The operator of Grand Coulee’s Wastewater Treatment Plant addressed the city council last Tuesday night, seeking $400,000 to make needed repairs.
Gary Abbott explained to the council the results of a report from the city’s engineering firm, Gray & Osborne, showing the need for major electrical repairs at the plant.
The plant is owned by both Grand Coulee (51 percent) and Electric City (49 percent).
Abbott told the council that the electrical equipment had lasted over 30 years, well past normal wear and tear, and was near the end of its usefulness. He said that parts are difficult or impossible to find.
He also told the council that the repairs outlined in a chart would bring the city in line with present requirements and he wanted to know where the money was coming from.
He stated that a switch room met standards at the time it was built, although if it were being built today the room would have to be larger.
Councilmember Erin Nielsen, a safety officer with the Bureau of Reclamation, stated that the city should build a new room during any change in the electrical equipment because there was a reason for new standards — that being safety. He stated that the city should provide operators a safe working environment.
Electric City has been advised of the need for the project, and members of its council and council members from Grand Coulee are scheduled to take a tour of the plant sometime before their next meeting.
Fire Chief Richard Paris said that since he was in the safety business himself, he would have some things to say about the project, probably at a later date.
City Clerk Carol Boyce had provided council with information on possible grants that might be available for at least part of the project.
When asked when he thought the city needed to get started on the repairs, Abbott looked at the clock and said 7:05. It was 6:55 at the time.
The council will take up discussion of the needed repairs at a later date.