MINUTES OF THE NEWPORT CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON
August 5, 2019

A meeting of the Newport City Council was held on August 5, 2019 at 6:00 PM in Council Chambers, City Hall, 200 S. Washington Avenue, Newport, Washington, with the following present:

Shirley Sands Mayor
Russ Pellenberg City Administrator
Nickole North Clerk/Treasurer
Mark Duxbury Police Chief - Absent
David North Public Works Director
Tom Metzger City Attorney 
Kenneth Smith Councilmember
Nancy Hawks-Thompson Councilmember
Brad Hein Councilmember
Mark Zorica Councilmember
Keith Campbell Mayor Pro Tem

At 6:00 PM, Mayor Sands called the meeting to order followed by roll call and the pledge of allegiance. 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA & MINUTES:  

Sears Annexation was added to the Agenda under New Business and Police Chief Duxbury asked to be moved to the next meeting to discuss July law enforcement statistics.  Newport Rodeo President Ray Hanson also asked to be moved the August 19th meeting to give a recap of the 22nd Annual John Swenson Bull-a-Rama and Newport Rough Stock event.  Councilmember Thompson moved to approve the agenda as amended and the minutes from the July 15, 2019 Council Meeting; Councilmember Hein seconded.  Motion carried.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION:

Nick Knack Fire Chief of Pend Oreille County Fire District 4 was excited to announce that Pend Oreille County Fire District #4 will be hosting a Basic Fire Fighter Academy supported by the Washington State Fire Training Academy though the Regional Direct Delivery Program.  This class and training will provide the new and experienced volunteer fire fighter, fire ground knowledge and skills to perform safely on the fire ground in a team environment.  These classes will also prepare the candidate to take the Washington State International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) Fire Fighter 1 and Hazardous Materials Awareness & Operations written and practical tests.

MAYOR & COUNCIL COMMENTS:

Mayor Sands read a Power of Purple Proclamation where she declared August 09th Power of Purple Day in support of American Cancer Society’s Pend Oreille Valley Relay for life Committee for their outstanding services to the citizens of the City.  Relay for Life will be this coming Friday night with dinner beginning at 5:00 PM.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION:

Troy Falardeau of 150 Raylen Road, Newport, WA asked for volunteers to support the Newport Visitors Center.  There are currently only 3 ˝ volunteers.  More volunteers are needed to work 2-4 hours per week. 

Terry DeMerritt of 103 Lilac Lane, Newport, WA asked if a Jake Brake sign could be placed on Highway 20 coming into Newport.  Mayor Sands told him that she would have her Public Works Department look into it and work on getting one put back up in that location.

Marina DeMerritt of 103 Lilac Lane, Newport, WA spoke about beautifying Newport, cleaning up the lots cluttered with garbage and enticing businesses to come to Newport.  She recommended having an International Flag Theme with different nationalities sponsoring a flag that would be hung on a downtown pole.  She felt this would add some color downtown.  She also asked about the awning on the old Newport Ambulance building and how horrible it looks and asked if there was an ordinance that would make them replace it.  In addition, she was told that the building on the corner of 2nd and Washington has been condemned and she asked if it could be demolished so something new could be built there.  Mayor Sands told her that there is a Code Enforcement employee contacting citizens and peacefully working on issues.  A future workshop is being planned to come up with a better way to deal with garbage and junk vehicles.  She also spoke about possibly having a senior help day and a day that a dumpster could possibly be brought in to help with yard waste.  During the workshop ideas from the public will be welcome. 

Judi Loy with RGNEW asked for an update on the South Bench Water Project.  Mayor Sands stated that the project should be wrapped up in September and it continues to move forward.  Ms. Loy also stated that reference Mrs. DeMerritt’s comment if people take care of their yards it will encourage others to do the same.

Rob Owen of Owen’s Grocery thanked everyone involved for making sure the Newport Rodeo Parade route traveled through the business district. 

NEW BUSINESS:

David Sears annexation request to annex their property 346 North Quail Avenue to the City as an R-1 zone was heard before the Planning Commission Meeting last month.  Unfortunately, the public hearing on this topic was heard with public comment but the hearing was not officially opened and closed with a time for the record.  In order to correct this, the annexation request will be advertised and heard again before the Planning Commission on August 26, 2019.  The annexation was approved by the Planning Commission during the meeting but in order to make sure all steps are taken, and everything is legal the public hearing will be heard again.  It is City Attorney Metzger’s and City Administrator Pelleberg’s recommendation that the Sears be allowed to move forward with obtaining a building permit and starting to build their home in order to not lose their contractor due to this being a City error.  The Council was fine with this if everything regarding the annexation is done legally and in compliance with the State Auditor.   

A public hearing to discuss a request from Aluvus Co. to vacate a portion of 322 N. Warren Avenue and West Walnut Street (2019-PC4) was reopened after being continued from the July 01, 2019 meeting at 6:13 PM.  City Administrator Pelleberg stated that Aluvus Co. and the other property owner that the street vacation would affect came to an agreement and Aluvus Co. is purchasing Mr. Everett Alford’s property so there will only be one property owner involved with his street vacation request.  Mr. Chantry from Aluvus Co. respectfully asked that the Council consider reducing the cost to him for the street vacation due to the cost for removal of the asphalt.  The proposed cost to the landowners requesting the street vacations was $2.10 Sq. Ft.  which is the assessed value for Commercial Property in Newport.  Councilmember Smith asked for hard numbers from City Administrator Pelleberg at the next meeting so that the Council can see what dollar amount is being discussed for the street vacations.  Mayor Sands continued the public hearing to August 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM.  

A public hearing to discuss a request from New Health Programs Association to vacate a portion of Spruce Street and North Spokane Avenue (2019-PC6 & 2019-PC7) was reopened after being continued from the July 01, 2019 meeting at 6:27 PM.  City Administrator Pelleberg recommended continuing this hearing as well until August 19th so that he can provide hard numbers of the proposed cost to vacate the street to the Council.  New Health Programs Association had two representatives present.  They stated that they have an inhouse team that will remove the asphalt and are willing to do whatever is needed to work with the City on their street vacation request.  Mayor Sands continued the public hearing to August 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM. 

Councilmember Zorica moved to approve South Bench Water Reservoir Project USDA Pay Request No. 16 MWB Draw 10 in the amount of $188,402.78; Councilmember Campbell seconded.  Councilmember Zorica asked if the project was on track.  City Administrator Pelleberg stated that it has been delayed and there is a meeting scheduled to discuss the time frame.  Motion carried. 

Councilmember Hein moved to approve Agreement NP2019-16 Interagency Agreement between City of Newport and Pend Oreille County Public Works Department – Road Division for roadway paint striping; Councilmember Smith seconded.  Motion carried. 

Councilmember Smith moved to approve the hotel/motel tax request for Newport Farmers Market 40th Anniversary Celebration in the amount of $675.00; Councilmember Hein seconded.  Motion carried. 

Councilmember Campbell moved to allow Sandy Coelho to hold a Pend Oreille River Valley Harvest Days event on the first weekend in October during daylight hours in the TJ Kelly Park; Councilmember Zorica seconded.  Motion carried.   

A financial report was given to the Mayor and Council for review.

STAFF COMMENTS:

Public Works Director North gave a public works update.  He gave an update on the Jake Brake sign request from a previous Council Meeting.  He has the sign and is working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to place the sign further up the hill on State Route 20 as you are coming into Newport.  The crew is working on painting crosswalks.  City Administrator Pelleberg stated that he and Mr. North have been looking at the streets and many are beyond repair.  They are working with Washington State Transportation Improvement Board to try a new method on a neighborhood in the City.  Councilmember Smith asked what the plan is for the hill coming into Newport on State Route 20 that they are excavating.  He has been approached by property owners across the highway who would like some assurance when it rains that things will be safe.  Mr. North stated he would contact the property owner and inquire what the plan is, but he said that hillside is all solid rock and there should not be an issue.  Mayor Sands asked if painting could take place earlier in the year next year.  Mr. North stated he would try to make that happen.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR COMMENTS:

City Administrator Pelleberg spoke about the REDI Grant that was received that will assist in moving forward with building an Industrial Business Park.  He also spoke about a Downtown Revitalization Project and will hold a visioning workshop with the Council.  The workshop is planned for the second meeting in September (September 16th).  City Hall will be open for public comment also.  This will hopefully help the downtown area.  He was approached by citizens interested in helping plan the BMX Park in the Master Plan Area as well as making all parks ADA compatible.  He has been working with City Consultant Gregg Dohrn on the updated comprehensive plan, development regulations and annexations.  

Mr. Pelleberg had a conference call with Hunden Partners regarding the hotel feasibility study to kick off the second phase.  They will be preparing a request for qualifications for a developer to build a hotel in Newport.  They are also sending examples of ways the City can bridge the gap in funding.  Councilmember Zorica asked how the Transportation Study was going.  Mr. Pelleberg stated that the study was done as part of the Hotel/Motel tax study but was not very informative.  He will be working with WSDOT to possibly go from a one way to two way on Washington and a truck route on Union. 

BILLS & PAYROLL:

Councilmember Thompson moved to approve the bills and payroll; Councilmember Smith seconded.  Motion carried.

CLAIMS CHECKS 62891-62930  $403,350.64
CLAIMS EFT 08/01/2019 Run 1-8      $6,088.57
CLAIMS DIRECT PAY 08/01/2019 Run 1-11 $434.00
PAYROLL EFTS 850-854 and Dir Dep Run 07/18/2019               

   $51,079.28

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:07 PM.

Attest:                                                                              By:

Nickole North, MMC, CPFA                                         Shirley Sands

Clerk/Treasurer                                                               Mayor