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Cities fighting over treatment costs


Electric City and Grand Coulee have both “lawyered up” over a dispute about arsenic treatment charges.

Grand Coulee has paid for the charges since September 2014, but hasn’t paid for charges from 2013 to the September date in 2014.

Grand Coulee City Clerk Carol Boyce said the city has referred the matter to its attorney and that it doesn’t feel charges that have been made for 2013 and part of 2014, prior to a formal agreement, need to be paid.

The two cities signed the formal agreement in September 2014.

Electric City Clerk Jackie Perman said the monthly charges to Grand Coulee for arsenic treatment of its water supply can run up to $15,000 a quarter, depending on the amount of water supply that is metered.

Perman stated that water supplied to Grand Coulee has been treated since 2013, and that the charges reflect 79 percent of treatment costs. Electric City supplies 79 percent of its total water to Grand Coulee on a quarterly basis.

At issue, Electric City maintains, are charges for part of September, 2014, and all of 2013.

Perman said an agreement had been reached through Grand Coulee’s former attorney, who retired recently.

The treatment for arsenic was forced upon Electric City when new standards for water were imposed by the federal government. Electric City’s water showed traces of arsenic from 13-17 parts per billion. The acceptable threshold had been 50 parts per billion, but the government lowered it to 10 parts per billion, forcing Electric City to put in its $1.3 million treatment plant, which began treating water in February, 2013.

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