October 8, 2020 – remote/online meeting via Google Meet

Council Present: Mayor Kevin Newland, and Councilmembers Scott Mortimer, Raymond Kelby, Earl Justice, and Debbie Moore. Staff Present: Kaci Anderson.

  1. Open Meeting: Mayor Kevin Newland called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.
  2. Approval of Minutes: Motion made by D. Moore, seconded by E. Justice, and carried to approve the minutes for the regular meeting on September 10, 2020.
  3. Public Comment: Mr. Tim Warthan, pastor of the Grace Baptist Church, greeted the council and shared he was attending the meeting to encourage councilmembers regarding the proposed cell tower at the church, and shared information as to such
    1. K. Anderson wanted to make it clear that the original denial sent from Town Hall on the application for zoning approval was due to the fact that the tower is proposed on residential land, and city code states commercial uses on residentially zoned properties are prohibited.
    2. S. Mortimer discussed brief history of zoning in town. Further, S. Mortimer confirmed that the Town has received no building permit applications regarding the tower. He also noted that Grant PUD transmission and distribution lines are also an area of concern and something to be aware of moving forward with this situation.
    3. Mayor Newland stated he received, via email, a “cease and desist” letter from attorneys regarding the tower, basically demanding the Town stop preventing the tower from being built. The matter has been referred to the Town’s attorney. Mayor Newland also mentioned the height of this tower is approximately 240 feet, and the application for zoning was denied based solely on zoning, nothing else (residents’ opinions, health concerns, aesthetics, etc.).
  4. Council Concerns: None.
  5. Reports
    1. Mayor’s Address: Mayor Newland discussed the following:
      1. Thank you to Coulee City: for use of handicap stencil for parking spots. Thanks to a Loss Prevention Grant from RMSA, the Town has since purchased our own stencil as well as painting tools to use with the stencil and for other needs in Town.
      2. Thank you to Fire District 12 (corrected from Fire District 13 on the agenda): Mayor Newland expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the Town, for their hard work this year with area fires.
      3. Property awards: Mayor Newland said he did not expect or want a decision at this time, but wanted to share an idea from other cities he’d seen for awards for well-maintained or improved properties. The Council also mentioned a potential holiday decoration contest.
      4. Ball field use: Mayor Newland stated he feels the space could be better utilized and wondered if it could be improved to be used for Little League or school baseball/softball use. He and the Council discussed the size of the baseball diamond. Council further discussed possible improvements to the field, including markings for a track, shot put/discuss areas for the school track and field program. S. Mortimer noted 4th of July fireworks may be an issue if such improvements are made. Mayor Newland mentioned maintenance of any improvements are an issue and expense to keep in mind.
      5. Town attraction ideas: Mayor Newland would like the Council to brainstorm ideas, such as festivals or art work. S. Mortimer suggested an area of RV hook-ups, putting green and/or mini golf.
      6. Youth activities: The Council discussed potential grants, including but not limited to Lauzier and parks & recreation, for possible land purchases for above-mentioned town attraction ideas.
    2. Maintenance/Public Works Report: Mayor Newland discussed the following:
      1. Puncture vine: Mayor Newland has been in contact with the county’s Noxious Weed Control Board to try to stay on top of weed control issues in Town.
      2. Purchase and application of soil sterilant: S. Mortimer suggested a $500 budget revision/addition for the purchase of soil sterilant to help with weed control.
      3. Discussion of potential water meter upgrade: The Town is currently looking into the possibility of upgrading water meters to help with accuracy, potentially cut down employee hours, etc. D. Moore mentioned Soap Lake has been having issues with theirs. The Council agreed the Town should check with other towns to see what systems seem to work best.
    3. Clerk/Treasurer Report:
      1. Bills, Checks & Electronic Withdrawal: Motion made by D. Moore, seconded by E. Justice, and carried to approve the Town’s current fiscal status (as of September 30, 2020) and to pay the October 2020 bills as follows:
        Accounts Payable
        Payroll #10531 – 10540 $    2,430.25
        Claims #10541 – 10545   $    2,332.46
        EFT payments                   $    2,671.29
        Total                                   $    7,434.00

        Bank Account Balances
        US Bank              $      176,931.84
        Grant County      $      112,000.64
        Total                    $      288,932.48
  6. Old Business:
    1. Tree trimming update from September meeting: E. Justice stated he had not heard back from trimmers yet.
    2. Update on vacant council position applicants: Mr. Mike Conley has been added to the list of interested residents. Mr. Mike Dillman was interested in the water manager position but the Town is waiting on an update from him.
  7. New Business:
    1. Council policy/procedure review committee: Mayor Newland appointed S. Mortimer and R. Kelby to a committee to review the policy/procedure document entitled Council Rules of Procedure, effective November 2013.
  8. Executive Session: The Council did not enter into executive session.
  9. Adjournment: Motion made by D. Moore, seconded by E. Justice, and carried to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 pm. The next regular council meeting is Thursday, November 12, 2020, at 6:00 pm.