City Council met in regular session on May 20, 2019 at 6:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Lester presided:
City employees present were Attorney Green and City Administrator Kennedy. Chief Drew and Public Works Director Mager absent.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the Council minutes of May 6th were approved as presented by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Lane. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday, to accept the Fire Training Minutes of April 8 and 22, 2019. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
BILLS: The bills, in the amount of $231,214.96 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.
CATERING PERMIT AND BEER GARDEN: City Administrator Kennedy explained the City received a request to close a portion of South Street, which staff have consulted on and approved. The catering permit and beer garden are to serve in the fenced area of the closed street and across the road in the vacant lot. On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Grant to approve the Catering Permit and Beer Garden Application submitted by Grangeville Elks Lodge #1825 for the State Elks Convention President’s Party on June 8th from 12pm – 7pm. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
KLEIN MEMORIAL TRUST: A few weeks ago, Mayor Lester asked Attorney Green to investigate what it would take to dissolve the Klein Memorial Trust. Attorney Green contacted the attorney general’s office. Attorney Green had a discussion with the attorney general’s office after sending a letter and they wanted to know what the tax assessment would be. After they received the information, it was reviewed with the superiors. They stated if we spend the money on the trust, then the trust can be transferred to the City. The trust isn’t practical. There is no way for the trust to pay for expenses or generate income. It will be at least 30 years before the trees are ready to log again; it can’t ever be a park as there will be no funds for maintenance. Green stated the City will record the deed from the trust to the City and then send a copy to the attorney general’s office.
Councilor Grant spoke with several past City Council members and they thought the land was given to the City. The County had the property listed under the City, so no taxes had been paid over the years. If it stays as a trust, then taxes will be incurred. The plaque on the property says it was a gift to the City. If the City doesn’t dissolve the trust, then half of the logging money will be lost on taxes and the City won’t be able to put that money back into the property. Mayor Lester also talked to Jeff Kutner and Rich Workman and there must have been a misunderstanding during the trust presentation, as they too thought it was a donation to the City.
Mayor Lester explained a list of projects as shown below, the City hopes to complete with the proceeds from logging to make it a better recreational area for the community to enjoy.
• Mastication – grind small trees
• Weed management
• Move and restore monument
• New Parking area to allow users to park off the road
• Fencing of some type to keep people from driving vehicles outside the parking area
• Payment of yield tax on logging
• Property tax
• Accountant bill
• Other expenses that may be necessary. The City will need to balance the expenses based upon the revenue received.
Councilor Grant stated all the funds will be spend taking care of the property. Councilor Winkler stated the trust can’t stay solvent to pay taxes in the future when it has no income. If the trust has no way to pay liabilities, then it should be dissolved. Councilor Grant stated you can tell by the watershed property, the City takes care of its property. The City would have the property managed by Northwest Management for the future. Mayor Lester voiced a thought that maybe upon transfer from the trust there could be a stipulation the City couldn’t get rid of the property. Councilor Grant stated things change and you can’t predict 20 years in the future. She felt restrictions should not be placed on the property for future members Council. Councilor Canaday felt it should be dissolved as there is no money to pay taxes and Councilor Peterson didn’t want the citizens to pay for costs if the trust can’t fund itself.
On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Peterson to make a motion to dissolve the trust for Klein Memorial property. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
SUBDIVISION ADMINISTRATOR: On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Peterson to appoint Bob Mager as the administrator for a possible subdivision on the southwest side of the City. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
WATERSHED LAND PURCHASE: Mayor Lester explained the original asking price for the property was $85,000. The City offered $70,000, it was countered at $80,000 which the City accepted contingent upon the appraisal. It is approximately 20 acres. After the appraisal came in at $68,000, Mayor Lester visited with Tera with Northwest Rural Properties, LLC stating he thought the Council would still be in favor of buying, but if the seller would lower price, it might be considered good faith effort. The sellers responded they would lower the price to $76,000. The appraisal fee was $3,500.
Mayor Lester stated the property does benefit the City. The Council talked about protecting the watershed, the City has spring lines running through the property and it does open logging on the current watershed that hasn’t been logged since the early 80s. The property was too steep, needed cable lines and it just didn’t justify the cost. Now the City can do logging when necessary with access from the proposed purchase.
Councilor Grant stated the property has value to the City, as it protects springs and it allows the City to log the section that needs done. Attorney Green stated it is the Council’s choice if they want to move forward with the purchase or not as the offer was contingent upon the appraisal. Councilors Grant and Winkler felt the property was too valuable to walk away from due to the ability to management the rest of the watershed, including logging.
On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Lane to purchase the property by the Watershed from Vincent and Diane Corrao, for $76,000 which is above the $68,000 appraisal. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
POOL UPDATE: City Administrator Kennedy provide a pool update to the Council. Jacklyn Mager has been hired as the manager and Ashley Gautney as the assistant. The City has enough lifeguards and the lifeguard class will take place the week of May 28th. The pool will open on June 2nd.
The meeting adjourned at 6:28 P.M.
Wes Lester – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk