The City Council met in regular session on March 16, 2009 at 7:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Walker presided:
City employees present were Chief Sedam, Public Works Director Gortsema, Attorney Green and Clerk Kennedy.
The meeting was called to order and the minutes of the March 2nd regular meeting were approved as presented by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Peterson. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VISITORS: Louise Ellenberg with the Hope Pregnancy Center was present to ask for permission to have the “Walk for Life” on June 6th. They would like to reserve the park and pavilion from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and then walk to the high school cafeteria, escorted by police department. On motion by Councilman Houger, second by Councilman Lester to allow Louise Ellenberg to use Pioneer Park and the pavilion from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on June 6th for the Walk for Life. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Jim Fogleman, President of Border Days Association was present to ask for permission to remove a small building on the southwest corner of the grounds by the armory. They would like to remove it for safety reasons, as they are working toward separating the horses from those people attending the rodeo. They need the building removed to provide a staging ground for visiting royalty. The flags from the VFW are stored in the building but the association has various options for other storage for them. The building was built on a cinderblock foundation and has a rotten wood floor. On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Lester to allow Border Days Inc. to tear down the building on the southwest corner of the arena. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Clerk Kennedy mentioned that the lease between Border Days Inc. and the City will need to be renewed.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Lester to accept the Snowhaven Minutes of March 5, 2009, including the recommendation to appoint Julian Young to the board and to designate Snowhaven as an approved training site. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present. Councilman Lorentz pointed out that the guard will need a letter from the City, signed by Mayor, stating that Snowhaven is approved as a National Guard training site. The board is working on a personnel handbook and they will have it ready for next season.
BILLS: The bills in the amount of $242,125.38 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.
UTILITY 300% BOND AND CUTOFF PROCEDURES FOR NONPAYMENT: Claudia Roberts submitted a written proposal to the Council to eliminate the 300% bond required when water is shut off due to nonpayment. Clerk Kennedy explained that the bond was a guarantee on account for “nonpay” accounts. Now that the City does not allow new accounts to be in the renter name, the risk is lower for the City, as liens can be placed upon the property for nonpayment.
Clerk Kennedy then explained the current process used in order to have water shut off for nonpayment. The length of the process and the number of personal attempts made by staff were explained. It was noted that those citizens receiving notice of nonpayment know how long they really have after every type of notice is made and they wait until the last date before submitting payment. Kennedy then explained that she had posted a question to the list serve and discovered that a large number of Cities do not provide personal service on shut offs for nonpayment. The Cities send a letter that states if payment is not received by the due date, what can be shut off any time after “x” date. Kennedy preferred the process Post Falls uses which is to send a letter that shows the date due, a hang tag date and cut off date. If payment is not made, the water would then be shut off. Councilman Lorentz felt the City should delete the 300% bond and adopt the information at the next meeting. Mayor Walker was concerned about notice. A draft ordinance will be prepared for the next meeting.
ANIMAL ARK: On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Houger to approve payment of $1,000.00 to Animal Ark as budgeted. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
IDA-LEW: On motion by Councilman Houger, second by Councilman Peterson to approve payment of $2,000.00 to Ida-Lew as budgeted. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
AGRICULTURAL BUILDINGS: The International Building Code has a definition for agricultural buildings. At this time, the City code exempts these buildings from needing a building permit. A citizen could come and say they were building an agricultural building and then they could use it for whatever they had planned and they could build it in any zone as long as it met those requirements. Councilman Lester had concerns if the house sells then the new owner may use that building for a garage even though it wasn’t built to the correct standards. Mayor Walker felt that if building permits are important for safety, then no matter what type of building, it should have a permit and be inspected. Councilman Lorentz felt the language exempting these buildings should be deleted from the City Code. Clerk Kennedy will review the agricultural building appendix in the International Building Code and Attorney Green will draft an ordinance for the Council’s consideration.
SURPLUS: On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Lester to declare the 1981 one ton pickup surplus. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
SEAL COAT BIDS: Public Works Director Gortsema explained that Poe Asphalt is putting together a list of potential projects for this season. Gortsema would like to call for bids so the City can get on the list. On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Houger to call for seal coating bids. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
ITEMS TO NOTE: The City had a phone consultation with Gary Allen on Friday. He will be trying to determine if he can help remove phosphorus from the City’s wastewater permit. Gortsema sent him a packet of information that he will review and then he will give the City a strategy on how to proceed. He will attempt to have a meeting with DEQ around the 1st of April.
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 P.M.
Bruce Walker – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – City Clerk