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Consolidation study sidelined by budgets, more


A study of consolidating two local cities is off the books.

Neither Electric City nor Grand Coulee put funding in their budgets to pay for it, and a second reason is more critical than the cost of the study, according to one councilmember.

In order to consolidate the two cities, one of them would have to annex either Delano or the land between North Dam Park and Coulee Playland. There is no land where the two cities have a common boundary.

Grand Coulee Councilmember Tom Poplawski pointed this out at that city’s council meeting Dec. 22, and added that there is no movement at this time toward any such annexation. He felt like this would be a killer to the study.

However, the study is designed to reveal all of the issues involved in any consolidation, and the contiguous boundaries issue has always been known.

There have been year-long discussions on a consolidation study that isn’t going to happen, at least for some time to come.

The Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, after hearing from several people with an interest in consolidation, had offered to facilitate a study, and met with SCJ Alliance, a firm out of Wenatchee, to do a study. SCJ had indicated an interest in doing the study for up to $30,000.

The need then was to get Electric City and Grand Coulee to fund up to $15,000 each for the study.

Chamber Executive Director Peggy Nevsimal told the two councils that the chamber would work with its membership and other volunteers to do much of the grass-roots work of the study to reduce the cost.

Last spring, Electric City’s council indicated that it would support the effort and was in favor of providing its share of the cost at $15,000. A formal vote wasn’t taken.

Grand Coulee was slower to act and only recently put $10,000 in its budget for the study. A week later, that budget item was dropped because of overall budget concerns.

While there is still interest in some level of consolidation, it will have to wait for another day.

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