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Mayor offers suggestions for USBR fire station


One local mayor has urged the Bureau of Reclamation to consider building something beyond just a new fire station, even a building for joint use with other fire departments in the area.

Responding to the bureau’s request for comments on a proposed new fire station, Coulee Dam Mayor Greg Wilder wrote to the bureau suggesting that if the Crescent Bay site were selected, “the project should consider an architecture that reflects the recreational nature of its proximity to Lake Roosevelt.”

Such features might include a well-maintained rest area, an observation deck, an information kiosk, or some other combination of features in a multi-use facility.

The new fire station facility would house 13 fire personnel manning the station 24/7 and three fire trucks, some support vehicles and a variety of gear. A bureau spokesperson said the estimated cost to build the facility is $12 million.

The Bureau of Reclamation has asked for public input as it collects information for its Draft Environmental Assessment. The public has until Oct. 9 to get their comments in.

Wilder also suggests that maybe it is time to consider a joint building that would also house other fire departments.

“If the Crescent Bay site is selected it would be a perfect place to house other fire departments, making it a central location that would serve all the communities,” Wilder asserts.

The bureau is asking for comments on three alternatives. The first, its “preferred” alternative, would be to build a 21,500-square-foot fire facility just outside the west industrial area gate near the intersection of Highway 155 and B Street.

Another possible site lies just within the Crescent Bay area uphill from the boat launch. The third option is to do nothing.

Currently, the bureau’s fire station is located at the John W. Keys III Pump Generating Plant, which was a problem in 2013 when part of that plant caught fire.

Wilder has pressed the need to consolidate facilities and departmental functions in the area to raise efficiency and reduce costs to local municipalities.

Wilder says he sees an opportunity to do something special that could benefit everyone.

In particular, Wilder sees the Crescent Bay site as a special place that could help set the area apart with a multi-use facility, accommodating a fire station plus some form of recreational purpose.

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