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Bill bickering brings in lawyers


Grand Coulee and Electric City continue their disagreement over a $39,000 arsenic treatment dispute.

Grand Coulee Mayor Paul Townsend proposed to his council that maybe it would be a good thing to meet Electric City halfway on the disputed $39,000. His suggestion got nowhere at the last council meeting.

In fact, it prompted Councilmember Erin Nielson to move to stand firm on the city’s contention that it doesn’t owe Electric City the $39,000. His motion passed unanimously.

Accordingly, Townsend sent Electric City the bad news by letter.

The disagreement over the amount stems from exactly when the two cities signed a new agreement over how the arsenic removal charges were to be made. That agreement was made the two councils in September, 2014, and signed by both mayors.

Electric City has charged that Grand Coulee should pay the arsenic treatment expenses under its old agreement until the new agreement was signed. Grand Coulee maintains that it only owes service charges from the time the new agreement was signed.

Both cities have “lawyered up,” and each has spent about $2,000 in legal fees so far, according to the two city clerks.

Electric City Clerk Jackie Perman said that her council hasn’t had time to decide what to do next, but will likely address it at the council’s next meeting, July 12, beginning at 6 p.m.

The Grand Coulee council’s next meeting is July 19.

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