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Cities meet on more cooperation


A look at possible consolidation of services between Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam may end up as just finding ways to raise the level of cooperation.

Mayors Paul Townsend of Grand Coulee, Greg Wilder of Coulee Dam, two councilmen from each municipality, and their fire chiefs and police chiefs met Monday in Coulee Dam to explore ways of combining services such as ambulance and fire departments.

“We are really looking at raising the level of cooperation,” Grand Coulee Mayor Paul Townsend said Tuesday. “There’s too many counties involved to move forward on consolidation at this time.”

There already is a lot of cooperation between the two. Police in the two departments regularly back each other up, and Grand Coulee responds to both fire and ambulance calls in Coulee Dam when necessary.

“We want to improve the protection for our citizens,” Townsend said.

In a report to the Grand Coulee council last week, volunteer fire Chief Richard Paris noted that 35 percent of ambulance calls (15 of 43) his department responded to in January were in Coulee Dam.

Townsend said that the fire chiefs and police chiefs are going to meet again soon to continue discussions on cooperation.

He also stated that it may make sense to station one of Grand Coulee’s ambulances in Coulee Dam, since some of Grand Coulee’s EMTs live there.

“Actually, nothing was decided, but there were a lot of good suggestions that will be followed up,” Townsend said.

Mayor Wilder couldn’t be reached for comment, but has pushed for ways for the two municipalities to cooperate and has kept alive the idea of doing things together.

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