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Town budget reflects losing ambulance, gaining new plant


The town of Coulee Dam is set to gain a new sewer plant but lose an ambulance service.

The town expects to spend nearly $7 million of its wastewater fund in 2016, when a long-awaited revamp of its wastewater treatment plant is anticipated to begin in late summer.

A preliminary budget shows the town ending next year with nearly $857,000 in reserves, even after spending some $10,053,652, most of that on the sewer plant.

At the town council’s Nov. 12, meeting there was no discussion on the budget or on Mayor Greg Wilder’s 2016 “budget message.”

That document outlines the town’s operating expenses and directions, including a recommendation to plan on only $2,000 for the town ambulance, a 95-percent reduction from the more than $41,000 budgeted for 2015.

Wilder said the state Department of Health “may de-certify the Coulee Dam Ambulance Services this 2015 year.”

Wilder continued that, over the last four years, the service had suffered problems with staffing, EMT certifications, personnel-based conflicts, service complaints, ambulance certifications and potential for legal action against the town.

“I recommend that Coulee Dam negotiate with Grand Coulee to develop and adopt an applicable agreement/governance,” he wrote.

Wilder was not at the meeting while attending a function for his son.

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