The City Council met in regular session on July 21, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Walker presided:
City employees present were Chief Drew, Attorney Green, Public Works Director McFrederick and Clerk Kennedy.
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the minutes of July 7th were approved as presented by Councilman Peterson, second by Councilwoman Grant. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VISITORS: Sara Espeland was present asking the Council to consider an ordinance change that would eliminate cats from the animal control ordinance. She volunteers for the police department and has learned it is costing the city money to regulate cats. She has researched surrounding communities and no one currently licenses cats. The City has 38 licensed cats at $5.00 = $190.00 revenue. She estimates it has cost the City about $910.00 on the cats picked up. Only about 30% of the cats in the pound are true feral cats. Most of the cats are tame and have been pets at some point.
Chief Drew felt the City has not made a dent in the feral cat population. When the City is facing budget cuts, he felt the City shouldn’t be responsible for cats. Mayor Walker is concerned without a spay/neuter program the feral cats would escalate. Councilman Lorentz felt regulating cats is a waste of time. Councilwoman Grant never understood why the City felt they could corral cats. Councilwoman Dumas felt it was not cost effective.
Attorney Green was directed to rewrite the ordinance eliminating cats.
WWTP PHASE II UPDATE: Public Works Director McFrederick stated there is one item left on the punch list; then the City will wait for Shannon’s last pay request.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: The department had 46 cases written, 24 citations, 5 written warning and 146 calls for service for June 2014. The Police and Animal Control Report for June 2014 was accepted on motion by Councilman Peterson second by Councilman Lester. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
The Snowhaven Minutes for June 12, 2014 was accepted on motion by Councilman Lorentz second by Councilman Peterson. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
BILLS: The bills in the amount of $158,158.00 were approved and ordered paid out of their respective funds, on motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Lorentz. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
LOADING/UNLOADING AT GEMS, SOUTH A AND LAKE STREET: Principal Alica Holthaus was present to voice her concerns with kids and their safety in using South A Street. She visited with Public Works Director McFrederick about painting additional crosswalks. After discussion, they thought it might work to make the street a one way street with the school informing employees of no staff parking on South A Street. Most parents drop off their kids and they are encouraged to drop them off on A Street and not Court or Idaho. Bob Mager talked to everyone on A street and no one had a problem with making the street one way.
Many ideas were discussed by the Council Clerk Kennedy stated she drops off at Idaho because the street is wide and there is always parking along the west side of the street. Councilman Winkler suggested doing a temporary street closure morning and afternoon, similar to how the school does on Court Street.
Superintendent Stokes stated he’d like to have the school try the least intrusive option first. They will try cross walks first and encourage parents to use Idaho Avenue for drops offs. If they are still having problems, they will get back to the City.
THREE MILE CREEK GRANT APPLICATION: Public Works Director McFrederick stated Tom Lamar, Executive Director of the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute would like to submit a 319 grant with the City as a sponsor for Three Mile Creek rehabilitation. It would not cost the City money but it would show city effort to DEQ with the City’s permit. Councilman Lester was concerned if the City used the grant above the plant it might hurt the City in a future temperature permit. McFrederick disagreed; DEQ suggested the City participate so the City should try to get the grant. Clerk Kennedy asked for the requirements for the City to sponsor the grant. Councilman Lorentz made a motion second by Councilwoman Grant to sponsor the grant contingent upon getting a dollar amount to put in the budget. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
FENCE IN THE RIGHT OF WAY AT 810 ELK: Public Works Director McFrederick explained there was an existing fence on west property line that was covered by shrubs. The owner left the existing posts in the ground and he wants to put a 3’ cedar fence which would go about 7’ into the right of way. He’ll stay about 5’ from the curb so a sidewalk could be installed if needed. On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman to allow Levi Roberts to place a 3’ cedar fence approximately 7’ in the right of way at 810 Elk. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
ADDIE LUTZ FUN RUN: On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Winkler to change the date from October 18th to September 20th for Addie Lutz for her Senior Project. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: On motion by Councilman Peterson, second by Councilman Lester to go into Executive Session according to Section 67-2345 (f) litigation. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Dumas, Houger, Lester, Lorentz, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
PINE STREET PAVING: On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Lorentz on the Pine Street issue to hire an engineering firm to do testing on the paving up to $5000. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
The meeting adjourned at 9:25 P.M.
Bruce Walker – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk