Grant, Adams county communities receive development grants

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | October 7, 2020 1:00 AM

By CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE

Staff Writer

OLYMPIA — Six communities across the Columbia Basin are among the recipients of $10.8 million in Community Development Block Grants announced Monday by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

“The grants we are announcing today will result in cleaner water, safer streets, and ultimately, a higher quality of life in towns, cities and counties across Washington State,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown in a press release issued Monday.

The local recipients are Lind, which is receiving $29,662 for a groundwater supply assessment study; Mattawa, which is receiving $685,000 for the Government Road multi-use pathway; Odessa, which is receiving $580,725 for sewer system improvements and $30,000 for a water system asset plan; Royal City, which is receiving $900,000 to improve the city’s water system and $30,000 to redo the city’s water system plan; and Soap Lake, which is receiving $897,000 for water system improvements.

Lind, a town of 560 on the rolling wheat plains of Adams County, will use its nearly $30,000 to evaluate the city’s four wells and its water supply.

“It’s to make sure there’s enough water for everybody for the long term, and what to do as we go forward,” said Steve Nelson, a project manager for Century West Engineering in Spokane Valley, which is overseeing the study.

Nelson said the study should be finished by next fall, and hopefully no later than next spring.

Royal City Finance director Shilo Christensen said the $900,000 grant will cover less than half of the $2 million cost of replacing some of the city’s water mains, and the city is seeking a combination low-interest loan and grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program to cover the rest.

“Mainly, we have some old steel water lines that were put in around 50 years and they are near the end of their life,” said Christensen.

“It’s not scheduled to start yet,” Christensen said. “It’s a few streets, so it’s not a small project. But a street in Royal City is not like a street in Moses Lake.”

In an email, Soap Lake Mayor Alex Kovach wrote the grant will be used to “further our work on replacing old (asbestos concrete) water mains and telemetry throughout the city.”

“This work will be completed with additional sewer work next year,” he wrote.

Soap Lake is in the midst of a nearly $9 million project to replace nearly 10,000 feet of sewer and water lines across the city.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.