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"Consolidation" uttered at council


Consolidation — the word that sends chills up local spines, was spoken last Tuesday night.

City Councilmember Tom Poplawski brought it up at the Grand Coulee City Council meeting. And he even said it out loud.

Poplawski noted that maybe it was time that the different cities thought about combining operations — like police departments, city clerks, and more.

Mayor Chris Christopherson jokingly said, “We could call it the Grand City.”

Poplawski went on to say if the different towns and cities could combine, they could get a city manager and develop a more professional type of leadership.

The plan for Electric City to develop its own police department prompted the comments.

The two cities planned a meeting to discuss the issue last Thursday night (see separate story this week in the Star).

The four towns and cities have separate city clerks, public works directors and fire departments. Two have their own police departments. In Elmer City, tribal police patrol, and in Electric City there was talk of developing their own department.

There are four post offices, four city halls, fire stations, and public works departments.

But just the word “consolidation” sends people into orbit. Some people are still upset at the hospital moving from Coulee Dam to Grand Coulee, and that the two high schools, one in Coulee Dam and the other in Grand Coulee, “consolidated,” and that was in the 1970s.

Yet people have learned to work together in the hospital district, in the recreation district, in service clubs, and in the chamber of commerce, all with members from the various towns.

Poplawski waved a copy of The Star newspaper, which editorially suggested that it was time to get together, while not uttering that word, “consolidation.”

Earlier efforts, years ago, to consolidate were unsuccessful.

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