December 12, 2019

Council Present: Mayor Kevin Newland, and Councilmembers Scott Mortimer, Debbie Moore, and Keith Jensen.
Staff Present: Kaci Anderson.

Budget Hearing
Open Meeting: Mayor Kevin Newland called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

  1. Review Budget Proposal Report and Ordinance 431 – 2020 Budget: K. Anderson reviewed 2020 budget proposal documents as provided. She noted that due to customer service and training from BIAS, she was able to clean up BARS codes and ensure the correct codes are being used, in both the 2019 budget amendment and the 2020 budget. She pointed out there are few new budget items, but the new ones include those related to garbage service, snow removal, weed control (as opposed to weed control contract services), and street striping.

Regular Council Meeting

  • Approval of Minutes: Motion made by K. Jensen, seconded by D. Moore, and carried to approve the minutes for the regular meeting on November 14, 2019, and for the special meeting on November 15, 2019.
  • Public Comment: A resident inquired about ham radio operators in town. S. Mortimer responded that the issue is more applicable to the fire district, not the Town, and that cell phones have basically replaced the need.
  • Council Concerns
    • S. Mortimer stated a street light is out at the intersection of 4th and Navar streets.
    • Council inquired about an apparent new business in town, as advertised at the Farm Supply, and whether the business had applied for/purchased a business license. No license has been purchased by the business in question. Mayor and Council agreed that further action should be taken to pursue the business license, and garbage service will need to be added to this location as well.
    • Council discussed a motor home parked at 1st and Main streets. K. Anderson was directed to look into whether code applies for nuisance, to send a letter to the property owner.
    • Council inquired about the work being done previously this year on the east side of town. Mayor Newland responded that the property owner has received a stop work order. Nothing further can be done without the proper permits.
    • Council inquired about the length of approval tenants received to reside in an RV on Main Street. It was confirmed the Council had approved a 6-month term.
  • Reports
    • Mayor’s Address
      • Regarding the vacant council position, Mayor Newland has heard from, to date, three people interested – one written and two verbal. Interested residents are Colton Hinen, Earl Justice, and Keith Doak. No action or decisions will be made at tonight’s meeting regarding the vacancy.
      • Mayor Newland reported the City of Ephrata is again willing to work with the Town to re-paint/stripe the streets. S. Mortimer and D. Moore both stated they may have paint that could work for the project to cut down on costs.
      • Mayor Newland stated his focus in 2020 will be working with FEMA – contesting the flood map and the study completed in the 1950s. The history and circumstances of the flood was discussed.
      • Mayor Newland relayed information that the position he currently holds on the county health board will become vacant next month and inquired if any councilmembers were interested. Motion made by K. Jensen, seconded by S. Mortimer, and carried to nominated Mayor Kevin Newland to continue serving on the county health board.
    • Maintenance/Public Works Report:
      • Navar Street has been swept and C. Stout applied drainage rock for runoff. There is a hole in the asphalt on 6th Street by the school and church, that needs to be filled by excess asphalt the Town has on hand.
      • Regarding water meters, Mayor Newland reminded the council that at least one resident is interested in installing a meter on property not currently served by the Town’s water system. Town code currently states $600 as the minimum cost. The Council discussed the City of Ephrata’s practice, costs, etc., and how the Town could use this as a basis for possible future practice. The possibility of an inactive fee and/or shut on/off fees were discussed as well. No action taken.
  • Clerk/Treasurer Report: Motion made by S. Mortimer, seconded by K. Jensen, and carried to approve the Town’s current fiscal status and to pay the December 2019 bills as follows:

December 2019 Bills
A/P checks 10314 – 10324         $       3,982.98             
A/P checks 10276 – 10285         $       2,038.71             
VOID Checks 10333, 10327       $  –        45.88             
EFT payments                             $          451.85              Total                                            $       6,427.66

Current Account Balances
US Bank           $    156,774.60
Grant County    $    111,161.09
Total                 $    267,935.69

  • Old Business: None.
  • New Business:
    • Approval of 2019 Budget Amendment – Ordinance 430: Motion made by K. Jensen, seconded by S. Mortimer, and carried to approve Ordinance 430.
    • Approval of 2020 Budget – Ordinance 431: Motion made by D. Moore, seconded by K. Jensen, and carried to approve Ordinance 431.
    • Hourly Labor and Equipment Rental Rate Schedule: A draft rate schedule was supplied to the Council. After discussion, a motion was made by K. Jensen, seconded by D. Moore, and carried to approve the schedule as presented with one change to the employee hourly rate – change the additional charge per hour to $10.00 per hour.
    • Approval of Resolution 2019-01 – 2020 Levy: Motion made by S. Mortimer, seconded by D. Moore, and carried to approve Resolution 2019-01.
  • Adjournment: Motion made by K. Jensen, seconded by D. Moore, and carried to adjourn the meeting at 7:40 pm. The next regular council meeting is Thursday, January 9, 2020, at 6:00 pm.

A PDF of these minutes can be viewed here.