Richland to improve access to industrial tract

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldJune 18, 2013 

The Richland City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to spend about $385,000 to improve access to 25 acres of industrial land on Kingsgate Way.

The city plans to build 1,240 feet of road and utilities and a portion of a rail spur to the land that Schaeffer Industries, a Nevada company, is planning to buy. The property is owned by FE&C.

According to an agreement between Schaeffer and FE&C, the real estate deal needs to be closed by June 26.

The road and utilities also would serve 15 adjacent acres owned by the city and increase its value by $75,000, said Gary Ballew, economic development manager for the city.

"This is a solid pan, the risk to the city is very low and this is exactly what we want to do in this area," said Councilman Terry Christensen.

Schaeffer Industries, which manufactures, processes and distributes steel products for use in automotive, solar and other industries, plans to build a manufacturing plant on the site.

The plant would employ 15 to 30 people. There also is room on the property to build two additional plants in the future.

One of Schaeffer's products is a trellis system designed for automated cultivation in vineyards and other agricultural markets.

"This area would be a major market for them," Ballew said.

Also Tuesday:

-- The council voted to declare the Wright Street Fire Station at 507 Wright St. as surplus.

The 2,956-square-foot building was constructed in 1954 as a small, neighborhood fire station on .44 acres.

It's no longer used as a fire station. Instead, it's been used for several decades as a part-time preschool run by various public and private entities. The city has been maintaining the grounds and building and paying utilities.

The current operator is a parent cooperative which uses the building about seven and a half hours a week. The classes will be moved to the city's community center at 500 Amon Park Drive.

The city will negotiate with the Sagebrush Montessori School for a three-year lease with an option to buy the property.

-- The council awarded a $575,407 contract to Goodman and Mehlenbacher Inc. to replace five aging primary underground power lines from the Stevens Drive substation north toward Catskill. The company will install new conduits, vaults and underground cables which will increase the reliability of the underground infrastructure in the area, according to city documents.

Construction is scheduled to begin July 8 and be completed in August.

-- The council awarded a $841,457 contract to Inland Asphalt Company for resurfacing Saint and Spengler streets between George Washington Way and Stevens Drive. The project will include adding new handicap ramps at each intersection, repairs to the curbs, gutters and sidewalks and new water lines to 38 homes on Saint.

Similar repairs to gutters, curbs and sidewalks will be made on Spengler and new driveway entrances added at the Richland Mobile Home Park.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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