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B Street closure extension granted for USBR fire station


The Grand Coulee City Council voted last week to extend their contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to keep a portion of B Street closed for up to another year during construction of the bureau’s new fire station.

The council discussed some of the frustration of closing the street for another year at their Nov. 19 council meeting.

Councilmember Tom Poplawski said he’d like to add a penalty clause that says the bureau has to pay a penalty if the project isn’t done before the end of 2020.

Councilmember Mike Horne agreed that would be a good idea.

Mayor Paul Townsend laughed the idea off, saying it’s “always good to play nice.”

“I know they are probably frustrated with how this project has progressed,” Townsend said. “I prefer to keep a positive relationship with them.”

Townsend emphasized the importance of the emergency access route between B Street, which ends near the fire station, and SR-155. The bureau owns the road between the two and could close it off if they chose.

Poplawski said he felt it was normal, not aggressive, to set a stipulation in the contract to get their road back in a timely manner.

“I don’t want to poke a bear, I just want to start exercising the rights that we have in order to accomplish the goals we want to accomplish,” he said.

“It surprises my dog when he hears noise at the construction sight,” Councilmember Alan Cain joked about the construction of the fire station, whose long construction process has drawn ridicule.

Poplawski said he expects construction to be finished before the end of 2020, but doesn’t want to be approving another extension next year.

Townsend suggested adding the phrase “final extension” to the contract, but the group eventually unanimously approved the extension as written, without any potential penalties.

Construction on the fire station is anticipated to be completed in April of 2020, USBR Public Affairs Specialist Lynne Brougher told The Star in October.

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