so it would be full of gravel and snow and the sidewalk wouldn’t go anywhere as there is the drop off down into the RV park. On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Farris to approve a sidewalk waiver on Main Street for JMS Properties, 711 W Main Street. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Mager stated at this time, the City is not ready for improvements on North Meadow. The full width of the road is not paved and the right of ways in that area are not set. On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Canaday to approve a sidewalk waiver on North Meadow for Frank Cox at 800 N Meadow. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Mager originally thought a sidewalk would be required as the City currently holds sidewalk waivers starting at A Street with Melinda Hall (629 S A), then east to Adam and Kim Aiken (405 Washington), then to the east is Peggy Wright (403 Washington). The next house to the east (620 S Idaho) has not done construction to trigger the sidewalks, which is the last house before Idaho Avenue. Currently, the fence at 629 S A is within 6” of the curb and power poles are in the way of sidewalks at 405 Washington. It was recommended to grant the waiver. If sidewalks are triggered at 620 S Idaho, then sidewalks could be required for the whole block. On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Peterson to approve a sidewalk waiver on Washington for Peggy Wright, 403 Washington. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
NORTHWEST MANAGEMENT INC: Mayor Lester felt there needed to be a formal decision by the Council to have Northwest Management Inc. manage all the property on the watershed, including the property purchased in the last year from Corrao, Wagner and Whitley. They currently manage all the watershed property including the Klein Property, but excluding Snowhaven. On motion by Councilor Grant, second by Councilor Peterson to have Northwest Management Inc. manage all the property on the watershed, including the three newly purchased properties. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
The meeting adjourned at 6:48 P.M.
Wes Lester – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk