BPA bumping up Coulee Dam compensation


Payments by Bonneville Power Administration to the town of Coulee Dam related to its power line project are inching upward.

The town council learned last Wednesday that BPA has agreed to pay the town $5 a cubic yard for dirt it intends to deposit on town property on the hillside between town hall and the switchyards. The dirt will come from road improvement work and dirt from drilled footings for the towers. Earlier, the BPA had offered to pay $2 a yard.

Gary Wilson, BPA’s realty agent, told the council that the dirt placed on town property will then belong to the town.

It has been estimated that trucks will deposit some 6,000 cubic yards of material on the town dump site. Town officials will work with the BPA and contractor Wilson Construction to figure out a way to determine how much soil is dumped.

The moving of dirt to the dump site brought some questions from council members on potential drainage problems. Wilson said for the town to write some language into an agreement still working its way through channels.

In another source of revenue, Wilson told the council that BPA would pay the town $500 a month for the use of 20 parking spaces next to city hall. That essentially wipes out parking at the north end of city hall.

The entire project could return over $36,000 to the town.

When BPA made its initial presentation several weeks ago, Senior Project Manager Mark Korsness outlined a plan that would return about $20,000 to the city. That brought a reply from Mayor Quincy Snow that “$20,000 is a pretty small allowance for someone coming in and tearing up our property.”

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Wilson was advised that the town had already lost one rental of its community hall due to the activity around the rear of city hall. Wilson said, “We’ll pay it.” And then he said that the town should document any such cancellations and BPA would pay them. The cancellation was due to the town losing, temporarily, handicapped access to the community room.

Town Clerk Carol Visker stated that the rental amount was $200.

Other smaller details of activity from the power line project can be worked out with the town, Wilson stated, and he encouraged town officials to put their own language into the agreement.


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