The Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee executive manager updated Pullman City Council members Tuesday on the city’s water usage and other related statistics from the year.
Data from the past few months has shown an increase in average weather temperatures, a decrease in precipitation and an increase in the rate of evaporation, PBAC Executive Manager Korey Woodley said.
All the data presented essentially means Pullman and Moscow, Idaho have less water to access, Woodley said.
Working with WSU and University of Idaho engineering students has shown that infrastructure and devices are providing more effective in conserving water than educating community members on ways they can decrease their water usage, she said.
As a result, PBAC has planned to supply community members with conservation kits including a hose timer, hose repair kit, rain gauge, soil moisture gauge and spray nozzle, Woodley said.
Woodley also proposed mandatory water restrictions, which can save 18-56 percent more water compared to voluntary restrictions, which save 4-12 percent.
Geographic Information System
Sam Jenkins, Pullman’s geographic information system administrator, gave a summary of the geographic information system implemented in January.
GIS is the combination of software and spatial data, as well as the way users interact with that data, Jenkins said. Overall, GIS plays a key role in location and mapping in Pullman.
The summary gave an overview of the GIS website available to the public. The website includes benefits of the new software including imagery, address management and utility networks.
The implementation of a GIS plan allows for data sharing with external partners, puts information in the hands of users more efficiently and gives the city tools for nonspatial business systems, Jenkins said.
WSU Gateway Project
Robert Krikac, WSU associate professor of interior design, presented the WSU gateway project.
The project includes three senior-level WSU studios, including architecture and landscape architecture studios, whose members have worked to develop possible projects, Krikac said.
The possible projects are designed with several factors in mind, such as design for the economy and design for resources, Krikac said.
Jonna Davis, Pullman finance and administrative services director, presented the 2022 general fund revenue sources public hearing.
Pullman’s 2021 assessed value has risen to $2.17 billion from the 2020 assessed value, which was $79 million, Davis said. Pullman makes up 47 percent of Whitman County’s total value.
Davis presented the 2021 and 2022 revenue tax budgets compared to the real data. The budget was increased by one percent from $7,013,302 to $7,083,435.
A large portion of Pullman’s 2022 revenue budget — 71.38 percent — is allotted to varying taxes, Davis said.
It is expected that the estimated numbers will be met as long as the city continues to follow the same post-pandemic trend it has seen in the past, Davis said.
The council is scheduled to set the 2022 property taxes on Nov. 16, Davis said.
Downtown Master Plan
Pullman Planning director RJ Lott discussed the resolution approving the Downtown Master Plan from February 2020.
The council approved a plan regarding the resurgence of downtown Pullman in 2019, Lott said. The drafted plan from February 2020 was delayed because of COVID-19 and was adopted into the 2021 comprehensive plan.
It was recommended by staff that the council approve the master plan; the council approved the plan as a guide for the city.
Shawn Kohtz, Pullman public works director, presented a resolution to approve the execution of the 2022-24 surface block grant. It will be set aside for path improvement on Orchard Drive and Valley Road.
The project, which was designed by WSU staff, will add a more level walkway and more trees will be planted along the path, Kohtz said.
The estimated cost of the project is $780,000, he said.
The council moved to adopt the resolution.