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Council defends sewer plant decision


Coulee Dam officials Wednesday night defended their decision to remodel the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

“We’re not going to just patch it up and leave the problem for our kids to solve later,” Councilmember Bob Poch stated in response to the idea that less extensive fixes could be applied to the plant for less money.

“I’m not a friend of breakdown maintenance,” Mayor Quincy Snow added.

The town has come under fire for the extent of an update planned for the plant, which last underwent a major revision in 1976, when Elmer City’s effluent was first piped in. Coulee Dam has a $4.992 million state loan available, and the project has been scaled down from a $6.2 million project to the amount of the town’s loan.

Councilmember Karl Hjorten praised workers at the present treatment plant.

“You can tell someone cares about the plant and has for a long time,” he said.

Some critics think the plan is still too expensive and not needed.

The present plant is 38 years old and the town plan is to build additions that will serve the town’s needs for another 38 or more years.

Currently, Gray & Osborne, the town’s engineering firm, is getting ready to begin the design phase of the project, with it going out for bid in early 2013. Construction would occur shortly after that and extend into 2014.

In other activity, the council declared as surplus a 7,350-square-foot piece of property behind the Ron Sacchi home on Columbia Avenue. The property butts up against the rock canyon wall.

The town will advertise the surplus property and develop a price for it.

Also, Councilmember Hjorten advised the council that he knows of someone who is interested in taking over the vacated Melody Restaurant property.

And the council voted to re-do the lease held by Riverview Lanes for the summer months when the lanes are not as busy.

Those issues were turned over to council committees.

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