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City pressed on home mechanic


Mike Horne, owner of MPH, a mechanical firm on Midway in Grand Coulee, made his second appearance before the city council to complain about a home mechanic operation at 431 Grand Coulee Avenue.

The operation in question is owned by Donovan Picard, who allegedly doesn’t have a city business license and the current zoning does not allow business operations.

Horne had appeared before the council, along with Jack Madsen, of Jack’s Service, in September, raising the same concerns.

Horne told the council last Tuesday night that the home mechanic operation doesn’t pay taxes and he wanted to know what the city was going to do about it.

Mayor Chris Christopherson and Police Chief Mel Hunt assured Horne that things were progressing in a routine way and that it was being handled.

Hunt said that Picard had been informed by letter that he was in violation of the city code and that action could be taken. He said Picard was at the end of the period given to cease operation.

The Grand Coulee Avenue resident could face a fine if he continues to operate. Every day is a new violation and the fines could add up fast, at $250 a day.

A certified letter went out to Picard last week and will be followed by a visit of law enforcement, a city official stated.

After the earlier complaint, Picard was called and said that he did do some mechanic work but it was largely for relatives and friends.

That didn’t cut it with Horne.

Also at issue was the fact that Picard could do mechanic work cheaper than the two garages that brought the issue up before the council. Horne said that was partly because Picard didn’t pay taxes or other fees that he and Madsen had to pay. He said it was a matter of fairness.

Chief Hunt said the issue would likely go to court and wondered if Horne would testify. “Sign me up,” Horne replied.

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