city council meets
The Cottonwood City Council held their regular September meeting Monday, Sept. 13.
In the water report Martin Fowler reported the only real bad news is that they didnít sell much water this past month due to the wet weather. 6.5 million gallons were sold. They had a couple of leaks that were fixed.
Max Nuxoll reported that theyíre still waiting for the sewer inspection by the state Division of Environmental Quality. An inspection was scheduled but the DEQ wasnít able to make it at that time.
Nuxoll also reported that the flagpole and sign for the ballfields is nearly finished. They will certainly be finished in plenty of time for next spring when the fields will be in use again.
Fowler reported that the Lions Club hopes to do some more bike path replacement work at the city park in the latter part of September. The city has budgeted some money towards that as well and Shelli Schumacher said itís something the Chamber of Commerce might look into as well with some of their funds.
Fire Chief Rod Behler was present and gave the council a report. He reported they currently have 19 members. Fire calls have scarce lately probably in part due to the wet weather.
He reported theyíve probably received $250,000 in grants over the past 10 years. Most of those have been in-kind match and the latest have been just a 10% match. The rural district recently had one approved which will finance a new tanker truck. He said it looks good that the city will get one approved as well which would help pay for new turnouts to replace some of the older ones.
He said they have some free computers coming from the state fire marshal. Theyíll use these to keep up-to-date records on fire calls and send that information on to the state so it can be used in processing future grant requests.
In the street report Denis Duman presented a draft report from the West Camas Prairie highway coalition which sets forth standards on both highway district and city roads and streets. The group is looking for comments on this report to be integrated into a final report.
Duman reported they had a near miss recently at one of the crosswalks and he is asking motorists to please pay attention and slow down. The law requires you to stop once a person steps off the curb into a crosswalk. He also felt it would be nice if motorists stopped when they see a child waiting to cross. Duman said the city is working with the high school and elementary school principals on educating the drivers and pedestrians on crosswalks.
The city is also working up a sidewalk study that will look into implementing a long-range program on standardizing, improving and replacing some of the sidewalks in town as well as installing sidewalks in areas that donít currently have them.
Duman reported a concern has arisen with the post office again on accessing the back door of the maintenance shed/fire station. Roy Uhlenkott worked out an agreement where the city could get access in exchange for repairing a bad spot in the post office parking lot. Once the work started complaints came in about the city doing work on private property so they are now paying a contractor to do the work. Fowler recommended getting these kind of agreements in writing so they have something to show those that complain as well as having a record for future reference.
Discussed was the Snake River Basin Agreement. Duman said after his study he feels that this does not directly affect the city and feels itís best if the city remains neutral. You can go to http://www.doi.gov and check out the agreement and term sheet. Duman said that according to the agreement the Native American water rights are junior to the cityís and would still be junior to any future city water rights.
The audit was discussed and the city has proposals of $4500 for an audit to be done as in the past or $6600 for a new GASPY 34 method. Since the city as yet isnít required to follow the new method which goes into great detail on inventory, Fowler made a motion to go with the $4500 audit. The motion was passed.
Action was tabled on a couple of alley closure requests because city attorney Joe Wright pointed out the proper steps havenít all been followed. Mike Nuxoll has requested vacating the alley that is platted from Lewiston to King St. through the middle of his property. Planning and Zoning has recommended denying that request since there is sewer line through there. Larry and Gladys Sonnen have requested street and alley closures near their residence. That request was partially approved by Planning and Zoning. These matters will be advertised and a hearing held at the next council meeting.
The city approved paying their Clearwater Economic Development Association (CEDA) dues of $465 for the year. No action was taken on a request to join the Clearwater RC & D which has $90 per year dues.
Nearly $1000 of what was termed bad debts were written off by the city. Most of these have already been turned over to a credit bureau.
The council adjourned at 9:30 p.m. The next meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. The meeting is changed to Wednesday due to the Columbus Day holiday.