May 21, 2014 | LXXIV No. 8

New USBR fire station under consideration

The Bureau of Reclamation is planning to build a new fire station.

Two sites are under consideration for a new fire station. - USBR photo

It's the "where" that's in question. The Bureau is seeking public comment to identify issues to be addressed in an environmental assessment, due out this fall.

The Bureau is looking at two locations for the new fire station: one, on land it owns, near the intersection of SR-155 and "B" Street; the other on land managed by the National Park Service at Crescent Bay, uphill from the boat launch and adjacent to the access road.

A fire station is not in a master plan for Crescent Bay developed with public input by the NPS in 2009.

The purpose of the project, the Bureau statement noted, is to relocate the fire department to a new independent station to ensure reliable protection for all Reclamation facilities and lands, as well as local communities and other agencies through mutual aid agreements.

In addition to the two proposed locations, another alternative, the Bureau stated, was to do nothing. Currently the fire station is located at the John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant.

Public Affairs Officer Lynne Brougher said the idea had been identified in earlier advance planning for upgrades to the pump-generator plant to take place over the next 20 or so years.

But after that plant was closed down for repairs and cleaning following a fire last year, the need became more apparent and urgent. Fire engines were then housed at a new machine shop near the Third Powerhouse, and on-call firefighters stayed in local motels.

The public comment period is May 19 to June 19, and will bring focus to concerns, issues, and analyses that should be included in the draft environmental assessment.

Written comments can be sent to Lon Ottosen, Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Power Office, PO Box 620, Grand Coulee, Wa., 99133 or emailed to ottosn@usbr.gov. Comments must be received by June 19 to be considered in the draft environmental assessment.

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