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Contract Ok'd For Riverfront Sewer Line

Work to begin in May

Another major infrastructure project is about to get under way in White Salmon.

On April 5, the White Salmon City Council voted 4-1 to award a $1,068,187 contract to Colville Tribal Services Corp. of Nespelem to install a wastewater collection pipeline to serve the riverfront district.

A total of 6,625 linear feet of 10-inch diameter sewer pipe will be installed, with most of the work centered along the north side of State Route 14 between MP 64.90-65.88 -- roughly from the Hood River Toll Bridge to McDonald's in Bingen.

The federal government is funding the bulk of the work, in order to provide sewer service for the new tribal fish processing plant east of the Hood River Toll Bridge.

All of the estimated project cost is being paid by federal government grants.

"They're paying 100 percent," said Wil Keyser, director of White Salmon's Public Works Department.

Council member Richard Marx questioned why the cost of the project was not in the city's budget for 2005.

Keyser explained that the money for the pipeline installation did not impact White Salmon's 2005 budget, adding that although the federal money was authorized by Congress in 2005, the funding was not released to White Salmon until 2006.

"It's not something we needed to budget for," Keyser said. "It's not our money being spent, it's from a federal grant."

According to Keyser, the city will send invoices and be reimbursed by the federal government for project costs, and said the funds will be included in the city's 2006 budget.

"We have to show it as revenue in and expenditures out," Keyser said.

The vote to approve the Colville contract was 4-1, with Marx voting against awarding the contract.

Bingen Mayor Brian Prigel noted that the area has been impacted lately by major construction projects, including the 2003-2004 repaving and widening of SR 14 from the bridge through downtown Bingen.

"It'll be frustrating to have more construction in that area, but it's needed in the long run," Prigel said.

Keyser said construction work was expected to start by the second week of May, and is tentatively scheduled to be completed by Oct. 1.

Keyser added that he does not expect the pipeline job to create a major impact.

"I think it will be minimal," Keyser said. "They will be working outside of the curb line for the most part. Now and again there will probably be the need to put equipment near the travel lane, but it will be flagged."

White Salmon Mayor Roger Holen said the project would provide substantial benefits to the city.

"In my opinion, that area was damaged by the fish processing plant, which took that land off the tax rolls," Holen said. "This at least is some compensation, and will enhance the value of property from Underwood Fruit to the Heritage Park & Ride Center."

Colville Tribal was the lowest qualified bidder on the project, which drew a total of five bids.

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