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Four towns cooperate on paving grant


Area vehicles could have a lot of sticky tar on their tires if a four-town request for grants to chip seal a number of area streets comes through in October.

Four towns have applied for a state Transportation Improvement Board chip seal grant totaling nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.

Chip sealing is the process used to extend the life of an asphalt road by applying a covering of oil and gravel, which hardens as it cools and is smoothed out by repeated traffic.

The four municipalities — Elmer City, Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee and Electric City — applied for a Small City Preservation Program grant. The local initiative was sparked by Elmer City’s public works Director “Jimmer” Tillman. He said at the time that if all four towns applied together their hopes of getting the grant would improve.

“If all four apply, the successful bidder would have only one setup fee, saving TIB a bundle of money,” Tillman said.

All four communities did come through. Their various requests were: for Elmer City, $156,413; Electric City, $182,462; Grand Coulee, $292,822; and Coulee Dam, estimated at $150,000. Coulee Dam’s engineering firm couldn’t be reached for the precise amount.

“I was advised that TIB grant people would look favorable to grant requests where communities work together on projects,” Tillman said.

Tillman hurriedly contacted the other three towns and got them on board to meet an early deadline for the four-town request. In just a few weeks, the towns will learn if that effort pays off.

All four towns turned to their engineering firms to complete the grant requests, coming up with the amount of money needed to get the work done.

The grants would provide 100 percent of the cost of the several projects.

By applying together and having the four projects done one after the other, TIB would save three of the setup costs by the successful bidder.

It would allow the company winning the bid to move from one community to the next without having to set up four separate times, Tillman explained.

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