The City Council met in regular session on July 6, 2010 at 7:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Walker presided:
City employees present were Public Works Director Gortsema, Attorney Green, Chief Quantz and Clerk Kennedy.
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the minutes of the June 21st meeting were approved as presented by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Peterson. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
PUBLIC HEARING ON SEWER RATE INCREASE: A public hearing was held to hear comments on a sewer rate increase of $10.00 per month for in city rates and $20.00 per month for out of City rates. No comments were made and the hearing closed at 7:35 p.m.
On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Houger to suspend the rules and read Ordinance #860 by title only. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Houger, Lorentz, Bentley, Peterson. The motion passed. The ordinance was the read by title only.
ORDINANCE NO. 860
(Ordinance No. 860 in its entirety on file in the City’s Ordinance File)
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF GRANGEVILLE PROVIDING FOR THE AMENDMENT OF SECTION 8-5-3-1 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF GRANGEVILLE RELATING TO SEWER RATES; PROVIDING FOR INCREASE IN SEWER RATES AND INCREASING THE RATES OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS OF THE CITY OF GRANGEVILLE; CONTINUING THE DEFINITION OF THE USAGE RATE AS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THE EARLIER DRAFT OF 8-5-3; PROVIDING FOR THE RETENTION OF THE REMAINDER OF SECTION 8-5-3; PROVIDING FOR THE ORDINANCE BECOMING EFFECTIVE UPON ITS PASSAGE, APPROVAL, AND PUBLICATION; AND, PROVIDING FOR THE REPEAL OF ORDINANCES OR PARTS OF ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT HEREWITH.
On motion by Councilman Houger, second by Councilman Peterson that the first reading be approved, that the rules be suspended, the second and third readings be waived and the ordinance be approved and adopted. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Houger, Lorentz, Bentley, Peterson. The motion passed. Mayor Walker then declared Ordinance No. 860 duly approved and adopted.
VISITORS: Terra Hill with Grangeville Horizons was present to request the use of Heritage Square for a 3 on 3 basketball tournament on September 18, 2010 and a request to close South State Street. On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Peterson to allow Horizons Recreations Committee to use Heritage Square for a 3 on 3 basketball tournament on September 18, 2010 and to close South State Street, with closures from 8am-5pm. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Aaron Williams, 291 East South 10th Street, was present to ask if he could have a waiver on installing his sidewalk. He has everything poured except for the last 25’ or so which dead ends at the next property, which has about a 3’ difference in height. If the sidewalk is installed, it would dead end at a retaining wall at his property line. After discussion, the Council did not make a motion to authorize a waiver of the sidewalk. Due to the wet spring, Aaron then asked for an extension until August 1st to finish the remaining portion of sidewalk. On motion by Councilman Houger, second by Councilman Bentley to give Aaron Williams until August 1st to complete his sidewalk. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VISITORS CONCERNING 9TH STREET AND THE ALLEY: Linda Fisher verbally requested that the City vacate a portion of the east side of Hall Street. As history, Ms. Fisher explained that she put in a fence and landscaping based up information provided by Public Works Director Gortsema and also received an agreement to have the fence in the right of way. After receiving neighborhood complaints, she decided to put the fence on what she thought was her property line. According to the new survey, the property line is 18’ from the curb instead of 11.5’. She asked that the Council view her property and then she would like them to vacate 11.5’ which is different then the 2.5’ that the other neighbors will be talking about.
Bruce Chapin felt that the 2.5’ from Hall Street up 9th Street is mixed up and would like that fixed so the existing fence lines would become the property lines. He would like the City to vacate the 2.5’ from Hall Street right of way. Attorney Green stated that vacating a portion of Hall Street right of way doesn’t fix the problem. The neighborhood would have to have an agreement or a neighbor would need to file suit in order to make the property lines move to match up with the existing fence lines.
Jerry Asker stated he had his fence on the west side in since 1984. Everything is off about 30” and that causes problems with all the fences. He would like that fixed so all the lot corners stay the same. Mr. Asker asked that Attorney Green provide the legal work at no cost. Attorney Green stated that he is representing the City and it would be a conflict for him to represent the neighborhood on the same issue.
Dennis Jacques thanked the City for keeping him up to date since he’s in Canada. He agrees with the previous comments and whatever is the simplest way to fix it. It doesn’t affect him as he plans to build a new fence in the next year or so.
Mayor Walker stated if the City vacates the street the neighbors would then enter into a civil action to accomplish the rest of the paperwork. The neighbors would need to have an agreement and spokesperson to move forward. Clerk Kennedy would then have a contact for the application and billing of costs.
Lorraine Roach was present to provide a presentation on a proposed Grangeville multi-tenant facility at the possible location of the old Evergreen Assembly of God Church on Main Street. Councilman Lorentz felt it was an excellent idea and that there may be individuals in town that may be interested in investing if they know they would have tenants.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: The department responded to 149 calls for service. There were 92 cases written, 20 misdemeanor arrests, 3 felony arrest, 29 citations, 7 written warnings issued, 5 dogs and 1 cat handled. The Police and Animal Control Report for June 2010 was accepted on motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Peterson. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
GRASS HEIGHT DISCUSSION: Mayor Walker explained that every year letters are sent out from City Hall on potential fire hazards. Most of the complaints come from neighbors and are not on fire hazards, but on the ugliness of the property. He wondered if adding a maximum grass height would help. Attorney Green stated that the City could have a criminal ordinance that made it unlawful to have grass taller than a certain height or a civil penalty where the City can cut the grass after sending a letter and then get a judgment for the cost as a lien against the property. Councilman Lorentz stated he has visions of throwing people in jail based on this information but felt the City discussed this with snow removal and it’s similar and it wouldn’t necessarily be where the City needed to go. Clerk Kennedy explained that most of the problems are as the Mayor stated and neighbor concerns on the ugliness of the property and are not based on fire concerns. She didn’t feel adding a height limit would solve the problems in her office when sending out the letters. The time consuming problem is that a list is submitted; however the majority of the time the name and/or address is not provided. It requires a lot of research and phone calls from City staff to determine the owner. No further discussion took place.
EIMCO RETAINAGE ON THE BAND SCREEN: On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Houger to release the retainage to Eimco in the amount of $19,913.20 for the purchased band screen. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
PURCHASE OF POLICE VEHICLES: Chief Quantz explained that he is trying to establish a fleet of vehicles and then determining problems so he knows what needs to be replaced. The black pickup needs cosmetic work, but the 2001 Impala motor just blew. Orofino Police Department is trying to trade in two vehicles for $5500.00 during the purchase of two new dodge chargers; however they are willing to let the City buy them both for $4,500.00. One vehicle is a 2003 Crown Victoria with 82,000 miles, peeling paint and no radio; the second vehicle is a 2003 Impala with 76,000 miles and no radio. Both vehicles come with snow tires and the City has two radios on the shelf that can be installed. There is money in the budget, although it will tighten up the budget for the remaining year. On motion by Councilman Houger, second by Councilman Peterson to authorize the Chief to purchase the two vehicles from the City of Orofino for $4,500.00. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
GRANT ADMINISTRATOR: Councilman Lorentz explained that Walter Steed had an exceptional submittal, while Councilman Peterson stated the size and scope of his projects were far larger than CEDA. Clerk Kennedy explained that a summary rating was determined after the committee provided her with individual ratings. Walter M. Steed & Associates ranked the highest; the only other submittal was from CEDA. On motion by Councilman Peterson, second by Councilman Lorentz to accept Walter M Steed & Associates as the grant administrator, based on ranking and to authorize signing of the contract. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Houger, Lorentz, Bentley, Peterson. The motion passed.
ITEMS TO NOTE: none
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 P.M.
Bruce Walker – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – City Clerk